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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

1972 [WWII] RAF Personnel, 01747-5 / 9 01747 / 01747 / A01747 - HO/OO

Much anticipated by us as small boys, this set was aimed at providing support for the vast range of Airfix's 1:72 scale aircraft model kits, and with a small exception, didn't disappoint, with a decent mix of poses in action and more casual attitudes, the pilots running for a Battle of Britain 'scramble' being balanced by the other pilots standing around with a parachute casually swung over their shoulders.

Long-box artwork from the 1980 catalogue shows a WAAF girl fitting a Browning machine gun while standing on a convenient wooden crate.

The two female poses, Airfix had already given us females in two of the civil sets and both the Wagon Train and Tarzan sets, and here we have an armourer/mechanic loading a .30Cal (as per the previous shot's artwork) and an admin-bod taking mess-orders ... "Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast"

The minor disappointment with this set was the number of poses and figures (5) which had been available for some time previously, in the RAF Refuelling Set model kit, in hard polystyrene.

With thanks to Kostas again, the 1975 catalogue image shows the 'White' boxes with corner graphics which were being phased-in (the rest of the catalogue showed 'Blue Box' artwork) at that time.

This is a classic 'inclusion', basically a strand of paint-brush bristle! Used to clean dust off the face of the mould or spread/work the mould-release agent into the crevices of the mould, occasionally a hair (or in this case; plastic filament) will come loose and when the tool is closed for the next shot the strand is held across the cavity and captured by the molten plastic.

PS - Can't remember why I numbered it? They are just the two points where the strand is hidden in the depths of the plastic, it is only visible where it was trapped between the flat [meeting] faces of the two halves of the tool.

When I was a kid, I had a whole bunch of these, one lot were in a set of British Grenadiers, the others were stuck to Waterloo French Infantry, in both cases there were several in each box, so clearly a brush that was on its last legs, or being used too vigorously!

Full contents of a complete set, although aimed squarely at Aircraft modellers, this was a set with loads of potential for conversion: Civilians and rail staff for model railways, AFV crew, gunners, military or civil mechanics could all be produced with little effort.

For those who prefer counting to lining-up when getting sets together, or double checking evilBay purchases, this is the parts count on a complete set.

The mini action vignettes that sort of define Airfix's small scale sets, beginning with the original line-side station accessories, then the sentry boxes of the Guards, and the anti-tank rifles of the 1st version Germans and DAK, it was about more than just added play-value, you felt you'd created something when at seven or eight years of age, you put things together without glue and made a little scene!

Other Bugger's Efforts, clearly the rif-RAFf need to consolidate their tailors, what shade is RAF Blue exactly anyway? And a couple of these chaps seem to have transferred in from the USAAF! I don't think any of those are mine, but the council-yellow starter truck (if that's what it is?) was mine...I though all compressors were yellow, because in the 1960/70's they all were!

Little colour variation in the early days, I don't know what's happened in recent years, as it's not the sort of set you trip over yourself to buy multiples of, but they were cream for the longest time, with a dark grey issue in the late 1980's.

Of note is the height of the grey figure, he may have suffered damage to the mould at some point and had his thighs lengthened, possibly as part of a repair? But equally may have been caught on something as he left the mould, still hot enough (soft enough) to stretch, you can see a lump at the top and a pinch-point above the knee on the left leg?

Airfix boys teaching the colonial reserve how to do the job properly, a task not helped by the fact that the new recruits were delivered to station in large drop-tanks and are a bit rough round the edges!

Although I've only found these in Gum Ball capsules, I'm sure they were made by the same Hong Kong company that produced the woeful Roman copies, you can see on their own post. The style of the bases, the shiny plastic, the pose number (about half the set's copied) all point to a link. I have a whole bunch of lose figures in storage, so we'll look at them in better detail another day and I expect to find a bagged set eventually - sometimes they turn-up in 'bag' sized groups/amounts.

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