British Infantry Kitchener Battalions of World War One, 1915

Airfix 1:76 Scale Figure Review

British Infantry Kitchener Battalions, 1916–1918, wearing the M.1916 steel helmet, 1:76 Airfix 01727 Conversions

British infantry wearing the M.1914 pattern leather equipment issued to Kitchener battalions as a stop-gap, because the more comfortable M.1908 web gear could not be produced quickly enough to supply the many newly raised battalions. Up to 1916, units equipped with the M.1914 infantry set received M.1908 web gear when they deployed to the front. Thereafter, the M.1914 leather equipment was also worn in the field. The Airfix figures need to be converted, using heads with the M.1916 helmet, to represent Kitchener battalions fighting in France from 1916 to 1918. Spare heads with the M.1914 service cap may be used to convert EMHAR British infantry figures for the 1914 to 1916 period of the war.

Contents

  • 44 Figures in 19 Poses – 24 mm Height equals 173 cm
    • Officer with drawn sword
    • Signaler with Semaphore flags (2)
    • Mortar No. 1 with trench mortar
    • Mortar No. 2
    • Machine gunner No. 1 with Vickers machine gun
    • Machine gunner No. 2
    • Two-man Wireparty
    • Bomber throwing handgrenade (2)
    • Medical orderly tending wounded (2)
    • Wounded rifleman (2)
    • Fallen rifleman (2)
    • Rifleman charging (4)
    • Rifleman running (4)
    • Rifleman marching (4)
    • Rifleman prone, firing (4)
    • Rifleman kneeling, firing (3)
    • Rifleman standing, firing (4)
    • Rifleman crawling (2)
    • Rifleman in melee (2)

Evaluation

Useful historic poses.

Heads with the service cap may be used to convert EMHAR British Infantry figures for the 1914-1915 period of the war.

The crawling rifleman may be converted to a casualty figure.

Compatible with EMHAR, and Revell.

Bad choice of subject, the troops portrayed in this set did not serve in France, although they may be used to represent Kitchner battalions forming and training in Britain.

The figures are portrayed in full marching order, with pack, which was not normally worn in combat.

The equipment is incomplete: haversack, entrenching tool, bayonet scabbard, and canteen are missing on most figures. Some figures are wearing the canteen incorrectly on the left hip.

The trench mortar and machine gun are not detailed enough. The assistant machine gunner does not have any belted ammunition on him.

The pack of the running rifleman is cast incompletely.

Noticeable flash and mould lines need to be removed prior to painting.

The painting instructions on the HaT box are incorrect, the uniform should be British khaki, not olive green. The front box cover shows the same figures painted dark brown with bleached webbing, which is incorrect as well. The M.1914 infantry set was made from brown leather.

Historical Employment

  • Kitchener Battalions 1915

Possible Conversions

  • Kitchener Battalions 1916-1918.
    The figures are fitted with new heads wearing the M.1916 steel helmet.

These Airfix figures are dressed incorrectly to be useful to the wargamers or diorama builders. Serious modellers may want to convert the figures to represent soldiers of the Kitchener battalions wearing the M.1914 infantry set in conjunction with the M.1916 steel helmet.

Sample from HaT Industrie

Bibliography

Airfix Miniatures

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World War One Miniatures