Pound Store Scout Figures from Airfix WW1 Americans

Some simple Scout figures knocked up quickly from Airfix WW1 Americans.


I have been painting in the garden today for the first time in many years. In the past, painting outdoors kept me safe from being cooped up inside in a room amidst the heady fumes of Airfix enamels and glue.


As an experiment, some of the more useless poses (lying down etc.) in the  Airfix WW1 American troops have been adapted to become Scouts for my Wide Games Project.

The skipping picnickers or  ammunition carriers from Airfix WW1 American infantry repainted as Boy Scouts for Wide Games.

One possible source of Scout figures for Wide Games are the Airfix WW1 Americans with their doughboy / lemon squeezer hats. Their puttees look a little like long Scout socks and their tunics like Scout blouses.

When I was a boy, WW1 Airfix figures were no longer in the shops by the late 1970s and so were very hard to get hold of. I made do with what precious few WW1 figures came down through the family.

They have since been rereleased in the 2000s by Hat and more recently by Airfix themselves in their Vintage Classics range.



The old ones are in green, the Hat ones I think are the ones in Sandy brown.

The idea of hacking up precious WW1 Americans to make Scout figures still seems a little odd, so I have used the more ‘non combatant’ poses.

These include the famous skipping doughboys with their picnic hamper, the doughboy sat on a box, the usually useless dying casualty and the lying down but not firing figures.

Falling over guy and lying down guy, alongside originals.

The figures still need painting in suitable Scout uniform colours, with painted details added of scarves, shorts and long socks.

Clipping rifles off and replacing these with wire patrol staffs or staves should help demilitarise these figures.

Classic skipping doughboys and Rovering to Success pose, with originals

Hot glue gunning to a base makes the more useless lying down poses stand in a more useful manner.

Smaller scale Scouts?

For my Wide Games Project, suitably wide terrain, suitable ground scale and size of figures are an obvious issue. Going smaller means that my hex board becomes a bigger territory. However there are not many old fashioned Scout Hat type figures.

The advantage of these HO / OO or 1:76 WW1 figures is that they should link with HO or OO type railway figures and buildings.


Peco Modelscene Uniformed Services, hikers and Scouts Trek Cart set

Scouts and trek carts are available in railway figures but they are usually few in number and expensive or in more modern Scout gear. Preiser also do a set of very European or Germanic looking Scouts.

Peco Modelscene Trek Cart and Scouts

The Dapol (former Airfix) passengers and railway staff / navvies etc should provide some inexpensive suitable country characters.


Lots of possibilities for a larger scale Wide Games using OO railway size buildings and scenery that I already have (sounds like material for my Sidetracked blog https://sidetracked2017blog.wordpress.com

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 1970s Cub Scout (Bronze Arrow, Retired)  on 22 June 2019

Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

19 thoughts on “Pound Store Scout Figures from Airfix WW1 Americans”

  1. Now you’re talking – 1/72 classics. The skipping scouts are the business. You have a good eye for conversions – ammo boxes become picnic hampers and rifles become staffs. Swords to ploughshares!

    I have some Dapol civilian figures somewhere, they’re great. I used them in a 1939 scene featuring Dutch infantry cyclists in pre-invasion Arnhem.

    Off topic, I know, but do you happen to know of any Regency period upper class ladies in 1/72 scale or even some figures with conversion possibilities? I might have a look at those Dapols again for it but they need to look more 1800 than 1940.


      1. Thanks – I knew you’d have some ideas I’ll check out some of those definitely. As for me and conversions… well, let’s just say I knows my limitations!


      1. Great find, Mark – thanks for this! I think the KAMAR ones would be perfect, actually. Really tempted but with nearly 16 euros postage costs alone, I might have to think about it! It was just an idea for a small addition to some other figures I’m working on which would I thought was really appealing. No doubt I’ll weaken and pay up eventually… 😉


      1. The Kamar figures look perfect. I know EU shipping etc is costly so why not buy several other things from their unusual 1/72 range? Why not buy two sets of Nappy Civilians, paint them both and sell what you don’t need to recoup your shipping costs?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Mark. They are really lovely figures and in my scale too. They’ve got me thinking about something like a volunteer artillery dio with onlookers. I do have a Chas. Stadden figure somewhere from my youth. For my Holkham Yeomanry however these may be just a little later than I’m after – I’m really looking for a Pride and Prejudice 20mm playset!


  2. Just popped over from your other blog and enjoyed the longer post. I didn’t know the Americans had been re released. Interesting information and great inspiration as ever.
    Reminds me of a wargaming weekend l went to many moons ago where we played Airfix charades. You had to stand in the pose of a particular Airfix figure and everyone had to guess what set you came from. A surprisingly absorbing parlour game it was.


    1. Worth getting any Airfix Vintage Classics rereleases Of WW1 and WW2 vehicles and figures sooner rather than later as being Airfix, ranges quickly vanish. No 54mm, no pre-WW1 historical figures at the moment.
      Airfix Charades and the WW1 American skipping picnickers also feature in Harry Pearson’s funny memoir Achtung Schweinhund!


    1. So much cheaper than metal, I wish I had thought of this at first. It’s a good way to use up duff figure poses. I now have the challenge of producing female scouts with long skirts.


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