Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew

Box art of the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew.

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.

The contents of the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew

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

Pilots (x4)

Pilot figure from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew

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)

Aircraft marshaller from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew

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)

Airman/Soldier carrying case/box from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew.

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)

Radio operator from the Airfix NATO Ground Crew.

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)

Ground crew in NBC suit from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set.

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)

Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew in NBC kit.

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)

Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew figure in NBC suit.

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)

Airfix 1:72 NATO ground crew figure in full NBC kit.

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)

RAF Regiment Gunner from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew.

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)

RAF Regiment Gunner from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set.

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)

AIrfix 1:72 RAF Regiment gunner from the NATO Ground Crew set.

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.

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