Saturday, 28 January 2017


I was 11 years old in 1960,when HO OO Railway Scale marching figures first appeared.           

For the Group Build on, `Benno`s Figure Forum`,this year I am going to paint some of these tiny to the eye things up. Perhaps even a full set for The Parade,of marching figures. Not Action Poses. These  Guards figures have no faces ,and hands are blobs with rifles just plastic sticks showing no detail what so ever,but these are the first ever toy figures produced by AIRFIX in HO OO Railway Scale,and are indeed the last.They are the beginning of Toy Town History as I often term it.                                                                                                                  

Where other scales have produced costly Military Bands,the smaller  scales have not,so there are no bands of this type after 1960,which is, a full stop!  To be sure on the Benno`s Figure Forum.

                                                   THE GUARDS CHEER THE QUEEN

The first thing to do is opening the boxes, and then review the troops available. I thought it best to share this information because it a fact that 50 odd year-old figures often suffer from age. ( As indeed we do too,and in reality, those ultraviolet light  patterns of which there are many are in a process of slowly killing us.)

                                         THE DREADED PLASTIC  FATIGUE STRIKES!

Test the plastic this way,bend the base slightly using your finger and thumb,and if the legs snap and crumble away like dried up tooth paste ,that is plastic fatigue! These figures were bought loose in a plastic bag on E Bay, a few years ago and there they stayed until the other day. So the boxed sets are the best and most expensive way of obtaining them to try and avoid this breakdown of the plastic. However one buys and take the chance that they will be OK.

However Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, as the old saying goes, so I simply opened up other boxes in my vast Collection of Toy Figures. Which are perfectly OK! The broken ones I left on the table, and the colour comparison of the yellow figures can be noticed.  The Colour Party where produced in a nice red, which meant heads including face, hands, trousers, and rifle stick and base only needs painting. Basic colour only need apply here, because like skittles there is no detail on them at all.
Below All Are Fit For Muster

A Beginning To An End

It was early morning and winter time 28/01/1960,and the The Guards 1st and 3rd  Lt Companies were leaving their barracks on Barrack Street in Norwich. The road void of all traffic welcomed the hob nailed boots of spit and polish for there were none better in Norwich that was for sure. Lead out by their overly keen Brass Band, they filed out past the old iron gates with its two  Sentry Posts.The lights were still on in the Officers Quarters as the marched past.                                                          

                      This will wake up all the sleepy heads that have no want of it that is for sure.

As the 1st Foot & Mouth, march away into toy town history, they bring this part to a funny ending it is hoped.I`ll paint a few up for samples and show them later. BB


  1. I´ve got one or two ideas on a cure for the "plastic rot" so, just in case i can achieve it (I came across a wierd effect on a plastic bod by accident) don´t bin any suffering from it.

    1. Hi Paul,I remember boiling some up several years ago,but still no good. There were about a dozen that just fell to bits. I can remember just putting some in a bowl and the tap presser was enough to break off the legs and arms. I still have two left on my shelf and the two I`ve just opened.So I have plenty to send Jan for the Parade! Please keep me informed about your experiments Paul,I like weird effects! BB

  2. Now they take me back! My mate at junior school had a box and I was so jealous😀 then I got my first box of Napoleonic figures and I never looked back!

    1. Hi Russ,
      Yes the magic time of opening that first ever box of toy figures. A fine memory indeed. Thanks for commenting. BB

  3. These figures are so cool, a shame they don't stand up time...
    But I know you Paul, you got a solution for everything...
    So already looking forward to see your entry for the BFF Group Build on FIGZ, 4th of June this year!!!

    1. Hi Remco,did you see Paul`s comment?
      I am getting another small table ready for painting.
      Mrs B,insists on little clumsy me painting on the old battle scared table, rather than my new one. I`m cool with that and it is a comfy spot to paint figures on.Always nice to see you visit here.
      Thank You. BB

  4. So smart, wonderful figures, remains us so many things!

    1. Hi Phil, fond memories of childhood days are truly magic for some. It is an effective slice of emotive placement fit to hopefully lead The Parade on FIGZ Day 2017.