Close Combat U.S. Tank Crew
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII


Most of the combat action of tank crews was—and still is—performed within a thick cocoon of steel. Outside of the armor, they are just as vulnerable as any other soldier. MiniArt has produced a figure set that successfully captures these men trying to avoid capture, or worse.

This is a fine action set with the main figure of interest being the GI manning the .50 cal. The pose is similar to an old Warriors resin figure, and might work with some modifications in a jeep or half-track as well as hanging off the side of a tank as he appears to be.

Three other soldiers have M1 "grease guns" and one of them is being put to use. This is a very dynamic pose and the sculptor has convincingly captured the sense of a soldier stepping from cover to return fire. The other poses of the wary crew members all work to support this well-conceived scenario, though the man with the .45 and woolen trousers seems a little too relaxed. Perhaps he's just cool under pressure. But here's where a pointing figure directing fire would be perfectly acceptable.

The heads have appropriate expressions and the modeler might need to shave a bit to get the parts of the tanker helmets to come together properly. Clean up of seams and flash is quick. It helps to dry fit the grease guns as the arms are glued to the torsos so you can get the best and most realistic grip possible.

MiniArt has delivered a cohesive quintet for modelers to create an action-packed diorama. It will be fun to see how they are used at shows and online.

Review sample provided by MRC.

—Tim Streeter


Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © Timothy S. Streeter