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Built Review
135
Falkland Islands War 1982
British Marines & Argentine Soldier Falklands 1982
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

Back in 1982 the United Kingdom went to war with Argentina over a series of small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean called the Falkland Islands. The Argentines captured the islands very quickly overrunning the small garrison of Royal Marines who were instructed to surrender in order to prevent casualties to the native population. It is possible that the conflict would have ended there except for two things; Firstly Margaret Thatcher was the British Prime Minister, and secondly the Argentine forces made the mistake of publicly embarrassing the Royal Marines that surrendered by filming troops with their boots on the prone British troops, a bit like the great white hunter with his boot on the lion or tiger he just shot.

The outcome of this regardless of you viewpoint was that the British Armed Forces were sent to war in an impressive assortment of ships to retake the islands. I believe that just about every branch of the British Forces was represented. The Navy had the Fleet Air Arm who even sent a member of the British Royal Family to war (Prince Andrew flew helicopters), all of the crews of the various ships, the Royal Marines, and the S.B.S. The British Army had the SAS, the Parachute Regiment, Welsh Guards, The Ghurkhas, Army Air Corps, and the Royal Artillery to name but a few, and lastly the Royal Air Force flew several bombing missions with the Vulcan bomber and Victor tankers for refuelling. I plead ignorance as regards specific Argentine units other than I do remember a large number of them were conscripted troops.

This conflict has been largely ignored by the model manufacturers with the exception of the aircraft that took part. Blackdog has now addressed this oversight with the release of British Marines and Argentine Soldier Falklands 1982. The set I am reviewing here is titled the ‘Big Set’ and consists of four figures, the figures consist of three British Marines and an Argentine soldier. These figures are also available as individual purchases and as two pairs.

Review

Each of the four figures supplied in this set are packaged in their own Ziploc bag and then packed in another Ziploc bag as a set before being packaged in a card box that should keep everything safe as they are also packed with polystyrene peanuts. All of the figures in this product are sculpted by Radek Tomanec. All of the figures in this product appear to me to be cleanly moulded with no obvious air bubbles I could detect.

The British in their long history have fielded some exceptional military units in their time, with the Royal Marines being one of those great military units which can trace its history back to 1664. The Special Boat Service or Squadron depending on time period are the navel equivalent of the British Army SAS. The three British figures in this set from Blackdog are I believe members of the SBS rather than Royal Marines, my main reason for that belief are the M16 rifles which was not the standard weapon issued to British forces whose personal weapon was the SLR. Don’t get me wrong that is not a complaint about the figures just an observation, also some of the personal kit such as boots are not British Forces issue of the time.

The figures have been tacked together using PVA glue only. I have not cleaned the parts up for assembly unless required for a mating surface; I have merely snapped them free of the pour plug. The only figure I found any issue with is the right arm of figure F35085 which does show a gap that will need work; otherwise I was extremely impressed with the joint of parts.

Figure F35082
The first figure I am going to look at is available on its own as F35082 - British Marines Falklands 1982 and as part of a pair in set F35084 - British Marines Falklands 1982. The figure is made up of seven parts with the head and hands being separate from the complete body. The Bergen has a LAW stowed in the top with a ground mat stowed on the rear and supplied as a separate part. The uniform consists of the appropriate DPM smock and trouser of the period, however the smock has a hood which is indicative of the equipment worn in Norway when doing Arctic training (not many troops had this equipment due to the British government being caught out by the Argentine action) If I am correct in that belief then the jacket is a little short but it is a correct length for a standard issue smock, however I do not know of a smock like that with a hood.

The boots depicted are not British military issue and I believe they are a personal purchase item which is not that unusual among Special Forces. The gaiters depicted are an item I am unfamiliar with but they would be ideal for the cold boggy conditions on the Falkland Islands at the time of the conflict. The black woollen hat worn is another typical item from the Commando days; it won’t stop a bullet but it will help keep you warm. The hand and face detail is good and should look the part when pained. The M16 appears accurate but is bowed along its length, this is not going to be the hardest part to correct but drilling the end of the barrel will test the hand eye coordination.

Figure F35083
The second figure is available on its own as F35083 - British Marines Falklands 1982 and as part of a pair in set F35084 - British Marines Falklands 1982. This figure shares all of the uniform attributes of the first figure and is the only one of the three to be depicted with his hood up. The moulding is again of a very high standard with none of the resin issues that can arise and has good definition. The facial and hand details are also very good with the fit of parts also being especially good and praise worthy. The Bergen is a similar load to the first figure except that the ground mat is moulded as an integral part of the Bergen. This figure is also packaged with a shovel and the handle of the shovel has broken, I do emphasize though that this is the only part and it is a very fine casting.

The GPMG does have an error in that the bipod has been attached to the weapon back to front, it is however correctly placed in terms of the area it occupies. One other issue with the GPMG is that the weapon is bowed over its length and will need straightening and the barrel tip will be a pig to drill due to its small size. The carry handle is supplied as a separate part and will help the look of the weapon. There has been some discussion reference how this weapon has been shown being carried, having never had to carry one any distance I cannot comment but with the addition of a scratched sling I believe some compromise can be reached.

Figure F35085
The third figure is available on its own as F35085 - British Marines Falklands 1982 and as part of a pair in set F35087 - British Marines plus Argentine soldier. This third British figure is the easiest to build as it only consists of the torso with the legs attached, 2 arms, a head, and the M16 rifle, there is no Bergen with this figure. Moulding is again excellent being clean, crisp, and precise with no obvious faults. The fur trim around the hood of the smock is especially well done. The boots shown are again not standard British issue and I am guessing the local army surplus and camping store did a roaring trade; as I have said before it is common for British special forces to be wearing none regulation kit.

The hand and facial details are again good, but the ears do look a little poorly defined. Clothing and the limited equipment being carried all looks appropriate to me with the smock again being a little short on length if it depicts the piece of kit I believe it to be. The trousers look to be tucked into the boots and have good crease detail, however this figure does not have the gaiters depicted on the two other British figures. The M16 rifle in this offering is straight or true whichever term you prefer and has good detail but again the barrel does not have a hollow tip that I can see.

Figure F35086
The last figure I am going to look at is the Argentine soldier which is available on its own as F35086 - Argentine soldier Falklands 1982, and in set F35087 - British Marines plus Argentine soldier. The figure only consists of two parts with torso arms and legs as a one piece moulding and a separate head. The fit of the head to the body is excellent and should not require any remedial action once cemented in place. The facial detail on the figure is well defined, the expression is that of a person who is cold and miserable. The uniform is fairly basic in the form that appears to consist of light weight trousers and a light winter hooded jackets, the crease detail is good as is the boot detail. The pour plug on the boots should be easy to remove and clean up; the pour plug on the head is easily snapped off leaving a small area to clean up. This figure while depicted as a prisoner in the set would be equally at home stood near a brazier with his weapon lent up against something.

Conclusion

As someone who remembers the Falkland Islands Conflict very well it is good to see the ground troops that took part on both sides finally getting some recognition from the model companies. While these British troops are listed as British Marines I do feel that the description would be better shown as SBS or SAS members but at the very least listed as Royal Marines. It is a pity that the Argentine soldier is depicted as a prisoner, but it does leave scope for further releases of combatants from both sides. It is my sincere hope that Blackdog continues to expand upon these releases covering the Parachute Regiment, the Ghurkha’s, Royal Marines, and Guards regiments to name but a few.

I would also like to see the Argentine forces represented in a more meaningful way as they do deserve recognition for their involvement. When faced with the likes of the Parachute Regiment and the Ghurkha’s whose reputation is well known, and with some of the stories that got around especially about the Nepalese Ghurkha’s during World War Two I would not have wanted to face off against them. Blackdog has done a fantastic job with these initial four figures and I hope that they sell well and encourage further releases from the same conflict zone. There are some minor questionable attributes which is mostly to do with stance rather than content, but that is nothing that should bother most and with some minor work could be made to satisfy most. I very highly recommend these figures from Blackdog.
SUMMARY
Highs: The high mark for me must go to the very high standards of moulding and getting some decent representations of troops from the Falklands Conflict.
Lows: I do not really have a low but I would have liked to see the more generic British troops rather than the Special Forces, but it is a start.
Verdict: Very highly recommended due to the very high standard of the figures and that they are from a Conflict largely forgotten.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: F35088
  Suggested Retail: €37.00
  PUBLISHED: Oct 17, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.33%

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

The Argentine uniforms for the most part were locally made...The combat jackets were the 1967 Combat Jacket or Model 67. They were based on the U.S. M43, M51, M65 jackets and the French M64 jacket. There were some U.S. jackets used as well. The cold weather windproof parka as depicted on the figure is likely the Israeli Dubon.
OCT 16, 2013 - 04:07 PM
I'd have much preferred to have had some basic infantry which could have represented any of the troops involved in the conflict. Not a set I'll be buying. Al
OCT 16, 2013 - 10:41 PM
There was a hood for the DPM jacket - I went and looked at my old one in the garage, that's why there are three buttons under the collar. I don't remember having one for mine ( be fair, it was 35 years ago), so may not have been on general issue. Figure 3 looks like he's wearing IS boots to me, but may be wrong it's quite hard to tell from the pictures. The other Marines look as though they are wearing some sort of civvy mountaineering gaiters, they are readily available from camping/climbing shops. As the others have said, SBS/SAS could and can choose their own weapons, strangely they seldom seem to choose standard issue British kit, either the SLR or the SA80! I don't think you could carry a Gimpy like that for long, it's too bloody heavy! However it can be carried if you put the butt under your arm and the left hand further down nearer the bipod. This pose featured is really more appropriate to a rifle.
OCT 17, 2013 - 12:53 AM
I know I am only making observations based on pictures and not the actual items, but the British figures really do not stand out as Royal Marines or Falklands related. As many have previously pointed out, special operations units do have a wide latitude in picking out kit and weapons so most of the irregularities in dress and weapons can be attributed to this (personally, I think they represent Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre troops based on their dress and weapons). Even so, the pictures I have seen of M-16s used by British forces were early versions with 3-prong flash suppressors, no forward assist assembly on the right side and usually only had 20 round mags, not 30 round. I have seen the short carbine version with either SBS or 148 FOU troops,but it also had 20 round mags. The parkas are also very non British looking. One of the hoods appears to have fur trim, which I believe was on the earlier Olive Drab parka of the 60s but not on any DPM items. The only fur trimmed jackets in the Falklands I have seen were among the British troops captured at the beginning of the war (they were on Olive drab jackets), either with NP8901 or the Falklands Defence Force; they are very visible in the pictures of the British forces that were made to lie down in the street while being searched. One is also wearing a Denison smock,so anything is possible. Overall, the figures are also too "trim" looking and poses are stiff; with the layers of clothes worn, shouldn't they have a more bulky, baggy appearance? Even the Bergens look very nicely packed. The trousers especially look pretty close-fitting. I do like the Argentine figure and would also like to see more in combat attire. He also looks a bit too trim and neat--maybe he was stationed in Stanley? Of the set, only the Argentine figure offers anything Falklands- specific related.
OCT 17, 2013 - 11:02 AM
I did have an artic DPM jacket in the 80's and the one I had did have a fur trim and was wired so that the area of exposed face could be controlled. The only issue I have is that the jacket length seems shorter than I remember for an artic DPM jacket as they also had a crouch flap so that it did not ride up when doing daft things like jumping out of planes. I do accept that these are not typical figures for the Falklands conflict, but I am hoping that these are just the start of a line as I am impressed with them over all. Thank you all for your replies.
OCT 17, 2013 - 03:19 PM
The first two British figures appear to wearing the "smock windproof" more commonly referred to as a SAS smock which was not only worn by members of the SAS but sometimes as a personal purchase item in infantry line regiments as it was of a superior design and quality to the issue combat jacket The alternative is the Arctic windproof smock which is essentially the same smock. The only differences are it has a deeper hood which has stiff wire in the edge and also has rank slides to front and rear. There is no other difference between either as they are both smocks I am very familiar with them having worn them both in the field. Lengthwise they are right. Smocks come in different lengths according to height. Weaponwise I would say either SAS, SBS or Mountain and Arctic Warfare cadre as someone else mentioned. All three had freedom of choice as a personal weapon and carrying a 66 (LAW) was pretty much standard. The third figures smock is not any sort of British issue smock I am aware of and it's lack of front pockets and furry hood leads me to believe it is a private purchase item. Someone mentioned a crotch riser. The only smock used now and in the past by the British army that had this feature was/is the Denison/Para Smock and that looks completely different. The DPM arctic parka is a knee length garment. I hope that's of some help.
AUG 17, 2015 - 05:11 AM
Actually, the Argentine Army bought its cold weather jackets from an Israeli manufacturer (who may have been inspired by old US designs). These were not especially effective in the conditions found in the Falklands, and the Argentine troops suffered badly in the cold.
AUG 17, 2015 - 09:51 AM
A question for the 'Bundeswehr' specialists: could the Argentinan figure be used as a 1980-ies Faun SLT driver?
AUG 17, 2015 - 10:25 AM
Actually, the Argentine Army bought its cold weather jackets from an Israeli manufacturer (who may have been inspired by old US designs). These were not especially effective in the conditions found in the Falklands, and the Argentine troops suffered badly in the cold.[/quote] The British troops uniform was not really up to task either and resulted in troops purchasing their own pieces of kit to various degrees. From memory and assuming I remember correctly our troops even suffered trench foot issues.
AUG 17, 2015 - 11:06 AM
   

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