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Dark Alliance Rednecks

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The term "Redneck" is, at the time of writing this review, ambiguous at best. Certain cultural groups consider that a name to be worn with pride while others consider it derogatory. It's origins lie in the division of workforce/working classes (necks red from sun because of working outside) but there is a strong tendency to assign this name to the inhabitants of Southern States in United States of America. This is also what the box suggests, adding Confederate colours to the name.

Given that the producer is from Ukraine one could probably expect a set of clichés regarding these states' inhabitants, particularly from poor and rural regions. Knowing their earlier products one also might expect some popular culture references.

First row begins with two individuals who could be members of a biker gang. To what extent biker gangs are typical for Southern States is debatable (they are active in all states as well as abroad). Also, the majority of "outlaw motorcycle clubs'" members are not holding any significant criminal records and despite their aggressive appearance they are more often likely to hold a charity event than a shootout. However, the FBI do perceive some of them, especially "The Big Four" as "serious domestic threat" so while more pop culture than historically-based, these two figures will suit a diorama with some nice 1/72 Harley-Davidsons - if one can only find such. They are armed with shotguns, one pump action and one - lever action, very similar to the Hero Custom 1887 Winchester used in "Terminator 2" movie. Next in the first row there are two figures that are actually working physically - a man with the fork and a man with the axe. They could, of course, be placed against an opponent but both will look perfectly fine throwing hay on a truck or cutting wood.

Next row begins with a figure armed with a Colt Navy revolver, huge knife in the other hand (infamous "heroic" stance) and carrying a banjo on his back. This is as cliché as can probably get but the pose is useless without some repositioning, which is a shame. Next to it we have two people shooting an aimed shot from shotgun and scoped rifle - they look like hunters or just civilians firing their weapons. The final figure is engaged in a very dangerous habit of drinking alcohol while carrying a weapon. While there is no clear evidence that Southern States consume significantly more alcohol per capita than other regions, the bottle is clearly a 1,75l or even 3,5l Jack Daniels Tennessee Whisky - a symbol even if a stereotype. Not much figures in the hobby showing such irresponsible behaviour and the weapon (a generic shotgun) can be swapped to place this gentleman in the different time period.

The last row begins with a shorter man carrying an M4 rifle and a small tactical rucksack (that model of thousands of brands). Then there is a man in dungarees holding a hard to identify weapon and some sort of pickaxe. He looks like a participant of a rally, inciting the crowd or cheering - a stereotype, again, often delivered by pop culture and videogames but also rooted in many unrests in that area. Then there is another working man, this time with a chainsaw, which makes it possible to set up a lumberjack diorama if one chooses to do so. The final figure is a woman, armed in a shotgun and a handgun, dressed in boots, shorts, some sort of top and a Stetson hat. She is visibly overweight which is not common in this hobby.

Speaking of overweight, most of the figures represent people who are exactly that. This is not against statistics - health records are lowest for these areas and the obesity is a problem more than in the rest of US. However individuals represented here are not extremely obese - they are a fair representation of many humans in the world who either stick to unhealthy habits or/and turned over 30 or 40 years old. This makes this set both unique and useful because most figures out there are representations of perfect bodies. Having a fat, bearded biker is a nice change - although here it's only "exposed abdomen biker" at best.

The poses described allow for creation of some interesting dioramas, from modern to Wild West. The detail is very good with different facial features. Most of the men sport a beard, often a spectacular, ZZ-Top-style one. Many figures wear some kind of hat, from Stetson to baseball cap. They differ in sizes - some males are shorter then the female - and in build. Overall they represent a lot of modern individuals pretty accurately, not only southern US states citizens.

The quality of mould is less satisfying. There is flash visible on joining lines and trimming is required. Some weapons are not identifiable (a type, not a model). In general, these figures - like all from that producer - require additional work.

This is one of several bizarre sets from Dark Alliance who recently released a large number of fantasy sets (very much based on Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" movie) and a certain number of sets suitable for modern pulp wargaming (like fighting zombies). While the original purpose of this set may be somewhat unclear it will find its uses.

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