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Set 2006

Massacre!

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2011
Contents 14 figures, 1 ass, 1 cart, 1 ruin and base
Poses 14 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Brown / Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

This is a very odd set. On the face of it it depicts a fairly common scene from the story of the early European settlers in North America, where many an isolated cabin was attacked and destroyed by bands of natives, perhaps in retaliation for encroachment on their traditional hunting land. It was the worst fear of every colonist, and during the French and Indian War both sides used native allies to terrorise the colonists of the other power, so such incidences undoubtedly became more common.

In this set there are the same six native poses that are found in several other sets including the Rangers and Canoes set, which is where we discuss them in detail. However this set also includes a number of new native poses, all made in the fragile brown plastic which this manufacturer commonly uses. The sculpting is quite similar to the plastic figures, although the results are not so good. Perhaps the method of production had something to do with it, but some of the detail on the soft figures is vague or missing, The faces are particularly ugly (although they are probably not aiming to win any beauty contests), and the kneeling figure is something of a giant as he is almost as tall as those standing straight. The extra poses are not great, with the warrior apparently bringing his club down showing once again how difficult this sort of pose can be.

The subjects of the massacre of the title are two women and a man carrying a child, all in the second row. These too are made in the undesirable soft plastic, and again the sculpting is not great and detail disappointing. The anatomy of the bearded man is hilarious when viewed from the side, and the contrast between the heads of the two women is bizarre - one is twice the height of the other. The standing but baseless woman was also seen in the set of Cabin Attack, although here she has dropped the things she was carrying.

The small hut (approximately 75 mm by 55 mm at the base) presents a particularly intriguing mystery. It is made in a hard resin which is a pretty good material although we found the separate walls fitted together very tightly and risked breaking bits off. However with the nicely messed floor this is a fairly good model of a ruined hut. The question is, however, how can it be so ruined? Since the women are being attacked we must suppose that the natives have only just got their hands on them, so how can the hut already be ruined, assuming the women are living in the hut? Such huts were certainly set ablaze and destroyed on such raids, but burning such a thickly-walled hut to partial destruction like this takes a lot of time.

Mystery number two is why the old Airfix Ancient Celtic chariot has been included. Described on the box as a 'mule-cart', it is in fact the chariot from the Airfix Ancient Britons set with slightly altered platform and wheels, and a new method of attaching one of the two Airfix horses. It resembles no form of cart from the mid-18th century that we know of, and makes no sense here. Airfix have also been plundered for the animal, which is the zebra from their Zoo Animals No.2 set. Whether acting as a zebra or a mule this is not a great model, and its appearance here adds nothing to the set. Some of the figures also first saw the light of day as Strelets Vikings!

To round things off we have the same base piece as is in the set of Ambush, which merely provides a slightly tilted base on which to put the ruined hut, and is therefore also rather pointless. The ruined hut is not without its charms, but most people will probably find they can do without the very soft figures, base, Celtic chariot and zebra, leaving just six passable native figures to add to the useful hut model.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 8
Pose Quality 6
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 6
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"American Colonial Ranger" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.85) - Gary Zaboly - 9781841766492
"American Woodland Indians" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.228) - Michael Johnson - 9780850459999
"Don Troiani's Soldiers in America 1754-1865" - Stackpole Books - Earl J Coates & James L Kochan - 9780811705196
"Indian Tribes of the New England Frontier" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.428) - Michael Johnson - 9781841769370
"North American Indian Tribes of the Great Lakes" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.467) - Michael Johnson - 9781849084598
"Tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.395) - Michael Johnson - 9781841764900
"War on the Run" - Bantam - John Ross - 9780553804966

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