Sunday, 4 April 2010

Airfix Nostalgia OO/HO Figures

Matt's post at Waterloo to Mons one of my favourite blogs for inspiration on the world wide web has hit the nostalgia subject right on the mark! What were our inspirations to enter the hobby? He lists films & books which encouraged us and provided the 'food' for our active young imaginations and of course Airfix HO/OO figures!!!

Films provided much of the inspiration and brought the history books we avidly read (if there were battles involved! domestic life in medieval England was not so interesting!!) alive. The films which inspired me included Waterloo ( I can quote lots of phrases from this film very geeky!), Zulu Dawn, this came out at the same time as reading MM articles on Zulu wars with some fantastic Islandwhana dioramas, Battle of the Bulge, Bridge at Remagen, Battle of Britain (even worse can quote the whole script!) The Alamo, & Cross of Iron.

Books inspired me immensly especially the Funcken Uniform Series, Blandfords & of course the 'Warfare in' series especially Waterloo to Mons & Age of Bonaparte. Also a paperback book on Waterloo which my dad had, it was full of wonderful colour plates (I have these still they fell out of the binding) I think the book came out at the same time as the film. This book inspired the painting of my Airfix Waterloo Fingures.

But it was these glorious Airfix boxes of little plastic soldiers that my world revolved around before the late teens when girls/music/sport also featured

We were 'captured' as kids in the toy shops, 'Hankards' in Walton on Thames for example where fantastic revolving diplay stands with the round Airfix logo on top displayed colour paintings of the possibilities within. Birthdays, Christmas, Summer holiday pressies if done well at school, bribes to go to the dentist (well you had to play every card possible to get your hands on these treasures!) and pocket money (which seemed to take ages to save for the Airfix goodies we wanted) Also the Airfix catalogue provided hours and hours of enjoyment flicking through the pages, putting crosses next to our desires, dreaming of the next battles to take place against our friends or solo on the carpet at home.

I loved the catalogues which showed the contents of the boxes as well as the box art. the box art of course was fantastic and lead me to collect the boxes of HO/OO figures from my childhood in later years, although I have not gone as mad as some who must have all the 'blue ended' boxes etc. All boxes here come from my treasured collection housed in a large blanket chest at home where occasionally I lift the lid to reminisce.


The Russians with that great box art showing the maxim firing

Waterloo french cavalry ....surely the horses were far to big for those riders!

Always liked the rushing marines landing on a Japanese held island in this superb artwork

But this was always my favourite box art and set the WW1 Britsh Artillery, once rare now re released by hat & in the current Airfix range. The original boxed sets were hard to come by even at toy 'swap meets' in the 1980's

Now I'm taking part in the Britmodeller Airfix Starter set challenge as mentioned on an earlier post ( I am very pleased that LH is also taking part building a Westland Whirlwind) & I can report the AW Seahawk is nearly built! The painting to start soon. BUT what about everyone who reads this post digging out or acquiring some orginal or re released Airfix originals and painting and basing a unit again just like the good old days!

I am now off to read my sunday copy of 'Victor Comic' with a glass of orange squash and munching on a wagon wheel!!!!


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

"Victor" was always my favourite too... and later "Battle"...

Yes to all the films - and also the BBC "War & Peace"...

..but best of all was the Airfix catalogue - happy days indeed - pen in hand... and the joy when we heard the Napoleonic Hussars were being released!!

Anonymous said...

How could I forget the Battle of Britain and the Blue Max! (Blue Max book is even better than the film!). Plus every Western ever made!

Wagon Wheels-do not bother, no way are they as big nowadays! "Club" still have "a lotta chocolate on your biscuit" however.

P.S. Like your idea about the figure painting....Mmmmmm.

Anonymous said...

P.S. When a new box of soldiers were released-did your mates always want to know what the dead figure looked like?

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

You are not alone Fraximus :)

Blue Max:
By co-incidence I picked up a copy second hand and have it tucked away in the family car as an emergency ration for those frequent "waiting times" spent outside the Supermarket etc

At this rate it will take me ten years to read, but more importantly it will help keep my sanity

legatus hedlius said...

Fantastic post. I will post my equivalent later today. A good sort of post for Easter!

Chris Westlake said...

Would you be interested in more airfix products