honor of the 60th anniversary of D-Day, DML created a set of U.S. infantry figures
that would have made a great complement to the Rangers and Airborne sets it offered
in 1994, had the company not been so thoroughly absorbed with German subjects.
But better late than never, as they say, and perhaps one of the benefits of having
to wait ten years for this set is that DML has recently moved beyond it's four-figure
format, and here we get six GIs coming ashore at Normandy rather than four.
many dioramists who were inspired by Saving Private Ryan, I began acquiring
soldiers for my own rendition of the horrors of that morning on Omaha Beach. Fortunately
I got sidetracked with other projects, still adding figures to the collection
as I found them. Now because of the multipart composition of these DML figures,
I'm sure I can play around with them and come up with 14 to 18 different variations.
is a great set, with realistic poses and excellent sculpting that captures the
dynamics of the situation. Even the heads are better than usual from DML, though
I'll still probably swap out some of them with Hornet. Two of the figures wear
the floatation belts around their waists, and three have the rubberized M7 gas
mask carrier bags. The uniforms are standard fare for the 1942-44 time frame:
field jackets and wool serge trousers, with canvas leggings over the service shoes.
soldier's arms are on a separate sprue. Each right arm has the gas detection brassard
molded onto to it. Each left arm has the 29th's divisional patch included, and
one figure has his corporal stripes. You may want to scrape these off and use
Archer Fine Transfers' U.S. insignia sets (which were initially developed in 1997
by yours truly and Woody Vondracek at Archer). Likewise, the markings are included
on the helmets that do not have mesh covering them.
with past DML releases shows this kit has all newly tooled equipment. The M1928
haversacks and M7 gas mask bags are different sculptings from the Rangers set,
for example. Canteens, M1910 shovels, cartridge and bandage pouches, etc., are
all new. As a result, some items a sized a bit differently than their predecessors,
something to consider if you are going to be combining these figures with others
for a D-Day diorama.
box includes two weapon sprues from #6802, the Marines at the Chosin Reservoir
set. Consequently, the M1 carbines have the bayonet lugs on the underside of the
barrel that were not present during WWII and will need to be removed. Also on
the sprues are M1 Garands and Browning automatic rifles. The set comes with a
color instruction sheet.
the D-Day enthusiast, these figures can represent the 1st Infantry Division, which
also landed on Omaha with the 29th, or the 4th, which went ashore at Utah Beach.
research will help you determine if they are appropriate for the invasion of southern
France (Operation Dragoon) or even North Africa (Operation Torch). Removing the
brassards, gas mask bag straps and floatation belts lets you bring the soldiers
further inland into just about any French or German setting. Steve Zaloga demonstrates
how to apply two of these figures to a "panzernest" setting in Military
Modelling Vol. 34, No, 15, 2004. In the article, Zaloga states DML's 29th
figures depict soldiers from the later waves because they don't wear the assault
vests, which were worn by both Rangers and 29th infantry. However, not all soldiers
got the vests, according to Jonathan Gawne in his superb Spearheading D-Day,
and many who did immediately ditched them in the water because of the weight.
So don't let Zaloga's comment deter you from putting these guys in the first wave.