U.S. Army Infantry
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII


This was one of the first figure sets I purchased when I got back into modeling in 1990. There wasn't much else available back then beyond the Tamiya figures, and the Airfix multipose sets if you could find them.

I still have these four figures. Actually, I have another set as well, as they were at one time included with Tamiya's first Jeep in a special set (#35115A). These soldiers are in fighting poses, and we really haven't seen such dynamic poses in plastic U.S. figures since then.

One figure is leans back to hurl a hand grenade while another takes aim with his Garand. A third soldier is ready to pop off a burst from his Tommy gun and the last guy is about to send the Nazis to hell with his flamethrower. Unfortunately, the excitement of the artwork isn't quite captured by the real figures themselves, which are stiffly executed with expressionless faces. While Hornet or Ultracast heads would be advisable replacements, a bit more effort would be required to correct some of the deficiencies in the uniforms (the M1943 combat jacket is too short on the Tommy gunner and flame thrower). The Garand and grenade figures are rather anorexic looking. The men wear a mix of canvas leggings and buckle boots. Overall the detail is soft and would take some skillful painting to bring them to life. The equipment and weapons are typical of early Tamiya products and best sent to the wastebasket.

Given the quality of today's figures, are these totally worthless? Well, pretty much so for the serious modeler. But you could use the arms for converting other figures. Or grind off what little detail there is on the parts and use them as armatures to sculpt up your own figures. It might be a relatively easy job to clothe them in simple melton overcoats and make winter fighting figures out of them to go with DML's Bastogne airborne team.



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