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Mike

Astronauts (A00741V) 1:76

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Astronauts (A00741V)

1:76 Airfix Vintage Classics

 

 

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In the 60s and 70s there was a huge interest in going to the Moon, and consequently there were a lot of space-themed toys.  These figures stand out in my memory because I used to own a set, and loved the little gadgets you could put together and play with.  I have no idea where they went in the long-term, but when I opened the little box from Airfix the other day, I was beaming from ear to ear (not the Star Trek kind) almost immediately.  Arriving in a small end-opening rectangular box, you get four sprues of pure white vinyl, unlike the old ones with were a cheesy yellow colour, even from new.  Funnily enough, the illustration of the contents on the back of the box show them to be yellowish, but white is the colour, and a proper colour it is too. 

 

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The copyright message tags them as from 1971, and time hasn't been too unkind to them.  They hail from the era of angular sprues with no external runners to protect the parts, but vinyl isn't as prone to breakage as styrene, so everything is still attached to the sprues.  There's a little bit of flash here and there, but most of it is on the sprues, so won't be an issue, and there are a few ejector pin marks too, most notably on the rear of the tyres and the astronauts' backs, although the latter will be covered by their backpacks anyway, so don't matter.

 

Some of the design work is fanciful, including two types of lander that could allegedly be used for getting around faster than the moon rover that is also supplied.  The vehicles are a little simplified for obvious reasons, but they still have that cool factor that makes me smile.  In the box you get 59 parts to make up the following:

 

1 x Astronaut with a flag

2 x Astronaut with a probe/golf club

2 x Astronaut carrying a pair of containers

2 x Astronaut walking with his hands stretched out to his sides

2 x Astronaut with a video camera

2 x Astronaut with a personal one-man rocket-propelled travel platform

2 x Astronaut in a moonbuggy

2 x Astronaut on 1 x larger 2-seat lander-style travel platform

 

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A brief clean-up was done for this photo of some of the parts, but most of the figures were much as they came off the sprue. The round platform took the most clean-up.

 

Preparation involves nipping the parts off the sprue and cutting the gate flush to allow them to sit straight on the moon's regolith, and then using an incredibly sharp blade to remove any small blemishes or flash that might be found.  Be careful of cutting the pins too short on the various parts that slot together, as they're a bit hard to see amongst the white of the sprues.  This can bite you in the bottom later on when you realise your rocketman won't stay on his platform, which is incidentally where the most flash is to be found in between the verticals.  They're vinyl of course, so flexible and not likely to take standard paints if you get the modelling urge, but I believe that there are some flexible paints out there, or some that can be made flexible with the addition of something akin to PVA… my memory is hazy on this though, so have a Google if some bright spark doesn't help us out below.

 

Conclusion

I think they're awesome, but then I'm biased.  They're still very cool IMHO, and surprisingly affordable if you're feeling nostalgic.  Lots of play value for the 8 and older child, self included.  What glues vinyl well?

 

Nostalgically highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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1 hour ago, Mike said:

I think they're awesome, but then I'm biased. 

You're not wrong Mike, they are mega-awesome!

I'll pick up a set myself. Nostalgia indeed 😀

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1 hour ago, Mike said:

Astronaut with a personal one-man rocket-propelled travel platform

Blimey! Airfix invented the Segway! I'm surprised they didn't sneak a Sinclair C5 in the pack as well ;)

 

Fantastic re-release and a huge nostalgia kick. Thanks for the review.

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I remember these well.

Shame they used vinyl (again) I would have thought it would be possible to use polystyrene in the moulds.

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6 hours ago, Mike said:

They're vinyl of course, so flexible and not likely to take standard paints if you get the modelling urge, but I believe that there are some flexible paints out there, or some that can be made flexible with the addition of something akin to PVA… my memory is hazy on this though, so have a Google if some bright spark doesn't help us out below

Apparently, there's an automotive paint designed for priming flexible plastic/vinyl/rubber body parts (like bumper covers) that will stick to this kind of plastic. Once you've primed them with it, you can use regular acrylic or enamel hobby paints.

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Makes me want to get a set of these, and do a stop motion music video to "Walking on the Moon" by the Police. 

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On 5/21/2019 at 11:54 PM, VMA131Marine said:

Apparently, there's an automotive paint designed for priming flexible plastic/vinyl/rubber body parts (like bumper covers) that will stick to this kind of plastic. Once you've primed them with it, you can use regular acrylic or enamel hobby paints.

https://www.halfords.com/motoring/paints-body-repair/car-spray-paints/halfords-plastic-primer-grey-spray-300ml for the UK. Designed for the softish plastic used on car bumpers

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