ESCI Serie 500 Playsets (Adventures in history)

Status: Out of production

Over the time, ESCI released 15 references under this suggestive series, Adventures in history, re-using their figures/plastic soldiers line, packed together with a vacuform base and sometimes the accessories pack from the brand. This serie excluded WW2 topic, which had its own series.

The largest part of the series belong to Napoleonic era, which had also the most extense figures catalogue. The playsets were always paired in between two enemy forces.

All these boxes are long ago out of production and they are collectors items. Despite this, most if not all the figure sets has been re-released later by Italeri, and second hand market for original ESCI boxes is still noticeable, while these playsets from Adventures in History series, are hard to find, specially in good conditions, and usually, expensive.


515 – Sidi Bel Abbes 1912

This box contained the figures from two full boxes of ESCI – 238 – Muslim Warriors and another two of ESCI – 237 – French Foreign Legion plus content of one box of ESCI – 216 – Battlefield Accessories.

Except for collectors, it’s usually easier get all these figures in their latest shape as Italeri re-releases, Italeri – 6054 – French Foreign Legion and Italeri – 6055 – Arab Warriors. The content of the ESCI 216 Battlefield Accessories box never has been re-released by Italeri in the same format, although some parts were reused in other boxes.

Italeri also released a paired own playset, Italeri – 6183 – BEAU GESTE: Algerian Tuareg Revolt , using same figures, but replacing vacuform base by a MDF laser cut building, and different accessories.


514 – Khyber Pass 1879

These box contained two full boxes of ESCI – 232 – Colonial India British Infantry and two of the ESCI – 238 – Muslim Warriors, plus one box of ESCI – 216 – Battlefield Accessories, and a vacuform base, shared with several other boxes of the series.

As we have seen above Italeri – 6055 – Arab Warriors was also re-released by Italeri with unchanged content, as well as the British infantry as Italeri – 6187 – British Infantry and Sepoys.


513 – Borodino 1812

This Napoleonic box was composed of two full sets of ESCI – 236 – Napoleonic Russian Grenadiers and two full sets of ESCI – 235 – Napoleonic French Cuirassiers plus the recurrent ESCI – 216 – Battlefield Accessories and a vacuform base.

All the figure sets has their re-release as Italeri Italeri – 6084 – Napoleonic French Cuirassiers and Italeri – 6073 – Napoleonic Russian Infantry.


512 – Quatre Bras 1815

Two full boxes of ESCI – 215 – Napoleonic British Infantry and two full boxes of ESCI – 235 – Napoleonic French Cuirassiers were included in this box, together with the ESCI – 216 – Battlefield Accessories and a vacuform box in this Napoleonic topic box.

The Italeri re-release of these figures are Italeri – 6084 – Napoleonic French Cuirassiers and Italeri – 6058 – Napoleonic British and Scots Infantry


511 – “Hamburger Hill 1968”

In this box, two full sets of ESCI – 228 – Vietnam War U.S. Elite Forces faced another two full sets of ESCI – 229 – North Vietnamese Soldiers and Vietcong. Again the recurrent ESCI – 216 – Battlefield Accessories was present together with a vacuform base.

Italeri re-released this figure sets as Italeri – 6079 – Vietnamese Army / Vietcong and Italeri – 6078 – Vietnam War American Special Forces, and using same figures as base, Italeri released two playsets of their own, Italeri – 73201 – Vietnam War and the newer and very interesting Italeri – 6184 – Operation Silver Bayonet – Vietnam War 1965.


510 – Salamanca 1812

This box was composed of two full sets of ESCI – 215 – Napoleonic British Infantry and two full sets of ESCI – 227 – Napoleonic French Line Infantry as counterpart, together with ESCI – 216 – Battlefield Accessories and a vacuform base.

Italeri re-released British Infantry figures as Italeri – 6058 – Napoleonic British and Scots Infantry and by now the French Line Infantry hasn’t been re-released, but did its own version instead.


509 – Jena 1806

This was an interesting playset with a slightly different configuration to those above, as it included two full boxes of ESCI – 226 – Napoleonic Prussian and Austrian Infantry and then one box of ESCI – 227 – Napoleonic French Line Infantry and one of ESCI – 214 – Napoleonic French Imperial Guard. Of course the Battlefield Accessories and a vacuform base were also present. (*Note that Austrians were not at Jena, making part of the figures totally unappropriated)

As discussed in the Salamanca 1812 box, Italeri never re-released the ESCI French Line infantry, but the Imperial Guard can be found as Italeri – 6072 – Napoleonic French Grenadiers. The Prussian & Austrian mixed ESCI box also hasn’t been re-produced by Italeri.


508 – Austerlitz 1805

Similar to Jena 1806 Battle Set this Austerlitz box included two full boxes of ESCI – 226 – Napoleonic Prussian and Austrian Infantry and then two boxes of ESCI – 227 – Napoleonic French Line Infantry plus the Battlefield Accessories and a vacuform base. (*Note that Prussians were not at Austerlitz, making part of the figures totally unappropriated)

None of these ESCI figures has been re-released by Italeri.


507 – Hadrian’s Wall CLXV A.D.

This box included two full sets of ESCI – 224 – Roman Legion and two full sets of ESCI – 225 – Barbarian Warriors and one more time the Battlefield Accessories (not very appropriated for ancient times) as well as a vacuform base, which is one of the best in full 500 series, depicting a sort of wall segment.

Italeri re-released these figures as Italeri – 6047 – Roman Infantry and Italeri – 6048 – Barbarian Warriors. Italeri also included (partially) the Roman figures in one of their playsets, Italeri – 6196 – GLADIATORS FIGHT – BATTLE SET.


506 – Rorke’s Drift 1879

This box contained two full sets of ESCI – 212 – Zulu Wars British Infantry Soldiers and two full sets of ESCI – 213 – Zulu Warriors plus the omnipresent Battlefield Accessories and a vacuform base.

Both plastic soldier boxes were later re-released by Italeri as Italeri – 6050 – Zulu War British Infantry and Italeri – 6051 – Zulu Warriors and also released an homonym playset of their own, Italeri – 6114 – BATTLE of RORKE ‘s DRIFT – Diorama Set which is equally hard to find nowadays.


505 – Waterloo 1815 (Cavalry & Artillery Battle set)

Napoleonic range was the most extense in ESCI catalogue of figures, even over WWII (Fi we don’t count the hard plastic figures kits), so it’s not strange that they produced several Napoleonic playsets, and once it arrived the time of Waterloo 1825 battle, ESCI decided to create two separated playsets.

The Cavalry and Artillery box contained two full sets of ESCI – 217 – Napoleonic ‘Scots Greys’ British Cavalry and two of ESCI – 218 – Napoleonic ‘Polish Lancers’ French Cavalry together with one full set of ESCI – 219 – Napoleonic British and French Artillery and Battlefield Accessories and vacuform base. A very valuable box at the time.

Italeri re-released Italeri – 6001 – Napoleonic Scots Greys and Italeri – 6039 – Napoleonic Dutch-Polish Lancers, while artillery has been released in its original shape of two boxes for French and British, as Italeri – 6041 – Napoleonic British Artillery and Italeri – 6135 – Napoleonic French Imperial Guard Artillery.
Recently, Italeri used again the artillery in their Italeri – 6197 – La Haye Sainte Waterloo 1815 – BATTLESET playset. In older times the French artillery was also used at Italeri – 6111 – WATERLOO (200years) BATTLE AT LA HAYE SAINTE, while Italeri – 6101 – Waterloo Battle Game Set contained the Scots Grey cavalry as well as the Battlefield Accessories.


504 – Gettysburg 1863

As couldn’t be in other way, this box contained two full sets of ESCI – 222 – Union Infantry and to full sets of ESCI – 223 – Confederate Infantry, plus Battlefield Accessories and vacuform base.

Although Italeri produced its own American Civil War sets, ESCI ones also were re-released as Italeri – 6178 – AMERICAN CIVIL WAR: CONFEDERATE INFANTRY and Italeri – 6177 – AMERICAN CIVIL WAR: UNION INFANTRY, as well as an homonym Italeri – 6179 – FARMHOUSE BATTLE – American Civil War 1864 – BATTLESET but it doesn’t contain the ESCI figures, and the also quite old Italeri – 6106 – American Civil War Gettysburg which also didn’t contained the ESCI figures.


ESCI – 503 – Balaclava 1854

ESCI only released two Crimean War figure sets and of course they were included in this playset box, containing two full boxes of ESCI – 221 – Crimean War Russian Infantry and Artillery and two full sets of ESCI – 220 – Crimean War Lord Cardigan’s 11th Hussars, the famous Battlefield Accessories and a vacuform base.

Italeri has re-released both figure sets as Italeri – 6053 – Crimean War Russian Artillery, Italeri – 6052 – Crimean War British Hussars and again the Hussars as Italeri – 6188 – BRITISH 11th HUSSARS. Sadly Italeri never extended the ESCI Crimean war range.


ESCI – 502 – Waterloo 1815 (Infantry Battle)

This Napoleonic box contained two full sets of ESCI – 215 – Napoleonic British Infantry and two full sets of ESCI – 214 – Napoleonic French Imperial Guard, plus the Battlefield Accessories and a vacuform base.


ESCI – 501 – Isandhlwana 1879

This was the first release in the series, circa 1984, and contained two full boxes of ESCI – 212 – Zulu Wars British Infantry Soldiers and two full boxes of ESCI – 213 – Zulu Warriors plus a vacuform base, being the only reference in the series which didn’t included the Battlefield Accessories.

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