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Atlantic

Set 1013

Stampede

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1977
Contents Varying number of pieces
Poses 4 poses, 2 horse poses, 4 cattle poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Dark Brown, Medium Brown, Light Tan
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

Stampedes were just one of many hazards faced by cowboys as they moved huge herds of cattle across the plains of America, yet they were constantly feared. All manner of things might provoke a stampede - storms, hostile natives, rustlers - and sometimes amazingly small things like a darting rabbit had the same effect. Once a stampede got started it took a lot of stopping, and this was a particularly dangerous time for the handlers. Yet they needed to be stopped quickly, as they could result in killed or lost animals, while all the animals could lose weight and be a less profitable commodity once they reached market. Stampedes were common, and an important part of life on the prairie, so this is another well-chosen subject for Atlantic's Far West range.

One of the figures in this set is on foot - a very dangerous position to be in if next to a stampeding herd, and such a man would be largely ineffectual in stemming running cattle. At best he may be running for his horse as the alarm is raised. The rest of the men seem to be very relaxed, and give the impression of simply guiding settled cattle rather than containing a stampede. The horses too give this impression, and in fact only the dismounted man shows any urgency at all, so there is not much about this set that fits with its title.

With fairly relaxed men it is perhaps fitting that the cattle too seem quite calm. Certainly they are on the move, and one particularly dramatic animal has its head held high in some sort of call, but none except perhaps the calf give any impression of running, so where is the stampede?

The style of sculpting is the same as most other sets in this range, with fairly thin men and animals. Most of the men seem dressed for cold weather, and look a little neater than the men seen in most period photographs. Detail is as good as it needs to be for this relatively simple subject, and on our examples at least there was not much flash. The men 'ride' their horses very loosely and require gluing to stay in the saddle. The last figure on the top row is a giant of a man; these figures were done in HO scale, and average 23mm in height, but this man is almost a head taller than his companions.

Another oddity is that there are more mounted men than horses on each sprue. It has been suggested that one of the men could ride a steer, though we feel that is particularly unlikely, particularly during a stampede! With so few cattle poses it is difficult to see how a convincing herd can be put together from this set, or indeed several copies of it, and both the men and horses seem inappropriate for the subject, so we must ask the question again - where's the stampede?


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 3
Pose Quality 1
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 6
Mould 8

Further Reading
Books
"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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