About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 56-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. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

1977; [Cold War] Modern British Infantry, 51472-9 / 51572-8 / 9 51572 / 51572 / A02718 - 1:32 Scale (54mm)

Announced in the autumn of 1975 (1976 catalogue) I think, they wouldn't actually see the light of day until 1977, the modern Brit's, along with the Modern Germans and the Medieval Soldiers were among our favourite sets, even if they arrived toward the end of our 'playing' days.

Obviously with a too-long wait for the modern Russians and US troops, the scenario tended to involve the NATO Germans 'going bad' and having to be sorted out by the British set, a bit jingoistic maybe, but; kids huh?!

1977; 1977 Modern British Infantry; 1:32 Scale; 1:3nd Modern British Infantry; 51472-9; 51472-9 Modern British Infantry; 51572; 51572 Modern British Infantry; 51572-8; 51572-8 Modern British Infantry; 54mm; 54mm Modern British Infantry; 9 51572; 9 51572 Modern British Infantry; A02718; A02718 Modern British Infantry; Airfix; Airfix 1977; Airfix 1:32 Scale; Airfix 51472-9; Airfix 51572; Airfix 51572-8; Airfix 54m; Airfix 9 51572; Airfix A02718; Airfix Cold War; Airfix Modern British Infantry; Cold War; Cold War British Infantry; Modern British Infantry; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
Limited to only seven poses, they were otherwise  a quite good representation of the British squaddie of the day, and only a few years later (1984) I would myself be garbed in a similar fashion! Consequently I know the weaknesses in the set only too well, and they aren't vast.

We'll look at the webbing/PLCE further down, but suffice to say the gunner is holding the bi-pod legs which he wouldn't because they just come-unclipped and spring-open, if you're going to hold them you hold them more firmly as a 'handle' away from the barrel, also they haven't been sculpted substantially enough, but it's a minor quibble.

More serious is the anti-tank gunner, who should be holding something several times the size! The Karl Gustav 84mm was a huge beast with idiot-legs on a big spring while it's replacement - the MAW80 (Medium Antitank Weapon) was A) equally huge and B) still years away when these were issued, so, like Cherilea's swoppets, the weapon depicted here is a fantasy 'Euroweapon' of the artists imagination, based on a conglomeration of any number of other weapons.

Puttee's would be phased-out quite soon after the issue of this set also; instantly dating it!

1977; 1977 Modern British Infantry; 1:32 Scale; 1:3nd Modern British Infantry; 51472-9; 51472-9 Modern British Infantry; 51572; 51572 Modern British Infantry; 51572-8; 51572-8 Modern British Infantry; 54mm; 54mm Modern British Infantry; 9 51572; 9 51572 Modern British Infantry; A02718; A02718 Modern British Infantry; Airfix; Airfix 1977; Airfix 1:32 Scale; Airfix 51472-9; Airfix 51572; Airfix 51572-8; Airfix 54m; Airfix 9 51572; Airfix A02718; Airfix Cold War; Airfix Modern British Infantry; Cold War; Cold War British Infantry; Modern British Infantry; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
The real problem with the set is the belt-order, there are three basic types of belt-order, which - in order of lightness - are;

  •  Range-day
  • CEFO (Combat Equipment, Fighting Order) 
  • CEMO (Combat Equipment, Movement (or 'moving' or 'marching') Order)

Range order would be the two front pouches, a water bottle and - depending upon the whim of the officer or NCO-commanding - the respirator case. Dropping the respirator case was rare (as we had to be ready for WWIII to break out in six minutes - even on a quiet day!), but did occasionally happen.

'Cefo' consisted of all pouches, but no packs or digging tools, while 'Cemo' was the whole bloody enchilada, the full donkey-load, large pack or 'Burgan' and digging tool with probably 50-rounds for the GPMG, maybe a couple of mortar bombs or a grenade or two and (if your luck was in) a spare battery for the radio!

These guys, without exception, have no water bottle pouch (always present) and no respirator case; almost always present? Now I think I'm repeating myself here, as the same criticism is true of the Deetail/Super Deetail figures from Britains, who we've seen on the home-Blog several times . . . and the explanation may have been the same there; the limitations of sculpting?

To wit; that there is no room in the relatively inflexible world of moulded (set) polymers for the respirator case at least, the water bottle should be there, and there is room?

1977; 1977 Modern British Infantry; 1:32 Scale; 1:3nd Modern British Infantry; 51472-9; 51472-9 Modern British Infantry; 51572; 51572 Modern British Infantry; 51572-8; 51572-8 Modern British Infantry; 54mm; 54mm Modern British Infantry; 9 51572; 9 51572 Modern British Infantry; A02718; A02718 Modern British Infantry; Airfix; Airfix 1977; Airfix 1:32 Scale; Airfix 51472-9; Airfix 51572; Airfix 51572-8; Airfix 54m; Airfix 9 51572; Airfix A02718; Airfix Cold War; Airfix Modern British Infantry; Cold War; Cold War British Infantry; Modern British Infantry; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
Having just mentioned them; the first of what will be few comparisons, I'm not going to run them next to all that 1950's 'Khaki Infantry' output, they are two far removed from what the Airfix set represents, but maybe we'll look at the late HK additions to Herald's set?

Here you can see the Deetail figures suffer from the same lack of both water bottle pouch and respirator case, but do have the kidney-pouches closer together which is more accurate than the gap seen on Airfix's figures. He's a slightly better pose to, leaning into the recoil.

Airfix British Infantry; Airfix Modern Infantry; Airfix Toy Soldiers; airfixfigs.blogspot.com; Britains Deetail; Deetail Marines; Deetail Paratroops; Deetail SAS; Deetail UN Troops; Parachute Regiment; Royal Marine Commandos; SAS Regiment; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Super Deetail; Super Deetail Marines; Super Deetail Para's; Super Deetail SAS;
With all four common or 'production' poses; as mentioned already both ATW firers have some weird thing referencing most of the weapons of the time (1980's), but both are far too small to be the Karl Gustav 84mm of British army use at the time (and the SAS wouldn't have bothered faffing about with such an unwieldy lump of heavy shite), yet are equally too large to be the 'sixty-six' (mm) licence-built US 'Bunker Buster' or 'door-knocker', which doesn't have a venturi either - the cone-shaped bit at the rear.


You can see the Britains figures are heading toward 60mm, and while some of that is explained by the deep, die-cast alloy bases, not all of it is and they are actually quite big lads!

1977; 1977 Modern British Infantry; 1:32 Scale; 1:3nd Modern British Infantry; 51472-9; 51472-9 Modern British Infantry; 51572; 51572 Modern British Infantry; 51572-8; 51572-8 Modern British Infantry; 54mm; 54mm Modern British Infantry; 9 51572; 9 51572 Modern British Infantry; A02718; A02718 Modern British Infantry; Airfix; Airfix 1977; Airfix 1:32 Scale; Airfix 51472-9; Airfix 51572; Airfix 51572-8; Airfix 54m; Airfix 9 51572; Airfix A02718; Airfix Cold War; Airfix Modern British Infantry; Cold War; Cold War British Infantry; Modern British Infantry; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
The gunner; as one myself, it's obviously my favourite pose of the seven, but the belt of link round the shoulders is a bit Audey Murphy, good in movies and likely to be seen in the ranks of the late 'Mad' Mike Hoare's mercenaries or their Katangese opponents, but frowned upon in the British Army.

A short belt (15-20 rounds) would be carried in the gun, ready for immediate action / return of fire, the rest of at least 200 rounds would be in the front pouches, with the No.2 having another minimum of 200 on his person (along with his four magazines of 20 for the SLR), the rest of the section being loaded with a minimum of 50-round (quarter) belts each.

The reasons for not carrying belts around like this are myriad, but the obvious ones are;

  • Rounds get dirty/damaged and jam the mechanism when used
  • Links get semi-parted/stuck/damaged and jam the mechanism when used
  • Links break fully and rounds are lost
  • Belt gets hooked up on equipment and can't be used quickly
  • Belt gets hooked up on equipment which then can't be used quickly
  • Percussion cap is accidentally detonated leading to injury or death of gunner or comrade/s
  • Can be seen by snipers from miles away
  • Are bloody uncomfortable after the first twenty yards
  • The rounds and the carrying-strap (missing on the above sculpt but utterly necessary when carrying 26lb's of steel around) can't - practically - occupy the same space

Looks great on a Mexican bandit, but it's a no-no in real life, doesn't stop people draping the stuff all over themselves, whenever they get the chance though, usually around camp/bivouac when 'bombing-up'!

1977; 1977 Modern British Infantry; 1:32 Scale; 1:3nd Modern British Infantry; 51472-9; 51472-9 Modern British Infantry; 51572; 51572 Modern British Infantry; 51572-8; 51572-8 Modern British Infantry; 54mm; 54mm Modern British Infantry; 9 51572; 9 51572 Modern British Infantry; A02718; A02718 Modern British Infantry; Airfix; Airfix 1977; Airfix 1:32 Scale; Airfix 51472-9; Airfix 51572; Airfix 51572-8; Airfix 54m; Airfix 9 51572; Airfix A02718; Airfix Cold War; Airfix Modern British Infantry; Cold War; Cold War British Infantry; Modern British Infantry; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com;
I think these are relatively current Chinese production rather than the Turkish Pilsen (who did pirate some of those later sets - thanks for reminding me Chris Smith), and their quality is too poor for the neighbouring Greece's Solpa, so China looks likely, but I stand to be corrected.

Airfix British Infantry; Airfix Modern Infantry; Airfix Toy Soldiers; airfixfigs.blogspot.com; Britains Deetail; Deetail Marines; Deetail Paratroops; Deetail SAS; Deetail UN Troops; Parachute Regiment; Royal Marine Commandos; SAS Regiment; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Super Deetail; Super Deetail Marines; Super Deetail Para's; Super Deetail SAS;
The swansong of Briatins Deetail was really more of a tragic tailing-off, as an attempt to stave-off the advance upon the play-rooms' of the world by ravening hordes of 4, 5 and 6" action figures was met with a stab at popularising 2" action figures, a situation not helped by Britains choosing to anchor their feet and paint them as if they were attending 'Military-Man Monday Mayhem' at the Blue Oyster Club! Indeed, I think the grenade thrower is already halfway through the YMCA dance!

4 comments:

Atelier Miniatural said...

I received them in the early 80's, I don't know the source. Hope these photos are useful to you.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/JmwQvxwpgAh4Lqt46
https://photos.app.goo.gl/tMiTWy2r2bN2GKk27

Hugh Walter said...

Very interesting Atelier, thanks for the links too, they are thicker bases as well . . . are they resin (PE)?

H

Atelier Miniatural said...

Those soldiers are plastic.

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Atelier, so two lots of copies as least! I don't know if the Greeks copied them as well, I know Solpa copied the Modern Germans (as Greeks).

H