Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Reviewing the Troops: Airfix/IMEX 7th Cavalry 54mm

Earlier this week I purchased a box of Imex troopers.   It should be noted that these are originally Airfix figures, always fine figures, which are concurrently being packaged and sold by Imex as well as being recently reissued by Airfix.  This is an interesting and strange marriage as both companies produce quality product. I've always been pretty happy with the overall quality of both lines. These soldiers will continue that trend.

It was with some anticipation that I eyed the box, imagining the figures within.

Box art by the way, has never been the strong suit of Imex.

The contents included six mounted figures in five poses, six dismounted figures in six poses, and six horses in three poses (3, 2. and 1).

Right off the bat I could see that the sculpting, anatomy, attention to detail, and animation were up to the usual standards of this British company (Airfix/Imex)  though, as with the Imex line of Union Cavalry (future post) many of the figures are in poses more conducive to simple and economical casting rather than convincing animation.  This leads to a certain "flatness" of several of the figures, all too often firing or motioning off to one side or the other rather than straight ahead...

much like this trooper who should be watching where he's riding rather than inspecting his cuff button. Simply slicing off his head and rotating it 90 degrees would improve this figure greatly, something I might try later.

After removing the sprue material one is left with two pegs protruding from the rider's legs. These pegs mount into corresponding holes in the separate saddle which combines to form this sub assembly:
So far so good.

The problem is that our trusty steed already has a saddle molded on:
Seems the original Airfix horses were bareback.  Oh well, throw the saddle in the parts box, cut off the mounting pegs and send that soldier into action.

This pose of one of the mounted men shows to good effect the fine detail and often outstanding animation that Airfix sculptors could bring to their craft.

The anatomy of the horses (strictly Imex)  is fine though the animation is somewhat stiff.

The dismounted figures are where the most pleasant surprises occur.

Generally I prefer to have all of my cavalry guys mounted, infantry I got, cavalry I need. Although I could modify these dismounted guys so they'd be able to fight astride, the poses are compelling enough that I think I'll keep them "as is".

Again the level of detail and animation that established Airfix a place in the middle upper range of plastic figures is apparent (Imex will continue that tradition with their own molds).

Certainly, many details like the pistol aren't correct for ACW but the kid in all of us will be able to easily accommodate such lapses.

This pose is quite outstanding.  A prone figure with Sharps in one hand...
while the other is reaching for his revolver.
The anatomy of this figure is outstanding and the imaginative pose is, I think, the best of the bunch.

The carbine barrels are very thin and prone to the type of erectile dysfunction that is typical for plastic long arms.  I'll see if the old hot water treatment can straighten this one out.

This trooper, though sans shoulder straps, makes a nice command figure for the group.  None of the figures, by the way, have molded chevrons or shoulder straps.  All privates, I guess.

Here we have a soldier with a double MOS: bugler and guidon bearer.  Again note the flat aspect of the sculpting.  This will use much less casting material but makes a much less realistic pose.  

This is one of the aspects of Airfix sculpting that keeps it out of the very top tier of toy soldiering.

Imex has been around for a long time and has, for better or worse, expanded far beyond figure production. You can go to their website here.

All in all, a very fine effort on the part of Airfix and continued by Imex, and veteran troopers who appear to be the equal of any emergency.

Something we can all aspire to. See you later this month!

(next post July 15)

Free Counters from SimpleCount.com

Free Web Counters


DW@CWBA said...

That cover art looks like Stephen Jay Gould on a bad day.

I need to get my IMEX figures out someday. I have a bunch of batteries, and once deluded myself into thinking I would actually paint them.

Mannie Gentile said...


Thanks for stopping by.

Set up those batteries but remember, painting the plastic guys doesn't lend itself to rough and tumble of actual on the floor or in the garden combat.

Loved the Jay Gould comment.


DW@CWBA said...

BTW, speaking of your own painting skills, I am very impressed with your face detail. The individualized expressions are really noteworthy!

Can't wait to see what it looks like when you get the entire regiment together. ....Just don't donate it to a museum in Texas!

Mannie Gentile said...

Thanks Drew,


Jae said...

The box art has blue and white cavalry penant. It should be red on white.


Id like to see conversions