British Paratroops, 1942–1945

Airfix 1:32 Scale Figure Review

British Paratroops 1944, 1:32 Miniatures Airfix 51550.

These Airfix 1:32 scale British Paratroops are a significant improvement over the earlier Airfix paras which were released in 1:76 scale. Airfix did upgrade some of its early 1:76 scale figure sets, but unfortunately these superb miniatures were not released in the smaller wargaming scale. Somehow, ESCI picked up these miniatures and released them as a 1:72 scale model kit with 13 figures in eight poses, including a prone PIAT gunner. This sought-after kit has been unavailable for some time. If the moulds or master models of the superb Airfix British Paratroops are still around, some manufacturer ought to release them in 1:72 scale.


  • 14 Figures in 7 Poses – 52 mm equal 166 cm Height
    • Para Officer with Sten SMG (1)
    • Para NCO with Sten, throwing Grenade (2)
    • Para Radio Operator (1)
    • Para № 1 Bren with Bren LMG (2)
    • Para standing, firing Rifle (3)
    • Para kneeling, firing Sniper Rifle (2)
    • Para advancing with Rifle and fixed Bayonet (3)
British Paratroop officer.
British Paratroop radio operator.


Good choice of subject, these British Paratroops, wearing the Smock, Denison, Airborne Troops over Battledress, with 1937 Pattern Web Equipment, and Helmet Steel Airborne Troops (HSAT), are very attractive figures, but they are produced in the wrong scale. The smaller 1:76 or 1:72 scale miniatures are more popular with wargamers and diorama builders who need so many of these troops.

Superb sculpting and anatomy. This is the industry standard against which other British Paratroop figures must be judged.

There are enough poses in the set to recruit a British Parachute Infantry Section of 10 men. Only the 2″ mortar will have to be scratchbuilt from sprue and plastic card. Three boxes of these rare miniatures are required to raise a paratroop platoon.

The variety of poses may be increased by swapping heads among the figures.

The sniper may be converted to a rifleman simply by slicing the scope off his rifle.

Cheap, but badly done 1:72 scale reproductions of the Airfix Paras occasionally turn up at toy stores. These figures have different heads with a plain para helmet. If they were of a better production quality, these copies might actually be worth the effort of converting them back to British Paras.

These vintage Airfix 1:32 scale British Paratroopers are sometimes sold individually at about the same price an entire box of them used to cost in the old days. It’s unfortunate that these wonderful miniatures have never been released as a 1:72 scale plastic figure set. One wonders why manufacturers like Heller or HaT Industrie do not downsize these figures now and release them again.

Airfix Miniatures

British Paratroops, 1942–1945