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Set 508

Sioux Indians

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1996
Contents 17 foot figures, 11 mounted figures and 11 horses
Poses 10 poses, 3 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Mid Brown
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

When this set was released there had already been many sets of American Indians made. Though the range of these was quite good, mostly thanks to Atlantic, the quality of the sculpting was not, so there was a real need for a top class alternative.

The Sioux people are perhaps the most famous of the Native American tribes, though other tribes varied considerably in lifestyle and appearance. Still for the purposes of representing the Indian Wars the Sioux are a good subject. This set includes both mounted and dismounted figures, and while we always prefer separate sets to allow the customer greater choice at least the split is such that there is a reasonable selection of both. One dismounted warrior appears to be firing a musket, while the similar mounted pose has the more practical rifle. There are also two men using bows, which remained popular weapons long after the introduction of firearms by the white man. The rest are armed with a medley of weapons, as they should be, though only one man holds a stone-headed club, which was the most popular weapon. Two of the foot figures and two of the mounted (first and second in each row) have ring hands, allowing one of several weapons to be inserted, improving the variety of poses. The mounted man with full bonnet of many feathers seems to be a chieftain, though this is supposed by his posture rather than the bonnet which, contrary to popular belief, did not denote authority but prowess in war.

Costume is also varied, with some men wearing buckskin suits and others a simple loincloth. In fact many natives chose to fight naked where possible, but later artists and film-makers prefer to ignore the fact. Some of these figures are wearing horizontally strung hairpipe breastplates, which were very popular amongst Sioux men. In all cases the costume is authentic.

The three horses have a simple saddle blanket and single rein, which is an awkward thing to model. Though the poses are OK, one of the horses (bottom row) has an unnaturally long neck and front legs that are shorter than those at the rear, tilting the animal forward. However the riders fit comfortably onto the animals, though they do not grip them, so they require gluing.

The set comes with separate tomahawks, feathered lances and knives for the ring hands. These all fit the hands with little persuasion. Detail is excellent throughout, and there is no flash to speak of nor excess plastic to remove. The figures are very well proportioned, though we were less keen on the horses. Still this is an attractive set which has been well thought out and should find favour with discerning modellers everywhere.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 9
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"American Indian Warrior Chiefs" - Firebird (Heroes and Warriors Series) - Jason Hook - 9781853141034
"The American Indian Wars 1860-90" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.63) - Philip Katcher - 9780850450491
"The American Plains Indians" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.163) - Jason Hook - 9780850456080
"The Tribes of the Sioux Nation" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.344) - Michael Johnson - 9781855328785
"Warriors at the Little Bighorn 1876" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.408) - Richard Hook - 9781841766669
"Weapon" - Dorling Kindersley - Richard Holmes - 9781405316194
Magazines
"Military Illustrated" - No.140
"Military Illustrated" - No.45
"Military Illustrated" - No.44
"Military Modelling" - No.27546

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