set carries a couple fundamental problems that will vex modelers
looking to employ these paratroopers in dioramas.
according to airborne historian Mark Bando, neither the 101st nor
the 82nd Airborne had Browning Automatic Rifles when they assaulted
Normandy, ostensibly the setting for these figures in their M1942
jump uniforms. So either the VP sculptor ignored accuracy in favor
of simply designing a figure around the often-used molding of a
right hand clasped onto a BAR, or he assumes you already know this
fact and will opt to use this figure in a post-Market Garden setting,
when the BAR was used by airborne. Or the sculptor assumes you will
decide this figure picked up the weapon and the M1937 magazine belt
from an infantry soldier who landed on the beach, made his way in
country, and no longer needed them. Frankly, I'm assuming the sculptor
didn't know what he was doing, since research and accuracy have
not been the strongest attributes of the Verlinden organization.
other problem is scale height. The standing soldier is under 6',
relatively short as far as Verlinden figures go but much more accurate
in terms of historical height of American soldiers and more in line
with other 1/35 scale figures. The kneeling soldier, however, is
closer to 7'6" (measuring with a thread from heel through the
joints up to the top of the helmet). It's not as noticeable since
he is kneeling, but from the standpoint of bulk, he appears larger
than true 1/35 scale figures from Nemrod and DML. This is also a
problem with the preceding set of VP paratroopers, "Incoming!"
(#2106), which also presents us with 7'+ giants.
not much you can do to correct either of these figures' problems.
The BAR gunner's distinctive magazine belt could be ground off,
the pouches replaced with some suitable for Garand cartridges, but
then you need to deal with find a couple hands to fit to the cuffs
and convincingly hold a Garand. And then do you use an accurately
scaled Garand, or Verlinden's knockoff of the 1/32 Airfix weapon?
accuracy problem lies with the magazine pouch for the kneeling figure
with the Thompson submachine gun. It's clear by the magazine on
the gun that it is the shorter 20-round style. His pouch, which
is bent as if empty, is sized for three short magazines. But I was
unable to find in the four references I checked any such item. The
20-round magazines were carried in a five-slot pouch. The three
magazine pouch was designed for the longer 30-round magazines.
these figures do not wear the M1942 jump jackets, as the box art
implies by the tan color of the jackets and trousers. Actually,
the unidentified sculptor has fashioned M1943 OD jackets. I was
fooled by the box art at first, but further examination shows the
one-button arrow tab on sleeve cuffs, no pleated front hip pockets,
and a larger cut lapelall hallmarks of the M1943 jacket that
was introduced to airborne soldiers for Operation Market Garden
in September, 1944. So, if you want to use these figures in Normandy,
as the box art suggests, you need to make some alterations to the
jackets, the most difficult of which will be fixing the lapels.
Verlinden has often had problems with accuracy throughout his product
line, but this seems to reach a new low. If he and his team can't
get a simple uniform correct, what does that suggest for other VP
products? What is worseineptitude, or a con job?
note that while the box art shows the reinforced knees in a greener
canvas cloth, this is again a trick of painting and not sculpted
into the figures themselves, as the patches are with figures from
other manufacturers. Not all troopers had their uniforms reinforced,
so you can opt not to depict them this way.
with VP's usual inclusion of standard gear, you also get the nearly
standard dose of disappointment and frustration.