Box's first set of US figures is an interesting offering of three
paratroopers making their way through hostile territory during Operation
Market Garden or thereafter. One injured soldier is assisted by
another, as both are covered by wary BAR gunner. While not quite
perfect, the set hints at greater things to come from this Ukrainian
strong points in this styrene kit are the natural poses and sculpting
of the figures. Sculptor Alexander Gagarin has done a fine job capturing
how the sense of weight is conveyed as the trooper supports his
injured buddy and the twisted posture of their protector. Their
faces also stand out in comparison to Dragon and Tamiya figures,
with more crispness and expression similar to the better heads from
Warriors or Jaguar. Detailing includes the ties for the pockets
of the cargo pants and M1 fighting knives strapped to the soldier's
are a few nits to pick with the M1943 uniforms, however. The flaps
of the breast pockets are squared off on the bottom, rather than
the true arrow shape. The sleeves are not cinched at the wrist,
which would be acceptable if the tabs and buttons were present,
but they appear only on one sleeve.
weapons and gear appear to be newly sculpted, and not just knock-offs
of other manufacturer's products. Of note is the large demolition
pack worn by the helping trooper, the first of which I've ever seen
produced. It is the early version, worn on the back; a later, smaller
variant was slung from the shoulder. This figure also has a musette
bag strapped to his hip, an appropriate alternative placement-especially
if you're carrying 20 pounds of explosives on your back!
separate gear includes cartridge belts for the Garand and BAR ammo,
and the pouches of the bandolier that hangs from the neck of the
injured soldier (you may wish to glue the bandolier to the figure
before you attach his arms; I set the arms in place first, and had
some trouble getting the bandolier up into the proper position under
the left arm).
canteens, however, have the later U.S. Marines pattern covers where
one flap crosses over the other to secure the canteen in place (see
Dragon's Iwo Jima set). I've never seen them in photos of Army soldiers,
at least not in the European or Mediterranean theaters. You might
wish to replace these with the more conventional style. Another
curiosity is the M12 trench gun ammo pouch, which is ganged with
a first aid pouch. Again, this is more appropriate for Marines,
who often relied on shotguns in their close quarters combat. In
the Army, trench guns were sometimes used by MPs in guarding POWs,
but it would be very unusual to see this item with the airborne.
figures and their accessories are presented on a single sprue. I
was sent two sample sprues, and both had some crazing in the styrene
torsos, which may have been caused by improper cooling of the pieces
during the molding process (this is sometimes seen on Dragon figures
as well). As is typical with styrene figures, there are molding
seams to clean up. The plastic is the softer kind, as used in recent
Dragon or older Airfix multipose figures, and seams are easily removed.
There are no locating nibs on the arms, so care must be taken when
assembling them to make sure the BAR fits properly in the gunner's
hands and the other two figures are correctly positioned against
one another. A bit of putty might be needed at the joints.
unusual feature of this set is the inclusion of decals. You not
only get six each of the 82nd and 101st patches, but also six Red
Cross symbols for medics and six U.S. flags (worn on the right shoulder
for the Market Garden drop), spade and heart company symbols for
the helmets, and an assortment of rank insignia. The registration
is off just a tad on my samples, so there is a sliver of white overhanging
the right edges of the flags and 82nd patches, which could be carefully
trimmed to correct the problem.
the crosses, you have the option to make the helping figure a medic.
If you do, you should not give him the cartridge pouches or the
demolition pack. You could place the musette bag on his back. You
could use two or four of the crosses on his helmet (either just
on the sides or on the front and back as well). You will need to
sculpt or simply paint your own white arm bands if you want to recreate
rank insignia is presented as white stripes on a black background,
which is not accurate. Archer, Hudson and Allen, or Verlinden would
be better alternatives.
building these figures and look forward to getting some paint on
them. In our modeling world it's still comparatively rare to see
new styrene GIs, rarer still to see such a good effort right out
of the gate. I look forward to seeing what else Master Box has for
to Alexander Surzhenko at Master Box for the sample.