This page contains some extra stuff such as Complaints Slips found in boxes and US and Canadian inserts. There are also some oddities where the figures are concerned. Do you have anything to add? Drop me a line and I'll try to get it added to this page.
Around 1992-93, this was the extent of my collection. At the time, I thought it would be a good idea to collect HO/OO figures too - what you see here is as far as I got! There are so many variables with those boxes that I lost interest and, anyway, I was never really into them! Until about 2000, this is as far as my 1/32 scale figure collection got too!
A series of mis-shapes due to early ejection from the mould. The figures on the left of each photo are the results of this. They are shown next to properly moulded figures.
The figure on the left here seems to be a fairly low quality moulding whilst the centre figure is the result again of the mould contents being ejected too soon after injection. Look at the difference in the moulding colours too - see below also.
This set of photos is meant to show something that can cause a lot of confusion where authenticity is concerned. By that I mean when you pick up a brown box of Russian Infantry for instance, is the darker shade of plastic the correct shade for that box, or is it the lighter one? To be honest, I am not sure and without opening sealed boxes to check there is no real way to be 100% certain. However, the shade of plastic used would have been fairly consistent but, bearing in mind that thousands of these figures were being produced year in, year out, there would have been variations in the colours anyway. To state that one shade came before another would be dangerous, unless anyone has proof! Later mouldings may look more glossy than earlier - is this simply because they have had less "playtime" with their junior commanders in the sandpit? The last image above of a British Paratrooper is a perfect example. From time to time my dad will visit and say something like "here's another casualty out of my garden". He will then produce a soldier, an old matchbox car or some other toy (or part thereof) from my child hood which got lost in the garden. This Paratrooper is lighter on one side than the other, obviously due to the position he was lying in. OK, the figure was out in the Scottish elements for nigh-on thirty years, but the point is, if a toy soldier has been used to full effect, then there can be a difference in the colour of the plastic. Now that figure I can say for sure is an original 1970's moulding! By the way, you can still see some of Granddad's painting on the front and how about my (presumably) compass point bullet holes in the guy's back!! I must have been a real gory kid.
Every set will see shade variations from box to box but there should not be any variation in one particular box (unless there was a discrepancy in the moulding process? Presumably this would be a very rare occurrence if it happened at all)
I have, over the years, collected some older boxes which I can be 95% sure contained the original soldiers for that actual box and they seem as new and shiny as any Humbrol issue, being mint figures in a mint Brown Box. But that is not to say that someone hasn't simply put a good set in a good box for re-sale. So you can see the difficulty involved in making statements about authenticity.
This is a collection of officer figures I have managed to collect over the years. They have been invaluable in completing sets here and there which had that all-important officer figure missing. Not all of the officers are here. The missing men belong to the Waterloo French, 7th Cavalry (a difficult one to say which is the officer anyway), Space Warriors (I don't have a spare) and the Modern US NATO (again, another one which is difficult to decide on). However, for good measure, the "officer" is present from the Footballer set, aka the Referee.
Here is an almost finished Highlander I started when I was a mere teenager. I did about a dozen of them, all the same pose, at that time and obviously got fed-up when it came to finishing the hose/spats. They were subsequently returned to a box and finally sold on eBay in about 2002/2003. The French officer is another attempt and not bad at the time I suppose. The 7th Cavalry group I painted especially for sale on eBay in 2003. You may notice the modified figure holding an extra flag on the left. A simple conversion using 2 damaged figures. I was quite happy with the result but unfortunately the end price I got for them didn't really cover the time spent painting them!
This is a painted set of 1 each of all the sets in the range. I did this one for sale on eBay around 2003 as a bit of a novelty, especially due to the fact that there is a first edition British Paratrooper in there. There was one figure from every set in the 1/32nd scale range there, plus conversions and modern mouldings used as extras too, painted to a very high standard. But, like the 7th Cavalry figures I painted, the end price did not justify the time involved in painting them so I didn't do any more! There is one extra German Paratrooper and one Afrika Korps to illustrate the difference in uniforms. Also, notice on the left of photo four, a couple of extra figures who have gone through very minor conversions, i.e. headgear swapped, and the modern orange and green plastic have been used on the Indians and Cowboys respectively are used as extras.
The two figures in the first two photos were simple conversions done around 1990 using the heads from the Line Infantry. The uniforms were painted using a reference book from my local library at the time. Next, two more simple conversions using the same reference book as the Grenadiers. I don't remember any of the unit details for these conversions unfortunately. Finally, a basic conversion of a Waterloo British Infantry Officer which, as far as I remember, involved simply trimming off the front uniform details. I was definitely not an expert converter!
The first photo in this little group shows what's left of my original set of Indians from the seventies, complete with their original paint (or some of it) as applied by Granddad . The next two show my first set of French Grenadiers as painted by me when I first got them back in the early eighties. The photos were take for nostalgic reasons before I let them go on eBay around 2003. Next is a set of Humbrol issue British 8th Army I painted in the early nineties., followed by two shots of the same group, but alongside my own original Desert Outpost (painted about the same time as the figures) which I bought around 1983. The last shot is a set of British Paratroops, again from a Humbrol box and painted in the early nineties.
MY OLD FORT - New at the time though. These photos would have been taken in the late seventies in Dad's back garden. This is the fort/castle built by Granddad for me that Christmas. The drawbridge was operational thanks to some sink plug chain, a piece of dowelling and a couple of empty cotton thread reels. It's a pity the photos aren't a little better focused but you get the idea. The pictures show Waterloo British Infantry and Highland Infantry "holding the fort", a nice dramatic shot through the castle entrance with Highlanders at the ready, a closer shot showing the Highlanders on the lookout for attackers, British and Highland Infantry setting out on picket duty to prevent surprise attack, battle joined with a full frontal French attack by Airfix French Line Infantry, Timpo French Infantry (Grenadiers) and a Timpo Prussian officer who appears to have defected, a more up-to-date battle with a British 8th Army probing attack on the open castle gate (there appears to be a British Paratrooper lying down near the bottom right of the pic), 8th Army joined by British Commandos at the castle gate, Australians, British Paratroops, more British Commandos, 1 Airfix American Infantryman and a few "Hong Kong" American Infantry (I actually remember only having this one Airfix American and having to make do with the Hong Kong ones), and finally another shot of the same attack but from a different angle. Maybe it's a training exercise - there doesn't appear to be anyone at home in the fort! I can't imagine how long it took us to stand all those soldiers up in that grass, but we were obviously keen! Oh, and that British Paratrooper my dad dug out of the garden must be in one of those photos somewhere.
Above is a selection of the variety of Complaints Slips you can find in the boxes of Airfix figures. Most are UK ones dating from the early seventies to the eighties, but the bottom row are Canadian (far left from a 1980 box of 7th Cavalry) and USAirfix from the mid-seventies. The back and front shots on the right are an A4 flyer from a 1976 box of USAirfix British 8th Army.
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