took nearly 40 years for WWII half-track modelers to get a new set of specially
purposed HT figures. Of course, it took almost that long between the appearance
of Tamiya's half tracks and DML's. Fortune finally smiled upon us with NWM's set
of six finely rendered GIs, shown here occupying the DML M2.
of the box, you couldn't ask for much more. In general (with an intriguing exception),
the figures can be used from Operation Torch into the autumn of 1944. You could
also switch in a few figures wearing M1943 combat jackets to work these guys into
a spring 1945 setting.
figure has his left leg raised and bent and leans over convincingly. Another stands
with his hands in his pockets. The remaining are sitting, and all are posed looking
over their surroundings; expressions are muted and one is talking, giving a strong
hint of warinessor weariness.
uniforms offer an interesting variety, and one of the nice things about this set
is that none of the soldiers wears webbing suspenders, presumably because they
are armored infantry and their HT is well packed (the box art helpfully notes
that the set does not come with weaponsnor half-track). Thus, like Tamiya's
old set, they can be used as resting infantry who have lightened their load.
have cartridge belts for M1 Garands, and all have the canvas leggings with their
combat boots. The driver wears the winter combat jacket and no ammo pouches on
his belt, but has tucked in a captured German pistol. Another figure wears a similar
winter jacket, and three others have the 1941 field jacket, second pattern.
sixth figure (center in the left photo below), is an officer riding in the front
passenger seat (as he's equipped with a .45 pistol). He wears what has all the
characteristics of the herringbone twill camouflaged jacket. The camo uniforms
(also featured in DML's U.S. Infantry, 2nd Armored
Division) were short lived, basically from Operation Cobra in mid-July and
on into August.
main differences between this jacket and a regular HBT version is that the camo
jacket had hidden buttons down the breast, while the plain HBTs had five or more
visible buttons. And lest one thinks it's an M1943 field jacket commonly seen
beginning in the fall of 1944, the flaps on that jacket's breast pockets had their
corners cut and were secured with buttons, and the sleeves had buttoned cuffs.
The kit figure's breast pockets flaps are uncut and without buttons, and there
are no buttons on the cuffs. Unfortunately, the figure is obscured in the box
art, so one can't tell how he's intended to be painted. But if you don't want
to give him the camo colorings, you could take your hobby knife and carefully
trim the pocket flaps and add buttons where needed.
trousers also provide a camo option, as two figures wear herringbone twill trousers
with the pair of large cargo pockets on the thighs. For modeling purposes, these
are virtually identical between camo and non-camo styles.
are captured well. The pieces require some cleanup of seams and casting plugs.
A few bubbles and attachment points, particularly where the arms meet the shoulders,
need attention with some filler. Be careful not to remove the muzzle of the captured
pistol carried by the driver, nor the bottom portions of the cartidge belt clasps.
standing figure scales to just over 6', which is in line with most figures, if
not the average height of that era. The heads are similar in size to Warriors
spare head sets (and a bit larger than Hornet heads) if you are looking for more
real test, of course, is how well the figures fit into a half track, and I'm sorry
I haven't yet built my DML M2s so I could report on this. But I suspect that all
of us GI fans can easily make any adjustments necessary in order to crew up our
carriers with something light years better than our old Tamiya friends.
sculptor is given credit on the box, but we owe him and Chris Mrosko at New Worlds
Minatures a hearty round of applause for this welcome set.