Brittling and Disintegration of Airfix’s 1:76 Scale British Paratroops
Plastic Corrosion due to Oxygen and UV Radition
Brittle and disintegrated British Paratroops originally produced by Airfix. The miniatures pictured above are from two different production batches. The still intact figures are approximately 35 years old and noticeably lighter in colour. The darker figures are from a 20 to 25 year old production batch, yet they have become glassy and easily fall apart under minimal stress of touch. Both batches of miniatures spent the past 20 years in an open cardboard box, shelved in a dry and relatively dark basement hobby room. Prior to being stored, the older figures often participated in sandtable Wargames, and they have had white enamel ID numbers painted on their undersides. The newer and very brittle figures were removed from the sprue, but rarely played with. Accordingly, the relative age of plastic miniatures may be ruled out as the sole cause of thermoplastic brittleness. The editors own a batch of Italeri Confederate Infantry which have become glassy within nine years of purchase.