U.S. Gun Crew WWII
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

Verlinden Productions

This is a very versatile set and though the Verlinden 2005 catalogue shows them serving an M7 Priest, you can easily use these figures with Italeri's 105mm or 155mm howitzers, or assisting with the big M59 "Long Tom" or M115 8" guns from AFV Club.

All four figures wear the canvas leggings over their combat boots, so you can place these figures in any theater of operations at any time during the war. Three of them wear the M1941 field jacket, which can be backdated to the M1940 "Parson's jacket", which would be more commonly seen in Tunisia in 1942, by adding slash pocket flaps and carving off the shoulder loops. Be careful when attaching these particular torsos to their lower leg parts; they look very similar and you don't want to mix them up or you might have problems positioning the arms.

The box art errs in painting two of the three M1941 jackets in olive drab (the figures with the handie-talkie and the 105mm ammo round). If you want jackets that look like they were newly issued, you could go with a greenish khaki, like Tamiya's #XF49. Otherwise, go with a khaki tan or mustard color to show jackets that have been well worn and faded. The same would apply to the winter combat jacket worn by the figure plugging his ears.

Appropriately, there is little gear attached to these soldiers. There are a couple canteens and fighting knives, a binoculars case, and the handie-talkie molded to the officer's hand. You'll need to provide the lanyard being pulled by the upper left figure on the box.

The poses are realistic, and the sculpting is typical Verlinden: softer and not as well defined as Hobby Fan or Warriors, but quite acceptable, and the faces are expressive. There is the usual amount of clean up. On the upper torso pieces, the sculptor has attempted to get a bit of overhang on the belt buckles that should ride over the trousers on the lower leg pieces. Make sure you don't carve that off when you remove the casting plug.

This set can be augmented by VP's "U.S. Ammo Handlers" pair. That gives you six figures, still one short for a full crew for the Priest. A good addition would be another figure delivering a round to the vehicle, which you could find from Verlinden or other manufacturers. It would common, however, for crews to be short a man or two, particularly as the war progressed in late 1944 and 1945.

Pure field artillery figures have been on my want list for a long time. Good work Verlinden.



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