About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

1983; [Cold War/Modern] S.A.S. (Special Air Service), 51578 / 9 51578 / A02720 - 1:32 Scale (54mm)

One of the last figure issues to come out of Airfix, following the old pattern of seven figure sculpts and issued only in 14-figure boxes, you got two-each of most and you have to wonder why you didn't just get pairs of all seven, but actually the officer is 50% rarer and the kneeling firer is 33.3r% more common than the other five!

1983; 1984; 1:32 Scale; 1:72 Scale; 25mm; 51578; 54mm SAS; 9 01761; 9 51578; A02720; Cold War; Elite Forces; Modern; Plastic Toy Soldiers; S.A.S.; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Special Air Service; Special Forces; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Soldiers;
And they are unnumbered so we don't know if you were getting most of two tool-shots, or a single runner-worth's of fourteen products? I suspect the latter; it makes sense.

Presumably they were aimed at a market or perceived market resulting from the May 1980 Iranian Embassy siege-break in London, coupled with a bit of Falklands/South Georgia mythology.

The small scale ones would be advertised the next year but never be issued - see section at end of page.

1983; 1984; 1:32 Scale; 1:72 Scale; 25mm; 51578; 54mm SAS; 9 01761; 9 51578; A02720; Cold War; Elite Forces; Modern; Plastic Toy Soldiers; S.A.S.; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Special Air Service; Special Forces; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Soldiers;
I shot these back in 2008 to shove on evilBay at a 99p-start and I think most went for a couple of quid-each, with the 'officer' maybe going to four-pounds-something? But it meant I had a set in Piacasa with a less than common - for the Blog - background (I know some of my backgrounds are a bit tired now!), it's all a bit sandbaggy!

They are not as rare as the used to appear to be, and often turn-up in mixed lots, while a re-issue in the last few years saw them in an awful troll-shit, purple-blue polymer which made them look like some demented Middle-Eastern SWAT team . . . which may well have been the corporate-thinking behind the choice of that colour!

1983; 1984; 1:32 Scale; 1:72 Scale; 25mm; 51578; 54mm SAS; 9 01761; 9 51578; A02720; Cold War; Elite Forces; Modern; Plastic Toy Soldiers; S.A.S.; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Special Air Service; Special Forces; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Soldiers;
The figures are wearing what appear to be the (and would still have been in trials) Boot, Combat, High [ankle] or BCH, which weren't fully adopted until August 1984, carrying a passable Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine gun (non-standard outside Hereford at the time, the anti-terrorist police still relied on Stirling SMG's or the odd M16), and they all have a rappelling/tying-people-to-chairs rope looped round their body.

A stun-grenade (big bang, few fragments) and a pistol (my father carried a Berretta . . . well, actually he left it under his pillow for my brother and I to find!) in its holster complete the weaponry and they are wearing black-fatigues with a tight hood (pull-cord) over a respirator with side-mounted (left) filter which may be the standard for the time or the replacement S10 which as part of the Combat-80 upgrade also (like BCH, SA80, Kevlar Helmets . . . et al!) filtered into service from the mid-1980's. It may be a non-standard piece, of course, certainly the nose-protrusion is too long for either of the referred service items.

They have thin leather gloves, and a four-magazine pouch for the HK's and a larger pack which seems to be the respirator case - in the infantry worn on the left hip, where it constantly got in the way, especially when vehicles were involved, these guys have their ammo-pouch there and have moved the respirator case round to the small of the back where it's out of the way.

I suspect the jacket (or a 'waistcoat' portion of it) had some padding/protection from fragments but it would have required flexibility not then available with the full 'flack-jackets' which remained bulky and solid into the late 80's.

1983; 1984; 1:32 Scale; 1:72 Scale; 25mm; 51578; 54mm SAS; 9 01761; 9 51578; A02720; Cold War; Elite Forces; Modern; Plastic Toy Soldiers; S.A.S.; Small Scale World; smallscaleworld.blogspot.com; Special Air Service; Special Forces; Vintage Plastic Figures; Vintage Toy Soldiers;
The irony is that the embassy siege was probably the only time a unit of the SAS were deployed dressed as that, or these chaps, while the guys operating in Northern Ireland would have worn a mix of standard and aftermarket combats or smocks all made from the four-colour, regulation DPM (disruptive-pattern-material) of the time.

●○●●○●    ●○●●○●     ●○●●○●     ●○●●○●     ●○●●○●

1984; [Cold War/Modern]
S.A.S. (Special Air Service)
9 01761 - 1:72 Scale (25mm)
 
Because it didn't exist except as a marketing idea in a catalogue issued the autumn before the period to which it pertains, there is no point in a separate entry for the HO/OO (or by then '1:72' SAS set, so it might as well go here for those who persist in looking for such stuff!

Advertised in the 1984 catalogue, it never happened.

Had it; it would have been like the Cold War US or Russian sets and the WWII Italians, i.e.; a rather boring selection of multiples of six of the seven 1:32nd scale figures in sixes, sevens or eights, scaled down, with - probably - two officers, and while Airfix had by then adopted (or were about to) the 1:72 scale for packaging, they would almost certainly have been issued in a size closer to 1:76th scale.

But it never happened and that's that.

No comments: