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Airfix Kit Figures - Scammell Scarab

Set 20

Click for larger image

One of the very early Airfix kits (note the very early product code!), and of course part of their railway range rather than anything military. The Scammell Scarab was still in production in 1963 when the kit first appeared in an Airfix catalogue (second edition), and as far as we know it was the only road vehicle Airfix ever modelled for their railways. It was used extensively by British Railways and others, so makes sense as a choice for a model, but made its last appearance in the fourth edition catalogue, after which the model disappeared, not long before production of the real thing also ceased.

Strangely the kit included no driver, but did have two standing figures as pictured. Both are smarted dressed in jacket and tie, with a peaked cap, so are probably meant to be railway employees, which certainly dates them. However that is not to say that there are not other uses for such general figures, particularly as some sort of officer perhaps. The first pose is frankly weird, and must have been so when originally made. The man leans very obviously to his left, yet seems to have his hand resting on something. Not sure what the designer was thinking with this one, though the second pose is much more generic and useful.

Aside from the leaning pose, the sculpting is not at all bad, especially considering their great age, and certain plenty worse has been made much more recently. The uniforms are basic but the detail is good enough, so certainly of value for modellers today. The taller man stands 23mm in height, which fits the HO designation, but also works for 1/72. Our original examples have no flash, but of course such an old set is not very common these days, though still available at modest cost. However like most old Airfix railway kits, this one was later taken up by Dapol and marketed as C33. The figures are unchanged, but quality may vary, though these are much easier to obtain.

Below are the only two catalogue illustrations we know of for this product - both are the same photo of course but presented differently.


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