U.S. Gun and Mortar Team Set
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII


This infantry set, from 1976, is similar in quality to Tamiya’s "U.S. Infantry West European Theater" figures.  That is, they’re rather chunky, softly molded, and can stand some replacement heads from Hornet or Ultracast.  But they do offer a range of action poses that are not found from other plastic or resin manufacturers. 

Two figures man a water-cooled .30 caliber M1917 machine gun.  One sits behind the gun in a firing position, the other is prone and feeds the ammo belt to the gun.  Both wear the M1941 jacket and canvas leggings.  This is rather simply rendered, and marred by an ejector pin mark on one side.  A replacement from Collector’s Brass would probably provide better detail.  Or, if one wasn't set on having the water-cooled version, the .30 cal included with Tamiya's recent Jeep could be substituted. 

Another figure, posed in a very dynamic stance, is firing a pedestal-mounted Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun at some Luftwaffe planes flying overhead.  He wears the 1941 jacket and leggings.  A large ammo magazine is mounted on the gun.  The .50 cal has been surpassed by other guns from Tamiya, Verlinden, and Academy. 

Next up is a two-man bazooka team.  The man firing the M9A1 rocket launcher wears the long M1943 jacket.  The loader also wears this coat, as well as webbing.  Both wear the M1943 combat book with the leather gaiter.  Four rockets are provided.  The bazooka is the second type used by the infantry; the earlier M1 rocket launcher, with the wooden butt, is included with Tamiya’s U.S. weapons set.  This earlier bazooka is actually a bit better detailed than the one included in this kit, as are the rockets.  The final grouping is a three-man 81mm mortar team.  As one standing soldier is about to let a round slide down the tube, another kneels with his hands over his ears.  The third man is kneeling, talking into an SCR-609 radio.  The mortar is adequately detailed, as is the radio (Verlinden makes a radio that is a bit more detailed).  There are four 6.8 lb. rounds and two 10.6 lb. shells, as well as five of the latter in cardboard tubes.  No empty tubes are provided.  This mortar team is also included with one of Tamiya's halftrack kits. 

The set also includes shovels, bayonets, canteens and sidearms that are better replaced with Tamiya’s U.S. Infantry Equipment Set (#35206). 

It would be nice to see an update of this set, but in lieu of that it’s possible to upgrade these figures at a moderate cost.



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