I was reminded recently how much I loved old weapons as a kid.
It wasn't just weapons. It was armour, uniforms, medals and ranks.
I imagine it came from my Dad's talk of the Royal Navy and Mum's time in the WAF during World War II. Whatever it was it was given a solid boost by the arrival of Action Man, Little Big Man, Tommy Gunn and all the other plastic fighting men in my life.
One of my favourite books picturing arms and armour was the Finding Out of Battles. It was illustrated by Ron Embleton.
I have to say the illustrations were quite brilliant and I can remember them vividly. Ron Embleton had a style all of is own but I didn't know it was him back in the Sixties. I just loved the art.
If Action Man boosted my interest then Kung Fu turned it into an obsession.
By the time I was 12 I spent more time thinking about old weaponry from medieval Japan and Europe than Dr. Who thought about his Tardis.
I even did a long project comparing the two styles and in particular swords. Researching as much as I could from books and magazines I meticulously drew loads of pencil drawings of different European sword hilts, guards and blades together with their Japanese counterparts.
This project I did when I was about 12 or 13 and was typical of the passion I gave to my various crazes, Kung Fu and Martial Arts being the most enduring of my early teens until heavy rock usurped them age 16.
I still have this research project in a folder somewhere in the attic and it will be fun to track it down and blog a few pages. I still have all the books I used to research it too 45 years later!
There was little I didn't know about English Pikes, French Basket Guards, Katana's and Wakisashi's in those days! A regular Samurai anorak I was! Its amazing how much random knowledge a teeneger can retain when he wants to!
Some of I've retained and still get a kick out of medieval arms and armour, particularly from Europe and the Orient.
What was your burning passion when you were an early teen readers?