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Esci

Set 241

NATO Troops

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1989
Contents 48 figures
Poses 16 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey, Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

NATO is still very much in being today, but both the organisation and the world around it have changed a great deal since this set was produced in the late 1980s. At the time of course they were effectively 'Modern European Troops', but as time passes they are just a snapshot of soldiers from a time when, happily for all, they did not conduct a war.

The packaging does not identify any of these troops specifically, but a glance through the Osprey Elite Book (No. 16) 'NATO Armies Today' makes it clear that this was the source from which the figures were designed. As a result, we can quite confidently be more specific about the contents of this set. Using the above scans then, the figures would appear to be as follows:

Top Row - British (illustrated in Elite No. 14 and No. 1)
(left to right) First two British infantry, last two British Parachute Regiment. Last man wears a 1974 flak jacket.

Second Row - West German
(Left to right) Mechanised infantry, infantryman in NBC clothing, infantryman and paratrooper (?)

Third Row - French
(Left to right) Infantryman (with distinctive 5.56mm FAMAS assault rifle), French infantry again as the weapon is the same, a sniper armed with an FRF-1 rifle and a soldier armed with a MAT 49 sub machine gun. The last two may be Foreign Legion, and the last figure is more suitable for the period up to the 1970s, earlier than the rest.

Fourth Row - Italian
(Left to right) Bersaglieri, Parachute Brigade, soldier with AR-70 assault rifle (possibly a San Marco marine) and an officer.

Though you clearly get very few of any one type, this is a reasonable selection of some of the many different soldiers that NATO could call upon. However as France was not part of the NATO military command by this era the third row are not technically NATO troops at all! As ever detail is very good and accuracy seems fine with little flash. The poses are OK too if rather dull and flat, though you would never create charges with these figures anyway!

This was one of the last sets Esci ever made. Like Matchbox they started producing modern subjects just before abandoning figure production altogether. What this may tell us about the wisdom of producing modern figures is hard to say, but if it is just coincidence then it is a very strange one.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 9
Sculpting 10
Mould 10

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