The United States Marine Corps (USMC) first acquired a role in South Vietnam in the early 1960s, but only deployed in large numbers in 1965, which is the date associated with this set. The last Marine combat units left in 1971, by which time the corps had suffered over 100,000 dead and wounded.
There are an impressive number of poses in this set, and many of the poses themselves are also impressive. All the men appear to be in action and a great many are firing their weapons. Those not firing seem to be moving rapidly (and apparently under fire, judging by their low profile) so as to take up a new firing position. These poses are anything but flat and look very natural, conveying a good sense of being in the thick of the action. The sitting man with binoculars works well with the sniper, making a very common team for that war, although we were surprised that the snipers do not have any scope on their weapon. One particularly touching pose is the pair on the bottom row, which is of a Marine cradling the head of a wounded comrade in his arms. In fact there are also variations within the poses we picture above as many have small items of equipment in different places, which is great. Excellent poses and all thoroughly appropriate.
In this scale and with no regard to colours, there is little to tell between Marines and regular Army Infantry. All these figures are clothed and equipped appropriately for the 1965 date, and nearly all are wearing body armour, which was much more common amongst Marines than in the Army. The weaponry is diverse but appropriate, and includes the older M14 rifle, the new M16 rifle, the M79 grenade launcher and what looks like the M60 general purpose machine gun. Several shotguns are also in evidence, which were also quite popular. The two men with the grenade launcher, called grenadiers, should have a pistol sidearm but this is missing in both cases.
The majority of figures require some form of assembly. In most cases this is a separate arm-and-weapon which clips onto the figure to avoid unsightly excess plastic behind the weapon, and also allows a more realistic pose. In some cases the base too is separate, and the figure fits this via a peg on the bottom of one foot. Our sample of this set was not made in a plastic that bonds well with ordinary polystyrene glue, so a dedicated plastic adhesive is recommended, as while the parts all fit together very well they do require gluing.
The figures have a minimal amount of flash round the seam, and a small number of flash 'tabs', but are generally very well engineered. Detail is mostly very good and clear, although occasionally it becomes too shallow and difficult to make out (for example, the canteen pouches). However these are minor complaints for some great figures. In general the parts of the figures are adjacent on the sprue, but it would be useful to have some instruction on what piece fits where, particularly for the novice modeller. Basic illustrations on the box or numbering on the sprue would make assembly easier and clearer.
It seems that Pegasus have listened to those who complained about the lack of bases in their earlier sets, although of course any and all bases can be easily cut off if not required. The assembly element of this set is always to produce a better pose rather than simply being for its own sake, and the results speak for themselves. The final piece in our picture is an extra scenic base on which a prone figure could be placed. This is a very well thought out set of figures that have been well executed and breath new life into a conflict that has not seen any new figures for a great many years.