Vintage Airfix AWI British Grenadiers paint conversions to King’s Guard ImagiNations

Crossposted from my Man of TIN blog on 4th / 5th July 2021:

Vintage Airfix AWI British Grenadiers paint conversions to King’s Guard #ImagiNations

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/07/04/wip-kings-guard-paint-conversions-of-vintage-airfix-awi-british-grenadiersvv/

ImagiNations Vintage Airfix figures #1 Black and Gold Washington’s Army Tricorne Troops

Airfix Washington’s Army (S39, first produced 1971) are a versatile set for ImagiNations use. Sadly they are currently unavailable and have not been widely produced since the early 1980s.

I wanted to keep the bold colour schemes and paint style that I found in an old battered bag of Airfix and assorted figures.

How they arrived:

How these Airfix arrived … paint flaking off flexible parts like legs and weapons

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/05/20/imaginations-obes-and-vintage-airfix-scrapings-from-someone-elses-toy-box/

The Accurate Revell AWI British troops were even less finished.

The random flag came with the bag of figures but I’m not sure which of the many colourful groups of figures it belongs to; it matches the uniform colours anyway.

Figures with round MDF bases are recently gifted Duchy of Tradgardland origin troops from Alan Gruber, which I have painted to match the others. Thanks Alan!

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/05/27/turncoats-and-mercenaries

As they arrived from Tradgardland, left hand side.

Their origin is inscribed in fine point indelible CD marker underneath – figure number and origin e.g. D of T. This makes for easy stock-keeping, honours the gift or origin and also helps with personalised wargaming.

Yellow and Black?

Like a swarm of wasps or angry bees? The starting original yellow tunic colour is well matched by the vibrant Lufthansa Gelb (Yellow) 36-310, the silk matt Revell Aquacolor Acrylic that I used.

Who could they be?

1. It also gives me a possible Mittel Mittel European ImagiNation or FMS Forgotten Minor State (Principality, Electorate, Empire or Duchy etc) of Gelberg. Gelberg is named after its yellow-tinged rocks and mountains glimpsed above the forest line (a bit like Golden Cap near Lyme Regis).

The name Gelbania is already taken by another of my (post) Napoleonic era FMS ImagiNations.

2. Alternatively the black, white and gold could be a regiment of Kernewek or Cornish Guards in British or ‘foreign’ service, hence the ‘redcoat’ facings. There are Irish, Scots and Welsh Guards, why no Cornish ones? These are led by one handsome Captain Russ Dolparke.

3. Some other bright (yellow) idea …

Pigtails and Details

As I painted, I noticed more and more fiddly details – straps, the powder horn and its thin straps, the tie back buttons, cockades, the pigtail and ribbon. These are well detailed figures for their time, ones that have aged well too.

Checking through Uniforms of The American War of Independence (Blandford) as suitably Tricorne era, I noticed that the British and American troops did not all have white wigs and pigtails, below the senior officer level.

Some left-over figures, possibly intended to be standard bearers, will serve as gun crew as needed.

The odd figure with a (gunpowder?) barrel is actually an awkward chimera that I made of two damaged figures, part French Artillery legs and Washington’s Army body.

You could spend forever tweaking paint on straps etc. I decided against a dark wash to bring out details, as I wanted to keep close to the simple fresh paint scheme on the figures from the original random bag.

There are some beautifully painted and highlighted examples of Washington’s Army online including on the Paul’s Bods blog site.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 3 June 2021.

ImagiNations OBEs and vintage Airfix scrapings from someone else’s toy box?

Window shopping through the toy soldiers section of Etsy as you do, I spotted a couple of items that reminded me of an unusual hoard find that I hadn’t shared on this or my blogs so far.

Firstly some funky Fifties or Sixties toy soldier fabric on Etsy

then a more recent late 90s Wade’s whimsy of a toy soldier ceramic figure in yellow and blue. A touch of 60s Sergeant Pepper and his Lonely Hearts Club Band?

I’m not buying, I hope they find the right homes. A mere photo reminder is enough for me.

However these two odd Etsy items reminded me of a colourful “dragon’s hoard” of vintage plastic in a ziplock bag turned up for a couple of pounds about five to ten years ago in a local collectibles shop at the seaside.

It is the sort of shop that had (or has) odd opening hours, most often shut when I visited,  one that has been an erratic supply of lead and plastic figures for over twenty years. I hope each time I go that it is still there and that it is sometimes open. I hope it has survived Lockdown.

I have been taking stock of my old childhood Airfix figures recently and the odd small hoard or haul of others’ old Airfix that has come my way from time to time.

This mixed bag for a few pounds had a range of vintage Airfix that sold it to me straight away, maybe not for immediate use, but worth buying because  you never know with erratic Airfix (ancient or modern) when you will see the like again.

Airfix Washington’s Army

Some of my surviving childhood painted Airfix Washington’s Army S39

and the Airfix AWI British Infantry both issued in 1971 in time for the bicentenary. They were scarce enough figures during my 70s childhood and remain unissued for years from the 1980s onwards. Oddly they never had an Airfix Playset of their own but Bellona produced a preformed Bunker Hill vacformed base if you could find one.

Some of my own childhood painted surviving Airfix AWI British Grenadiers S40

Coupled with some on these tricorne figures on the sprue in a recent gift from a railway modeller work colleague of a 60s / 70s tin of unwanted Airfix, I should have enough for some future Lace Punk / Lace Wars / Gulliver’s Travels style ImagiNation skirmishes.

http://mcristobylacew-abdul666.blogspot.com

Unpacking these random figures, they were mostly roughly painted and simply card based in units but unflocked.

Clearly they were a cast off part of a gamer’s collection, as they had handwritten Regiment labels on them. Whether they represent real regiments or ImagiNations ones, I find it hard to tell.

January 2021: I have now flocked and individually card based each soldier in each unit but not yet properly repainted them.

I wanted to photograph them as they were, when first seen as a ragtag of units.

I intend keeping the unit colours, just reprinting missing paint and adding flesh tones to faces and hands.

1. Shocking Pink Coated Tricorne Troops

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The versatile tricorne Airfix figures, cut for multiple basing by a previous owner / gamer.

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A shocking pink firing line

I quite like the random brightness of unusual colour, perfect for ImagiNations. I’m not sure if they are intended to be real uniforms. Tricorne and Napoleonics are not really my area.

They obviously meant something to somebody once.

Figures painted by someone else are what Bob Cordery of Wargaming Miscellany blog calls OBEs – politely this means Other Beggars’ Efforts.

As mentioned I intend to keep the colourful unit paint schemes, just tidy the paint work up and finish individual rebasing as you see I have done here.

2. Purple Coated Tricorne Troops

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A more regal, sacred or royalist purple …

These purple clad troops were a random mix of Airfix and other makers. I identified these on the ever useful Plastic Soldier Review website as Accurate / Imex / Revell American War of Independence British Redcoats

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=186

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More of those group 1 Pink clad tricornes … can you ever have enough?

3. Yellow clad tricornes troops,

again the Airfix Washington’s Army figures

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Led by an Airfix Officer, these yellow tricorne troops must also be the Imex / Accurate Revell American War of Independence British tricorne troops.

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4. Green clad Bicorne Troops

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Green coated Esci Set 226 Prussian and Austrian infantry with Bicorne – Napoleonic wars

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5. Blue clad Tricorne Troops – Fusilier Grenadiers

Airfix Washington’s Army figures

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6. More light blue Grenadiers
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Airfix French Napoleonic Imperial Guard in light blue, painted and marked up by the previous commander (gamer / owner) as 2nd Bat(talion?) Gren(adiers?)
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Close Up of the cross on the busby like head gear

7. Grey Clad Tricorne Troops – see also 9?

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8. Fancy Pants King’s Guard

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Airfix AWI British Grenadiers / Infantry – An Airfix ACW officer gets new colours and a fine tall new hat!

9. Light grey Bicorne Troops – should maybe join Group 7?

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ImagiNation guns and horses

Some unusual figures such as Italeri French Line Guard Artillery

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=202

mixed in with some attractive flags and spirited conversions of Airfix cavalry

and that American Civil War officer with new Grenadier hat to match the Airfix British Grenadiers.

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More random Airfix and Esci Cavalry

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Random Esci style Artillery from the Tricorne Bicorne Busby and Shako periods –

Red Coated Italeri / Revell / Zvesda French Horse Line Guard Artillery

and

Hat Napoleonic Bavarian Artillery

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=202

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=146

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and a few smuggler like figures of Tricorne artillery –

Seven Years War Revell Set 02579 Austrian Artillery

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=586

I have some spare Prince August home cast guns somewhere that would suit these well enough.

All these OBE figures – Perfect for ImagiNations!

No 1. A sample of Pink coated Tricorne Troops – Flocked and based on square individual mounting card bases in January 2021

Photographs of original figures set against Heroscape ruins and hexes

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN on 19th May 2021 / photographed August 2019 before Flocking and Basing January 2021

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