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"Airfix 1/72nd scale French Line Infantry" Topic

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Tiberius23 Oct 2016 4:07 a.m. PST

I was given these miniatures nearly 40 years ago as a child. I had found them to give away but then I played a game of Blucher and decided to paint them.

I am not sure where the folds should be in the jacket tail for me to paint the outer blue jacket and the inner white folds.

Any pictures of your Airfix French Line infantry would be appreciated.

I realize these are old miniatures and not necessarily all that accurate but I would like to paint them give they were given to me so long ago.

This is not a period that I was interested in so I have surprised myself.

Blucher rules

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Pauls Bods23 Oct 2016 5:06 a.m. PST

Here´s my effort at them, using the Boy art as "reference" material

keithbarker23 Oct 2016 5:45 a.m. PST

This is probably how you want to paint them…


4th Cuirassier23 Oct 2016 9:20 a.m. PST

I have just reacquired a bunch of these after Amazon dropped the price of the Waterloo box set to £25.00 GBP You get nine sets of figures, an accessory set, the farmhouse and a terrain base, and glue and brushes. Whatever way you cut it that is farcically good value.

The issues with the French infantry are well known: Essentially, they're all NCOs. The two crossbelts, the sabre-briquet (dual bayonet / shortsword frog) are the giveaways. They can serve quite well as non-French units if this bothers you or with some poses, such as the guy loading, you can't see the offending crossbelt, and you can cut the sword away.

The gaiters over the knee are probably not right either.

The less useful figures have traditionally donated their heads to conversions. Some make useful drivers of train.

The guy holding the flag has his coat tails on display if it helps.

Ben Avery Inactive Member23 Oct 2016 10:22 a.m. PST

Whilst I know the British are more accurate, I always preferred the French figures around the age of 10. More useful figures, as noted and I loved the marching guys.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2016 11:26 a.m. PST

Except for the guy carrying his mate over his shoulder. As much use as kettle drummer of hussars…oh but now I think of it…

The characters with musket shouldered are from the Artillery set and tiny compared with the Line Infantry. But both are massive compared with the poor cuirassiers. Happy days

4th Cuirassier23 Oct 2016 1:22 p.m. PST

Dodgy though they be, they enabled me to fight Napoleonic wargames with 400 figures on the table for very little money. It was several years before I started to approach that with metals.

Marc the plastics fan23 Oct 2016 1:25 p.m. PST

Yet ranked up and brigaded with their mates they fight and die like all good toy soldiers.

Not all figures on the table need to be miniature masterpieces. I love them for the nostalgia and memories of my childhood battles.

If you want some pics of mine send me an email and I will send some

Marc dot flack at sayervincent dot co dot uk

Tiberius23 Oct 2016 11:08 p.m. PST

I actually like the figure carrying the wounded man the most, adds some character to the unit, everyone marching forward except for the wounded being carried back to safety.

Marc I will email you after work.

Thank you everyone for responding

Marc the plastics fan24 Oct 2016 11:38 a.m. PST

No probs. I'll take a pic or two and send them over. And yes, the wounded guy is interesting (and the dead guy makes a great marker in BP games)

Carpet General24 Oct 2016 12:04 p.m. PST

I've painted mine as Line and Lights.


Including the casualty carrier.



Marcel180924 Oct 2016 1:16 p.m. PST

Now that is amazing painting carpet general especially given the rudeness of th airfix figures, very well done!

Tiberius24 Oct 2016 2:11 p.m. PST

Carpet General, they are amazing, Who said old Airfix cannot March on to the table with pride.

Marc the plastics fan24 Oct 2016 3:18 p.m. PST

They are lovely. Yes, the basic figures are crude but they paint up quite nicely. And on the table, which for most of us is where it matters, they will more than pass muster.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member24 Oct 2016 4:23 p.m. PST

Years ago – the late 70s/early 80s I think – Almark magazine had a wonderful series of articles on making all sorts of AWI units out of Airfix figures. IIRC, the "Waterloo" French infantry did a lot of service as British lights, with their shakos carved into helmets.

They make quite good Westphalians as well, I seem to remember.

4th Cuirassier25 Oct 2016 1:27 a.m. PST

Excellent paintwork by CarpetGeneral there. I especially like the way you've converted the loading bloke into a flag bearer in such a way that you can actually see the flag!

Pauls Bods25 Oct 2016 8:00 a.m. PST

Excellent brushwork !!

Marc at work26 Oct 2016 9:55 a.m. PST

Mind you, maybe the guy carrying his wounded colleague should be heading in the other direction grin

I plan to use mine as casualty markers or as "colour" on a command base

Tiberius27 Oct 2016 12:02 a.m. PST

That is how I was going to base the figure carrying the wounded man going the other way

4th Cuirassier27 Oct 2016 1:27 a.m. PST

As a joke, it would be fun to form a composite unit of all the useless or daft poses among the Airfix sets.

High on my list of these would be the guys fiercely bayoneting the ground, swinging their muskets around their heads by the muzzle, the skateboarding highlander, the moonwalking British line infantryman, and the guy who is second from the left in Carpet General's lower-left photo of his Light infantry. He appears to be doing the hokey-cokey while listening – listening?! – to the priming pan of his musket.

I always found the casualties useful though. You could leave them around spots on the table where combat had occurred.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2016 2:24 a.m. PST

Some of the odd Airfix poses I clustered together when my friend and I were in High School 30+ years ago. when everyone is alike the weirdness seems less noticeable (we did cut off the casualty and it was another marching Soldier).

Still play with several of those units today, proud veterans of many battles.

Trajanus27 Oct 2016 8:42 a.m. PST

Holy Cow! How Retro is that!

Could never have identified them from the painted figures

Marc the plastics fan29 Oct 2016 1:36 p.m. PST

Retro is cool grin

Tiberius29 Oct 2016 1:56 p.m. PST

Retro is still viable and going strong

Tiberius19 Jun 2017 1:47 a.m. PST

Ok here is an update.

Making the most out of these Airfix French Line infantry

Slow progress

Poor molding, so why do these French have a bicycle U lock

Miscalculation, I need 18 miniatures for a base not 12. Still looking good

Marc at work19 Jun 2017 2:52 a.m. PST

LoL – bicycle lock! Yes, I struggled to understand that. But just painted it up as sword and bayonet scabbard and moved on. Once based up I didn't have any particular concerns.

Otherwise, looking good. I added plumes to my elite companies just to emphasise them. And they are ok IMHO

Marc (did I ever send you pics – I meant to but can't remember now)

Tiberius19 Jun 2017 3:10 a.m. PST

yes thank you Marc, you did and they helped alot

Marc at work19 Jun 2017 5:21 a.m. PST

That's good. I have no ability to post pictures to TMP (Deadhead helped me last time with some generals), so if you still have those pics I would be happy for them to be shared here (he says putting an imposition on someone else's time – sorry).


Tiberius19 Jun 2017 9:46 p.m. PST

I will check to see if I have the pictures still

Glencairn20 Jun 2017 4:49 a.m. PST

The vignette of the guy carrying the wounded figure could be interpreted as follows: if he's marching forward, the 'wounded' guy on his shoulder has been shamming/fainted at the sight of those long lines of plastic Highlanders and Line infantry waiting to let off their First Fire, and his 'friend' is dragging him back to the fray. Or, if he's carrying him to the rear, he's using him to a) get away from the impending musketry exchange, as well as b) using him as human cover from a shower of musket balls!
I have hundreds of these things, still packed in bags down in the depths of the basement..memories of happy battling!

Tiberius21 Jun 2017 4:35 a.m. PST

Here we go Marc
Thank you for the photos
Beautiful painting, better than mine mate.

Marc at work21 Jun 2017 4:55 a.m. PST

Thanks. Now their bases have been flocked etc they look a lot better. Amazing how any errors I see in the photos. Ow, and how the different flash etc makes them look different. In the flesh they look quite presentable if I say so myself

But the detail of the figures is odd at times, there is no getting away from it

Thanks again – I must try and take a better pic


4th Cuirassier21 Jun 2017 6:06 a.m. PST

Wow, those are fabulous. You have even painted in the seam between the arms and the shoulders of the coats!

They look really really good en masse like that. How did you make the elite company plumes? Pins and Milliput?

Marc at work21 Jun 2017 6:26 a.m. PST

HaT middle guard – they sacrificed their plumes so I could make the elite companies stand out a bit more. Is that craziness? Sacrifice a £6.00 GBP box of soldiers to make 1970 figures look better…

What a hobby

Marc at work21 Jun 2017 8:45 a.m. PST

4th. I see you are a Londoner. Interested in a game out in the wilds of Essex? Ian Dury territory…

And Carpet General – stalking your profile shows you to be in Essex as well. Let me know if you'd like to join in one of our large Naps games, all 1/72


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2017 11:03 a.m. PST

And they say nostalgia is not what it used to be.

Some really flattering pics here of some dodgy original figures. Superb work.

All these Essex lads getting together…anyone got a season ticket for you-know-who to sell? Worth more than the four hour BluRay of Waterloo. I have it somewhere…somewhere……..

Us exiles do not stand a chance and all three local teams went down one season! So no away games up here other than the Geordies.

Did any one else swap the French heads onto British infantry? I did French in overalls, not gaiters and a whole pile of Brunswickers…(painting was easier for them)

Khaki0821 Jun 2017 2:47 p.m. PST

Personally I don't care if they are accurate or not, for me they will always be the archetypical French line infantry. I painted many of mine thirty years ago, although they have had more recent re-basing. Old soldiers indeed.


Marc at work21 Jun 2017 3:16 p.m. PST

That's a lot of Airfix. We are lagging behind your output. Did I see colonels with bicornes on the side of one of those pictures?

Agreed by the way. I have "better" figures, but I still am really pleased to have my 40 year old Airfix on the table (yellow when a kid, the paintwork is a more recent addition). It is a living link to my childhood, when I first fell for this silly hobby of ours.

Next will be some hussars painted as imperial guard chasseur a cheval. Again, not for the figures per se, but because that is what I had as a kid (and the hussars aren't too bad all things considered). Not sure I'll manage the cuirassier but never say never

Oh, and for those interested – the command base includes two guys from SHQ/Kennington (the officer is visible, but there is a sapper lurking, behind the drummer). But I find them to be a really good match with plastics, and Airfix in particular. Much better than Newline who are a tad small

And Liam, no I wouldn't have head swapped them as in those days I didn't have the drills etc, and the equipment would have been wrong. But I agree that it would have been good. I did try putting the RHA tarleton onto the French for Bavarians. Glue was no good… these days super glue and the specialist primer does the trick

Tiberius21 Jun 2017 3:54 p.m. PST

Well you guys inspire me, I will get back to painting this weekend.

Tiberius22 Jun 2017 4:29 a.m. PST

Marc, May I have your permission to place your photos giving credit to you for your superb painting on WargamerAU , The Rum Corps Tavern and the Airfix Forum

Marc at work22 Jun 2017 5:15 a.m. PST

Of course. I am a doofus re posting pics on TMP – I tried a photo hosting service pre "smart phone days" – only had my Apple for two years – before was a Blackberry – don't go there…

But I gave up. So I guess I should try again.

And if I have inspired you to continue then that can only be a good thing. And strangely enough, on my painting table are a handful of Airfix French that I need to paint up to make up some units to full strength. My brother bought some painted off a friend, so I need to finish them off numbers wise, add plumes (again – it really makes a difference IMHO) and then touch up the other guy's painting to make them consistent. The plan is to get them close to matching the set photo'd above.

And I should try and get a better quality focus of the first unit for you.

Have a good weekend's painting, and remember to share. Naps take a long time, but I think there are few finer sites than a table of Naps going at each other.


Khaki0822 Jun 2017 5:38 a.m. PST

Marc, the colonels were produced by the simple method of hacking off a lot of the shako to leave a kind of fore and aft tent shape, then simply cutting out two bicorne profiles in sticky tape and sticking them to the figure. they withstand the "three foot test" which is all I need.

I also have four regiments of Dragoons converted from the Airfix cuirassier figures. Again much nicer figures are now available but using my old ones still satisfies. For actual cuirassiers I used the Esci set, which are lovely, but you have to melt and re-set the bridle arms so they hold the reins.

When I was young and poor and had good eyesight I converted a lot. Now the range of figures is much larger, and I am gradually introducing 1/72 metal, some of which is lovely. However I cant help loving the old school thrill of using the original sets where possible.

I also have Airfix ACW forces (supplemented by 20mm metal from RSM) and some Waterloo British Infantry ended up in the Crimea…

Rod MacArthur22 Jun 2017 9:59 a.m. PST

Well, as many of you know, almost all of my Napoleonic figures are 1:72 Airfix. You can see many of them on my website:


Some of the conversions are French with British heads as Portuguese and British with French heads as Orange-Nassau, Brunswick and French Marines of the Guard.


Marc at work22 Jun 2017 1:49 p.m. PST

K. Agreed, there is charm in the old figures. Maybe I should paint up the cuirassier – they will still fight like their Zvezda brethren

4th Cuirassier22 Jun 2017 2:18 p.m. PST

I reckon the Airfix French officer would make a good dragoon. Need a new head but I've got 22 of these guys in the stash so why not.

The British officers with French infantry heads would make reasonable British light dragoons. Tack an issue though.

We should do a game one day. I have an elderly mother (90, just had a stroke and before that a new hip) so my life is not my own for now.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2017 2:50 p.m. PST

what brilliant photos…Rod's latest are superb. French heads onto British bodies allowed them to become very versatile indeed…as you lost those dodgy gaiters. A bit of something sticking out the back of the shako they became North Netherlands ie "Dutch", simple paint job for Brunswick and Nassau.

And do not forget the French WWI in overcoats. Simple headswap!

Just visible here facing a solo RNBD!


I indeed did the cuirassier head onto the Officer's body, for a guard Dragoon Officer.

Snag is…photo was my first attempt at 35mm SLR in 1973/4…and printed onto textured paper, which was then all the vogue, but now scans terribly



Marc at work22 Jun 2017 10:06 p.m. PST

Time to buy a few boxes and recreate these images methinks Liam – you know you want to….


Lambert Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2017 5:26 a.m. PST

I haven't bought or tried painting Airfix figs since the 1970s and certainly didn't get anywhere near this standard. These look brilliant and seeing them is like meeting old friends. I remember I could never get the paint to stick, what do you use as a primer?

Personal logo Milhouse Supporting Member of TMP25 Jun 2017 8:37 a.m. PST

The French is one of my all time favorite Airfix sets . Same with Double G.

Hussar6225 Jun 2017 8:53 a.m. PST

Many of my Airfix French were Re purposed into late war Saxon

Sorry about the photo quality best I could do with the tablet. Besides that my painting skill doesn't warrant closer inspection.

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