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IMEX

Set 510

Mexican Infantry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2002
Contents 45 foot figures, 1 mounted figure and 1 horse
Poses 12 poses, 1 horse pose
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Bright Deep Pink, Grey, Blue
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

Since she gained her independence in 1821, Mexico's armed forces had been kept busy battling foreign enemies and suppressing domestic revolts. In 1835 one of the most serious of these, that of the province of Tejas, or Texas, was to include one of the best known battles in history, the Alamo. IMEX produced some Texian fighters several years before this set, so the anticipation when these Mexicans were finally released was enormous.

The set includes a fair selection of poses, with a good many firing and marching poses to please wargamers. However we did not feel some of the poses were well chosen. The soldier standing firing is firing to his side, with his feet partly in front of each other and parallel. Simply taking this stance will be enough to tell anyone that he is very unbalanced left to right, which is exactly where the recoil of the musket would push him - when he fires he will certainly fall over! The man running with musket upright is pressing it against his body rather than holding it, and the man falling wounded was much too over-dramatic for our taste. The standing officer figure is holding a telescope to his eye with one hand, which is unlikely to give him a view of anything until he steadies it with his other hand. The flag-bearer carries a very small example which would not be easy to spot in the heat of the action, and therefore seems unrealistic, and in any case the pole for this follows the curve of his leg, so the whole thing is seriously warped! Worst of all is the mounted officer, who is mounted on some sort of midget pony. The animal is rearing, yet its head is still barely above that of the men. With all hooves on the ground its saddle would be at the height of a man's waist, and so the poor commander is only slightly taller than his men when he sits on this thing. Such an animal would be a laughing stock in any army, and should be put in the baggage train or cut up for rations.

Poses aside, the standard of the sculpting is not impressive. Detail is minimal with the coats in particular displaying few or no folds. The men wear the pre-1833 regulation coat with lapels. This might have been perfectly common at the Alamo since much old stock was still in service at this time, although many troops may have worn their fatigue suit rather than coats like these. However every single coat here is missing any sort of coat tails. Instead, there is a large featureless flap over the buttocks which looks like no military coat worn at this time or any other. Other elements of the uniform are reasonable, though as we have said detail is not easy to find. Once again, though, the poor 'mounted' officer gets the worst of the deal. Field officers wore bicorns, but this chap wears a design all of his own, with a turned up brim around the skull and two corners on top at left and right. If you turned this upside down it would be marginally better, but this headgear appears to be a figment of the designer's imagination. This poor man also wields a slightly short but quite wide sword. Fine in itself, but he would be challenged to get an epee in his ultra-thin scabbard, never mind a proper officer's sword.

The Mexican army suffered greatly from poor supply, but this does not explain why several men have bayonets fixed, yet no-one has a bayonet scabbard. Also all the infantry have very long swords on their left hips, a weapon that would certainly not have been provided even if any of the men knew how to use it. Some of the men are missing cartridge boxes, which could be a supply problem, though they would have had to be carrying ammunition somewhere. Happily the charging officer has one, though he is without any sort of firearm.

The figures have little flash, and are fairly good anatomically. However much detail is missing and what there is is very shallow and difficult to make out. It seems one coat of undercoat would completely smother most of it. Any kind of close examination of these figures gives a really disappointing impression. Not a fraction of the quality and sheer beauty of the Texian figures, and a long way below the standard this company has previously set.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 5
Pose Quality 4
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 5
Mould 8

Further Reading
Books
"Fighting Techniques of the Colonial Era" - Thomas Dunne Books - Robert Bruce - 9780312590925
"Military Dress of North America 1665-1970" - Ian Allen - Martin Windrow - 9780684135519
"Santa Anna's Mexican Army 1821-48" - Osprey (Elite Series No.102) - René Chartrand - 9781841766676
"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
"Uniforms of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution" - Schiffer - Bruce Marshall - 9780764317781

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