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.
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.