Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Flash Gordons and the 1st Dettol Highlanders

After perusing the rejuvenated Waterloo to Mons Blog I  have decided to join Matt on a retro Airfix Waterloo project...although other 20mm plastic manufacturers figures will be added to the core set. This led to me exploring that part of the loft insulation rarely visited plus a couple of chance buys at local collectors shops.

Thinking about it I am not sure I have ever had a project as such but in all truth I dip without any planning into whatever takes my fancy at the time with my modelling table groaning under figures and kits from all eras. I do envy those who see a project to the end.

To start with I found similar to Matt that the current catalogue Airfix Battle of Waterloo set suffers from the age of the injection moulds which although not in the same league as the flash on current WW2 Revell German paratroops (that is another story!) is still frustrating when you are dealing with cleaning the mould seams off 'soft plastic' 20mm figures. New pack of razor blades, magnifying glass and elastoplast at the ready.

The first figures I will try to paint are usually the hardest those 'amazons',  the Highlanders, first produced by Airfix in 1969 as one of two packets of HO OO figures that started the Waterloo series. In a toy collectors shop at Herne Bay I found residing sadly forgotten in a shoe box, plastic bags of Airfix figures mostly Waterloo and American Civil War....I did a deal and bought the lot! Many are painted very badly but the Waterloo figures are in that cream plastic of the original sets with no flash. So goodbye Flash Gordon's but I needed to remove the paint. Time to try the Dettol method as recommended  online after some google research. Easier and cleaner than car break fluid apparently! definitely don't go there.

Take one plastic carton of Coop 'Loved by us' Tomato and Basil soup.....add garlic bread and eat for lunch. Wash up cartoon which has an excellent sealing lid add 2 inches of ordinary brown Detoll add Airfix highlanders and leave for a day occasionally shaking the carton when visiting the bathroom. I in fact left them 3 days as I had a short holiday break in between. Use a toothbrush and some running water and scrub and all the paint lifts off leaving 'as good as new' 1970's Highlanders. At least when they are hit by musket fire they should be resistant to infected wounds!!!


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

They were the first wargame unit/figures I ever painted... 'bout '72 or '73 I think... painted the entire box as one big regiment.... they take me back!! :o)

Matt said...

An excellent tip-I shall be following suit with the next batch of French infantry.

Fraxinus said...

Steve I think I painted these figures first time about 1975/76. I don't think I painted the kilt with any finesse! better luck this time but my eyes were better then even tho' my painting skills were worse. Looking forward to those French infantry Matt

Mike Siggins said...

This really takes me back. The Gordons were not the first infantry unit I painted but they were my favourites. 30 men, Airfix, all the same pose, lots of boxes purchased!

Fraxinus said...

Yes hopefully start painting them this week Mike after toothbrushing a few more firing and loading poses first front rank rear rank etc, thanks for your comment

Jonathan Freitag said...

Boy, I painted boxes and boxes of these in the mid 70s too!