Model aeroplanes were popular toys in the 1960s and 1970s, and several manufacturers made sets of pilots and ground crew to bridge the gap between planes and figures. This set from Atlantic is part of the wide range of figures they produced to show the armed forces of the time, and lends itself to being displayed around planes and airfields.
The box artwork for this set shows mostly pilots, but the figures include very few pilots. The top row of our picture shows men clearly fighting on the ground, armed with machine guns. These represent a unit called VAM ('Vigilanza Aeronautica Militare'), which is tasked with defending Italian military airfields. Next to the two saluting officers there is a workman carrying his toolbox, and it is only on the bottom row that we see pilots and ground crew.
We could not find sufficient information to comment on the accuracy of the uniforms, but these seems to be nothing obviously wrong with them. The poses are pretty good, though a couple have the common Atlantic trademark of moving in one direction while looking in another. One man is firing into the air, suggesting there is an assault from paratroops or helicopters.
The sculpting is much like the rest of the Modern range, though these are better than many in that range as they suffer less from the malnourished look. There is a lot of nice detail, though most examples have a fair amount of flash that needs to be removed. Another common Atlantic feature is the circular mould mark, placed squarely in the back of the figure in most cases, which requires some skillful knife work to eradicate.
Yet another interesting and unusual set from Atlantic, and one that is very rare these days. With other manufacturers providing generic NATO air and ground crew, the main selling point of this set is the airfield guards, but the set as a whole is attractive.