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Troy Smith

Airfix Classic 1/76th figures, still polythene?

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Heading says it all,   the reissued Airfix 1/76th figures,  in the "Airfix Vintage Classic" range, are they still moulded in polythene, or did they switch to some kind of styrene, like they did with the 1/32nd figures?

 

Some of the 1.32nd figures are really well sculpted, and in styren you can clean them up properly and paint sticks!

 

Note, I did try thinned Mr Surfacer on an old polythene 32nd figure and it stuck pretty well.

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Memory from reading 1970’s Airfix magazines suggests painting the polythene figures with thinned PVA glue as a base for enamel paints.

 

Trevor

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I believe that they are still polythene, because if the stiffer polystyrene was used then they wouldn't come out of the moulds.

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Soft plastic figures don't need the PVA undercoat if you use acrylic paints.

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That's a surprise, as the problem was paint rubbing off when handled, and that's a usual comment about acrylic paint in general.

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If the intention is to use these figures for wargaming they, like any other figures ( white metal or polystyrene) should be varnished to ensure durability.

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I've found that enamels flaked off soft plastic parts if they were flexed. I've not had a problem with acrylics on wargame figures.

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On 07/01/2019 at 19:19, Max Headroom said:

Memory from reading 1970’s Airfix magazines suggests painting the polythene figures with thinned PVA glue as a base for enamel paints.

 

Trevor

I remember that,  and tried it with some Italian figures but a test with some thinned with IPA Mr Surfacer gave good results. 

On 07/01/2019 at 19:53, Graham Boak said:

I believe that they are still polythene, because if the stiffer polystyrene was used then they wouldn't come out of the moulds.

OK, but as I said, the 1/32nd figures last done were in a kind of styrene,  a flexible slightly rubbery type, but it would melt with glue and could be scraped, unlike polythene. 

Hence wondering  what the new issues were moulded in.  The local toyshop that stock about 10 Airfix kits actually had these in stock, but sealed boxes, and I'm not in the market for the 76th figures,  I have a load of the sets from the late 70's, on the boxes but painted.

I got a few of the 32nd sets when I realised they were in styrene as I had most of them (or I should say still have) and they are very well sculpted, and was pleased to have a go at some of them again.  

 

6 hours ago, Niall said:

I've found that enamels flaked off soft plastic parts if they were flexed. I've not had a problem with acrylics on wargame figures.

Are the war game figures the same material as the Airifx polythene, and what type of acrylics?

 

cheers

T

 

 

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To clarify my previous post, I meant soft plastic figures from Airfix, Revell etc used for wargaming.

 

On paint types, I've used a non branded paint set from a model shop and Tamiya paints but friends have used Humbrol, Revell and Vallejo for similar figures.

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Some of the Airfix RAF Personnel are available in hard plastic in the RAF Refuelling Set.  This would indicate that at least some could be done in hard plastic.  That said, I'm sure that it has occurred to Airfix to produce the air force personnel sets in hard plastic as they would likely sell very well for dioramas etc as they could then be modified to different poses by the modeller (and painted with confidence too).  

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13 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

OK, but as I said, the 1/32nd figures last done were in a kind of styrene,  a flexible slightly rubbery type, but it would melt with glue and could be scraped, unlike polythene. 

Hence wondering  what the new issues were moulded in.  The local toyshop that stock about 10 Airfix kits actually had these in stock, but sealed boxes, and I'm not in the market for the 76th figures,  I have a load of the sets from the late 70's, on the boxes but painted.

I got a few of the 32nd sets when I realised they were in styrene as I had most of them (or I should say still have) and they are very well sculpted, and was pleased to have a go at some of them again.  

 

 

The 1/32 figures were moulded in K-resin. It's not possible to mould the 1/76 figures in this (from what I understand). I have been painting lots of small figures of various brands and plastics over the last year. There is no one fix suits all. Some need priming, some don't. I use Vallejo Polyurethane Surface Primers (sometimes) and Humbrol and Vallejo acrylics. I have not suffered the awful flaking that used to happen with enamels.

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1 hour ago, Vicarage Vee said:

Some of the Airfix RAF Personnel are available in hard plastic in the RAF Refuelling Set. 

In answer to my own point.... It seems that the Refuelling Set predates the Personnel set, so the 'hard' moulds were presumably co-opted for the 'soft' ones.  

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The reason Airfix figure sets are in soft not hard plastic is not technical but leagal.

 

Under UK law in the 1960's figure sets were defined as toys, so had to be made in soft plastic.

 

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This doesn’t help with the original question, but the 1970s Airfix Waterloo Wargame had the same figures as the Napoleonics moulded in hard red and blue polystyrene, because I remember gluing them all to the large buff bases which covered the area of a unit on the map...

best,

M.

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