As we have already seen with Britains Deetail, complementary accessories were important in increasing the attraction of the range. Airfix certainly understood this, and created a selection of buildings and vehicles to extend the play possibilities of their figures. One of the vehicles they created may be familiar, as we have already encountered it in this blog – the Bedford RL truck.
A longer history of the truck can be found in the Dinky story, but suffice it to note that the Bedford RL was a general-purpose transport lorry used by the British Army for many purposes from the 1950s through to the 1970s, but mainly to move supplies, equipment and troops. As such it is a suitable transport for the Airfix British infantry reviewed here. So, without further ado, what did the Airfix version look like?
1763 Bedford RL
Airfix 1763 Bedford RL
Year first produced:1971
L186xW67xH90, Plastic 100g, Scale 1:32, Features: 2
The model is made, like the figures, from relatively soft polythene plastic. The main part is a single moulding for the rear and chassis, onto which the cab is clipped, and to the rear a third moulding simulates the canvass cover. Two metal axles are clipped into place under the chassis, with plastic wheels on each end fitted with rubber tyres. A spare wheel with tyre is also attached under the chassis.
The model is substantial, simple and reasonably robust – you can safely drop it on the floor without any lasting damage (as I have discovered!). The wheels turn and the cover can be removed. Detail on the other hand is limited – the rear of the truck is bare, while the cab is an empty shell with no interior or floor, no driver and no windows. However, the distinctive shape of the RL is well captured, including the prominently rounded cab, box-like rear, and high ground clearance.
There are no identification markings on the model that I can find, even the underside lacking any information.
The model was originally supplied in a cardboard box, and came with a set of stickers that could be applied, including vehicle registration numbers and army corps flashes.
As we can see, the model is basically accurate although, well, basic. It’s nice to find a ‘softskin’ vehicle modelled in our range, and as already noted, it could have been used by the Modern British Infantry that Airfix also produced. However, a more exciting choice more in accord with the action poses that Airfix figures usually came in might have been an FV432 tracked armoured personnel carrier. Just saying!
The RL truck model is moulded with a towing hook, and Airfix clearly intended that it could be used to pull the 1764 105mm Light Field Gun that was released in the same year. If you needed to move your troops across a river, then the 1807 Alvis Stalwart was what you needed.
The small range of buildings released for the range consisted of 4 items, including the battle-damaged house entitled 1808 Strongpoint, and the 51513-9 Checkpoint set which included a bridge, road barrier, guard hut and watchtower.