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Accurate

Set 7204

Union Artillery Team

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released Unknown
Contents 18 figures, 8 horses and 2 guns
Poses 8 poses, 2 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Blue, Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

The American Civil War began with mostly muzzle-loading smoothbore and rifled cannon, but many technical advances meant that by its conclusion much more powerful breech-loading rifled ordnance appeared. Nevertheless even the older guns were a significant advance on those of the Napoleonic period half a century before, and they did terrible damage on the Civil War battlefields as infantry continued to move around in large, easy-to-hit blocks. With their better industrial base the North started the conflict with a great advantage over the South in terms of both numbers of guns and the ability to make more, and that advantage remained throughout the war.

This set closely resembles the equivalent set from IMEX as both shared the same sculptor. Two guns have a crew of four each plus an officer. The poses are reasonable, with the man covering his ears being a realistic touch. The kneeling man is too large, being almost as tall as his comrades, and the man pulling the lanyard is missing that piece of equipment entirely. The officer is the best figure, raising his sabre either as a signal or in sheer enthusiasm, making for quite a dramatic figure in a nice lively selection.

The limber is the biggest problem in this set. It is pulled by a team of four, whereas six horses were actually employed on most occasions. The horses attach via bits of plastic that peg into their sides - hardly the 'accurate' model that might have been expected. Each team has two outriders whose pose is very strange, but the two men sitting on the limber are realistic.Apart from the lack of traces the limber is a decent model, with a separate lid should you want to show the ammunition box open.

The guns are also far less than perfect. They seem to be generic cannon, with no effort being made to portray the two common types of gun, the light 12-pounder ('Napoleon') and the Parrott, both of which have a quite distinctive shape and are considerably longer in the barrel. The 3-inch ordnance rifle would be a better match, but again this was a tapering shape so this would not be a good model. The gun carriages are a better effort, with some attempt at representing all the details.

The artillerymen wear sack coats or shell jackets along with forage caps, which reflects the most common uniform worn at the time. The officer wears a frock coat, which again was common, and has a sash under his waist belt as the standard sign of rank. Personal equipment is minimal, as would be expected while serving the guns.

The detail on these figures is sufficient, as are the poses. However the method of attaching the horses is poor, and the insufficient numbers in the team are very disappointing, as are the gun barrels. When this set was released it was the best yet made on this subject, but better sets have since been produced by others.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 5
Pose Quality 7
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 7
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"American Civil War Armies (2) Union Troops" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.177) - Philip Katcher - 9780850456905
"American Civil War Artillery 1861-65 (1) Field Artillery" - Osprey (New Vanguard Series No.38) - Philip Katcher - 9781841762180
"American Civil War Union Army" - Brasseys (History of Uniforms Series) - Robin Smith - 9781857531749
"Redlegs: U.S. Artillery from the Civil War to the Spanish-American War 1861-98" - Greenhill (GI Series No.11) - John Langellier - 9781853673092
"The Gettysburg Companion" - Aurum - Mark Adkin - 9781845133412
"Uniforms of the American Civil War" - Blandford (Blandford Colour Series) - Philip Haythornthwaite - 9780713707571
"Union Troops of the American Civil War" - Crowood (Europa Militaria Special Series No.17) - Jonathan Sutherland - 9781861267696

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