Airfix OOHO British Paratroops – Chubsters?

More of my childhood Airfix Veterans painted and based for the first time.

These OOHO Paratroopers’ figures Set S23 were first produced in 1965, sculpted by John Niblett who produced many of the slender first version Airfix figures.

Some of these “bunch of chubsters“, as Gary Cumston light-heartedly called these figures on this Facebook group (below), have fought bravely in my boyhood battles since the mid 1970s, but oddly never got painted. Maybe their useful khaki green plastic handily required no painting?

They were indeed tall “chubsters”, compared to the slender Version 1 Airfix infantry figures that preceded them.

The third figure was a random one from Ken or Tony that appears to have been slightly melted or modified (to standing firing?) I think I may paint and finish this as an umbrella to represent an officer figure like Major Digby Tatham-Warter the famously eccentric Parachute officer at Arnhem who carried one. Experimental Scrim on his helmet.

Parachute regiments were usually made up of men from many regiments and sources. The same is true of my Airfix Figures. These are mostly the green colour 1970s ones but some brown 1990s Playset Coastal Fort / Gun Emplacment ones crept in. (Why make them in brown?)

Now my childhood elite veterans have been joined by a few 1960s/70s figures from Tony Adams and my former work colleague and friend Ken from his 1960s/70s tin of Airfix. Their figures are suitably coded with initials under the base.

To consider this chubster question, what better than to look closely at the figures, whilst painting up and basing some of these veterans?

I checked that I had all the figures and equipment from the Airfix British Paratroopers section of Plastic Soldier Review (which is largely unimpressed by this set) http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=418

Yes I know it’s a Bazooka rather than a PIAT. Support weapons mounted singly except mortar team vignette. Scrim helmet experiments (see later in post).

*** Digital camera or iPad photos do tend to show up forgotten or unpainted chin straps, mouldlines and flash etc but I have to remind myself that on the games table, you are seeing them at a distance. These are old figures / moulds too. ***

A few figures and fine fiddly bits were missing from my childhood originals including the two part mortar and base, the officer checking his watch with his “whatever” hand signal and the two deflated parachutes. I searched around and added these from my unused brown plastic 1990s play set figures, many of which were still on the sprue.

There are some surprising details to paint on these rather generic allied Paratroops like the ‘monkey’s tail’ tailpiece or crutch strap, that ran from back to front to button up the smock tight whilst parachuting.

The famous drop canister and associated vignette figure.

Illustrations – Airfix boxes 1970s OOHO called generic ‘Paratroopers’ – with a US Airborne look on the left? – in this still used artwork by Brian Knight. Source image: Plastic Soldier Review.

The box art illustration by Airfix artist William Champion from the second version British Paratroops 1:32 boxes (shown in Denison smocks below) – still in use 2021.

Where can I get some?

WW2 Airfix OOHO or 1:72 figures seem to go in and out of production, as the British Paratroopers currently are (summer 2021). Recent releases of the Paras up to Red Box packaging style (2012) onwards are still around online for much the same price as the OOHO figure selection currently on Airfix.com

Airfix 1:32 British Paratroops are being re-released late summer 2021.

As a young gamer borrowing this book from the branch library service I felt included in the adult world of gaming because Donald Featherstone used Airfix figures: Appendix 3 Wargaming Airborne Operations – basic Airfix paint style shown.

Painting my Paras at last

I had intended at first to do my usual childhood ‘Airfix basics’ simple painting of black boots, flesh faces and weapon colours.

Usually I use Khaki Afrikabraun for faces as it is not quite so pink and bright pale as flesh paints usually are.

Once I had painted in packs, gaiters and webbing in Khaki (Afrikabraun Matt in Revell Acrylic Aquacolor), it became necessary to use Flesh for the faces toned down with a hint of khaki or green. Any other webbing colour from the paints that I had available and had tried was too grey. I hadn’t considered using any washes at this point.

Afrikabraun – gaiters, webbing pouches and haversack

Tar Black – for boots and weapons

Leather Brown – for hair and wooden parts of weapons

Silver and black mixed for gun metal and grenades

Dark Green – for helmets

Shade and Wash?

Having done the old Airfix figure basic colours, I thought I would try some Citadel shade wash to pick out the detail and shadows of pouches, clothes and faces. I used a Christmas gift from the family last Christmas of Citadel Shade Athonian Camoshade (dark green) and Agrax Earthshade (brown). Nuln Oil (black) was generally too dark.

Shades of Denison?

Flocking and Basing (F and B)

MDF 1p Penny bases from Warbases were used for individual figures, Tuppeny 2p MDF for lying down figures and support weapons.

Apart from lying figures, figures were glued with UHU onto these 1p bases before painting started. It makes them generally easier to paint.

The flock used was a mixture of several Woodland Scenics flock types, some Jacklex packing sawdust, fine beach sand and beach micro-gravel (gathered from beach trips).

PVA Glue mixed with brown and green craft acrylic was placed by cocktail stick onto the Airfix figure base and MDF penny base before burying them in flock in a small tray.

A little later, the figure bases were buried in a tub of the fine beach sand and micro-gravel.

Trusty old Preben Kannik 1968 Military Uniforms of the World in Colour (Blandford)

Uniform Research – Denison Smocks

Some online sources, painted sample figures in ads and book illustrations show quite garish bright washes of brown cream and green for camouflaged Denison smocks.

Initially I did not even intend to paint the green sections of these already khaki green plastic figures, unless they required this like Tony Adams’ grey painted figures or the 1990s Brown issue Airfix OOHO Paratroops.

Once I had done the green or brown wash, I thought this might suffice.

However, having done the Citadel wash which seems at first to add a shine on matt colours, I went back and spent some time adding brush shade mixes onto the Airfix plastic green base colour of Olive (dark) Green and Dark Earth (brown) Revell Acrylics.

Whilst I did this, I listened for the first time to the DVD Special Features film makers’ commentary by “special effects, designers, cinematographers and film production staff” on my trusty A Bridge Too Far DVD.

After I had done this and it had dried, I couldn’t easily tell what I had done, which is hopefully the opposite of garish.

Early Denison smocks were supposed to slowly fade and the colours wash out.

These familiar Airfix Para figures seem to hold up well enough for me for gaming, especially considering that these figures that are almost 60 years old. Their modern equivalents are probably these 28mm Warlord Games Paras or any other plastic 1:72 / 1:76 British Paras you can find.

How do they paint Denison camouflage jacket ‘brush strokes’ this tiny? 28mm figures.
Three Esci hard plastic Red Devil’s that I painted in Denison camouflage c. 1982, next to a recently painted Airfix paratroop signaller, probably trying to get those radios to work.

A Bridge Too Far 1977 quote: Anthony Hopkins as John Frost: “D’you know something’s just occurred to me. We’re wearing the wrong sort of camouflage … all very well for the countryside but I doubt if it’s going to fool anyone in the town …”

Screen shot from YouTube clips of A Bridge Too Far. Chicken in a backpack mascot optional.

To Scrim or Not Too Scrim?

I watched an interesting YouTube video on helmet scrim using finely cut up bandages https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vdj1a8Irgu4&feature=youtu.be

I tried this out but found my old time-expired bandages, once cut up were more like cotton fluff plastic than cloth, so I only did one trial figure in this style. I then trimmed a few millimetres of edging from a green gaming cloth, which had more of a weave to it and the benefit of green shade colours. I tried this finely chopped material out on a damaged figure and a few lying figures.

Green cloth scrim on No. 1, bandage scrim on No.2 and none on No. 3

To Scrim or Not to Scrim and how?

Scrim Plus point: It does hide the unfortunate mould rim line or dent across across the top of the helmet.

Scrim Minus point: Many of the archive pictures that I looked at did not show British Paratroops with helmet scrim net or a leafy head scrim.

I want these figures to be as versatile for (ImagiNations) gaming in different theatres as possible, although generally on grass flocked bases.

What do you think?

*

Casualties without a base are now mounted as standing figures to make more grenade throwers or weapons crew.

Essential Reading Matter

Wargaming Airborne Operations by Donald Featherstone (1977) – same period as A Bridge Too Far film. The appendix sections show Airfix publicity shot pictures of the new German Paratroops OOHO and German Mountain Troops, along with OOHO British Paratroopers with minimal painting style.

In the game photographs, it shows that generally Featherstone barely painted his British Paras, or the newly released 1974-76 issues of Australian, US Paratroop, German Paratroop or Mountain Troop Airfix figures.

By chance, timely figures or the stimulus for producing this book?

Representative sample page of Wargaming Airborne Operations showing Featherstone’s simple figure painting style and functional games table. I found this achievable approach inspiring as a young gamer. Atlantic and Airfix figures, handmade, charred and melted urban terrain pieces …

Interestingly he also hadn’t added or updated to the Version 2 British Infantry or German Infantry, still using his Version 1 Infantry Combat Group and German Infantry from his WW2 game in War Games (1962) fifteen years earlier. Along with Matchbox US and German Infanty, he had surprisingly used Atlantic German and US Infantry in his games though instead.

A reprint by John Curry in the History of Wargaming project also includes Bob Cordery’s Tarred and Feathered grid update of Lionel Tarr and Donald Featherstone’s WW2 rules in War Games (1962).

Osprey Combat: British Paratrooper versus German Fallschirmjager (Mediterranean 1942-43)

A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan (extract) from True Stories of World War Two (Reader’s Digest). This thick hardback book of extracts was a welcome teenage Christmas or Birthday present from my parents.

Essential Viewing Matter

I chose A Bridge Too Far as my Desert Island one film challenge Duchy of Tradgardland blog post that has most introduced my gaming:

“Hard to choose from the raft of westerns and 50s/60s war films and Battle Victor comics etc, the Zulu, Waterloo films mentioned. Probably ‘A Bridge Too Far‘ from its plan of ops beginning, suggested flaws before the gliders launch, its series of plucky little character vignettes, unlucky blunders, plucky heroism, independent individual skirmish actions and IGO YUGO-ness (now the Allied side, now the German side). Obviously the same could be said of The Longest Day and Battle of the Bulge movies, all a bit mashed together in my head. This happened roughly around the same time as finding Donald Featherstone’s Airborne Wargaming book from the library.”

This film has its detractors https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Bridge_Too_Far_(film) but this broadly accurate film by producer Joseph Levine, scriptwriter William Goldman and director Richard Attenborough is a suitable memorial to many brave young men who died in this tragedy of human flaws in the planning and general bad luck.

Like Attenborough’s earlier film version of Oh What a Lovely War! and many late 1960s and 1970s war films, it is arguably / almost an anti-war film. (‘Discuss’. Film Studies 101).

These Para figures will one day grace the gaming table again as they did in my childhood and teenage games but probably not in a historical reenactment game.

Maybe in ImagiNations games as the First Angrian Parachute Brigade?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 18 July 2021

Popsicle Landing Craft?

What other things popsicle moulds could be used for – amphibious invasions!

More pictures at / crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors sister blog, https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/07/11/popsicle-landing-craft/

What proper pound store playsets and playmates were made for …

Mark Man of TIN 11 July 2021

Mystery OOHO American Infantry

These strange half dozen US Infantry came into my collection in the early to mid 1980s via my late Dad. I think they came from someone at his workplace.

I appreciated their smart paintwork. They were used in some of my teenage gaming scenarios but I was aware of their delicacy.

They are hard plastic and possibly kit figures. They had small square plasticard bases and one or two were missing either feet, bases or weapon tips.

I can’t find who made them. I have skimmed through the US Infantry section of Plastic Soldier Review.

***** One suggestion by Neil Patterson in the comments below, which seems right on web searching, is that these are Roco Minitanks figures. Thanks. *****

Mixed in with this mystery US Infantry, another mystery figure:

This strange green plastic radioman (below) reminds me of Giant (Hong Kong copies?) spacemen or divers, or the random 1980s sets of Atlantic ‘modern’ infantry figures.

My original 1980s paintwork, obviously in need of extra radiomen for a game …

Both these oddities, recently rebased on Warbases MDF penny bases, only survived I think in my 1980s Blue Box of bits and bobs of gaming stuff and stray figures.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/unboxing-the-blue-box-of-1980s-gaming-figures-time-capsule-parts-1-to-3/

Or my metal case

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/05/07/two-by-two-into-the-metal-airfix-ark-the-case-of-the-metal-box/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN blog, 10 July 2021

WIP King’s Guard paint conversion of Vintage Airfix AWI British Grenadiers

The original few King’s Guard figures are based on unusual paint conversions of Airfix AWI British Grenadiers.

These were found as a handful of figures in a small hoard of random old Airfix figures from a local collectibles shop plastic bag over ten years ago.

This is how they arrived …

As they were when I emptied the random joblot bag … before paint retouching and rebasing. The officer is a conversion from an ACW officer.

The dozen or so original King’s Guard figures (both blue facings and a few green facings) needed bulking up in numbers to be any kind of effective unit on the gaming tabletop for a skirmish game.

Bottom left, a useful handful of British Grenadiers from Alan. The French Artillery are now painted up https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/wades-toy-soldier-artillery-from-vintage-airfix-ooho-french-artillery-imaginations/

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/imaginations-vintage-airfix-figures-1-black-and-gold-washingtons-army-tricorne-troops/

Fortunately, some Airfix ‘turncoats and mercenaries’ arrived from Alan at the Duchy of Tradgardland blog as Army surplus to current Tradgardland projects.

These Grenadier figures from Alan have been painted up to join or blend in with the battered original paint scheme.

Underneath on the Warbases penny MDF bases, I have inscribed with Steadtler fine liner CD/DVD permanent marker pens their origin and individual number.

DofT means Duchy of Tradgardland origin, along with other ‘bag originals’ marked as DH for another origin or KG (for King’s Guard).

Placeholder simple red flag for the King’s Guard, as red as those striking britches!

Reversed colour facings for the drummer.

The original handwritten biro markings beneath their original bases.

Inscribing ID numbers and origin initials on the bases means that I can

  • keep track of how many Airfix figures I have,
  • which are my original childhood ones
  • who or where the kind gifting of figures came from.

It also fits in well with Featherstone’s personalised wargaming chapter of his Solo Wargaming.

I have kept the paintwork on any ‘new’ figures or any refreshed paint style very simple to match the original figures. No washes, no outlining straps and cross belts, and also no varnish (yet).

These early 1971 Airfix AWI figures have a surprising amount of detail to choose to paint or not to paint such as pigtails, powder horns, straps, turn backs, facings and buttons. Plastic Soldier Review are not so impressed by these vintage 1971 figures: http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=43

I wonder if one day the original painter of these “King’s Guard” figures will spot these figures online and recognise their handwriting and their handiwork?

Future vintage Airfix plans

There are several more colourful but undermanned ImagiNations units from the original plastic bag hoard who need reinforcements –

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

Recently Ian M. Dury my fellow Peter Laing collector posted the remains of a surplus box each of Airfix British Grenadiers and Washington’s Army to add to the colourful Rainbow ImagiNations figures. Thanks Ian. Ironically they will probably delay some Peter Laing figures on their journey across the painting table.

Welcome AWI Airfix surplus to join my ImagiNations recruits, a gift from Ian Dury …

Naturally these are now marked up on the bases as ID, ready for future painting, along with a handful from Tony Adams (TA) and about half a box from former colleague Ken (KA) of Washington’s Army figures.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/08/vintage-airfix-tin-hoard/

Washington’s Army from the early 1970s still on the sprue from my former colleague Ken. Thanks Ken.

I wonder – If Airfix rereleased them, would I buy many more? Do I have enough already for my small skirmish forces?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN 5 July 2021

Wade’s Toy Soldier Artillery from vintage Airfix OOHO French Artillery ImagiNations

Inspiration for ImagiNations units comes from very odd and whimsical sources such as this slightly Sergeant Pepper ceramic toy soldier by Wade, glimpsed recently on Etsy.

Great moustache!

My starting materials would be these vintage Airfix French Napoleonics:

Napoleonic French Artillery (centre) posted for future service by the Duchy of Tradgardland

These were a gift of some battered Airfix OOHO French Napoleonic Artillery and other figures from Alan Gruber (The Duchy of Tradgardland blog).

Having no intention of starting proper historical Napoleonic gaming, this gave me leave to experiment with colour and ImagiNations using these familiar vintage figures.

I searched and found some side and back views as well again from Etsy:

Although not exactly the same, the Wade figure having a longer tail coat and no gaiters, it gave me an idea of how to develop these spare random Artillery figures and a future use for any stray French shako troops that I might find whilst sorting.

The first attempt painting involved a multi racial unit but somehow the ones painted with darker skin tones worked better (Revell Aquacolor Acrylic Dark Earth colour).

An attempt at a flag colour. Blue sky, sandy beach?

One of my family said they thought the figures had a Caribbean look to the bright uniforms.

Equally they might suit the Bronte ImagiNations islands Gaaldine and Gondal set in the South or North Pacific.

Borrowed a couple of Esci French Napoleonic Artillery pieces that I painted in the 1980s

And on a less beach background, this is how the figures look.

I have painted a few Airfix Waterloo Napoleonic French Infantry (including some chewed up or melted ones) from the same gift to join with firelock troops from the Napoleonic Artillery set.

A colourful ImagiNations unit to play with.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN June 2021

Airfix OOHO Washington’s Army conversions by Steve Haller from The Courier magazine early 1970s

After posting my colourful black and gold ImagiNations paint version of Airfix OOHO Washington’s Army figures, I had an interesting blog comment / email from Steve Haller about his use of these 20mm figures:

Steve had pictures of his Washington’s Army troops published in the pages of The Courier magazine, which I have reprinted here with his permission.

You can see those familiar Airfix poses!

Steve wrote: “Here are some Courier early 1970s photos from my old AWI Airfix and Scruby 20mm collection (sold in late 1970s).”

They were published in Courier Magazine issues IV-4; V-2; VI-4.

Proof how versatile these figures are and how they made the AWI period accessible to many, even to the stage where they were mixed in games with ‘proper’ metal figures.

Thanks to Steve Haller for sharing these pictures, for which he still has the original prints.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 8/9 June 2021.

“From the halls of Montezuma …” Airfix Version 1 US Marines 1963

Some of my original painted version 1 US Marines veterans from my childhoood, freshly rebased.

Since starting the numbering, basing and flocking of my Airfix figures, I have been basing some of my childhood figures to bring them up to gaming condition.

Once this has been done, I have been searching around for more of such figures in various tins or job lot bags picked up or gifted over the last few years, enough to make a skirmish or small invasion force.

A handful of freshly repainted US Marine figures, originally painted grey by Tony Adams

Eventually with scouring through several boxes of mixed Airfix I found a few dozen more, enough to make a small invasion force. Some of these are probably my original family / childhood ones which were left unpainted.

Over 80 original version 1 figures scraped together, almost two boxes worth.

My paint style as a child or teenage gamer was minimal, leaving the uniform colour unpainted if it was close to the desired base colour and then highlighting usually just face, boots, weapons and webbing. I tried to keep close to this style of the originals that I had painted long ago. Some figures needed olive drab overpainting to cover up any other paint schemes such as Tony Adams’ grey Marines.

There was only one pose missing, the bazooka man, so I used a pound store copy of such a version 2 figure.

Pound store bazooka man, original standing loader and more cautious kneeling conversion.

These figures were first released as set S16, in 1963, a year before their opponents the Japanese Infantry.

They have a variety of odd poses, which the type 1 box usefully lists, pictured in J C. Carbonel’s Airfix’s Little Soldiers.

Years late , when I read them in Carbonel’s book, I thought “Oh, is that what they are supposed to be doing?” Running, charging, leaping, lying, lying wounded, just wounded.

Box listing of figures type 2 and familiar later type 2 blue box from J.C. Carbonel’s Airfix book

The Plastic Soldier Review for this set is here:

http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=355

The Marines were remodelled into a new version 2 set somewhere around 1975 to 1978, using scaled down copies of the familiar chunky US Infantry 1:32 figures and some new slender replacement poses: http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=354

These version 2 US Marines figures are still available from the Airfix web shop or stockists for a very reasonable £5 a box, still with the familiar box art from the late 60s and 70s https://uk.airfix.com/products/wwii-us-marines-a00716v

I much prefer to use the version 1 figures when I can.

The only other bit missing in my set was the base of the rubber dinghy or ‘assault boat’ so I improvised with a card replacement until I find such a dinghy base whilst rooting through my Airfix odds and ends.

Using the version 1 Marines

I have no intention of running any Japanese Vs. Marines type games anytime soon. The more I learn of the savagery of the Pacific War, the less I would want to replay actual historical battles.

The Marines would be great for many mid to late 20th century troops and ImagiNations games.

The US Marines figures seemed to fulfil for most at the time the role of US Infantry which oddly Airfix never made in OOHO, unlike Matchbox and other makers. Airfix include the Version 2 ones in their current DDay diorama / Playsets.

I noticed that they are generic enough to use for many postwar armies, and for summer in Korea, Vietnam and the ‘Cold War in hot countries’ type scenarios. They lack the greatcoats etc. for winter warfare.

Curiously whilst I was slowly painting, flocking and basing these figures amongst others over the last few weeks, Alan at the Duchy of Tradgardland blog posted an intriguing picture of Airfix Version 1 US Marines from Charles Grant’s WW2 rules book Battle! Practical Wargaming, ‘spotty’ painted in use as WW2 or postwar modern camouflaged troops:

I shall try this spotty colour scheme out on a few spare crawling Marine figures. Hopefully Alan has now secured some version 1 Marines for future ‘spotty’ use.

The US Marines band – Music For Pleasure?

Whilst painting, basing and flocking these figures, I listened to a wide range of US Marines music and their marching cadence calls, including lots of Sousa marches and a very varied jazz and chamber music repertoire, all free and live streamed on the YouTube United States Marine Band channel. https://m.youtube.com/user/usmarineband

The bandsmen and bandswomen wear splendid red band uniforms.

Hopefully this rousing Marines music is now infused into my tiny Marines’ paintwork and flock.

The Sousa marches seem very familiar since quite by chance, as a child in the early 1970s, my family were given some random Woolworths type LPs by a relative. They included this very cheery album cover of a tanned and smiling American drum lady; in reality, the band itself was all the way from sunny Sandhurst. MFP – good old affordable‘ Music for Pleasure vinyl LPs.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 6th / 7th June 2021

Washington’s Army vintage Airfix OOHO paint conversions

Crossposted from my Pound Store Plastic Warriors blog –

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/imaginations-vintage-airfix-figures-1-black-and-gold-washingtons-army-tricorne-troops/

Strikingly colourful yellow and black paint conversions of the classic Airfix OOHO AWI Washington’s Army figures.

Such perfect figures for ImagiNations games. Enjoy!

More pictures at: https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/imaginations-vintage-airfix-figures-1-black-and-gold-washingtons-army-tricorne-troops/

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 4 / 5 June 2021

Vintage Airfix 1960s Infantry Combat Group – Grey Enemy Aggressor Troops

The gift from Tony Adams in 2019 of a small box of unwanted old Airfix OOHO figures keeps on giving.

This time I repaired and based a handful of some old battered Infantry Combat Group figures which Tony had painted grey but with colourful yellow and blue hats.

They reminded me of some of the oddly coloured helmets in our family collection of OOHO sized Airfix, often also yellow or blue helmets. I have no idea why. It obviously meant something at some time.

I thought Tony’s few figures could stay grey and keep their colourful original painted helmets, becoming vintage Airfix figures which are flocked and based in a modern way using Warbases MDF penny bases.

Oddly some books and websites say that the Airfix Infantry Combat Group came out in 1959 (others say 1960) so we’re issued possibly a year earlier than their opponents the German Infantry (version 1).

It wasn’t uncommon in early Airfix figures for Enemy or opponent troops to emerge a year or two later. Foreign Legion had to wait a few years for the Arabs, US Marines had to wait a year for the Japanese etc.

As a result c. 1959 /60, it might have been the only way to get a modern enemy to fight was to paint another pack of the Infantry Combat Group as grey opponents (unless the Infantry Combat Group took on the ceremonial rifleman of the Guards Colour Party?)

Many comment on the Infantry Combat Group’s modern rifles and helmets as being 1950s issue, certainly the National Service uniform of my late father.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/national-service-days-1/

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/22/1955-british-army-infantry-training-booklet-no-4-rifle-and-bayonet/

So even if the WW2 German Infantry appeared alongside them in 1960, these Infantry Combat Group could still be painted as generic 1960s Enemy Cold War Troops (Russians, Tintinesque ImagiNations, etc)

More tempting archive / SOLD pictures on Barney Brown’s Herald Toys webshop

*

Rather than paint them green and add Tony’s battered figures to what is left of my few dozen Infantry Combat Group, I wondered whether they could stay grey and represent “the enemy” for training purposes.

This was a clever trick that Britain’s Herald did with their Fifties plastic khaki infantry – just paint them grey with black webbing as the Enemy.

Herald, Britain’s Lilliput and early Airfix British Infantry seem to have shared similar poses.

These photos are from the excellent Barney Brown Herald Toys website and web shop.

I had a number of the Herald Khaki troops as a child and have since acquired a few more in dribs and joblot drabs but I have never seen the Enemy Troops grey variant in the flesh (or plastic).

There are some great colourful paintings of Infantry Combat Group on Hugh Walter’s Small Scale World http://airfixfigs.blogspot.com/2010/06/1960-infantry-combat-group-wwii-british.html

Different coloured dyed uniforms were part American troop training and exercises in the 1950s, used as the enemy “Aggressor Troops”, speaking Esperanto – see the latter part of the blog below:

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/06/28/verda-versus-griza-pound-store-plastic-soldiers-20mm-interbellum-fms-skirmish-now-with-added-esperanto/

Tony Adams also passed on as well as battered unwanted Version 1 Airfix, some Revell German Horse Drawn Artillery (he has a longstanding interest in logistics and horse-drawn troops, shown in his Miniature Wood Screw Army website) and some Esci British Napoleonic Artillery. These will join my various ImagiNations once painted up. Thanks Tony!

Back into action, I look forward to bringing them back into gaming use again after fifty or more years.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN blog, 30 May 2021

Turncoats and Mercenaries?

Updated July 2021 with Figure paint conversion pictures

A small colourful consignment of turncoats and mercenary troops, previously serving with the Duchy of Tradgardland, have been posted to new service here with various ImagiNations.

These familiar and classic Airfix OOHO figures from the 1970s will be perfect to bulk up the small numbers of the various colourful and random RainBow ImagiNations units featured on my Pound Store Plastic Warrior blog last week:

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

In red on the left, you can see a handful of Airfix AWI British Grenadiers and Washington’s Army figures.

July 2021 Update: the Tricornes have now become black and gold

https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2021/06/04/imaginations-vintage-airfix-figures-1-black-and-gold-washingtons-army-tricorne-troops/

July 2021 update: The Grenadiers have become reinforcements for the Kings Guard

In the centre, mostly French Napoleonic Artillery figures, gun and limber pieces and a medley of other figures.

July 2021 Update: the French Artillery have become blue and gold

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/wades-toy-soldier-artillery-from-vintage-airfix-ooho-french-artillery-imaginations/

I like the French Artillery firelock figures at the bottom centre with musket perched casually over the shoulder whilst marching or shuffling along.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/wades-toy-soldier-artillery-from-vintage-airfix-ooho-french-artillery-imaginations/

On the right, French Napoleonic Imperial Guard.

There was also half a dozen Airfix horses and bases (not shown).

They are all such useful generic shako, bearskin and Tricorne figures for “Horse and Musket” era ImagiNations.

As you can imagine, I will probably not be painting or using them as they were intended. Some of the later shako figures may do well with the post Napoleonic Mid 19th century Bronte family ImagiNations of Gondal, Glasstown and Angria.

I will mount gun crews and skirmish infantry as individually based figures.

Thanks to Alan Gruber of the Duchy of Tradgardland for this kind gesture. The finished figures will feature on this blog in time.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 27 May 2021,

updated 5 July 2021 with phinished phigure photographs.