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Atlantic

Set 1003

Geronimo - Apache

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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 7 poses, 5 horse poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Dark Brown, Light Tan
Average Height 21 mm (= 1.51 m)

Review

Geronimo (1829 - 1909) was a shaman and leader (but not a chief) of the Chiricahua Apache who led his people's defence of their homeland against the Mexicans and US military after the death of Cochise in 1874. His bravery and daring became legendry, and his name is probably the most widely recognised of all Native Americans as it is traditionally yelled as someone is embarking on some daring feat!

All but one of the seven poses in this set are carrying rifles, which was the normal weapon for warriors by the last quarter of the nineteenth century. However we were not much taken with the ones where the man seems to be firing his rifle with one hand (first and last mounted figures above), nor with the warrior so weighed down with rifle, bow, axe and shield (itself pretty unlikely by this date) that he has difficulty using any of them (how do you use a rifle while holding a shield?). Having only five mounted poses and just two dismounted ones means neither type is particularly well represented, and in theory one of those is supposed to be Geronimo himself, though we don't know which and in most sets every pose appears several times.

They all wear buckskins, but these are quite a tight fit, more reminiscent of the 1970s when the set was made than the 1870s. The costume is pretty simple, but does not match the actual costume of such warriors, who had much more varied tastes in clothing which by this date were largely based on the costume of the white man. In particular no one here has a breechclout, which was extremely common amongst the Apache, so these figures look almost nothing like the historical reality.

There are no less than five horse poses, but it is difficult to see why Atlantic went to all this trouble since four of them are almost identical. All appear to be rearing, which is hardly a suitable pose for every single mount in a set in our view. We would have liked to have seen trotting, galloping and even standing poses included. All have very simple (though often quite long) cloths on their backs, and some have bridles while others only have a bit and reins. The men fit on to these animals but not snugly, so need fixing if they are to stay put.

In common with all the early sets from Atlantic, both man and horses are thin and poorly sculpted. Since they were made in HO scale they are smaller than true 1/72 scale, so they do not mix well with similar figures from other manufacturers. There is a fair amount of flash (which varies depending on when any particular copy was made), and in some small corners such as the end of weapons and arrow heads the plastic has not fully filled the mould.

Though this doubtless served well as a toy back when it was first made, there is nothing to recommend this product today. A small number of poses, not all being particularly likely, and a very poor showing in the accuracy stakes, thanks partly to that 'hippy' look they have been given. The weedy sculpting style contrasts sharply with much better sets made by others in more recent years, so all in all this is a set for die-hard collectors only.


Ratings

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

Further Reading
Books
"American Indian Warrior Chiefs" - Firebird (Heroes and Warriors Series) - Jason Hook - 9781853141034
"Apache Tactics 1830-86" - Osprey (Elite Series No.119) - Robert Watt - 9781849086301
"Apache Warrior" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.172) - Robert Watt - 9781472803528
"Apache Warrior versus US Cavalryman" - Osprey (Combat Series No.19) - Sean McLachlan - 9781472812469
"The American Indian Wars 1860-90" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.63) - Philip Katcher - 9780850450491
"The Apaches" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.186) - Jason Hook - 9780850457384

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