Saturday, March 7, 2015

Airfix Cuirassier And Giant Horses

I had a large number of Airfix Waterloo French Cuirassier about, and many spare horses. As a lot of you know, the plastic can get brittle with age. Typically, I use a pin vice drill and some florist wire to help mount the Airfix horses onto a wooden base, in this case a domino. But brittleness can mean actually splitting a horse in two with drilling. So I cast about for a solution and decided upon the Giant horses from Thailand. That left the sheepskins and shebraques. So I made them with plasticine. I chose a common pose, not a really nice one, but I used them up in this way.  I made a regiment of 24 with 6 extras, a trumpeter, an elite company trumpeter in a white bearskin, 2 officers, and 2 special officers, a senior in bicorne and a fanciful one with an animal skin shebraque.

I also made some earlier figures and terrain. This is a Vauban gateway based on a model of Ian Weekly, featured in Miniature Wargames.

This is a small Napoleonic unit of Chasseurs A Cheval. They are the Thailand cowboys with plasticine additions.


  1. I like the way your cuirassiers turned out. I found that Airfix figures, though nothing special in their raw state, do paint up very well and can look very much the part, as they do here. Well done.

  2. Thanks. I do agree that the Airfix figures have that "something" about them. My favorites are still the hussars though, in spite of that one horse that almost never stands up straight. Incidentally, there are some bargains to be had by looking for the Bucquoy series of books. They can fetch higher prices, but the copes I've found have been under twenty dollars. This is a picture of the cuirassier tome:

  3. Great stuff improvising with those Giant horses.
    I/we still enjoy using our Airfix figures which we reckon stand up well against modern products. Fortunately the numbers that have gone brittle can be counted on a hand or two. Our theory is exposure to sunlight/UV light causing the plastic to weaken. Seems to be more of a problem than handling/playing toy soldiers as a kid.

  4. Hello. I have to agree with your observations on the brittleness. At first I thought it was a weather related phenomenon due to letting the figures be exposed to freezing temperatures, but it seems that toys that were used outside or left in the sun do tend to break down, as well as fade in colour. I have purchased a lot of used figures and it is a mix. Figures from hot sunny states like Florida never seem to last long. But other figure purchases from more northerly climes do seem to hold out better.
    Thanks for the kind comments.