Union Infantry, 1861–1865

Airfix 1:76 Scale Figure Review

Union Infantry, 1861–1865, 1:76 Miniatures Airfix 01712

Airfix Union Infantry painted as Confederate infantry of a Texas brigade based for Fire and Fury wargames. These Union soldiers are similar to the Airfix Confederate Infantry except that they are wearing the kepi, and there are two new poses in the set.

Contents

48 Figures in 12 Poses – 23 mm height equals 175 cm

  • Officer with Sword and Revolver
  • Bugler running
  • Sergeant with Musket and Sabre running (4)
  • Union Soldier with shouldered Musket, marching (6)
  • Union Soldier standing at attention (4)
  • Union Soldier advancing (4)
  • Union Soldier receiving (3)
  • Union Soldier clubbing with Musket (3)
  • Union Soldier standing, firing (6)
  • Union Soldier kneeling, firing (6)
  • Union Soldier prone (5)
  • Union Soldier crawling (5)

Evaluation

Excellent choice of subject, Airfix Union Infantry was unique in this scale when it appeared on the market in 1962. While there are more detailed and accurate Union figure sets today, these Airfix figures are still an excellent choice for wargamers and diorama builders.

Good detail, folds in the clothing, ammunition pouches, canteens, straps, and muskets are clearly defined and easy to paint. An ink wash will bring out the folds in jackets and trousers very nicely. The figures are cast in blue plastic, and they may be speedpainted by dipping them in a mixture of polyurethane varnish and ivory black artist oils, after the essential details have been painted in.

Excellent marching and fighting poses, which are nicely compatible with eachother. The Airfix Union soldiers are anatomically correct, compared to other miniatures which are much taller and too long-legged for the period.

Good value for money. Wargamers may use most of the 48 figures in this box to create infantry stands for Fire and Fury and similar games. There are enough figures of each pose to form regiments marching, standing at attention, firing, and advancing. The two prone poses may be converted to casualty figures.

Six of the twelve poses may be converted to standard-bearers simply by removing the musket or the officer's sword, and pushing a pianowire flagpole through one or both hands. These conversions are very attractive, and it's a good thing that Airfix did not eliminate any of the infantry poses to include a standard-bearer in this set.

The marching and parading figures wear full packs which were quickly discarded on campaign. It was much more practical to carry personal gear inside a blanket-roll worn across one shoulder. The fighting figures have left their blanket-rolls in camp. Clearly, this was an excellent decision made by Airfix designers and sculptors. Many other manufacturers have been less clear about which campaign or combat situation they want their miniatures to portray, and the resulting figure sets often contain an improbable mixture of men with incompatible gear, some in shirt sleeve order, others wearing raincoats, a few fighting with full packs, and the rest in skeleton equipment. The trouble with odd poses is that they cannot be used in wargame formations or dioramas. They simply stand out too much, making the viewer wonder why one man is wearing his raincoat when the rest of the unit seems to be enjoying the warm weather. Unless they are marching or standing at attention, unique figures with raincoats or wearing full marching gear cannot even be used to form regiments of their own, because these units appear to be unrealistically choreographed.

Acceptable casting quality. Some flash and prominent mould lines need to be removed prior to painting. We recommend the Rai-Ro ZEP-70 heated spatula to remove mould lines by blending them into the figure.

Compatible with Accurate Figures, and IMEX.

The infantrymen incorrectly wear two ammunition pouches on the front of their waist-belts, when they should have a small cap pouch to the right of the belt buckle, and a large ammunition pouch behind the right hip.

The haversack behind the left hip looks like it might be an ammunition pouch, but this is the wrong place for it. Apparently, the Airfix sculptors did not know that a musket is loaded with the right hand and that the ammunition pouch must be accessible in front or behind the right hip.

There are no bayonets on the muskets, although the two men engaged in hand-to-hand combat really should have their bayonets fixed. One man has a bayonet scabbard, the others do not.

The officer's revolver holster is worn incorrectly, with the butt facing backwards.

Historical Employment

  • Union Infantry, 1861–1865
  • Confederate Infantry, 1861–1865

Airfix Union Infantry is a must-have for wargamers interested recruiting a variety of infantry brigades for their games. Mounted on Fire and Fury infantry stands, these Union soldiers actually look much more convincing and in-period than many of their more recently developed brothers in arms.

Bibliography

Airfix Miniatures

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American Civil War Miniatures