LogoTitle Text Search



Set 8019

Eighth Army

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released Unknown
Contents 19 figures and 1 gun
Poses 10 poses
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours Tan, Medium Brown
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)


One of the original Esci hard plastic figure sets, this one bears a striking resemblance to the Airfix soft plastic set. Many of the poses are almost identical, including some of the more unusual ones like the crawling man with the Bren gun. The infantry poses are OK, but figures such as the man standing firing would have been fairly uncommon in an environment where exposure risked death and there was often little cover.

The gun in this set is not identified, but it is the 6-pounder anti-tank gun, and both gun and crew bear a remarkable likeness to a 1/35 scale Tamiya model of the same item!. This weapon was widely used throughout the desert campaign, and is a good choice for this set. The kit comes in many parts which fit together well, and being hard plastic assembly is easy. However some versions of this set have no assembly instructions at all, while others have an exploded view on the back of the box, but this does not show all the parts. Therefore construction has to be done with reference to other sources. The final model is accurate, however, and worth the patience required to put it together. The three gunners are an excellent selection. All are kneeling to avoid unnecessary exposure, and one is clearly handling the gun while another is passing a shell. These men need to be put together, as does one of the infantrymen, and the full sprue can be seen here. Because the arms are separate the poses are more realistic.

The infantry wear the classic look for the desert of khaki shirt and shorts. While this is not incorrect, a much more diverse array of clothing would have been more representative. Still at least the gunners are wearing normal battledress. Weaponry and kit is correctly done, and includes one gunner wearing a gasmask at the ready position - a practice usually ended when it became apparent that gas was not going to be used.

One or two of the figures do suffer from mould marks, but generally these are very cleanly cast, with no flash and good clear detail. All require fixing to their base, which is some cases means they need supporting until the join sets properly.

These are fine figures, yet most are available in soft plastic from Airfix, so have little obvious purpose today. The best feature is the gun and crew, which comes with a number of extra shells and ammo boxes. This alone makes this now hard to come by set worth further investigation.


Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 9
Mould 9

Further Reading
"Allied Artillery of World War Two" - Crowood - Ian Hogg - 9781861261656
"British Anti-tank Artillery 1939-45" - Osprey (New Vanguard Series No.98) - Chris Henry - 9781841766386
"British Infantry Equipments (2) 1908-2000" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.108) - Mike Chappell - 9781855328396
"Desert Rat 1940-43" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.160) - Tim Moreman - 9781849085014
"Khaki Drill & Jungle Green" - Crowood - Martin Brayley - 9781847971098
"Montgomery's Desert Army" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.66) - John Wilkinson-Latham - 9780850452501
"The British Army 1939-45 (2) Middle East & Mediterranean" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.368) - Martin Brayley - 9781841762371
"The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II" - Amber - Chris Bishop - 9781905704460
"The Thompson Submachine Gun" - Osprey (Weapon Series No.1) - Martin Pegler - 9781849081498
"Tropical Uniforms" - Wessex Military (British Soldier in the 20th Century Series No.6) - Mike Chappell - 9781870498050
"World War II Infantry" - Windrow & Greene (Europa Militaria Series No.2) - Laurent Mirouze - 9781872004150

Site content © 2002, 2009. All rights reserved. Manufacturer logos and trademarks acknowledged.