I know some of you may see this thread and say, "Oh No!, not another one of those 1/6 hobby dying posts." Well not quite. My take is that while the 1/6 hobby in general appears to be doing OK, the part that deals with military figures (historical and modern) appears to be greatly slowing down and may be on the verge of expiring. Now certainly the customizing side of the hobby will likely go on no matter what. Guys like Tony Barton, Andy Sheppard, Vettius, Ransome Chua, et al will continue to customize military figures and define the state of the art. However, in my opinion we may be witnessing the demise of commercially-produced 1/6 scale military action figures. I can't recall a time in the past 15 years since Dragon released "Hans" that we have gone as long as we have without an announcement of an upcoming military figure. Certainly there are upcoming releases but these have all been previewed at least 4 months ago and some like the Cal-Tek RAF pilot significantly longer than that. Dragon, the one time mainstay and leader of the hobby has, after a long period of decay in quality and innovation, completely dropped off the grid insofar as new 1/6 military figures are concerned. While companies like DID, Soldier Story, DAM!!, Playhouse and others have pushed the hobby to new heights insofar as quality is concerned, think how long it has been since they previewed a new military figure. DID's FBI figure and much anticipated Churchill are not really true military figures per se, nor are DAM!!'s Nazi zombies for that matter. The only recent previews have come from ACE Workshop, which appears to have risen from the 1/6 dead, with their MACVSOG and FFL figures. The majors though are conspicuous in their absence. Upcoming WW2-themed military figures are even more sparse than modern figures and I can't recall any recent preview of a figure from this time period. This is especially upsetting as WW2 is the era that was the foundation of the hobby at one point. DID is showing signs that they may be following the route of Hot Toys by emphasizing figures based on movie characters with the military oriented figures being dropped (unless related to a movie). The loss of Hot Toys as the one time leader in Modern Figure production was and continues to be deeply felt even though other companies have taken their place. Loosing DID as a source of WW2 figures would really put the kabosh on those of us with an interest in that era as DML is nowhere to be seen, Soldier Story though making great figures doesn't release nearly as many WW2 figures as DID, and companies like King's Toys, Cal Tek, and others only produce the occasional WW2 figure.
I've always felt that the 1/6 military action figure hobby provided a wonderful educational opportunity to learn a great deal about history and current events, especially for some of the younger hobbyists. I'm pushing 60 and though having a sound background in history (I minored in History and Political Science in college) have nonetheless managed to greatly advance and enhance my knowledge and understanding of history as a direct consequence of this hobby. This came about either as a result of researching information to produce historically accurate figures or due to my interest being piqued by a figure to read more about a particular battle, war, or time period. One is never to old to learn. I don't think any other theme in the 1/6 hobby has the capacity for the hobbyist to learn so much as the military-based figures do.
We will likely be able to continue to kitbash figures for some time with the vast amount of pieces/parts that are already out there. Naturally, the more desired items will dry up the fastest. Having companies like BattleGear Toys and their large selection will help but even they are not introducing new items as often as in the past. I hope this slowdown is just temporary and things will pick up but as I mentioned above I can't recall it ever being this slow since the hobby resurfaced and surged in the late 90s-early 2000s. I hope I'm wrong but I sense that the future does not bode well for the military side of this hobby.