Spain can boast plenty of very warm weather, but it can also deliver very cold temperatures, as many a combatant in the civil war of 1936-39 can testify. This set concentrates on the fighters of both sides as they carried on the war in temperatures that could go well below zero, especially at night, battling jammed equipment as well as the enemy.
Cold weather clothing often amounted to a greatcoat and a blanket, and most of these figures are provided with at least the former. Styles were many and largely common to both sides, and all those shown here look fine. Straps and belts were sometimes worn outside the coat, which is the arrangement used here. If the coat was not specific to one side or the other then the helmet usually was, and these figures wear, or carry, either the Spanish style of helmet (looking rather like the German version) or the French-style Adrian. Some wear instead the common gorilla forage cap, and one man wears a beret, also widely seen during the war. We would have liked to have seen some figures wear the pasamontana cap, which was largely a Republican item but also widely worn in cold weather. The third man on the top row wears a capote-manta, a loose cape with a vandyked collar to allow it to be fastened over the lower face (as shown on the box artwork). The cape is fine but appears to have no such collar (there were many styles to be fair), or if the collar is indeed being worn then it has been very badly sculpted. All the kit is reasonable for the period, so basically there are no problems with accuracy.
The poses are an appealing selection, with several apparently stooping as if advancing in the teeth of a gale, or indeed in the teeth of enemy fire. The man with the pistol works very well, although we pretty much liked all the poses.
The standard of sculpting is quite rough, with some quite irregular surfaces on areas such as boots. This kind of subject does not require high levels of detail but the usual areas that always betray the standard of sculpting, such as the face, hands and weapons, are really not very good at all. Several of the poses have one or both arms separate to achieve the required stance, but these are a fairly vague fit and certainly require adhesive. The material used is fairly soft, and there were a few minor breakages on our review copy, but this kind of material is not well suited to such assembly so a harder compound would have improved matters. Flash is quite minimal however, although the thick attachment to the sprue makes removing it quite a delicate operation without leaving a hole in the often thin base.
This set has no historical problems but is let down by its technical quality. While not as fragile as some recent output from this company the figures should still be handled with some care. Putting all the arms in place is not the easiest operation to perform, and reattaching any broken rifle tips will test even the most experienced modeller. As well as the pictured sled the set includes a piece of vac-formed scenery (of varying shapes) and a selection of suitable flags of the period. This is a nice idea for a set but it is not particularly attractive in the execution and nor is it the easiest to put together.