When Great Britain declared war on Germany in 1914 Australia and New Zealand were quick to offer their support, and thousands of newly recruited soldiers were sent north to the fight. These were formed into the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, which gave birth to the word ANZAC, by which these men were famously known. Sensibly these men were given the same weaponry as the British, which means that this set is very similar to the HaT set of WWI British Heavy Weapons. Indeed the major weapons, the Vickers machine gun, the Lewis gun and the Stokes mortar, are the same models, and since these have already been discussed in our earlier review we will not be repeating ourselves here.
The figures are all in the normal Australian uniform, which was similar to that of the British but with a slightly different tunic and, of course, the slouch hat. Early in the war this was the same for all ANZAC troops - only later did the New Zealanders take to shaping it like a lemon-squeezer. Once steel helmets were introduced in 1916 the slouch hat has rare when in action, so for the later war the HaT set of British will suffice. The uniform on these figures is fine, although there are some rather odd choices of pouches on some of the men, and none seem to be wearing the standard riflemen’s set. Also none but the man with the binoculars have a sidearm when this was common enough to justify a presence here.
The Vickers gunner has his hands somewhat below the actual trigger of the gun, and as we mentioned in our previous review the condenser does not reach the ground. Equally the man feeding ammunition is doing so a little below the actual entry port. The last figure on the top row is ready to fire a rifle grenade, and is correctly holding the rifle with the trigger uppermost. The Lewis gun and crew in the second row are quite nice, apart from the ammunition drum on the gun itself, which is at a completely unrealistic slant to the weapon. Also there is no sign of the specially shaped pouches with which the drums were carried (which may therefore have been laid aside), and the gunner is not steadying the buttstock of his weapon, which will incur the wrath of his instructor as well as harming his accuracy. The first two figures in the bottom row are fairly generic, while the man with the mortar round is pretty good.
The style and standard of production of these figures is identical to that of the British set, which is to say pretty good. Naturally the weapons require some assembly but none of the figures come in multiple parts, yet the poses chosen are fine and not particularly flat. As with any heavy weapon there could have been more figures bringing up ammunition and generally providing the rest of the crew for these hungry devices, but this is a very reasonable selection and a welcome boost for early war infantry.