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Set 86

Indian Brigade

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 1977
Contents Varying number of pieces
Poses 10 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Brown, Red
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)


When Britain went to war in 1939 she was ably supported by forces from her Empire, with the Indian army being one of the major contributors. Indians were to fight in North Africa, Italy and the Middle East, and when Japan entered the war they also saw service in the Empire's Asian lands, and even briefly on the border of India itself.

The poses in this set are an odd assortment, and generally not good. One man is firing some sort of submachine gun from his shoulder, and another is involved in a bayonet charge but is not looking where he is going. No less than three of the soldiers are wielding swords - not a weapon used much during World War II. One pose is of a man operating a machine gun - he comes as one piece with the ammunition belt, which he is feeding himself, very awkwardly naturally, and in a manner that would be impossible to make work in reality. Only having 10 poses is not great, and really none of them are worthy of praise. There are far too many with unusual weapons like swords and revolvers, and the rest all have awkward stances that simply look wrong.

The Indian army wore uniforms and equipment much like that of the British army. All these men are wearing shorts and a shirt with a closed, standing collar, which is far from the khaki drill uniform these men would actually wear. They all wear a puggree on their head, which helped to announce the caste and religion of its wearer by its shape, and in this set several styles are in evidence, which implies these men would not have fought together in the same unit, as regiments tended to be limited to one section of Indian society. Of course in practice Indians usually wore the standard British Mark II helmet (except Sikhs naturally) when in action, so they are inappropriate here. Every man also wears a cloth covering the groin and another covering the buttocks. This is probably meant to be the shirt hanging beneath the belt, but if so it is very poorly done, and anyway was only a practice in certain regiments and not typical. Standard British web equipment (1937 pattern) has been much simplified, though the two long ammunition pouches are recognisable.

Weaponry is mostly rifles and machine guns, but both are much simplified and are not at all convincing. The rifles should be the SMLE, and the submachine guns are probably Stens, but both are very poor models of these, with the Stens in particular varying greatly in size but always being much larger than the real thing. As already stated, there are far too many swords being waved, and while one (slightly) resembles the Gurkha kukri, the others are more in the style of scimitars. Several men have been armed with revolvers, which were not issued to privates, so apart from the heavy machine gunner (who does not have one), they should not really be here. The heavy machine gun seems to be a Vickers-Maxim .303, but again the model is pretty inaccurate, and its tripod is narrow with the gap between two of the legs filled with plastic.

Though Atlantic have produced much worse figures, these still leave a lot to be desired. Detail is largely not accurate (though nicely sculpted), and much equipment has been left out completely. As usual several of the poses suffer from the Atlantic curse of looking 'at the camera' rather than where they are going, and one (last figure in second row) has managed to twist his body well beyond what any human body can achieve. These are energetic, exciting figures for an unusual subject, and they cry out to be loved, but there are just too many mistakes and shortcuts to make it happen. Toys they were and are, but once again we have a set which suggests its subject rather than being an accurate representation of it, which is a pity, particularly as it took decades for anyone to produce a serious set for the Indian Army.


Historical Accuracy 3
Pose Quality 3
Pose Number 7
Sculpting 4
Mould 7

Further Reading
"30th Punjabis" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.31) - James Lawford - 9780850450613
"British Web Equipment of the Two World Wars" - Crowood (Europa Militaria Series No.32) - Martin Brayley - 9781861267436
"Infantry Weapons of World War II" - David & Charles - Jan Suermont - 9780715319253
"The Armed Forces of World War II" - Orbis - Andrew Mollo - 9780856132964
"The Indian Army 1914-1947" - Osprey (Elite Series No.75) - Ian Sumner - 9781841761961

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