An online purchase last year from a vintage ex-shop stock supplier, at first I thought these were 54mm pirate copies. In fact they turned out to be OO/HO.
I was not disappointed as this meant I had some OO/HO copies of the larger Airfix Japanese Infantry to play with, pirated and pantographed down in size from 1:32.
These were pretty ropey, poor quality copies with extra flash and badly moulded weapons. Perfect for conversion then! Four bags full …
Because of the unusual nature of these Airfix Japanese figures in a small scale, I think that they are worth trimming free of flash and painting up as an Imagi-Nations army unit.
Hopefully I will be able to create some interesting new OO/HO figures for the American Civil War or for an Imagi-Nations army, such as I have done with the original 1:32 Airfix Japanese Infantry that I have repainted here.
These Pippin fort figures were previously shown at my Man of TIN blog in June 2016 (link below here) and would feature well in the employ of any late 18th or 19th Century Imagi-Nation:
There was another slender plastic old toy soldier style figure inside the pack that caught my eye, advancing with a sub machine gun.
A group of these roughly 42mm figures would make another fine SMG Sub Machine Gun unit all advancing together.
The original figure might have been an Airfix WW2 German Infantryman, shown here for size comparison. The pose also reminds me of several 1950s and 60s US infantry plastic soldiers that I have (somewhere!)
Crude as they are, they have loosened into a useful generic Imagi-Nations modern infantry type, much like the Italian made Atlantic “Euro Infantry”.
The lack of detail might appal some and appeal to others; it becomes useful, something that is often said about my favourite slender 15mm figures by Peter Laing. With a paintbrush you can pretty much adapt these loose or lightly detailed figures to many periods.
For those pound store figures just with rifles, these could even be taken back to the 19th century with their equipment and simple headgear as I have tried to do with the red coat toy soldier style of painting. This is something that James at Quantrill’s Toy Soldiers has been doing too with the odd hat plume or Milli – putty Green Stuff slouch hat
Another slimmer or slender figure from the Combat Mission 80 Soldiers pack is based on the very familiar Airfix WW2 German Infantryman throwing a stick grenade. The China made version has a distinctively different sort of grenade, more like a Home Guard sticky bomb!
I should be able to muster a unit of about about 24 of these plucky rifle grenadiers.
The other Airfix figures raided for this pack include American infantry.
Red Devil Paras
One of the other Airfix ranges raided is the WW2 British Paratroops.
Other pound store copies
Copies of the famous Airfix WW2 British Paratroopers have cropped up in my other pound store packs of China made plastic Soldiers over the last ten years. Even older copies turn up inscribed Hong Kong, presumably pre 1997.
There are other websites out there that focus on plastic figures and their copies, notably Small Scale World: http://smallscaleworld.blogspot.co.uk This site has an impressive web list to explore the world of plastic figures.
Around at the moment in pound stores and seaside gift stores are these mixed bag of evolved , morphed, degraded or downsized ‘pirate’ versions of Airfix WW2 figures – Combat Mission 80 soldiers for around £3.50 – £4.00.
After buying the first bag, attracted by one of my favourite poses of the charging rifleman, I bought two more bags to get more of this pose.
The graphics for these suggest a more modern Iraq / Afghanistan “Desert Storm” type of content than the generic WW2 figures that are really inside.
The header illustration is more typical of the other Combat Mission figures that I bought recently which retailed at just over a penny each, whereas these 80 soldiers cost about 4 to 5 pence each (2017).
So whilst these 80 soldiers are not quite pound store prices, they are cheap in comparison to the Airfix originals. The equivalent 54mm / 1:32 WW2 Airfix figures would today at a average box price of £7 for 14 figures cost you about 50 pence per Airfix figure.
The probable inspiration for this figure can clearly be seen alongside the original Airfix German infantryman. Over 40 years of Hong Kong / China Made cloning has reduced the detail and the original size into what looks more like a Britain’s lead charging soldier.
As well as a half dozen similar figures painted in this toy soldier style c.2007/8, I now have 24 new charging infantry to paint up (out of 240 new plastic figures for around £11). They have shrunk a bit over the years to roughly 42mm, rather than the original 54mm.
One part of the attractive old toy soldier look is to have multiple figures of the same pose to make up units.
I look forward to painting up this 30 strong unit of charging infantry, having used my other metal or hollowcast similar charging figures for inspiration.
I will show the other 9 poses (such as those below) for the rest of the Combat Mission 80 Soldiers set in Part 2 (my next blog post).
Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN for the Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog on a rainy 10th June 2017.