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

Pilots

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.

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.