Sandbag Detail, U.S. Tankers
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII


Frankly, U.S. AFVs weren't among the best in terms of armor protection. So troops tended to search for means to boost their protection-and morale. Feeling safe goes a long way in helping to keep the fighting spirit up. But as soon as the Germans fielded the portable one-shot Panzerfausts, the situation became dire. From Operation Cobra onward, a lot of U.S. tanks began sporting sandbags. Usually these were stowed on the glacis plate. Later in the war, official up-armoring programs were developed, and racks were created and welded onto the tanks for stowing sandbags.

This set from Jaguar has two late war figures filling sandbags. They could of course be building a nice shelter for the night, but Jaguar has clearly aimed it at the tank market. There are quite a few parts here. Overall, casting, sculpting, and attention to detail is excellent. For example, the GI filling the bag has dogtags cast around his neck and the braces of his coverall are depicted hanging loose. The guy holding up the sandbag has a triangular patch from the armored division on his left shoulder. There's a casting provided of three stacked sandbags with some equipment lying on them: a pistol holster, crash helmet and web belt.

The filling figure has the most parts: legs, torso, left and right arms, left and right boots, left hand holding the shovel blade, and a separate head. There are locating pegs cast onto the arms, hands and torso, which will help in fitting them together. I'm a bit worried about how the shovel is going to turn it, but some plastic rod will probably do if the handle is broken. Parts are well cast, and there are just a few air bubbles to watch out for. This soldier wears the M1943 buckle boots, so this makes him late war. The fact that the boots are separate makes it easier to convert him if necessary for earlier situations. Some DML parts will probably do, or maybe the VP conversion packs.

Mr. Fill-me-up is holding a nicely detailed sandbag with subtle texture included and some dirt inside. His hands are cast onto the sandbag, making sure his hold on the bag looks realistic. Other parts are left and right legs, torso, left and right arms, and a separate head. Again, good sculpting here. There are more air bubbles here, particularly on the lower legs and his bottom. This figures also has locating pegs included. He wears a side cap, where his buddy has a knit wool cap.

A very versatile set, which I highly recommend. I have never seen this set in a diorama actually, but they are a nice change of pace (and pose). Add more figures for a maintenance scene, a Sherman with interior, and you'll have a detailer's dream.

-Martin Dogger


Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter