Airfix WW2 1:32 figures 54mm Rerelease for Summer 2021

Childishly delighted to see that Airfix are rereleasing six boxes of their classic 1:32 / 54mm scale WW2 figures in Summer 2021 – maybe in time for the 80th anniversaries of WW2 events over the next few years?

https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/shop/new-for-2021.html

The 1960s beach buggy in 1:32 is available again – amphibious assault vehicle?

These classic 1:32 figures will be as welcome to military modellers, collectors and diorama makers as to 54mm Wargamers.

The 1:32 British Infantry set – different figures from the 1:72 scale ones

14 figure for £9.00 is a good deal these days, 64pence each compared to 8 Chintoys figures for £25 at £3 ish each, although Steve Weston Plastic Soldiers WW2 British are a very good deal.

64p each – Cheap joy! 1 Officer, 1 radioman, 12 infantry: The tactile shape of my childhood.

Some exciting skirmishes can be fought with Paratroops and Infantry.

Six sets of WW2 1:32 figures is a start. Thanks Airfix! What can we expect next?

Strangely there are no desert war figures – German British or Italians – for the 80th anniversary of the desert battles of 1941/42?

No Waterloo 1:32 figures? No Wild West ones? No Australians or the versatile Japanese figures for the anniversary of Pearl Harbor December 1941? No Russians for the 1941 Invasion of Russia anniversary?

Looking through the website now is like poring over the lovely Airfix catalogues of our youth.

1982! https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/07/warning-more-vintage-airfix-nostalgia/

The last release of 1:32 Airfix figures in the early 2010s are still around online and in some shops including British Infantry Heavy Weapons Support Set and German Mountain Troops.

There are no new releases in 1:72 just these classic figures for WW1 and a few still available for WW2, along with a lone Airfix Multipose German Infantry 1:32 starter set https://www.airfix.com/uk-en/shop/figures.html

The current 2021 available 1:72 range, some now sold out, as of 2021. Sold out on the Airfix.com shop but ‘view stockists’ available from model shops and online stockists.

Good starter figures for young gamers such as Tom the Wargamer on YouTube. https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/09/20/ww2-wargaming-on-a-budget-tom-the-wargamer-and-historical-wargaming-on-youtube/

Blog posted by the childishly delighted Mark Man of TIN, 8 January 2021

16 thoughts on “Airfix WW2 1:32 figures 54mm Rerelease for Summer 2021”

  1. I am shocked, (and disappointed) that the 1/32 re-release does not include the Afrika Corps and Eighth army sets. I had those as a kid and have always been tempted to get them again, as mine long ago succumbed to a terrible death in the sandbox.

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    1. Wot no Desert War in the sandpit?
      Airfix have very odd short production runs – already the WW2 1:72 figures are mostly out of Airfix.com online shop stock. I know some of these red box Airfix 54mm figures have been reissued in the last 10-15 years and they were a much stiffer plastic judging by the German Mountain troops set I have.

      Maybe if the preorder and sales are good, they will follow up with more sets reissued? 54mm Waterloo would be good! (A boy can dream. I have some secretly stashed away anyway.)

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  2. I wonder if they will be in hard plastic like the last re-release. The advantages are better paint adhesion and disadvantages guns are more easily broken.
    Are all the British infantry the same? I thought I saw some new poses.
    The most sought after by collectors, I think, are the Napoleonic and medieval.

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    1. Only Summer 2021 will tell what Plastic The British Infantry look much the same as my old set – with none of the British Heavy Weapons infantry Support Group. I have yet to experience any breakage with the hard plastic reissues from 10 or so years ago but not so easy to convert.

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  3. I don’t understand why they do such short production runs, or am I missing something? Figures are excellent value indeed. The British infantry look particularly interesting.

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  4. Interesting question about the short production runs. Do Airfix have their own production facilities these days (in China, of course), or do they simply queue up with everyone else to get their figures produced by third-parties (in China)? I suspect the latter, in which case they probably can’t rely on getting repeat production runs processed when they need them and cost-effectively. And of course, they probably have limited warehouse space. Mind you, the last time they produced some 1:32 figures they saturated the demand and ended up selling them off cheaply from their website (£4.99 a box I seem to remember). Wish I’d bought some!

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    1. Buy enough or more than you need now.
      I think you are probably right, although the saturated demand period red box reissues from the past are now nowhere to be bought at sensible prices – out of stock, out of stock, product unavailable etc.
      From what I remember, I have no red boxes to hand this very moment but the last hard plastic reissues were produced in India? Probably much the same applies to production in China. Add in Covid disruption, etc. Economies of Scale and all that.

      Obviously Airfix are not going to put in print their business strategy and publicly share their analysis of past mistakes. It makes you hoard and preorder but it does put you off stocking up over time and relying on being able to buy more to expand or start projects that will run into difficulty if you can’t reliably buy more.

      Maybe the model kit market of planes, ships, etc is different? Stock up. Buy kit now, put it away, make it later. No problem. No need to buy the same thing again. How many duplicate spitfires do you need? Whereas figure gamers need to buy enough to start and then be able to go back and top up for new conversion projects etc. only to find these have gone out of stock. search around, find Price gone up second hand.
      Puts you off starting? It’s why I hoard with the Airfix feast or famine approach.

      Add to that the greying of the hobby, video games, smaller houses, limited runs of big figures with no tanks, vehicles, playsets, buildings, no decent simple starter rules systems etc.
      Compared to the more integrated games workshop one stop shop approach , two fat lardies, warlord games, Perry travel battle ‘all made easy’ system of figures / rules integration , (which is not my thing anyway but I am not most people) Airfix just don’t have this.
      Odd considering the relationship they once had with gamers like Terry Wise and Donald Featherstone who featured the figures, vehicles, the brilliant playsets, buildings in their photos in their books of simpler rules.
      Add in the 1:35 / 1:32 nonsense …

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      1. Airfix have recently tried to partner with game systems – e.g. Airfix Battles and now Blood Red Skies – but it’s always at arms length, using rules made elsewhere. I don’t think they really understand gamers, but are at heart an old-fashioned toy & model company.

        Mind you, don’t underestimate modellers. “How many spitfires do you need”? Well, one for making now, one for making later, one for making in the other paint scheme, one for converting, one for spare parts, one just in case…

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      2. Well that’s 7 spitfires alone sold per aero modeller this year …

        I don’t think they do understand gamers so externalise the risk of loss of gamers rules etc to other companies. I had hopes that I would understand Airfix Battles but didn’t so didn’t buy it. Ditto probably blood red skies. I stick with simple starter Featherstone rules.
        Was The Airfix Battles rules set counters and board ever released as bundles with models, figures, paintts etc?
        Did they ever release a dogfight doubles rules set of their own?
        Rerelease the Waterloo board game?

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      3. Forget to mention teaming up on What a Tanker! ?? Lardies rules which sent gamers ascrambling to find their old bashed up Airfix tanks or buy new ones to make.

        I have a feeling that Airfix is now mostly run by model kit makers.

        I never understood why Airfix in the 1960s and 70s didn’t get Donald Featherstone to write very simple (War Games 1962 type) back of postcard rules or a few pages booklet suitable for starting off young gamers, written for each period to slip into each Airfix figures box or playset. Only needs Ancients Medieval AWI ACW Napoleonic Wild West Colonial WW1 WW2 – thus promoting game play and upping the sale of Featherstone books, Airfix Magazine, Airfix vehicles, buildings, scenery, etc.

        Can we send a letter back in time to Airfix please? Dear Airfix …

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  5. This is great news Mark, thanks for your post. I have many originals from my youth and in 2019 I finally decided to pull them out and paint them for Second World War skirmish games. I did not ever own the British Infantry, when were they originally released? It must have been after the German Paratroops as that was around the time that I stopped getting the Airfix magazine/catalogue. I have rectified my lack of the Fallschirmjäger and will have to do the same for the Tommies too.
    Regards, James

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    1. The British Infantry must have arrived in the early 1980s as I remember them and the Modern Infantry, Knights and SAS being released. They are a good set, I like these more than the spindly 1:72 British Infantry of the 1970s/80s. Steve Weston’s British Infantry are also good value – see him on his Plastic Soldiers website or the choppedmerc seller on EBay.

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