M8/M20 Driver With MP Directing Traffic
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII


Tamiya and Italeri have both released M8 and M20 kits. They both have their pros and cons, but that's another story. Tamiya provided figures for their kits, where Italeri did not-but that is more of a blessing than a curse. The M20 kit from Tamiya provided a simple, uninspiring commander and a useful but equally uninspired driver. True, there is not much glamour about driver figures, and their job does not lend itself very well to dramatic poses. But the vehicles needed to be driven, and we need model figures if we want to depict that.

This Jaguar set gives us two figures, one of which can be used to crew one the front seats of your M8 or M20. The driver is made up of torso and legs, left and right arms, separate head, and helmet. He has a shoulder holster, which needs to be glued on, and there's a pair of goggles in transparent resin, a nice touch. He wears the tankers coveralls of the second pattern. Facial features are good, and the folds and creases in his clothes look good. His left arm is raised and he is holding the rim of his front hatch with his left hand. The pour plug of the torso part is located at the bottom, and so some trimming will be needed to fit him to the vehicle's seat but nothing really difficult here. Attaching the arms is helped by locating pegs, as is fitting the head.

The MP is assembled of the following parts: legs and torso, left and right arms, head, and separate helmet, separate right hand holding a M1 Garand rifle. He also has goggles in transparent resin. Sculpting and casting is very good. There are several air bubbles on the ammo pouches of this GI, but that's about all I could find. The MP wears the M1941 jacket and OD trousers with cargo pockets. His legs look too long for my taste. The field jacket is a bit short, so some putty here might help. His left arm is outstretched, as if signalling but his mouth is not open which spoils the overall appearance somewhat. He wears a band round his arm. You can remove this one, and restore the folds with a scalpel and file if you want a plain GI. The pose is not very 'combat worthy' however, but the choice is all yours.

The M1 Garand is fair, although replacing it will be tricky given the moulded on hand and fitting the hand will need some care. The recent Gen2 weapons from DML are very good. DML has released their old Rangers set with a new sprue of weapons and the Tarawa set has some spares.

Summing up, this set is very good. I would like to have two driver figures in one set, rather than an MP directing traffic. It would have been better in my opinion if the MP was signalling one vehicle to stop while gesturing to another one to start rolling.

And two vehicle drivers would have meant more options. But the sets are as they come, and there are other figures available for crewing the Greyhound. Recommended.

-Martin Dogger


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