This is the one that started the ball rolling and has subsequently become the "Holy Grail".. This set was listed for release in the June 1968 Airfix Magazine and appeared in the following year's catalogue. Seven poses were included in this set, including a single officer checking his slightly overscale watch. The set was moulded in olive green and some of the figures I have seen seem to suffer badly from brittleness. Some other early sets appear to have this problem too.
The back of the box has the format which would acompany the first few sets - a simple line drawing of two figures along with general instructions and a list of the other sets available at the time. However, the next sets would not be officially released until October 1969.
The seven poses for this set were basically scaled-up versions of the same poses in the HO/OO set. There would be one officer figure (extreme right) in a set.
And now this turns up! This one is THE actual first British Paratroops set. I was alerted to this one in July 2006 by Rainer Schmidt from Germany. He sent me a copy of an article from a collectors magazine which showed a picture of this box. I was going to include that on my site at that time but I was still a bit sceptical as to whether it was a genuinely released set or just promotional shots from the late sixties. Also, being a photocopy, it was difficult to get a good image to place on the page anyway. Sorry Rainer but thanks for the info anyway.
However, in February of 2007, Simon Clarke from England alerted me to a recent Ebay auction, the subject of which was a SHRINKWRAPPED FIRST VERSION box of British Paratroops. He was lucky enough to be able to grab the images before the auction was ended early - if the buyer is reading this then I'd love to know what the deal cost you!!
So, above you see the very first box of Airfix 1/32 scale toy soldiers ever. The figures are exactly the same as for the Brown Box. I'm not sure of the dimensions of this box but, as you can see, the figures were laid out on display through a window and on a sprue! Notice that the set is simply named "Paratroopers". The box also illustrates the first few sets which would soon accompany the Paratroops, along with some unit badges which would find their way onto later boxes too. Dare I ask if it's feasible that other sets appeared this kind of box?
The images here may look a bit strange but they have been manipulated from the ones sent to me which were photos taken from different angles. I just tweaked and stretched a bit here and there to try to get a better angle on them.
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