Saturday, 17 October 2009

Am I going MAD? Or is Airfix's WW2 British Infantry really old ESCI?

After my success with the Platoon 20 British Infantry metals I was on the hunt for cheaper plastic packs. I was looking for the Revell ones but I came across the Airfix boys. 

When I was a lad I had purchased Airfix's British Infantry pack (1/72). Not quite as exciting as the German pack (the German guy throwing the potato masher grenade is still a classic, as per the German NCO beckoning his troops forward, you just know he is going to get shot first) but the British PBI were necessary to stem/hold the Grey tide until at least the Airfix British paratroopers (or Americans if you are being funky) dropped on them, or rather behind them. So with a deep pang of nostalgia I picked this familiar box illustration up (a 'new' release packet from Airfix?) and off the hobby shop shelf. I smiled at the familiar front cover, isn't that a Richard Todd lookalike on the front?

Then I looked at the back and froze in bewilderment.

These figures were not Airfix's. The poses were not right and nor did they match the artistry on the front, but they were vaguely familiar. ESCI, I am sure of it, their British Infantry. Is anyone else of the same opinion? I put them back on the shelf and moved on muttering to myself, dark things about, "Is nothing sacred?" and wondering "Does Italeri have the Airfix molds now?"

Breaking News: Courtesy of a Google Search on "Airfix british infantry esci"

The boys and girls at the Airfix Tribute Forum have covered this mystery already (in almost far too much detail) but I am too lazy to un-type the above. So I am apparently not MAD but as the wife says just rather SAD ;)


Monty said...

I want them to re-release their old 1/72nd kits, but in rigid resin to allow better painting results. I have this plot to produce a purely Airfix-orientated Crossfire game with all the various buildings that are still knocking around such as the 'Strong point' etc. On an aside, I bought a pack of the revised 1/32nd Airfix Commandos today to check out the new K-Resin plastic used; not overly impressed yet, but will paint 'em up over the next few weeks and blog the results once I'm back from my leave.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

New resin ... sounds a bit intriguing obviously a market driven response, the Italeri versions of the old ECSI/ERTL figures seem much harder and more durable than I remember them.

I am looking forward to painting the remodeled US Infantry Pack (Note to self: I must also but one of their old ex-ESCI packs while it is still around)

Paul said...

Some of the figures have their uses, but some are not that flash...Bren gunner springs to mind...still better than the Airfix 'Hot pants' set!

Paul said...

Oh yeah, the figure playing Criket with his Enfield is a waste of plastic as well.

Still something is better than nothing I suppose.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

This post has been superseded by events as Airfix have now (2011 - Oct) released NEW moulds of Late War 1944 European British WWII Infantry

And jolly nice they are too!