WW2 Airfix & Matchbox British Commandos – Conversions

Various 20mm WW2 British figures taken from Airfix and Matchbox sets

Airfix 1st Version 1-76 20mm British Commandos Conversions

Those over a certain age will recognise these figures below and above – they’re from the Airfix 1st version 1-76 scale British Commandos set. In the picture above the two guys have been given new heads with helmets. The radio operator has been given a beret made from epoxy.

Airfix British Commando Radioman

Beautifully sculpted 2nd version 1:76 scale Airix British Commandos. The sculptor, Ron Cameron, was an artist who was able to capture the human form perfectly, decades before before computer assisted design ever existed.

Airfix 2nd Version British Commandos 20mm 1-76 1-72

The Bren gunner on the far right wearing a helmet is from the Airfix 2nd version 1:76 scale British infantry set.

British Infantry 20mm WW2 Bren Gunner Airfix

I replaced the flimsy and bendy Bren that the figure was carrying for more sturdy one in a harder plastic taken from the Imex Korean War US Army set (yes, the set really does have Brens)

Airfix British Infantry Bren Gunner 1-76

A bit of a mix below, from left to right, an Airfix 2nd version British infantry stretcher-bearer, 2nd from the left one of the new Airfix British infantry figures with a commando head, and the two figures in berets are old smallscale Hong Kong copies (quite bad copies I should add) of the Airfix 1/32 scale British paras, with their smocks painted to try and represent leather jerkins.

WW2 British Commando 20mm Wargame Figures

Below, some more 1:76 scale British / Commonwealth figures, this time from Matchbox.

These are a mixture of figures from the British Infantry and British Commandos sets with a couple of conversions.

Three different figures based on the same charging pose. The original unaltered figure on the left.

Matchbox British Infantry Conversions 20mm 1-76 Спичечных британская пехота

The NCO figure with the beret wielding a Colt-45 pistol is from the British Infantry set. The running figure with the Thompson SMG is from the Commando set with a head-swap.

Matchbox British Commando Conversion

Two more figures from the British Infantry set- officer on the left wearing a leather jerkin, and on the right a figure that I’ve often used as a tank crewman.

Matchbox British Infantry 20mm 성냥갑 영국 보병

A mix of figures below from the Commandos and Infantry sets.

Matchbox British Commandos 20mm 1-76

Love this crazy guy – you can see he’s bawling in thick Glasgow accent “come on you f**kers, I’ll take you all on !”

Matchbox British Commando 1-76 20mm マッチボックスのイギリス歩兵

In the Commando set you also get a German sentry who looks like he’s just been taken out by this guy. I must get around to paining up that sentry and get a picture of the two together….

This poor lad below is from the Anzac Infantry set.

マッチボックスのイギリス歩兵Matchbox Australian Infantry 1-76 20mm

Makes a good casualty marker for games.

And finally a picture of the whole family

Matchbox British Infantry 1-76

The Matchbox sets have been around for a good number of years – and I remember painting figures from these sets with Humbrol enamels back when they first came out when I was a kid – but up until recently they were difficult to come by, but thankfully that changed very recently when Revell re-released the sets.


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  1. Pure gold John!

    The chap with the Commando dagger always reminds me of Dancer off the Rat Pack. These oldies still have a place on the table mate.

    Pure gold!

    1. Cheers Paul mate ! :-). Still stand the test of time these figures.

  2. Just find your page. Great stuff.
    I never knew that Airfix had a other/early commando box.
    You showed some of them but can you help me with a complete line up of all the early figures how they did look like?

    1. Thanks very much Peter.

      The Airfix commandos lineup is available on the plasticsoldierreview.co.uk website.

      The URL is : http://www.plasticsoldierreview.com/Review.aspx?id=386

      Kind regards, John

  3. Hi! Today, after not less than 40 years, I’ve bought a few boxes of Airfix model figures. unfortunately the disappointment for the printed and the plastic of these kits is great. much better the 2 boxes of Esci also purchased today. I started looking for news on the net and I met your site: GREAT !!!!!!! thanks for your work. I have a lot to learn. thanks!
    All the best.

    1. Hi Roberto, really glad you liked the site and happy to know you’ve got back into the hobby again !

      Best regards, John

  4. i can like more information about this site. dedicated to small scale figures.

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