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Airfix Kit Figures - Bristol Bloodhound

Set A1V and A02309

Click for larger image
This is one of the oldest Airfix military kits, and when it first appeared the Bristol Bloodhound was cutting-edge technology and the latest anti-aircraft missile system newly introduced into the RAF (in 1958). This, the Mk I, comes with five human and one canine figure, as pictured above. The first pose clearly represents the ordinary crew for the missile, and he is, well, we cannot tell what he is doing - more of a generic nothing sort of pose really. He correctly wears the RAF version of the Battledress with no map or dressing pocket, and he does so with a shirt and tie. On his head he has a beret, which dates back to the middle of World War II, so everything about his uniform is correct for the late 1950s (as it should be since it was current when it was sculpted).

Next to the Technician is an officer, who also wears RAF battledress but has a peaked cap. He waves an arm in the air - a classic indicator of seniority in small plastic figures it seems. Beside him is a RAF policemen, judging by the peaked cap and webbing with pistol holster. His dress and kit is also correct for the period, and perhaps he is also in charge of the dog included in the set. Traditionally four-legged creatures, our example has suffered during production and is down to three, but it is to be hoped that better examples exist elsewhere.

Although there are no issues with accuracy for these figures, the sculpting is not going to generate much excitement any more. Given they are over half a century old it is not too bad, with adequate levels of detail, although creases in clothing are almost non-existent so these don’t have the natural look we would expect today. The poses are hardly lively, even given the fact that they are probably not in action, and while the generic pose was always going to be a bit of a non-event, we do wonder why the policeman is standing to attention. On our example there is a good deal of flash too, and also much damage caused by sink holes, especially on the policeman. This is an old kit that has come and gone over the years, so better (and perhaps worse) examples probably exist.

There may be little call for RAF ground figures for the 1950s, although these are about the only figures that could meet such a need. The fairly general Battledress outfit does give these figures some scope for use as other subjects, so worth knowing about despite their age.

Below are examples of how the completed kit was illustrated in Airfix catalogues.






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