I’ve managed to get some bench time and painted this set. I think they came out looking OK.
Started with a coat of Halfords grey car primer.
To prime the figures, I used Halfords car primer, as it is designed to cover metal surfaces. The primer is ideal for giving a great base for the next stage.
Looking at each figure in turn of the BAOR British Infantry 1:72
This figure is kneeling at the ready. Very pleased with how the DPM looks on this one.
Rifleman taking aim with his SLR. Again very happy with the DPM at such a small scale.
Posed as to be shielding his eyes while he peers into the distance. Probably just noticed some T62’s and BMP1’s heading in his direction!
This figure shows how well the webbing is done at this scale. It includes his respirator bag on his hip. two kidney pouches with groundsheet rolled up below those.
Final thoughts about the BAOR British Infantry 1:72
I have to say, I’m really impressed with these figures. They are not perfect, some of the facial expressions are a bit odd. However, at this scale that is something I can live with.
The important part is, is that they look like British Infantry from the period. I also really like the natural poses of the figures. No over exaggerated limb positions, and they look purposeful.
The detail is also very well done. I can tell they have ’58 webbing’ on. The SLR’s look like SLR’s. Just be careful when trimming the flash, not to cut the muzzle off the SLR’s (like I did with the standing rifleman). Because the detail is so good, it makes it much easier to paint.
In my quest to find some suitable figures to go with my Cold War builds, I came across a UK based company called Elhiem Figures. So this short blog post will be a quick look at Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures.
Elhiem do a great selection of Cold War period 1:72 figures, in pewter and resin. They also do them at what I consider a very reasonable price including postage costs.
Designed more for war gaming, not something that I currently do. They look like they would be suitable to be placed next to 1:72 model builds.
So with that in mind, I ordered 3 sets from Elhiem Figures just to see what they look like and what the quality is like.
BAOR08 British skirmishing with SLRs – Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures
As you can see from the photos, the detail at this size and in this material looks quite good. Considering the price of £3.96 (as of November 2020), I think these are excellent value.
Yes they will need cleaning up a bit as they have some flash. But I think these will go well with my Revell Challenger 1 tank once I have it built.
I like them, they have character and the poses look natural.
CWR01 Soviet Rifleman in Y strap webbing with AK74s- Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures
Have to have the ‘other side’ so also purchased a set of Soviet riflemen. They also cost £3.96 (price November 2020).
A little bit rougher in finish than the BAOR set, but again, with a little care in the clean up they will certainly look the part. Again some nice natural poses.
NAM01 US Army M16s Advancing – – Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures
Leaving central Europe I got a Vietnam set for the US Army. I’ve got the old JB Models M113 ACAV in the stash, and I thought these would complement it very well.
Same price as the other two sets, £3.96 (as of November 2020).
Cleaning up will be required as there is some flash. But detail looks good and again the poses look natural.
Conclusion – Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures
This is just a quick look at the Elhiem figures. But I like them and more importantly looking forward to painting them up.
Sometimes war gaming figures can be a bit chunky and over scale, but these look ok to me. The weapons may be a bit larger than any plastic or resin equivalent. But at the price you can get these figures, that is something I’m more than happy to over look.
I have quite a few of these Airfix 1:72 Jet Provost T.4 kits in my stash. All purchased when Aldi were doing their Airfix promotions.
As I have a few of these kits, including a couple T.3’s it made sense to acquire some other decal options. In this case Xtradecal set ‘X72291 Hunting Jet Provost T.3/T.4/T.51/T.52’. This set contains 10 interesting and attractive schemes.
The kit was built straight out of the box.
The finish selected for this build was a T.52 from the South Arabian Air Force based at Khormaksar, Aden 1967.
Airfix 1:72 Jet Provost T.4 box art
Airfix’s typical and attractive box art of the T.4 in the Red Pelican finish.
Start with the usual work on the cockpit area. Useful that aircraft from this period had black interiors.
4 grams of weight added to the nose. This is just about enough to keep the JP from being a tail sitter.
Also note the attempt at dry brushing, which does not look to bad.
Joining the 2 fuselage halves. Having built this kit before, I was aware that the seam line on the nose is quite awkward to remove.
Seam line filling with Vallejo Putty, not the part of kit building that I enjoy. But I feel it is an important part to get right. Sadly I don’t always manage to get the seam lines as invisible as I would like.
Due to the sanding process to remove seam lines, some detail s lost. So I use Tamiya plastic scriber to re-scribe any panel lines etc., that have been removed or reduced.
The JP has now been primed, in this case with Vallejo Surface Primer. I’m quite happy with this primer, but may try some others when funds allow.
Just showing the scheme I decided to paint on the Xtradecal sheet and the Hataka paint set ‘RAF in Africa‘. I used the Hataka colours for the top camouflage scheme. I used the Light Aircraft Grey from the Hataka ‘Modern Royal Air Force Paint Set Vol.3‘ for the underside.
Next set of photos show the application of the camouflage scheme. I attempted a different method for spraying camouflage. I cut out masking tape in the shape of the camo and placed this direct on to the model.
In the past, I have tried the blue-tak/white-tak worm method, but found I wasn’t getting the results I wanted.
By just using the masking tape, it almost worked. I did not quite get the shapes at the right size. However, the finished result was more tidy than when trying the white-tak worm method.
On previous builds I have applied gloss varnish to the whole model ready for decal application.
However on this build, I just applied the varnish to the areas that would have a decal.
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.
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 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)
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)
Useful looking radio operator, would not look out of place on an airfield diorama.
Ground crew 6 (x2)
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)
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)
This one for me is distinctly carrier deck crew! Quite a dynamic pose for this set.
Ground crew 10 (x2)
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)
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)
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.
Just a quick look at the contents of the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set. This set was first released in 1981. Re-boxed in 2000, this is the example in this review. Last re-boxing was in 2013.
It will be interesting to see if Airfix re-box these figures. I hope they do, as I suspect they would be very popular.
Contents of the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew
The box contains 48 figures in a green soft plastic.
OK, going off topic a bit here. The soft plastic that Airfix use for these figures is a pain to paint on. I understand the history of using this plastic. The Airfix small soldiers were made and sold as toys. But I think Airfix, and other 1:72 figure producers are missing a trick here. If they produced these in hard plastic, they would be very popular with model makers. They may even result in more sales.
The set is labelled as NATO, but the figures in the set look very much like British Royal Air Force to me.
Break down of the figures from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set
The set contains 4 very nice pilot/aircrew figures, all in the same stance. Once painted, these figures will complement any RAF Cold War aircraft.
Aircraft Marshaller (x3)
Three figures of aircraft marshallers. Again, all the same pose. The figure appears to be wearing woollen jumper and DPM trousers, or lightweights and the hated ‘Cap, Combat, DPM‘. Would look good on an airfield display.
Airman carrying case/toolbox/equipment pack (x4)
Now this figure could be quite useful as an extra on non aviation dioramas. To me it’s not quite clear what he is carrying. So if he is stood next to a Jaguar GR1 or a Scorpion CRV(T), he would fit in quite well.
Again, this figure is wearing woolly jumper, DPM or lightweight trousers and the combat cap.
Radio Operator (x3)
Another figure that lends itself to either an airfield/FOB for Harriers or Army diorama. His uniform also appears to be woolly jumper, DPM or lightweight trousers and the dreaded combat cap.
Dog Handler (x3)
RAF Police dog handler, complete with his Browning 9mm! Certainly a dynamic action pose, but not sure how you would incorporate it in a diorama. Uniform is woolly jumper, DPM or lightweight trousers and the combat cap.
Ground Crew NBC leaning in with tool (x4)
No idea what this chap is holding or doing. However, he is kitted up in full NBC suit so is ideal for a Cold War airfield diorama.
NATO Ground Crew NBC standing with tool (x4)
Another ground crew in NBC kit working on something. I can see this figure being easily incorporated into an aircraft diorama.
NATO Ground Crew NBC kneeling with screwdriver (x4)
Again another useful figure to have in a diorama scene. Once more, fully kitted out in his NBC suit and respirator.
NATO Ground Crew NBC standing and reaching with spanner (x4)
At least we know what tool this guy is holding. Maybe using the well known fix it technique of giving something a good whack with a heavy object. Again, nice figure in full NBC suit and respirator.
NATO Ground Crew NBC pointing at the ground (x4)
Well I think he is pointing, he could well be pulling a trolley. Another good figure in full NBC suit and respirator.
RAF Regiment Gunner, standing guard (x4)
I say RAF Regiment gunner, but could easily be Army. Figure in full NBC kit with respirator and armed with the venerable SLR. One of my favourite figures in the set.
RAF Regiment Gunner, running (x3)
This is a very dynamic pose. If he wasn’t wearing a respirator, he would fit very well with the running dog handler. Maybe a bit of surgery and some head swapping, you could then have 2 figures that work well together.
Again another figure that would easily fit in an Army diorama.
RAF Regiment Gunner, kneeling (x4)
The last figure from the set. He could be RAF Regiment or British Army, so again another very useful figure to have.
Final thoughts on the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set
Yes the figures are showing their age. The moulding is not very crisp and that soft plastic is such a pain to work with. However, they are fantastic if you are looking or a very British looking set of Cold War era figures for airfield or even British army dioramas.
If you are looking for more NATO related figures, then the Italeri set ‘NATO Pilots and ground crew‘ (1246) may be a better option for you.