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Atlantic

Set 1001

Buffalo Hunt

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1975
Contents Varying number of figures
Poses 5 poses, 1 horse pose, 6 buffalo poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Dark Brown, Light Tan
Average Height 21 mm (= 1.51 m)

Review

The bison was absolutely vital to existence on the wide plains of America, and every part of the animal was used either for food or to provide many of the basic items of daily life. They roamed in vast numbers, but were not an easy prey to catch and kill, so it became a battle of wits between man and animal.

First of all, the bison in this set are pretty pathetic specimens. A fully grown bison stands around 2 metres at the shoulder, but the animals here come out at about chest height on the men. They are also a good deal less 'massive' than the real thing, making them look quite unimpressive next to the humans. The inclusion of a calf is a nice touch however, and the animal crashing to the ground has been well done. The animals with arrows sticking out of them may seem doomed, but it generally took several hits to seriously weaken a full grown animal, and the location of these particular wounds is not necessarily fatal, but you can't help wondering about the archer who managed to score several hits on his quarry from directly above, which is where these arrows are pointing!

Having complained about the slimline bison, the hunters are little better. Like most of this range, they are thin, and since they were made at HO (1/87) scale, they are also quite small. The man drawing an arrow would have had no chance of killing an animal unless he is finishing off a badly injured one. His colleagues are using a traditional ploy - covering themselves in wolf skins and stalking the herd from downwind (bison have poor eyesight and no reason to fear wolves), but they should be carrying bows as they stand no chance of wrestling with the animal with the knives they both carry. Once the horse was introduced into America it made the hunt somewhat easier, and became the normal method. Both the men here are riding bareback, and one has a lance, which was useful for finishing wounded animals. However the man with the axe stands a far better chance of being gored to death than harming his prey. All the men wear European-style clothes with long sleeves and trousers, which would only have been seen in the coldest weather.

This is one of the early sets from Atlantic, and they certainly had some very good ideas for subjects. It would seem, however, that although they had done sufficient research to understand something of the hunt, they did not do sufficient to get it right, so while the idea was good the implementation was not so.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 1
Pose Quality 3
Pose Number 3
Sculpting 4
Mould 5

Further Reading
Books
"The American Plains Indians" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.163) - Jason Hook - 9780850456080
"The West: An Illustrated History" - Weidenfeld & Nicolson - Geoffrey C Ward - 9780297821816

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