Napoleon Bonaparte, Three Ways and Twenty Separate Parts

Napoleon 1

When I was a boy, about ten or so, I used to like to make Airfix model kits.

The little models were mainly heroes from English history but curiously there was a figure of Napoleon included in the range and it was always one of my favourites, probably because he was one of the easiest to put together and to paint.  It is an odd thing but I think that Airfix kit of Napoleon Bonaparte began my interest in French history and why I went on to study the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire at University.

Napoleon Airfix

Other figures in the range were the Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry V, Henry VIII and Charles I and to balance things up there was the regicide Oliver Cromwell.

Napoleon was there but not Hitler or Stalin and alongside him representing France was Joan of Arc.

For some reason Julius Caesar who once invaded England was included but not William The Conqueror.

Airfix Figures

Who was your favourite Airfix figure?

15 responses to “Napoleon Bonaparte, Three Ways and Twenty Separate Parts

  1. I associate Airfix with model planes, Andrew, but I do find Bonaparte a fascinating character. Cromwell’s got a hefty set of legs, hasn’t he? 🙂 🙂

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  2. (Those are his leather riding boots!) I only ever made one, the Coldstream guardsman. And only ever one ship, the Golden Hind and only ever one warship, HMS Tiger. I couldn’t give up aircraft. I made, looking back, at least 200 of those over the years, first myself and then all over again with my younger brother. And the older I was, the more money I had for paint, especially that magic spell of a colour, “Duck Egg Blue”.

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    • I used to love those models (not the ships though, way too fiddly). I had my model figures on display until one day my younger brother decided to use them for target practice with a pop-gun. Do you remember the pop-gun?

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  3. It’s fun to think of how a stick figure of Napoleon could lead you to a life-long interest in French history, Andrew, which just goes to show again that even little events can influence the directions our lives take. To my knowledge, Airfix wasn’t around for my childhood in California. I’d probably go for Henry the VIII or King Richard the Lionhearted, but only because Robin Hood wasn’t available. 🙂 –Curt

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  4. I’m not familiar with Airfix, but I did build a model of Mr. Spock when I was a girl. I was very proud of that model as it won second place in a model contest at the local drug store! Sadly, that’s the only trophy I’ve ever won.

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  5. Did the Chas. I , come with a removable head?
    I take it you haven’t much time for Ollie?

    Obviously there were good times for young boys after the 1940’s

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  6. I don’t think Yanks had Airfix, but we did have historical comics!

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