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Set 8293

British Infantry (Tropical)

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2016
Contents 32 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Light Tan
Average Height 24.5 mm (= 1.77 m)


The main focus of Britain’s efforts during the Great War was on the Western Front (and, to an extent, on the Royal Navy), but her soldiers also fought on many other fronts and made their contribution to the eventual victory. Such men served in places as far flung as India, China, Italy, Salonika, Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Africa and southern Russia, and while their experience was very different from those in the mud of Flanders, they had to face such hazards as disease and extreme heat as well as enemy action, while being less well supplied and supported. In conjunction with allies and Dominion/Imperial forces, such men destroyed the German Empire and would do the same to that of the Ottomans, while suffering disasters such as Kut as well as final victory, so by the time this set appeared it is long overdue for such men to be recognised in this hobby.

For warm climates the British soldier had khaki drill ('KD') service dress, basically a jacket and trousers similar to ordinary service dress but made in the lighter cotton drill material. Though initially unofficial, shorts were often worn in place of trousers, and the lower legs were covered by puttees and short boots as they were in normal dress. The most obvious element of tropical dress was the helmet, known by various names including the Wolseley, sun helmet and the foreign service helmet. This had a wider brim to protect the head from the sun, and ventilation in the crown. All the figures in this set wear this uniform, with shorts rather than long trousers, and in all regards it has been correctly done here. The only deviation is the officer, who appears to be wearing thick socks instead of puttees, though at a pinch you could imagine these as puttees with hosetops. For such troops there are many other possibilities, including wearing a mixture of ordinary and KD service dress on the same figure, which was common, while other items like spine pads and neck curtains could have been included but are absent here. Everything about the clothing here is quite correct and common enough, and with so few poses such a uniform appearance was probably the best way to go anyway.

The standard webbing worn with tropical kit throughout the war was the same as for ordinary service dress, the '08' pattern set. In fact, as elsewhere, troops often wore old or improvised sets, but the '08' was the regulation, and every soldier here wears it. The two sets of five cartridge pouches are properly done, as are the water bottle on the right hip and the bayonet scabbard on the left. The entrenching tool follows the standard arrangement, with the handle alongside the scabbard and the head under the water bottle, though on some of the figures the placement of these items suggests the sculptor did not understand how the set fitted together. There are no packs, which is good, but unusually the haversack/small pack is still being worn on the left hip rather than on the back as was normal.

The detail is fair but not sharp or as good as the best. Lack of detail is particularly noticeable on the webbing items and the rifles, and the overall look of the figures is a bit 'soft', which is also a good word to describe the material they are made in. There is a little flash in places, but not too bad, and no excess plastic thanks to the choice of poses, all of which are reasonable. With only eight poses you want the standards, and they are largely here, though we were not so fond of the officer pose, who seems to be doing nothing except using his revolver, which is neither dynamic nor much help in most fire fights. Other than him the poses are reasonably lively and appropriate for these troops.

Sets of eight poses always leave us wanting more, particularly when they depict a subject yet to be covered anywhere else, but they are all at least useful, and while the sculpting is not out of the top drawer these figures are decent enough for most. Being completely accurate helps, though as we have said such troops could take many forms depending on the circumstances, so there remains huge scope for more sets, but this is a fair start.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 8
Mould 9

Further Reading
"British Infantry Equipments (2) 1908-2000" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.108) - Mike Chappell - 9781855328396
"British Infantry Uniforms Since 1660" - Blandford - Michael Barthorp - 9780713711271
"British Web Equipment of the Two World Wars" - Crowood (Europa Militaria Series No.32) - Martin Brayley - 9781861267436
"The British Army in World War I (3)" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.406) - Mike Chappell - 9781841764016
"Tropical Uniforms" - Wessex Military (British Soldier in the 20th Century Series No.6) - Mike Chappell - 9781870498050
"World War One British Army" - Brassey (History of Uniforms Series) - Stephen Bull - 9781857532708

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