In the early stages of the American Revolution it was the local militia and 'minutemen' who opposed the British troops, and they continued to form a large part of the American army for some time. The set depicts these men in battle, and illustrates their diverse appearance.
With militia units it's nice to see a lot of poses, and there are plenty here. The figures are mostly standing and firing their weapons, which is how it should be as charging the regular British infantry was unlikely to produce the desired result. There is a nice figure of a man carrying a spontoon, and another of a man standing with his musket across his shoulders. This last would seem from his dress to be a 'gentleman of quality', and could serve well as an officer.
Most of the men are armed with muskets, which State laws required them to provide, but a couple are carrying pistols instead. The clothing is all civilian with the addition of a bag, powder horn or perhaps even a canteen to give it a slightly more military look. The variety is excellent, including all sorts of garments, and in particular not only the common tricorn hat but also other caps appropriate for the period. Many of the items of kit would have been retained from action in previous military adventures such as the French and Indian War, when many of these men may have served in or with the British army. Some men are dressed in their hunting clothes, backwoodsmen whose practical clothing was inspired by that of the native Americans.
The detail on these lovely figures is impeccable, the proportions very natural, and the sculpting overall is of the highest order. We have yet to find a copy of this set with any flash, and there is no excess plastic, yet the poses do not seem at all flat.
This is a splendid set that gives life to the men who began the Revolution. The good number of poses and the huge variety of costume and equipment all reflect well the motley appearance of many militias at the early part of the war. When this set first appeared, it and the companion British Infantry set breathed new life into an important conflict that had previously only had two rather poor Airfix sets to represent it, and even after several decades it remains much the best set of figures of the Americans for the Revolution. Top marks!