Airfix 1981 Space Warriors Samurai Robots

As part of painting up what figures I already have towards future Close Little Space Wars Games, this weekend’s painting challenge were these strange 54mm Samurai robots from the Airfix 1981 Space Warriors set.

The blue based, hacked-about, battle damaged central figure is the veteran Commander figure, being one of my original childhood figures, painted when these first came out. This bashed figure set the colour tone for all of black, silver and red with some copper / bronze Steampunk elements too.


Even before watching an English dubbed copy online of ‘Message from Space’, the 1978 quite odd Japanese version of Star Wars, there is a strong Samurai film influence on George Lucas’ 1977 Star Wars in the form of his favourite films like The Hidden Fortress and The Seven Samurai, directed by Japanese director Kurosawa.

The Samurai movie influence on George Lucas’ Star Wars can be seen in Darth Vader’s German Stalheim / Samurai helmet, the glowing samurai laser swords or lightsabers, the flowing Jedi robes of some characters …

Screenshot of the Space Samuari Darth Vader like villain of ‘Message from Space’.

You can watch the English version of the ‘Message from Space’ (1978 trailer) on Youtube; various copies of the film and TV series exist on YouTube or DVD:

Airfix Space Warriors

Figures recently painted / completed include:

Their unpainted garden adventures can be seen here:

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, on his Man of TIN Blog Two (progression site), 13 February 2022

6 thoughts on “Airfix 1981 Space Warriors Samurai Robots”

  1. These have painted up very well indeed, your metal effects are great.
    It is splendid that they will be led into battle by a figure from your childhood. He is a great survivor to have hasted this long and rightly claims a prominent role in the coming game…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was unsure about hacking the original samurai robot figure about as a child but without the back up of this many others, he / it just looked too weird …
      Knowing they were shiny toy soldier style, the figures were undercoated in shiny black craft acrylic and then the armour and leg ribbing picked out in Revell Aquacolor acrylic Aluminium mixed with Teerschwarz Matt black acrylic. Finally copper acrylic to pick out the steampunk chest plates, and a red optic – oh no, look, black, red and silver again … just like the Cylons and the Arma-Dad’s Army Spanish!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They look really great painted up in chrome and brass. I like the slightly beat-up, battle-scarred aspect of the old veteran commander. The samurai aspect is clear. I watched the seven samurai years ago as my friend was a mad keen Kurosawa fanatic and used to lend me the films.

    I’ve never heard of Message from Space but the trailer has got me hooked! “A phantasmagoria of technical achievements which has to be seen to be believed.” (reckon I could see strings though).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The veteran commander is even more battle scarred on the back; must have been a cathartic childhood hour distressing the old figure.
      Message from Space is weird but well worth the time – DVD or Rent /Buy versions around online in English. The Japanese Samuari Darth Vader’s witchy mother / grandmother adds a “come her my pretty” folktale element to the Star Wars plot that many space films miss. It is as strange a lash up as the 1980 Flash Gordon movie.

      Strings indeed! Some interesting alternative space fighters in this one and a space three master galleon. It must have been a remunerative joy to be a film model maker of lashed together starship models like these in the late 70s.
      Compared to the tedious Turkish martial arts “Star Wars” one, it is worth the time.

      Liked by 1 person

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