Airfix 1:76 Scale Figure Review
Airfix British Paratroops wearing the Smock, Denison, Airborne Troops over Airborne-Pattern Battledress, with ‘37 Pattern Webbing and rimless Paratrooper helmets, but lacking the typical camouflage netting.
33 Figures in 17 Poses – 24 mm Height equals 173 cm
- Signaller with Wireless Set
- Paratrooper with Submachine Gun, standing (2)
- Paratrooper with Submachine Gun, advancing (4)
- Paratrooper with Submachine Gun, prone, firing (4)
- Paratrooper with Submachine Gun, standing, firing (3)
- Paratrooper with Submachine Gun, kneeling, firing (3)
- Paratrooper, throwing Hand Grenade (2)
- Paratrooper with Rifle, crawling (2)
- Paratrooper with Rifle, in melee (2)
- Paratrooper, wounded (2)
- Paratrooper, walking wounded, surrendering (2)
- Bazooka No. 1 with 2.36 inch M1A1 anti-tank rocket launcher
- Bazooka No. 2 with 2.36 inch M6A3 rocket
- Mortar No. 1 with 3″ Mortar
- Mortar No. 2
- Paratrooper, landed, with collapsed Parachute (2)
- Paratrooper, unloading Container
- Container Type C
Excellent choice of subject, British Paratroops are among the most popular miniatures in this scale, not least because of their iconic Denison Smocks and the attractive brush-stroke disruptive pattern they can be painted in.
Solid wargaming poses of standing, advancing, and firing soldiers, with some potential for conversions. The British 1st Airborne Division incurred very heavy casualties during Operation Market Garden in 1944, which may explain why Airfix chose to include two casualties, one of whom is shown surrendering.
Most of the figures appear to be armed with the Sten Mk.V submachine gun, first used at Arnhem in 1944, with wooden stock and wooden fore grip, but sculpted without its iconic magazine. Unfortunately, there is no Bren light machine gun in this set. The prone Paratrooper may be converted to a machine gunner by inserting a piece of 0.6 mm piano wire into his SMG and adding a Bren magazine on top of that.
The prone Bazooka team may be converted to a PIAT team by cutting the Bazooka at the Paratrooper‘s shoulder and resting the front of the tube on a monopod made of 0.6 mm piano wire.
The two Paratroopers on the dropzone, one shown collapsing his parachute the other unloading a map case from an air-dropped Container Type C, while most suitable for dioramas, may also be used as deployment or dropzone markers in wargames.
The 1937 Pattern Web Equipment is incomplete and sculpted incorrectly. The two Basic Pouches look like Pistol Ammunition Pouches. What appear to be large bellow pockets on the figures‘ chest are probably meant to represent Utility Pouches, which would explain why the Braces are hidden beneath them. Of course, these are too flat and wide to accurately represent Utility Pouches. One solution would be to treat them as pockets and simply paint the missing braces across them.
Respirator Case and Water Bottle are sculpted on some, but not all figures, and nobody is carrying an entrenching tool. Several figures are equipped with a large pack which might be converted to a Bergen rucksac by adding the two missing side pockets.
The rimless helmet needs to have camouflage material added to it to make it look more realistic.
The wounded Paratroopers are best converted to British tank commanders by cutting them apart at the waist and inserting each upper body into the commander‘s hatch of a British tank or armoured car.
The 3″ Mortar Team is a welcome addition to this set, but the two mortarmen don‘t appear to be serving the mortar. Heating and bending their arms may fix this problem. The mortar team shown here is led by a Revell British Para NCO.
Prone riflemen occupy too much ground space to be useful for wargames, which is why the crawling Paratrooper is best converted to a casualty figure.
Noticeable flash and mould lines need to be removed prior to painting.
One set of Airfix British Paratroops in our collection has brittled and disintegrated, while a second set, much older, and stored in the same box, has not.
- British Airborne at Arnhem, 1944
- British Royal Marine Commandos
- British SAS
- French Squadron, Special Air Service, 1942
- 2e Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes, 1944
- French Paratroops, Indochina, Algeria
While the figures are sculpted in attractive wargaming poses, the lack of proper equipment seriously limits their usefulness as British Paratroopers. It would be nice if Airfix were to publish its superb 1:32 scale British Paratroops in 1:72 scale one day.