Still a favourite set of mine, if only because of the powerful force known as nostalgia! They don't stack-up next to the modern efforts of Pegasus, but there are so many out there they are useful for filling the ranks in large invasion forces!
Airfix never produced a specific set of 'US Infantry' so these doubled-up in the European theatres of many a war gamer, the uniforms being pretty rudimentary - in the sculpting - meant there was little or no danger of rivet counters banging-on about leggings or bayonet sheaths"
This is one of the easiest sets to sort without consulting PSR, ATF or Williamson (or these pages!) as it's a simple rule; two of each with boat and bazooka vignettes for a total of 46 pieces.
Due to it's age, this set has more variations in colour and shade that all others bar the Paratroopers and Infantry Combat Group, the 1st version Commandos coming a poor 4th! Early sets vary more, as they were still hand-dying the neutral granules at the point of production, later sets would have used pre-coloured granules, and there is better consistency, however, batches and variables like the operating heat still means that late sets (2nd type British Infantry for an example) do have variations, as do the later grey sets such as the Mountain Troops or German Para's.
The only way to get good colour matches is to sort on a bright sunlit day, on a desk facing a window but not in direct sunlight, and with two desk lamps facing across the desk from either side, both equipped with 'daylight' bulbs. The exercise makes you eyes hurt and can't be done by someone with colour blindness. To get a set as 'complete' as possible, you are trying to find figures that passed through the factory within hours or minutes of each other, 40 or 50 years ago! From a pile of figures with dozens of subtle colour differences.
As the plastic moves through the mould runners it is already cooling, it needs to cool in a few seconds, before the moulding is released, as a result where you have a large cavity (in relation to the other cavities in the same mould) there is a danger that the plastic will form an internal membrane where the two travelling blobs (slugs?) meet. In this case it coincides with a detail element as well, causing a weak-point to be created, which over time parts in play!
A simple scheme of boots, weapons, helmets and flesh; with the exception of the Napoleonics, allied ground crew sets (all the cream sets really!) and the orange-brown 'neutral' sets, this was the intention behind Airfix's plastic colour system with these little figures.
If you found this figure in a tin of mixed junk from a car-boot you'd easily think he was a HK pirate...bright green, flashy, lump of stuff...but he's Airfix all right. I'm not sure how it happened either, it looks to be a chunk of the mould missing, but if that was the case he'd turn-up more often, so I guess it might be extra-plastic (still molten) spilling (under pressure) from the mould as the two halves were parted? Yet the two I remember fixing had the same shape, which means it is a piece of missing mould, so they may just be the final production, showing the need for a new sculpt which followed soon after?
The officer, two to the left of mine is particularly well-painted, the gloss green ones have unit details painted on the bases and are from another war gamers army...recognise any as your work?
The bazooka-man in the new set didn't get a No.2, but as the loader in the old set had spent ten years trying to force a mortar-bomb of nearly twice the calibre into the back of the bazooka the new guy was probably better-off doing his own loading!
1 day ago