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Atlantic

Set 1004

7th Cavalry

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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 6 poses, 6 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Dark Blue, Mid Blue, Grey
Average Height 21 mm (= 1.51 m)

Review

The Atlantic American West range was not their best, with nearly all the figures being small, very thin and very poor anatomically. This set is as good an example as any, with all the figures looking emaciated and just plain wrong. Of course these were always marketed as HO scale, which is 1/87, so their lack of overall size is understandable, but this does not explain the really poor proportions.

Most of the figures have kepis ('bummer caps'), whereas the slouch hat was almost universally worn. The troopers are in shirt sleeve order with visible braces, but the shirts have no apparent opening and there is no evidence for the widespread use of braces in this way. The two men in brimmed hats wear sack coats or similar but they are double-breasted, so are perhaps intended as officers (which seems a bit of overkill for four troopers). All have kerchiefs round their necks, which is fine, and all have a pistol holster on the belt, although this is on the wrong left side in one case. None have cap pouches or ammunition pouches, nor belts with which to support a carbine.

The trooper firing what looks to be a rifle (a carbine would have been better) is firing well high, and the man with the pistol is making no attempt to look where he is shooting. Worst of all is the flag bearer. Due to the poor mould the flag he carries is about 30 cm square - more like a handkerchief on a pole. The two supposed officers are waving sabres around, although only one has a scabbard for it.

The horses fare little better. Many of the poses are very similar, and all of them are too thin and just bad anatomically. They have saddles that are nothing like the McClellan saddle then in use, and are missing almost all of the items of kit that their real counterparts would have expected to carry. Apart from a roll of something on the back of the saddle the saddle bags, canteen, nosebags and all the other impedimenta are missing completely.

Both men and horses suffer from very obvious mould marks and many of the pieces have a noticeable amount of flash to remove. There are not many poses on offer, and only two could be described as ordinary troopers. Sabres of all sorts gradually died out during the course of the Indian Wars, and how many buglers and flag-bearers do you need per unit? So the poses are unimpressive, the sculpting pretty basic and the anatomy poor. Better efforts have come along since this set first appeared in the 1970s, so there is really nothing that can be said for utilising this unappealing collection of figures. A bit of nostalgia for collectors of a certain age, but of little use to anyone else these days.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 2
Pose Quality 3
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 2
Mould 3

Further Reading
Books
"Apache Warrior versus US Cavalryman" - Osprey (Combat Series No.19) - Sean McLachlan - 9781472812469
"Sound the Charge" - Greenhill (GI Series No.12) - John Langellier - 9781853673191
"The American Indian Wars 1860-90" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.63) - Philip Katcher - 9780850450491
"The United States Cavalry" - Blandford - Gregory Urwin - 9780713718171
"US Cavalry on the Plains 1850-90" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.168) - Philip Katcher - 9780850456097
"US Cavalryman 1865-90" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.4) - Martin Pegler - 9781855323193
Magazines
"Military Illustrated" - No.71
"Military Modelling" - No.27303

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