One of the most famous units in the Italian army is the Alpini, five brigades of troops who are expert in climbing and winter warfare. They have long been seen as one of the more glamorous arms of the army, and it is no surprise that this was one of the first sets produced in the Atlantic Modern series.
As befits a specialised unit the poses are a welcome break from the norm. Indeed, only the standing firing figure could be described as a classic pose, with all the rest handling the equipment they need for their mode of fighting. One man pulls a mule loaded with supplies - a more versatile form of transport than any tracked or wheeled vehicle even in the twentieth century. Inevitably there is a man on skis, and there is a curious figure firing his pistol while holding on to a piece of mountain. This figure has to be glued in place, and there are no pegs to hold the join, so this is a very fragile piece to construct. The machine gun on his back is also separate, and is equally difficult to fix firmly. Finally there are two seated men, one being on a skidoo and the other on some form of sled. The man on the skidoo is firing as he goes, in true James Bond fashion. We assume that the man on the sled is waiting for dogs or some other form of power. All the poses are interesting and unusual, though they are of limited use when depicting battle scenes.
Most of the men wear the usual white hooded jacket with trousers and gloves, though the man firing seems to wear regular army camouflage uniform. He also wears the trademark Alpini mountaineer's cap with the black eagle feather on the left hand side, as do the two seated figures. The rest are also probably wearing this, though the hood obscures it.
The set also includes a small mountain gun, which was the most difficult of all the pieces to assemble. Once again it has no pegs or other means of securing the joins, and the gun itself relies on a very narrow piece of plastic to grip and stay together. Sadly there are no figures actually using this piece of ordnance.
The usual small and malnourished look that blighted this whole series is present here, and the figures do not look particularly good. Most of the pieces had to be assembled, and this was often a difficult and fiddly process which resulted in a fragile model. There was a good deal of flash, though less in the way of mould marks than most others in the series. However the pure white plastic used made such detail as there is difficult to see. This is a set of an interesting subject and with some interesting bits of kit, but there is little else to recommend it.