Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: The Airfix Space Warriors

The Airfix Space Warriors

Galaxy Laser team was Tim Mee’s attempt to make good on the Fantasy and Science Fiction craze of the 1970s. The Star Trek series had initiated a new era of science fiction. Space 1999, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Battlestar Galactica and the Star Wars movie were a new wave of science fiction combined with elements of fantasy. Airfix broke from its line of historical figures to jump on the Sci-Fi bandwagon in 1981. The company issued a 14-piece set of Space Warriors in seven poses.

Airfix’s Space Warriors are an unusual lot. There is a scaly alien and a strange fellow in gas mask who looks like he is thrusting with a bayonet. A gun-toting woman in miniskirt looks like a mix of Buck Rogers’ Wilma Deering, a Greek goddess in miniskirt and elements of Wonder Woman. There is a man who is almost identical to a Greek hoplite without a helmet,
holding a pistol. Next is one who looks like a knight in crested helm with pistol. In some light, it looks as if he has a crusader’s cross on his chest. The last two have a more Eastern inspiration. One looks like a modernistic Ninja throwing a chakram. Shades of the old sci-fi series from Japan: Phantom Agents! The other has elements of the Michelin Tire Man combined with a horned Samurai-style helmet and what looks like a katana. A Greek goddess, lizard-man, weirdo, hoplite, knight, ninja and hoop-legged Samurai all kitted out for a space adventure.

And somewhere in there you can find bits of the old Archer and Ajax style spacemen and the
MPC Mercury astronauts. Of course, anyone who has even a passing familiarity with Medieval warriors can see the knightly lines of the Archer and Ajax figures.

Neil Goodacre, longtime toy soldier fan and the game designer and owner of Echidna Games graciously sent me a set of the seven Airfix poses. He also packed a copy of Laserblade, Echidna’s rules for a quick paced spaceman skirmish game. Neil understands the space fantasy genre expertly. A visit to the Echidna Games website and its Facebook page make that evident. A look at the way he paints space figures leaves no doubt of his appreciation of the style and nuance of these varied and amazing figures. On the sites are examples from the Galaxy Laser team, the Airfix Space warriors,
Russian "Technolog" figures and others. Reading through Laserblade, Neil has taken his insight and made a workable game for almost any space fantasy character.

That seems amazing. Look at the Airfix Space Warriors and Galaxy Laser Team together. They seem at first glance an incongruous lot of very different individuals. Laserblade makes it possible to use them in a game as cohesive units.

The Airfix Space warriors are strange. It is easy to see that half of the Galaxy Laser team was inspired by Star Wars. The Space Warriors’ provenance is more like bits and pieces than one or even two specific things. Nonetheless, they have crisp sculpting and dynamic poses. There is no doubt as to what each figure is doing. As good as they look in their molded color, painting brings out the beauty of the figures.

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Click here for Echidna games website http://www.echidnagames.com/

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention and links! They really are a muddled bunch, aren't they? But fun though and so unashamedly 80s!