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Airfix

Set 01738

The High Chaparral

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1971
Contents 24 foot figures and 6 mounted figures
Poses 16 poses, 3 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Cream, Brown, Dark Brown
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

For the benefit of younger visitors, 'The High Chaparral' was a popular Western TV series of the late Sixties that Airfix sought to exploit by re-releasing their Cowboys set with a few character figures (see Airfix Cowboys for a review of this set). All the poses apart from those on the bottom row shown above are also to be found in this earlier set, making this a very cheap product for Airfix to produce.

Naturally the comments concerning the Cowboys set apply equally here. These men are not actually acting as cowboys, i.e. herding cattle, but are instead in perhaps more familiar fighting poses. This is more appropriate for the depiction of the TV series, which had little footage of the enormously dull act of looking after cattle. The poses are quite lively and there is quite a good selection.

Costume is the typical cowboy look, with mostly the simply rugged clothes that life on the prairies required. Although there is variety here the reality was even more diverse, though whether this was reflected in the TV series is less certain. While the horse furniture is quite poor the rest is reasonable,

The character figures are of John and Victoria Cannon, Manolito, Buck Cannon and Blue Boy, though whether these names mean anything or not is not important as they should simply be considered as extra poses. Though of a similar style to the other figures, these four are clearly sculpted at a different time (about ten years after the rest) as they have rather better defined detail and are noticeably taller. The rest however are showing their age as they have less well defined detail. The figure of Manolito has the curious distinction of having a very rounded crotch, making him look like he is half standing half riding an imaginary horse. Perhaps the pose was originally intended to be mounted, but as it turned out it is standing with a very unnatural leg arrangement and is tipping back too!

Some of the early production of this set included the empty base shown above, and labelled the set as 42 piece, which included this base! Exactly why this was done is not known, and later boxes correctly quoted 41 pieces. As a curiosity and for those that collect TV-related products this set has some interest, but much better sets of Western Frontier figures are available from other manufacturers these days.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 6
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 5
Mould 4

See Also
Airfix Cowboys
Further Reading
Books
"American Frontier Lawmen 1850-1930" - Osprey (Elite Series No.96) - Charles Robinson - 9781841765754
"Daily Life on the 19th-Century American Frontier" - Greenwood - Mary Ellen Jones - 9780313360718
"I See By Your Outfit" - High Plains Press - Tom Lindmier - 9780931271335
"The West That Was" - Schiffer - John Eggen - 9780887403309
"The West: An Illustrated History" - Weidenfeld & Nicolson - Geoffrey C Ward - 9780297821816

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