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Set 1709

8th Army

All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 1962
Contents 46 figures
Poses 18 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 21 mm (= 1.51 m)


Another of the early Airfix sets, and they chose to return to the popular subject of World War II with another set from a theatre that saw Britain as a major player. Airfix were hitting their stride by now, and this set boasts 18 different poses, a very good number even by today's standards. There is a good mixture of poses, with some real imagination going into such as the prone man with binoculars, the mine detector operator and particularly the two crawling men wearing cap comforters. The two standing firing poses are so similar as not really worth the extra effort, but the heavy machine gun and crew are an important element.

Like the earlier World War II sets, the sculpting on these figures is very poor to modern eyes. The detail is quite indistinct and much is simply missing. There was also a problem with excess plastic in undercutting areas, which is particularly true of the prone figures. All the weapons, including the heavier machine guns, are largely without any detail at all, and the prone machine-gunner is firing a weapon on a single support, for which there seems no obvious reason.

As toys these are fine, and were clearly successful as Airfix completely retooled the set and created the second type (see Type 2 set). If overall they seem to compare badly with today's output, still they contributed to the early growth of the hobby of plastic soldiers, and deserve not to be judged too clinically.


Historical Accuracy 5
Pose Quality 5
Pose Number 9
Sculpting 2
Mould 4

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