I don't have this 6 inch Japanese from Marx, But much of the Marx six inch line has a dat of 1964 under the base. The Airfix Germans came out in 1966. So if the Japanese is as old as the Marx Cowboys and Indians and Marines, The Marx figure is older, but only by a couple years. I wonder who did the Airfix Germans. These are obviously just after Nesbitt's early Airfix stuff. I think the 60s era Marx stuff (the 54mm Cavalry, Japanese, etc., and a lot of the other 54mm and 6 inch figures are done by some firm called the Ferriott Brothers or something. The figures look very distinctive, and nice). They don't look much like Airfix's stuff from the late sisties, this pose excepted, but the the two companies' sculptors are contempories. Does anyone have that Airfix book by Ward? Is it? Does it say who the sculptors are?
It would seem logical that the same sculptor made the Airfix WWI Germans, British Infantry, U.S. Cavalry, Arabs, WWII Japanese, Sheriff of Nottingham and probably some others.
The WWI Germans, British, and U.S. Cavalry sitting posese have the unusual left leg out. The Arabs and WWI Japanese have the same pose running with hand up and rifle up. Cavalry, Arabs and Sheriff of N. have the same horses. I supposes he used basic masters and shared with each job.
I don't have the book. I decided not to buy it because I thought it would just be a big catalogue, not history. But the Swoppets history book (now 2 editions) mentions a shared sculptor between both companies, but he was the guy who did the last generation 54mm such as the nice U.S. Cavalary with foot poses.
Our first grenade thrower has probably since long passed on. I would have loved to go to his house as a kid and see his shop ... !