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"1/72 plastic questions" Topic

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1,431 hits since 23 Jan 2013
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skinkmasterreturns23 Jan 2013 4:50 a.m. PST

What are the best 1/72 plastics for early war Brits? I was looking at using the newer Airfix Brits(minus the piat) and adding in the Hat machine gun(which has the Boys atr) and mortar sets.

Also I just ordered the Pegasus French set-would I really be in error if I used those same figures as Belgians(painted a darker green)?


Who asked this joker23 Jan 2013 8:02 a.m. PST

I've heard some good things about the HaT Britsish. May want to check out PSC British as well. There is no support weapons in that kit so they would be a good addition to the HaT British support weapons.

bridget midget the return23 Jan 2013 9:46 a.m. PST


MAD MIKE Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 10:44 a.m. PST

Check the Plastic Soldier Review site. link The only plastic figs I am aware of that are definitely early war are the Zvedza sets in hard plastic link

Shark Six Three Zero Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 10:48 a.m. PST

That's a tough one. The best sets are Late war figures from Caesar and Plastic Soldier. The early war figures are probably Airfix or Esci. They are not great figures.

Who asked this joker23 Jan 2013 11:10 a.m. PST

Is the difference between the early and late war British uniform that different? Could you not just use one of the better boxes of figures with the British support weapons boxes?

John Leahy23 Jan 2013 1:49 p.m. PST

The tortoise helmet is usually the giveaway for later period Brits.



Mad Monarchist Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 4:55 p.m. PST

Just as the respirator bag is the giveaway for BEF troops. As well as the rifle of course.

At the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference and just how nitpicky you are. If you don't mind using French figures as stand-ins for Belgians, despite the differences (webbing, lack of puttees, etc.) then nobody else should put you to task for it.

MAD MIKE Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 5:53 p.m. PST

"The tortoise helmet is usually the giveaway for later period Brits." Just to point out, the vast majority of British/Canadian troops in NW Europe wore the Mk II helmet until war's end.

John Leahy23 Jan 2013 11:34 p.m. PST

Hi, I had read that many units had switched by 44 including Canadians. Besides, he was asking about 1/72 plastic early war Brits. So knowing at least that fact would allow him to pick early vs later war figs.



Von Miligan Inactive Member23 Jan 2013 11:43 p.m. PST

Uniform and equipment differences are vast. Gas mask case to front, webbing I.e. entrenching tool and bayonet frogs totally different. 37 pattern and still a significant amount of 1908 pattern webbing about. Lewis gun had not fully been replaced by the Bren gun? Boyes ATR? The small pack and gas cape is a common feature not seen in the later war period. If you beyond the BEF in early war, helmets will include solar topee and Bombay bowlers as well. I could go on?
Basically, you won't get the right look and feel for early war British if you use late stuff? There are significant differences, and I might say, not all these are accurately captured by all figure makers?

Hope this helps?

GReg BRad24 Jan 2013 2:27 a.m. PST

The old ESCI or new Italeri kit could work. Revell is late war.

Murvihill24 Jan 2013 10:36 a.m. PST

My first WW2 British were actually Aurora(?) WW1 British. I've used them for early war.

spontoon24 Jan 2013 5:17 p.m. PST

I use the white metal ones from Reiver, they're anonymous enough to fit both periods, if you leave out the PIAT, and such like. I have Sgt's and Corporals armed with rifles for BEF; Thompsons for N. Africa; Stens for NW Europe. The officers have peaked caps,so less useful for late war.

pigasuspig24 Jan 2013 5:46 p.m. PST

The Zvezda infantry tend to be a little bland, but good otherwise. And their Vickers MG looks great!

number4 Inactive Member24 Jan 2013 10:55 p.m. PST

Second that; the Zvezda Vickers team is way better than hat's set. Hat's mortars are much better though and will work fine if you lose or convert the figure wearing the beret

Trockledockle Inactive Member26 Jan 2013 4:38 a.m. PST

As a number of people have said, this is a tricky one in plastic. The main differences between the early and late British seem to me to be:

  • gas mask on the chest
  • SMLE Mk1 rifle rather than Mk4
  • plain helmet Mk 1 without camouflage
  • no Stens/PIATs and a few Thomson SMGs with drum magazines
  • no 1941 entrenching tool
The only figures with these features are the Zvezda but these seems pretty expensive to me and you are getting near the price for metals. If you really want all of these features in plastic, you will need to convert. I think that the closest match is the ESCI/Italeri/Airfix figures. I'm not a great fan of these but the rifle on the firing figures can be converted easily and you can trim off the entrenching tool and add a gas mask pack. I'd use the Bren from the HAT set and make the ESCI Bren Gunner the no2. I have a few ESCI spare and if you are in the UK, I can send you them. Strangely, the new Airfix pack has a figure with the gas mask pack !
    If you want some inspiration on converting the Caesar British figures have a look at the Benno's figures website under the titles- Caesar WW2 British Army and Airfix New Brits are available. One of the contributors has done a very nice job of changing the head and the rifle with a metal one. However I have to ask myself if this is worth the trouble/cost. Good luck.
      (This is my first posting so hope the formats have worked!)

Trockledockle Inactive Member26 Jan 2013 10:40 a.m. PST

I should have added that another option is the Revell (Matchbox)1/76 British Infantry. Some of the figures have a plain helmet and no entrenching tool. The commandos could also cover some of the missing poses with head transplants. However, they are small and would not fit easily with Esci. An extreme option would be to use Matchbox Australians with head transplants and build up the sleeves with Green Stuff. Nice figures and they have the SMLE No1.

number4 Inactive Member27 Jan 2013 10:22 p.m. PST

Yet another source of figures is the excellent Airfix 8th Army set (lose the Stens which are wrong even for the Western Desert); the shorts and rolled sleeves can be built up quite easily with green stuff or glue to represent battledress.

The Revell 8th Army "Scottish infantry" set has 15 figures in battledress and 6 in overcoats which could be useful

Trockledockle Inactive Member29 Jan 2013 2:14 p.m. PST

I haven't seen these SMLEs in the flesh but they do look quite good for conversions.

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