Hing Fat Plastic 54mm French WW2 figures

I had the welcome surprise this week of a small gift parcel of Hing Fat 54mm plastic figure samples from Peter Evans. A colourful rainbow bundle.

Peter currently sells these ‘Made in China’ Hing Fat figures through his eBay seller site figsculpt https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/figsculpt

I thought I recognised his name and it turns out that Peter was involved in setting up and still contributes to Plastic Warrior Magazine, along with Brian Carrick of the Collecting Toy Soldiers blog.

Hing Fat figures are a new brand to me – I wasn’t very familiar with Hing Fat figures other than the versatile pirates, which Brian Carrick turned into Chinese figures or a fantastic Maratha Indian army. I’m not quite sure if the seaside shop pirates I have bought are real Hing Fat ones or pirated clone pirates. There must be some irony there?

Sample Figures 1. WW2 French Hing Fat 54mm plastic figures

In the parcel were samples from a variety of figure ranges from Knights and AWI to WW2. The hard plastic figures are usually in a base colour relating to where they fought or their base uniform colour. They would withstand fairly rigorous play handling by children (and ageing garden gamers).

I thought I would start with the most unusual, which are the Hing Fat WW2 (or at a push WW1) French infantry in light blue plastic.

At first sight I thought this Poilu poses was pantographed up from the familiar OO/HO WW1 French Infantry by Airfix.

The full range of twelve poses of Hing Fat French WW2 figures can be seen here on Peter’s Figsculpt eBay site:

Screenshot 2021-03-28 at 8.35.26 PM

They wear greatcoats (the capote), puttees and the Adrian helmet without backpacks.

IMG_1848

Paint notes: Revell AquaColor Acrylic – Horizon Blue uniform and helmet light blue gloss 361-50, for other equipment paint colours see paint notes figure 3 (bayonet fighter) below.  Gloss varnish acrylic spray for that traditional simple shiny toy soldier finish.

IMG_1849

Painted khaki rather than ‘les bleuets’ of the Great War, these Adrian helmeted French infantry could pass as Belgian as well as French Infantry. Maybe even WW1 Italians?

If you were not too fussy, many of these rifle wielding poilus and the officer and bugler could be used for WW1 French or late WW1 Belgians.

Similarly, if you were a 54mm wargamer not looking too closely at buttons, webbing and equipment, these would work for a range of other nations in WW1 and WW2 who adopted the greatcoat and Adrian helmet, as suggested below looking at a few uniform books.

My trusty Preben Kannik, Military Uniforms of The World suggests Belgian and French in WW2, wearing khaki greatcoats and Adrian helmets.

My battered Funcken WW2 Uniforms part IV volume suggest Free French Infantry WW2 and an interesting colonial French Moroccan Riflemen in Uniform in WW2 Part IV (see figure 3 below with bayonet)

Funcken WW2 part III has Norwegian forces in their Norway 1935 Pattern Helmet which looks a little like an Adrian Helmet. There is also a Navy blue great-coated French Navy sailors in Landing Rig. I don’t have Funcken WW2 Uniforms parts 1 and 2 yet.

The Funcken 18th Century to the Present Day volume shows “les bleuets” from WW1 and khaki Belgians in late WWI, along with khaki French and Belgians in WW2.

Let’s look at the other two sample figures, No. 2 and 3:

This almost war memorial poilu statue 54mm figure has a large  Bren type LMG, probably the FM 24/29  French LMG (in service from 1924-60s and beyond.   I cannot find information about a French stick grenade from WW2.

A rather outsize stick grenade, slightly outsized along with some other weapons on Hing Fat figures.
I painted this figure in late WW1 or WW2 Khaki as a Belgian or French infantryman.

IMG_1850 French WW2 or Belgian late WW1 and WW2 Infantryman
My paint notes as below  for figure 3 but with the uniform in Revell AquaColor Acrylic BronzeGreen matt 361-65. Gloss spray varnish finish.

IMG_1851

The third sample figure was in the act of bayonet fighting.

My painted version of this 54mm figure in shiny gloss toy soldier style portrays this bayonet warrior as a French Colonial Moroccan Infantryman in Khaki overcoat:IMG_1846

French Colonial Moroccan Infantryman in Khaki overcoat WW1 / WW2 – Paint Notes – painted using Revell AqauColor Acrylic paints – Olive Green silk matt 361-36 for the uniform greatcoat and helmet, Mud brown gloss 361-80 for boots and leather equipment, Leather brown matt 361-84 for wooden rifle parts, Dark Earth matt 361-82 for face and Copper paint cheek dot. Gloss spray varnish finish.

IMG_1847

Further Uniform Possibilities?

The two volumes of The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Uniforms of WWI and its WWII companion volume suggest various troops wearing the Adrian Helmet:

WW1 volume

Various figure suggestions including the Polish Legion, Russian Civil War and various other conflicts including French Foreign Legion in khaki.

WW2 volume

Belgium 1940 – khaki Infantry greatcoat and helmet with Belgian lion badge for officers, men and support troops.

France 1940 – khaki French greatcoat and Adrian helmeted colonial infantry such as African Tirailleurs Senegales and Zouaves (when not wearing a fez)

Some (Free) French Infantry were still wearing the Adrian helmet in 1944-45 with US or British uniform.

Polish lancers in 1939 in khaki, shown without greatcoats.

These figures could represent the unsavoury figures in dark blue uniform and Adrian helmet of the Vichy France (Gardes Republicaines Mobiles) paramilitary police so feared by the Resistance. They are shown in tunics without greatcoats.

The French WW2 soldiers are shown in my trusty childhood Ladybird Leaders book of Soldiers, illustrated by Frank Humphris:

I hope you have enjoyed this taster glimpse of these sample figures which I enjoyed painting. I think a box or two of these poilus might be on my Christmas list.

IMG_1820
Hing Fat Eighth Army and Japanese figures alongside 54mm Britain’s hollowcast.

As you can see, some Hing Fat WW2 figures seem to echo Matchbox WW2 figure poses.

Size or scale wise as 54mm / 1:32 figures go, here are three of the Hing Fat WW2 sample figures against my ‘standard’ figures of Britain’s 54mm hollowcast and Airfix plastic 1:32.

IMG_1822
Hing Fat 54mm Russian Infantry next to Airfix 1:32 Russian Infantry

Nest sample figures: Three Hing Fat WW2 Russian sample figures 

B.P.S. Blog Post Script

These WW1 / WW2 French Infantry reminded me of the tantalising glimpse in a late 70s / early 80s Airfix catalogue that promised 1:32 WW1 British Infantry in soft caps, based on the OO/HO ones. Sadly, this never happened and was never again mentioned. Did I dream this one?

More on Hing Fat

Hugh at the encyclopedic Small Scale World blog covers Hing Fat’s varied output such as the pirates http://smallscaleworld.blogspot.com/2018/09/h-is-for-hing-fats-hooligan-hijackers.html

There is another view or review of these figures, which has them labelled DGN figures rather than Hing Fat.https://ww2pts.blogspot.com/search/label/Maker%20-%20DGN?m=0

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 ...

10 thoughts on “Hing Fat Plastic 54mm French WW2 figures”

  1. Really interesting to see these fellows and what a kind thing to do in sending you samples. They have painted up well and look the part. I enjoyed seeing your reference books especially the Kannik. The figures do indeed have much potential.
    I regret getting rid of the volumes of the WW2 Funcken I had but down sizing made for some difficult decisions but was essential. I did retain the ww1 ones etc which I am very grateful for indeed. I may well pop over to the eBay shop later today. ..

    Like

    1. It was a kind thing to do! Like job lots, samples are always exciting, including back in the 1980s from Peter Laing or Spencer Smith with single figures freely added or ordered from a new range, a wise move before buying multiples with precious pocket money. P&P seemed to eat such a chunk out of said figure pocket money.

      You never know, my simple gloss shiny toy soldier style of painting might even inspire a few figure sales amongst 54mm gamers for these interesting figures.

      I also received a sample of Plastic Warrior Magazine to add to the few copies you kindly passed on to me. It may tempt me to a subscription or an article. I cancelled most of these magazine and organisation subscriptions when furlough kicked in.

      The reference books are still a joy. I still think Kannik is what these armies and my toy soldiers should look like.
      Funckens were difficult to get hold of through the childhood branch libraries. I hope you find some reasonably priced English editions of the WW2 books.
      Preben Kannik’s book (especially if it were published together with Niels Saxtorph’s Warriors and Weapons of Early Times) might even push out Featherstone’s 1962 War Games on my one “desert island discs” type book choice. (Luxury? Probably a choice travel box selection of my figures? To match the island sized sand table)

      Like

  2. P.s have popped over to the eBay shop I noticed the Volare Cantare Infantry, sorry Italians, l have these figures or probs something very similar. They served me well and painted up excellently. Some of the poses are the same and I think mine are bigger in stature however. I will get some at these very good prices.

    Like

  3. Thank you for posting a size comparison! Although I think the Hing Fat figures are a bit slighter and shorter than their Airfix cousins when the base is excluded, the thicker base makes up for the height difference. Meaning, for me at least, on the table they would fit right in.

    Like

  4. I have a few of the Hing Fat sets – mostly picked up in Belgian supermarkets a few years ago. Several light conversions have been seen on my blog. The French set is nice, as indeed are the Russians and Italians. The US and Germans are a bit iffy but still have plenty of conversion bodging potential.

    Like

    1. Thanks Tim. As you say, good conversion potential. If only British supermarkets stocked such things … or delivered them with supermarket drop offs …

      Peter Evans kindly sent me a couple of sample figures from each set so Russians follow soon (maybe later this week or next week?) after today’s post of the French painted up. Then probably the Italians? This kind gift has kept my Pound Store Plastic Warrior trash puppy self busy whilst avoiding the high street or waiting for non essential retail to reopen.

      I understand what you mean by the Germans, the helmets are not quite there / right. Helmet covers or camouflage might work. The American GIs seem pretty standard toy soldier fare.

      Interesting ‘echoes’ of poses from Matchbox, along with a lively odd Marx, Crescent or other 1960s Plastic soldiers feel to some others.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s