Thursday, 1 September 2016

Airfix - Tarzan Figures

The quest to paint every bod pose set Airfix ever made continues.* This set has only 8 bods so I went for painting up the 8 animal poses as well.

Took about 4 hours the lot..(some of the paintjobs on the animals being proof of that)

The set came out at the time of the 1966-1968 Tarzan series.
All the poses in the set

The Humans
The female??? In the series there were a lot of female characters but Jane  Porter was left out of the series who is she supposed to represent ? Airfix´s idea to add a Jane character  or is she supposed to be a generic representative  of the many women who acted in the 1966 -1968 series like Julie Harris or Ethel Merman ?
Or, is she meant to  represent Ruana  played by Nichelle Nichols (yep,  Lieutenant Uhura) They way she´s dressed isn´t too far off how she looked in the Show (HERE)
The Great White hunter. Perhaps it´s Jason Flood  played by  Alan Samuel Lyle-Smythe
From the waist down it appears as if he isn´t wearing anything at all or at best a pair of tights so his shorts, socks and shoes are painted "as if"
The Tarzan bod is  tall compared to the other bods  (as noted over at PSR)  Seeing as the bod is based on Ron Ely who is 6' 4",   his stature  seems vagely appropiate,,,and anyway, Tarzan IS BIG so no normal puny human here thankyou.
I´ve found out that Ron Ely didn´t really have black hair but  hey, I watched the series on a B/W TV and as part of the Mission to paint all the sets is to try and copy (as far as possible) the boxart, he ended up with black hair.
Jai. I found his character  annoyingly sickly sweet .  Played in the series by Manuel Padilla, Jr. 

The Africans could considered to be one of the many American Africans who acted in the series like   Rao played by  Rockne Booth Tarkington, Kesho played by Yaphet Kotto, Sorda played by Clarence Williams III and  M'Kone, played by Brock Peters (to Name but a few) 
I didn´t copy the boxart for the shields..the engraved pattern put a stop to that
After a bit of reflection whilst writing this post, I decided to paint up a female as Ruana, though my painting nor the sculpt come anywhere near the stunning Looks of   Nichelle Nichols

The animals
TBH, they could have ditched most of the animals in favour of a few more  humans.
The Nellie, Panther, one of the lions and the Zebra turn up in one or other of the 2 Airfix Zoo sets which could have been used to provide Tarzan´s world with a Menagerie.

Mind you, did Tarzan ever have anything to do with  Llamas or  penguins? Still, it would have been fun as a nipper Pairing him up   in a boxing match against one of the Kangaroos.
Actually, although it´s a Long time ago but thinking about it, I probably did :-D
(Zoo Animals No. 1 & Zoo Animals No. 2)
The croc I painted up in a bit of a PeterPan/Tarzan Comic book look.

The most mule like Zebra ever.
A new species!!  A Mubra? A Zeble?
Fun to paint and researching the characters taught me a lot about how some of the actors developed thier careers but what could they be used for now? (the bods that is, not the actors)
The native playing the drum? After he´d  had a head swop,  he  found a home as a khandibarian
I might give the native in the canoe a head swop and use him elsewhere, the others could become Khandibarians.
The croc will be put aside for possible use in Bodstonia
I quite like the female pose , It´s got some conversion possibility.
Jason could end up alongside his mates in a desert/Jungle type setting, that´s if I had any similar desert/Jungle type bods to be his mates.
Tarzan ? I actually have an idea for him.
The Teeny weeny Jai ? A Hobbit on bathday?

The rest? Back in the bag I reckon

*33 with this lot..27 to go!! That should, at this rate, take Another 6 years .............

.............and on a different note....A slow worm !
 After a quick photo, It got released exactly where it was found


  1. Great looking additions Paul...and impressive worm !

  2. I always loved the original Tarzan box back in the late 60's (I think!) - but never got much use out of them!

    1. I used the big cats alongside the Atlantic Gladiators set...and as "attack Dogs" for the atlantic egyptians.
      The natives popped up as Zulus on the odd "totally historically inacurate" recreations of the film zulu...with some airfix Waterloo brits as the defenders.
      The Zebra was pressed into Service for various periods as a pack mule.
      The female got a Job as a Nurse and the great White hunter fought in many a skirmish with the 8th army

  3. Great stuff Paul. You have shown these old classics in their best light!

  4. Ron Ely was tall and thin. Johnny Weissmuller has the build of the Airfix figure. The TV show was full of south Americans so Tarzan must have gotten lost and found himself in the wrong jungle.

    1. ...that or a Coach Party of south Americans turned up in Tarzan´s part of the world , liked it so much and stayed

  5. I think I have this set somewhere in plastic mountain, but possibly a reissue.

    I also have a memory of an article that recommended this set as a source of Libyan spearmen to add to a Carthaginian army (which also involved creating Gauls from Airfix commandos - I actually made one).

  6. I actually painted a couple of these "zebras" as mules for a project a couple years back...

  7. Looking at these bring back some good childhood memories. Very nicely done and thanks for sharing.

  8. Splendid to see those figures inspired from the Peter Pan Comic painted up Paul.
    The Zebra looks especially cool!

    The Slow Worm, well worth the extra photo shot.So thanks for including that beautiful harmless creature too. BB