Saturday, November 15, 2014
Introducing the British Infantry
This post is a consolidation of the four British Infantry posts that I had to split because of the blogger limitations regarding labels. Now that I have simplified my labeling strategy, I was able to combine them into a single one. It probably needs a bit more editing, but at least for now it provides a central location to see all the British Infantry figures made by all manufacturers.
Here is a peek into what I am currently working on. It is a painted set of 50 British Infantry figures. As you might recall, I like to keep the poses unique and sometimes not all the poses from a given manufacturer 'make the cut' as far as the quality of the sculpting. You might also notice that I am only painting 50 figures instead of 100 as I did with some of the other sets. This is partly due to time constraints, partly because there aren't that many unique poses for this country/branch of the military, and partly because playing a war-game with 100 figures + vehicles, tends to take quite a bit of time, so 50 seems a good number. Another thing to note is that this is an expansion from about 12 figures that I had originally painted about 10 years back, and therefore you might see some of them at different stages of painting. As far as when they will be done, I am not sure as lately I have been doing a lot more blogging and a lot less painting, but eventually you will be able to see the finished product. Alright, so let's get to it.
Airfix British Infantry
Except for the guy who is standing firing, these poses are very dynamic. One of my favorite sets. They are also among the original squad that I had painted a few years back. That was before I learned how to give them their protective coats, so over the years they got chipped and needed a touch-up. You might also notice a glossy finish which I don't really like. By the time I am done, it will be gone. The other thing that will change is that originally all the webbing for their equipment was beige, but I later noticed that British Infantry also had green webbing, so I decided to switch to that color.
Airfix British Infantry Heavy Weapons Set
As you can see, only a subset of the figures are represented here.
Atlantic British Infantry
There are 10 figures in the original set, but some of them are a bit stiff, and some of them, like the guy carrying his wounded buddy shown in a post a couple of weeks back, are not really action poses that lend themselves to a table-top war-game.
BMC British Infantry
To be more precise, these guys are British 8th Army Infantry, but they round up the 50 figures well. Their sculpting seems nicer than that of the other figures from the other sets that did not make the cut.
Britains Herald British Infantry - Part I
Based on the weapons they are carrying these guys seem to be post-WWII figures, but their poses are nice enough that I couldn't resist being a purist and I drafted them into the WWII Army.
Britains Herald British Infantry - Part II
Britain's Herald figures were produced from the 1950's to the 1980's, some of the later ones made in Hong Kong. You can tell some of the newer ones from the base which is not part of the figure but attached to it.
Marx British Infantry
A classic set. A bit slim for my taste, but nonetheless a nice addition to the unit.
Matchbox British Infantry - Part I
The Bren gunner is one of my favorite ones. For some reason the flamethrower guy tends to be harder to find than the rest.
Matchbox British Infantry - Part II
The officer with the sheepskin coat is turning out nicely.
Weston British Infantry
New production by Steve Weston. Overall a nicely sculpted set. The only thing to criticize is how wide the helmets are. Some of them remind me of the helmets used by the Star Wars men protecting the Emperor.
Finished British Infantry
This is how the whole unit looks after I finished painting them and gave them their protective coats.
In the previous pictures I showed all the British Infantry poses that I was in the process of painting. That post left out some poses that I decided not to paint. At the time I was aiming to paint 50 different guys with the goal of using them for war-gaming, so I left out the poses that were least appealing and those that were the least useful in a war-game. Then there are also a couple figures that I have managed to find after I finished painting that batch. Since I would like this blog to be as complete as possible and serve as a catalog organized by manufacturer I feel the need to remedy this. So here are the British Infantry soldiers who did not make the 'paint cut'.
Airfix British Infantry Support Group
The 5 guys on the right are from the original set. The radio man on the left is a paratrooper, but it came with the set of recasts that I bought a few years back. Since I had already painted him with the paratroopers, I left him out of the British Infantry selection. The other guys are mostly standing around and I wanted action poses. The right-most guy needs a gun or a mortart to go along so I also cut him. And the prone guy is supposed to be feeding ammo to the vickers MG (not shown here) but I already had enough prone guys, so he made room for other action poses.
Atlantic British Infantry - Part 1
I have very mixed feelings about these guys. Some of them are nice and some of them are really bad. The man helping his mate is a very good pose. Similar to a Marx 'Battleground' GI. But the other two miss the mark when it comes to realism. The one on the right seems to be picking an apple from a tree, when in reality he is supposed to be throwing a grenade. The one on the left seems to be waving at his friends... not a battlefield pose.
Atlantic British Infantry - Part 2
Again, a mixed lot. The commander is good. I would have painted him if I had not had enough officers already in my selection. The other two prone guys were easy choices to cut. The one on the left seems to be doing push ups, and the other one comes with a detached Bren gun which you would actually expect him to be holding with both hands.
BMC British Infantry
Compared to BMC's Germans and Americans, the British are actually fairly decent. In this case, I wouldn't say that I cut them, but instead I chose to paint them with the British 8th Army instead. But I did let them contribute two poses to the batch of 50 that I painted.
Britains Herald British Infantry - Part I
The Britains Herald poses are fairly good in general. They represent post-war figures, but they still come in very nice poses. I ended up painting 10 of them. The mine sweeper guy did not get painted because I got him after I was done painting the other guys. The marching guy was eliminated because I wanted more active poses. The rest of the Heral British Infantry poses are in this other post.
Britains Heral British Infantry - Part II
This guy is more like a 50mm figure than 1/32. From waht I understand he was designed and manufactured as a test product -and just this single pose- when Britains was evalauting getting into the plastic market. In case of a failed experiment, they were going to be sold to the tourist market, hence the ceremonial stance.
The following guys are all factory painted or were found after I described the British figures above. In addition to the guys below, 21st Century Toys also produced 6 factory-painted British Infantry, but I did not get around to buying those. Now that I am posting pictures of the figures, I wish I had. Maybe I will look for them on eBay at some point. Anyhow, let's take a look at the ones I do have.
Britains Deetail British Infantry
These are vintage figures from the 70's and 80's. A nice set all around. All small arms are represented. It's nice how they all have bits of cammo attached to their helmets.
First Gear British Infantry
These are recasts of the original Britains Deetail figures produced in the last few years. I find the color scheme better than the original, but I don't like how they paint the eyes that much. Note also that the bases have rounded corners, not that it makes a big difference.
Britains Deetail British Mortar Set
A really nice heavy mortar team. The mortar can actually fire shells enabled by a spring mechanism inside the tube. There is a small lever in the back of the mortar which can be pulled and released to eject the shells. A pretty fun set.
Britains Deetail British Assault Boat
An officer and a Bren gunner on a raft. A tricky set to find a realistic setting for, but like the saying goes, 'that's a good problem to have' when it comes to the coolness factor of this set.
Britians Deetail British Land Rover
This is a nice little set from Britians Deetail. The Rover comes with a driver and a Bren gunner in the back. I would have rather had it in a tan color scheme to use it for some long range patrols in the desert, but hey, we can still send this guy to scout the French countryside.
Britians Deetail British Land Rover - other side
From this angle you can see the Bren gunner better. Notice how his knee is resting on a little ledge behind the cabin so that he can lean forward and rest the gun on the top of the vehicle while he fires away. I find that a nice touch of realism.
Crescent British Infantry
Based on the weapons, these guys seem to be modern British Infantry. They are a bit on the smaller side of the scale, but I think that once they are painted they will fight just fin. I particularly like the two guys on the right. Their forward lean makes them good action poses.
Crescent 60mm British Infantry - Part I
Crescent also produced 60mm British Infantry figures. Naturally they look a bit large next to the rest of the guys, but if you spread them out, they could just be a big guy among the rest of the normal size crowd.
Crescent 60 mm British Infantry - Part II
The officer. A nice action pose. Running into the heat of battle.
Britains Swoppets British Infantry
I only have a handful of these guys, but this sample is quite nice. The mortar team is very well put together. Unfortunately the man dropping the shell into the tube is missing the shell, but if you assume that he just dropped it, then it works just fine. The stretcher guys unfrotunately are also missing the stretcher, so I had to place the wounded man on the ground. I guess that's the downsied of the swoppet approach. Those detachable pieces go missing. Note that the wounded guy comes with a blanket, which gives it an additional nice touch.
Britains Swoppets British Infantry - Part II
A couple more guys. The marching guy is nothing out of the ordinary. The other guy is showing quite a bit more action. Definitely more into the heat of the moment.
Britains Swoppets British Infantry - Part III
This guy came to me already in a pretty beaten up shape. Looks like the previous owner wanted some casualties in his army and even painted some blood stains on this poor fellow. I wish they had kept him in his original shape...
Britains Swoppets British Infantry - Part IV
This guy seems to have the same lower body as the previous guy. although he seems to have lost his base, but that's OK. He does not really need it. The uppor body is very much to my liking and his weapon is in great shape. I think he is one of my favorite swoppet figures across all swoppet manufacturers.
Timpo Swoppets British Infantry - Part I
Here are a couple of the figures in the regular British infantry set. They seem more dynamic and better posed than their German or US counterparts. I particularly like the man charging with the bayonet. The officer is also nicely done, including his revolver. Hopefully I can get my hands on the rest of the set at some point.
Timpo Swoppets British Infantry - Part II
Here is another guy from the Timpo swoppet set. The top combines nicely with the legs giving it a very dynamic stance. He is holding a revolver on one hand and a grenade on the other. Note also that the base if a different color than the two in the previous picture.
Timpo Swoppets British Infantry with raft
Here is a rather nice and interesting set from Timpo. It is a set of British Infantry advancing on a raft. Sometimes such rafts feel quite a bit underscale, but in this case, both the figures and the raft are well proportioned. Two of the poses seem to be repeated, and I don't know if that was the case with the original set, but I am still quite happy having found it in this good condition.
Hilco British (or US?) Infantry - Part I
These are only three poses from the set. I've seen another 4 or 5 guys. I am not sure how many there are in all. The figures are a bit on the slim side, and the sculpting is OK, but not extraordinary. Even so, they seem to be a bit hard to get. And for some reason, that piece behind them with the tree stumps seems to be something special as I saw it go for 20+ dollars on eBay. Also, The shape of the helmets makes me doubt whether they are really British Infantry.
Hilco British (or US?) Infantry - Part II
Here are a few more Hilco guys that I recently found. As you can see they are mostly recasts of Britains Herald (grenade thrower, officer), Timpo (minesweeper, radio man), and Crescent (flamethrower) figures. The one sure thing that confirms that they are Hilco figures is that the base is stamped as such. About the country that they represent, I am now wondering if they actually come from two different sets: American and British.
Hilco British (or US?) Infantry - Part III
Another guys based on the Timpo figures. Note how the plastic that this guy is made of also shows those unusual color variations.
Hilco British Infantry - Part IV
And here is one more guy. This one also seems to be a copy of the Herald British Infantry. The plastic and original paint scheme are different from the figures in the previous pictures, so there must have been several releases of hese figures.
Hilco British Infantry - Part V
And they keep coming in one at a time. From a large lot of mixed figures... Although similar to the Timpo guy, I know it is Hilco due to the stamp on the bottom of the base, and also due to the strange and unique plastic that many of them are cast in. The other sign that this is a Hilco guy is the fact that the base is split into two sections, just as it is for the kneeeling radio man. A good heavy weapon to add to the team.
UNA British Infantry
This is a figure from new company that I just discovered. I purchased a lot of mixed soldiers and this one came with it. Af first glance it looks like a Lone Star kind of guy, but the bottom part of the base is marked 'UNA' and a few google searches revealed that is an actual toy soldier company. His uniform and Vickers MG lead me to believe that he is a British guy, but I have not comfirmed it or found any other UNA Tommies yet. Based on the helmet he might also be a GI as UNA did make a GI set.
Brenbros British Infantry
These are reproductions of the Heral British Infantry. Not much special about them, since they don't even come factory painted as the Herald guys did.
Blue Box Elite Command British Infantry
This is a set of 4 metal figures representing General Bernard Montgomery and some of his infantrymen. Compared to other metal figures, like King and Country and so on, they are not as nice. In fact, I bought them thinking that they were plastic figures as that is the focus of my collection. As far as the resemblance with Monty, I think it requires a bit of imagination to get there.
Cherilea Modern British Infantry
I really like the level of action and intensity depicted by these guys. And by that, I don't just mean that they have for instance, a guy who is charging, because some other manufacturers also have such a pose, but still, the movements of those other figures are sometimes not as fluid. They really captured well all the subtle angles of the joints and leaning of the body to give them a very genuine look. There is at least one more guy in the set, as I've seen a picture with 4 poses (a grenade thrower is missing).
Click here to see the British Infantry in action against the Waffen SS.
Click here to see a post about a special British guy