Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew

Box top art work of the Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew set.

A follow on BLOG post from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew review, a look at the Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew equivalent set.

The Italeri set does appear to actually represent NATO pilots and ground crew. The Airfix set is very Royal Air Force looking.

Esci originally released the set sometime in the 1980’s. Re-boxed by Italeri in 2004.

Contents of the Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew

The box contains 48n figures in 20 different poses.

Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew box contents.

Moulded in soft blue/grey plastic. The detail looks quite good, but there is quite a lot of flash.

I wish Esci/Italeri had not had the sprue connected to the figures heads, as this makes it very awkward to remove them. Due to this flash and the sprue attachment, a very sharp craft knife will be required.

A good selection of poses and dress states are included in the set.

Break down of the figures from the Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew set


Pilot 1 (x2)

Packing his ‘six shooter’ this pilot figure could fit in well with a Vietnam era USAF aircraft.

Pilot 2 (x2)

This one looks like a Navy Aviator, possibly wearing an emersion suit? Not sure which nation he is from. At 1:72 when painted he will look like a generic NATO pilot.

Pilot 3 (x2)

Appears to be wearing the same flight suit as Pilot 2 (above). Looks like he can be posed holding a cockpit entry ladder.

Pilot 4 (x2)

I like this pose, something a bit different. Pilot waiting to chat to his crew chief about something on his maintenance log. Or just getting his navigation/flight papers together.

Pilot 5 (x2)

Is he thumbing a lift or giving a thumbs up. I suspect he is giving a thumbs up after a successful flying mission.

Pilot 6 (x2)

OK, this has to be Robin Olds, and he needs an F-4 Phantom to be posed next to! Another very nice pose and figure, but there can only be 1 Robin Olds!

Ground Crew

Ground crew 1 (x2)

This one screams USN/USMC topless carrier crew! Photo also includes how bad the sprue attachment is on the head.

ground crew 2 (x3)

Another topless ground crew. Again would fit very well with USN/USMC carrier scene. This figure and the one above should stretch your flesh painting skills at 1:72.

Ground crew 4 (X3)

Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew figure.

At first I thought this guy was saluting with the wrong hand. But if it is a salute it’s a very sloppy one! So your guess is as good as mine as to what he is supposed to be doing. Could also be used as army, as he appears to be wearing t-shirt and combats.

Ground Crew 4 (x3)

This kneeling figure would fit in well in any diorama requiring ground crew or mechanic working on anything really. So a very simple and useful figure.

Ground Crew 5 (x2)

Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew figure.

Useful looking radio operator, would not look out of place on an airfield diorama.

Ground crew 6 (x2)

Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew figure

Just finished wiping down the cockpit canopy and standing back admiring his work. He appears to be wearing a tabard, so could work as Air Force, Navy or Marines ground/deck crew.

Ground Crew 7 (x3)

Italeri 1:72 NATOn Pilots and Ground Crew figure.

Due to his head gear this one looks US Navy/Marines to me. But what is he holding in his right hand. It’s an odd shape for a flashlight and not the right shape for a CAM. Plus if it was CAM he would be in NBC kit?

Ground crew (8) x3

More flight deck crew? He appears to be directing or marshalling an aircraft.

Ground crew 9 (x2)

Italieri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew figure.

This one for me is distinctly carrier deck crew! Quite a dynamic pose for this set.

Ground crew 10 (x2)

Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew figure.

Quite obvious that this one is an aircraft marshaller.

Ground crew 11 (x2)

Looks like a pilot to me. But why is he squatting down with a bottle?

ground Crew NBC1 (x3)

Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew figure.

Kneeling ground crew in NB suit holding a tool of some description. The style of respirator is not familiar to me. Maybe the French M51 respirator. It’s not British and I’m 99% sure it’s not US. Will have to do more research.

Ground crew NBC2 (x3)

Italeri 1:72 NATO pilots and ground crew figure

Muffled talking and frantic pointing towards a clipboard. The joys of trying to communicate in full NBC kit! This figure would work well with the next one in the list.

Ground Crew NBC3 (x3)

Desperately trying to hear and understand what the bloke with the clipboard is trying to say!

Final thoughts on the Italeri 1:72 NATO Pilots and Ground Crew set

This set is newer than the Airfix NATO Ground Crew with the details being a little more crisp. It does suffer from some flash, but then don’t all these soft plastic sets?

The range of different pilots will be very useful, especially the Vietnam era figures.

I also like that it includes carrier deck crew figures. I think these could easily be used for RN, USN and USMC dioramas.

Not so sure about the figures in NBC suits, well not until I have found out which nationality they represent.

It is a set this is certainly worth having on hand. Unlike the Airfix set, the Italeri NATO Pilots and Ground Crew is still available to buy.

Stuart Fowle is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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