Airfix Railway Figures reviewed 1980 and painted 2019

Exciting new arrivals in 1980, still going strong almost 40 years later.

Figure review from Model Railways magazine October 1980

I remember these figures arriving in the shops, coming as I do from a railway modelling family. Eventually a few spare unwanted ones with berets or flat caps, painted black, joined my Airfix soldiers as French Resistance workers, ready to blow up trains rather than repair tracks.

Thankfully these fine figures, along with earlier Airfix railway Civilians and Platform staff, are still available from Dapol:

I have been painting and basing a mix of my old original figures and new ones bought from Dapol for a gaming related Railway project next year 2020.

They might be old figures, some dating back to 1980, but I have tried out what is for me a new technique – using tinted wash from Citadel.

I thought these railway navvies were looking a little too clean, so some brown tinted wash would bring out the shadows as well as the grime. A brown tint would work well with farm workers, workmen and navvies.

The tinted shaded figure is on the left of each pair, to the right the unshaded figure.

The wash works well to pick out face details and also creases in clothing.

The Citadel website shows several ways of applying the shade or wash, either as an overall wash or in recessed shadowed areas. They even have a video to show you how:

and there are various internet forum areas to discuss these paint washes and modelling.

So I shall carry on painting and basing some Airfix railway figures, odd ACW artillery figures and Waggon Train Civilians to give me some useful Civilian figures for future gaming projects.

Blog Post Script B.P.S.

The Wargaming Pastor on his Death Zap budget conscious website has another ‘Peaky Blinders’* style use for these vintage figures – Dapol Gangs

* Don’t ask, I’ve never seen it.

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN on 23 November 2019.


Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

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