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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

1979 [WWII] US Marines (2nd Version), 1716 / 01716 / 01716-1 / 9 01716 / A01716 - HO/OO

Another of the replacement sets for an older version holding the -16 code in the list. They were a late change and well received when they were finally released, still available (unlike the equally waited for, and equally well received when they arrived Commandos, whose mould-history are a small book by themselves!), these have not aged that well, with some of the 'new' production (that'll read weird in 20-years time!) from Pegasus and Imex looking better, but they are still (2015) a really useful set.

Based around the 54mm/1:32nd scale set which had been available for years, new poses were added and the new set paid homage to the old one with a rubber dingy to pootle-about in, at the water's edge.

Artwork on the long boxes (and the later catalogues - here the 1980 issue) was actually a figure from the earlier set, wading, doing KP's or surrendering has never been fully decided, but a sharp knife and re-basing renders him more useful than a surrendering-guy!

1985 and the Airfix 'brand' owner's get the image reversed! Sums-up this sad period in the Airfix saga, as the Irish end of an American multinational flogs the golden-egg layer to the French...I'm condensing a lot into a little, but it too, sums-up the period nicely!

Comparison with the Atlantic set, Atlantic clearly based theirs on the Airfix set, but before the Airfix set had been issued, so must have been using the 54mm set, with the result that only a few are obvious, they too - adding poses of their own.

The blue figures tended to be in French Infantry boxes, but are sometimes found in the Marine Corps packaging and the set has probably been issued in more colours than I've found, and this photo' is only  sample of the ones I have!

Full set on the runners, like the earlier second type German Infantry, the six re-used poses from the 1:32nd scale range are slightly heavier and even a tad bigger than the 'all-new' poses, compare the kneeling firer and bazooka-man.

The replacement rubber dingy trying to show a slight plastic-colour variation with a drabber green to the left and a yellowish version to the right. This boat is a single-piece which was a vast improvement on the earlier one, but tended to shrinkage marks or slight distortion after leaving the mould-tool.

Comparing the similar poses from Airfix both sets (older - the underneath of both line-ups), size-wise there's very little in it, but the new poses have much better detailing or definition, you can tell what rifle they're holding (M1 Garands and M1 carbines), webbing, clothing &etc. all better sculpts.

The major difference is in the lack of a second paddler for the dingy, but there was a overall lower pose-count as well.

Fujimi were another team who'd watched the Airfix rushes and liked what they saw so much they lifted their 54mm set wholesale, but they added some of Britains 'Deetail' figures to their set, of which the new Airfix set had equivalents, and above is a side-by-side of the closest matches. Fujimi set on the main Blog.

It floats! The older one - as we saw on their post - tended to fill with water through the join-line, without a join-line this one displaces enough water to float in the proper floaty manner!

The Esci hard plastic 'kit' set also lifted the 1:32nd scale set, again adding a couple more, the mine-detector has more in common with the late Marx/MPC 54mm figures. They cut both prone figures at the waist and swapped legs/bodies to make 'new' poses, further converting the crawling torso to an ammo-feeding No.2 on the MG. They also give it the correct tri-pod, rather than the rather fictional forward-sited bi-pod of the elderly Airfix sculpt. There was a bi-pod tried with the .30-cal, but it was set back where the barrel meets the working-class housing. It doesn't look like a BAR, but I guess that's what it must be taken for?

The two guys running and firing a grease-gun have been similarly swapped, while the bazooka-man is converted to a flame-thrower operator.

The biggest omission Airfix indulged in - with this set - was to not use either of the 54mm sculpts of the officer, leaving this set without an obvious one? Hong Kong though, had copied him a dozen or more times in the preceding two decades or so (in small scale), and with Esci and Fujimi copies kicking around as well, there's no actual shortage of them out there!

The chap walking forward has all the look of one of Hollywood's 'Ell Tees' though, so he could fill the boots of a pistol waving papa!

Links

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Another Slippery Slope
Plastic Soldier Review (PSR)

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