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IMEX

Set 509

Alamo Defenders (aka Texas Infantry)

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1997
Contents 50 figures
Poses 14 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Tan
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

The first sets from IMEX, for the American Civil War, were good news for enthusiasts of that conflict, but as others had already produced similar figures there was not much excitement. However when they announced Alamo figures there was considerable anticipation. Here was one of the most famous encounters in North America and a subject never before covered by any manufacturer. Dioramas and wargames of the Alamo are very popular, so this set had a lot to do if it was to satisfy these expectations.

There was almost no uniformity in the Texian forces except for some of the volunteer units. Most of the men fought in their civilian clothes, and generally provided their own weapons. These figures reflect that mix, with all manner of everyday dress on show. One man is dressed as a frontiersman, with buckskin shirt and trousers, whilst the officer, dressed in a blue frock coat and straw hat, has chosen finer clothes to indicate his rank. The flag has been left plain, so we have chosen to paint the Texian Star and Stripes Flag, which was the de facto national flag of Texas and may possibly have been carried at the Alamo.

Joining the Texian volunteers were several whole volunteer units. Most famous of these was the New Orleans Greys, a unit from the USA that clothed themselves in all-grey uniforms found in local stores before they left for Texas. Three such figures are included in this set, with a uniform that was much like the uniform of the regular US army in all but colour. In addition, the man with the red hunting shirt belongs to the Alabama Red Rovers, another unit from the US that managed some uniformity.

With a battle that had more than its fair share of larger-than-life characters, it is fitting that IMEX should include some of these in their set. The four figures on the bottom row all represent such individuals, and moving from left to right they start with the instantly recognisable figure of Davy Crockett. Crockett was famous well before the Alamo, and sometimes wore frontier garb such as depicted here. However a eyewitness account described him as dressed 'like a gentleman and not a backwoodsman' at the Alamo, so this costume is not correct for Crockett at this battle, (though it fits the popular image of the man), but this figure could serve for other anonymous men dressed in this manner. Next is Lt. Col. William Travis, who commanded the garrison, and beside him is Jim Bowie, who was in command of the volunteers at the Alamo but was too ill throughout the siege and battle to take any active part. Finally there is Sam Houston, commander of the Texian forces, who was not at the Alamo and consequently lived to achieve the independence of Texas after the battle of San Jacinto.

A fine array of figures, all of which are very well carved and accurately detailed. The balance between uniform and 'civilian' dress is about right, and the poses are good too. The inclusion of the personalities clearly leaves less poses for the rest of the men, yet all four are wearing fairly ordinary costume and could easily be used as common soldiers as well.

So, this is indeed a set that has met all reasonable expectations, and it is worthy of so famous and celebrated a battle.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 10
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"The Alamo 1836" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.89) - Stephen Hardin - 9781841760902
"The Alamo and the War of Texan Independence 1835-36" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.173) - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9780850456844
"The Texan Army 1836-46" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.398) - Stuart Reid - 9781841765938
"The Texas Rangers" - Osprey (Elite Series No.36) - Stephen Hardin - 9781855321557
"Uniforms of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution" - Schiffer - Bruce Marshall - 9780764317781
Magazines
"Military Illustrated" - No.23

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