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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Introducing the Italian Air Force

The Italian Air Force, or more precisely, the Regia Aeronautica was established in the 1920s and by the time WWII began, it counted with approximately 3000 aircraft and it had already participated in campaigns in Ethiopia and Spain. During the first half of the war, the Italian Air Force fought in North Africa and the Eastern Front where it bled alongside the Germans. In 1943, after Italy's surrender the Italian Air Force was split in two as was the case with the rest of Italy's military. The northern forces sides with the Axis and were known as the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana. The southern forces became the Aviazione Cobelligerante Italiana and fought on on the side of the allies. As far as plastic toy soldiers go, I only have one set, produced by Atlantic figures. Let's take a look.

Atlantic Italian Air Force - Part I
I usually stick to collecting 'ground' troops as I do not have planes or ships to go with air force guys or seamen, but these guys were nice enough and well enough priced that I could not resist. Note that aside from a couple of figures that explicitly look like they belong in an airfield, some of the other guys could be deployed in other roles. The figures are well sculpted and nicely detailed. In some of the figures you can seven see the eyelids and eyeballs! The one thing that does not make much sense to me is to have two officers that look almost the same.

Atlantic Italian Air Force - Part II
These guys look more like ground troops so they will be easier to deploy in the scenes I tend to build. The sculpting style reminds me of the Atlantic British Commandos set, less stiff and more action poses. The guy who is firing upwards is definitely very similar to one of the Commandos. Quite a nice set overall.

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