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Atlantic

Set 119

Machine-Gunners and Mortars

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1974
Contents Varying number of pieces
Poses 5 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Green
Average Height 20 mm (= 1.44 m)

Review

The Atlantic Export series did not showcase the best from this company; in fact many would argue it contains much of their worst work. Nevertheless they attempted to be quite thorough in their coverage of modern armies, and with this set they turned their attention to some of the infantry support weapons that no army would be without - mortars and machine guns.

Of the quality of the figures and accessories the pictures tell you most of what you need to know. As with the rest of this series, the men are thin and poorly sculpted, and detail is also basic, even given the relatively small amount of fine detail you might expect on such a subject. Another common theme is the amounts of flash in some places, and the many mould marks with extraneous plastic, which were common back in the 1970s when this venerable set was made. The advertised scale is HO, which is 1/87th scale, so naturally the figures and weapons are quite small, which only further hinders they potential utility alongside the many 1/72nd scale figures on this site. So with such a poor sculpting job (and remember they were only ever meant to be toys), if this set is to be redeemed in our modern eyes then other features will need to be pretty impressive.

Naturally the figures are the crews for the mortar and heavy machine gun. All of them are kneeling or prone, and are meant to be using the weapons in some vague way, although there are a lot of arms up in the air so they don't really give the impression of actually interacting with them. The uniform is pretty generic post-World War II, perhaps based on the Italian or American army, though it is so vague as to be almost equally suitable for just about any army of the period - even Soviet and Romanian armies have been suggested. The original goal was probably for them to be 'modern' soldiers of no particular nationality, and it shows.

The weapons were also probably meant to be largely symbolic of the genre rather than any recognisable model. The machine gun certainly looks nothing like any particular weapon, and while something like the M2 Browning could have been the starting point for the design, it is unlikely any modern modeller would accept this as a useful model of anything much. It comes in two parts, the gun and the tripod stand, and is quite a nice piece, despite its unknown provenance. The mortar is enormous - much larger than most infantry mortars, but it is actually quite well detailed. Again we could not match it up to any real mortar in existence, though in size and baseplate it has a little resemblance to the comtemporary US M2 4.2 inch. It comes in three parts (base, barrel and tripod support), and remarkably it is a much better representation of a mortar than many others to be found in sets of far higher quality (Matchbox and Esci, for example). Nevertheless we would struggle to recommend it's use by any serious modeller today.

With no real clue as to who the men are and what the weapons are (which we suspect was not a priority at the time and may even have been deliberate), we can't give many marks for accuracy, and the poses are nothing much either. The weedy and basic sculpting scores poorly too, and the mould is a real barrier to enjoying these models and figures, so this is another acceptable toy but not much of a model from a range that contained plenty more of similar quality.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 2
Pose Quality 3
Pose Number 6
Sculpting 4
Mould 3

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