Railway Civilians – Steam Fair Haul 2022

In £1 packets, I picked up every one they had on a railway modelling stall at a recent West Country Steam Fair, my first Fair since the pandemic and 2019. This haul was £8 worth.

I have not yet posted the 54mm plastic figure haul from 2018 – one for a rainy day!

Plastic Soldier Review http://plasticsoldierreview.com/review.aspx?id=366

The 1961 Airfix Civilians set designed by John Niblett. Its box art of urban Britain is just about how I remember it as a late 1960s / early 70s child. These Civilian figures have not been available since 1973 to 1975.

I grew up with a few of these civilian oddities mixed in as ‘personalities’ mixed in with my motley mix of HO/OO toy soldiers.

I like the description of the characters on the box back –

Image from Airfix’s Little Soldiers, Jean-Christophe Carbonel – I like the silhouettes of the figures.

The struggling postman with mail sack has lots of character. It’s good to be able to name and identify poses – although some are not now quite PC? (2 Fat Men)

These Station Accessories and mix of railway figures and workers are often not listed with military figures in some Airfix reference books. They feel a little forgotten, less familiar or undiscovered.

Plastic Soldier Review ‘Station Accessories’ review page:


Image source: the lovely Dapol website – pure Airfix purchasable nostalgia

Wonderfully Airfix Railway figures are all still available from Dapol in hard grey plastic including this old 1960s Platform Figures and Accessories set.

These are slight and slender (HO 1:87 maybe according to Plastic Soldier Review?) in comparison to the chunkier 1961 Airfix Civilians above and later 1970s Airfix. This is in the same way perhaps that first version 1960s Airfix figures such as Infantry Combat Group, German Infantry, 8th Army and Afrika Korps are small compared to their 1970s larger Airfix second versions.

Worth mentioning that those familiar Airfix building kits – the thatched cottage, Church, windmill, Tudorbethan house and others – are still available from the same Dapol website.

Other former Airfix figures still available from Dapol:

Airfix Platform Accessories (and figures)


Airfix Railway Workmen


Airfix Platform Figures https://www.dapol.co.uk/shop/model-accessories/self-assembly-oo-kits/c008-platform-figures-set-of-36-510

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN on 31 August 2022


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.