Haunebu is the name associated with a conspiracy theory popular amongst Nazis who still wish to see their political ideology rule the world. The claims are many, but in brief centre on the development of several 'flying saucer' type machines by the Germans during and after World War II in Antarctica. These machines are credited with phenomenal abilities unequalled by even today's aircraft, and were intended to allow Germany to create a Nazi Fourth Reich, effectively reversing the outcome of the Second World War. Odemars have perhaps unwisely given some credibility to these desperate stories by producing this set, although in fact the figures themselves are perfectly good historical representations.
Leaving aside the hopes of disappointed Nazis it is certainly true that Germany spent much time and effort on research into new and more effective machines of war, as did all the major belligerents of course. Since this set delivers an assortment of military men, scientists and other staff it is quite appropriate for any of these programmes, so we will consider each type of figure on offer as pictured above.
The top row is made up of military officers, or rather of men dressed as such, for at the time all manner of occupations had a similar uniform, many of which were nothing to do with the military. However given the subject we can assume that these are either senior military or Party officials. They have a selection of such uniforms, all of which seem reasonable. The first man wears a coat over his uniform, while the last has full parade dress, including aiguillette and ceremonial dagger. The first figure holds a glass flask in the air (funny how people so often associated flasks with science, even though this is obviously a heavy engineering project), but the rest have arms in various positions without any obvious reason. The case held by the fifth figure is very thin and therefore cannot contain much. The third figure, being rather overweight, makes a very presentable Göring, who was after all head of the Luftwaffe.
The second row begins with a uniformed female official holding a case and perhaps a document. Once again her uniform is quite generic and could serve for many roles. To her left is a man in basic officer uniform which we must suppose to be the chaplain advertised on the box as no other figure seems to fit that description, although there is nothing about this figure which confirms our identification either (particularly as it is hard to see if there are any shoulder straps on the tunic, which there should not if he is indeed a chaplain). His pose is perhaps of giving a blessing. The third figure is clearly a generic scientist, with lab coat and glasses, while the fourth is a nurse as she has a cross engraved on her cap. Finally we find a man in civilian clothes of raincoat and brimmed hat (looking somehow like he is from the Gestapo), although why this or many of these figures are part of this eclectic set is hard to know.
The first pair in the bottom row are clearly mechanics as they wear field caps and working clothes. Both are holding adjustable spanners in the air, but while the kneeling figure looks OK the standing figure is resting his on the back of his head, which looks ridiculous (perhaps he is scratching his head with it?). All the figures in this set are very flat, but the poses chosen mean this does not matter apart from this aforementioned mechanic. Lastly there are two men described as 'bodyguards' and looking something like Hitler’s SS bodyguard with their tunic lapels open to show the shirt and tie. Both are in parade/guard poses.
While the detail on these figures is not too bad there is quite a rough quality to some of them, and in places the detail rather disappears such as some hands and equipment. There is a moderate amount of flash but several figures have a smooth 'trail' round where the moulds join which does nothing to enhance them. The proportions are good and we have already commented that the flatness of the poses is irrelevant as most look realistic despite this.
While it is an odd subject to choose it seems Odemars have taken the decision to depict a selection of figures from the wider Nazi state. As such they are entirely accurate (remembering that none are explicitly identified of course), and therefore have many possible uses in various World War II scenarios as well as some pre-war ones. Our accuracy mark reflects their wider historical usefulness rather than the Antarctic fantasy, which means that a set with a very unpromising title actually delivers something of considerable use to many modellers.