offered in 1974, this set of eight figures has been eclipsed by
Tamiyas 1995 assault infantry set. But for twenty
years this was the mainstay of modelers interested in creating U.S.
infantry theme dioramas.
of the figures wear the olive drab M1943 jacket. One
of these is walking, carrying a BAR. He has the large
BAR ammo pouches around his waist. He wears the M1943
combat service boot with the leather gaiter that eliminated the
canvas leggings. Two other soldiers in the M1943 jacket
are running. One carries an M1 Garand rifle; the other
has an M1 Carbine. The fourth figure is in a prone position,
shooting a Garand. All three of these figures also wear
the M1943 combat boot, which generally did not appear in the ETO
until later in 1944.
to the illustration and instructions on the back of the box, there
are three figures wearing the short M1941 jacket, which was usually
a tannish color. The soldier kneeling and firing his
carbine is correctly painted; he carries on his back a featureless
square bag that has more in common with a musette bag than the 1928
haversack most widely used. The jackets on Figures #3
and #4, the soldier firing the Thompson submachine gun and the other
marching GI are really M1941 jackets and should be painted as such. (Because
of wear and the differences in fabrics used by jacket manufacturers,
you can use a variety of colors and be correct. I use
Tamiya Buff, Khaki, and Dark Yellow, and varying shades of those.) The
marching figure carries the M1944 combat and cargo packs. This
dual pack was designed to replace the M1928 haversack, and enabled
the GI to leave the bottom cargo pack behind, usually containing
spare clothes, while bringing essentials along in the combat pack. The
two packs are molded together, with a rolled blanket draped over
them. An M1943 shovel is glued onto the packs. All
three of these figures wear canvas leggings. The final figure
wears the winter combat jacket most often seen on tankers and highly
prized by infantry for its warmth. This jacket can be
painted in a similar fashion as the M1941 jacket. Carrying
a Thompson submachine gun, he also wears canvas leggings.
figures are all a bit on the chunky side, and do not offer the level
of crisp detail we enjoy with more recent plastic figures from Tamiya
and DML, and, of course, resin figures. However, there
are some simple ways to make them much more acceptable. First, the
expressionless heads can be replaced with heads from Hornet or Ultracast
(heads from Verlinden, Yanks and Warriors are too big). Hands
are a bit on the blobbish side, and there are sets from Verlinden
and Warriors that can help here. The tallest figures
scale out to about 59 with helmets on, which is quite
acceptable, given the average height of a US serviceman in WWII
was around 58.
all the weapons and gear can be replaced with the sprue found in
Tamiyas assault infantry and offered separately as #35206
U.S. Infantry Equipment Set (though there is only enough gear there
for six soldiers).
these changes and some careful painting and detailing, a moderately
skilled modeler can bring these 25-year-old figures to life.