Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

YANKS Miniatures continues to operate under Paul Wilkie in Perth, Scotland, after beginning in the United States in the 1990s with orignal owner Dave Bighia. The initial product line included a couple dozen sets of GI figures and a handful of Russians. YM was noted during this time for its innovative subjects. They came out with a nice interior for the M8 Howitzer Motor Carriage, predating Verlinden’s version, as well as some cargo loads and other diorama materials. Particularly of note were two pairs of surrendering GIs suitable for an Ardennes setting. This was a first for American figures, as was a solitary dead infantryman; there was also a lifeless figure beneath a blanket that could be a combatant or civilian. YM also produced the first set of GI tank riders, and a crew abandoning its tank.

The quality of the older YANKS Miniatures figures varies a bit from sculptor to sculptor. They’re not as crisply detailed as Warriors, Verlinden or Jaguar. Faces vary from smoothly detailed to rough. Helmet sizes tend to be larger, along the lines of Warriors and Verlinden. YM made several packages of replacement heads, including a fine set in the wool knit serviceman’s caps that Patton so detested.

By 1999, owner Dave Bighia closed up YANKS Miniatures and sold its molds to Scotia Models in Scotland. Owner Paul Wilkie continued the original product line and is adding new products, but at this time does not have a website. He may be contacted at yanksminiatures@hotmail.com.

In 2002, Bighia announced the start of a new YANKS but the company was beset with various problems. In August 2004, I was informed by Bill Speck, who had taken over the company from Bighia, that YANKS was no longer effectively in business, but Speck's new company, Mustang Productions, released products including some figures produced by YANKS and YANKS Miniatures. But Mustang too soon went out of business. It is still possible to find some of the older figures under their original label in hobby stores or through "buy-and-sell" discussion groups.

Where possible, I have cross-referenced YANKS Miniatures, YANKS, and Mustang Productions (MP).

YANKS Miniatures

9601U.S. tankers refueling (2 figures)
9602U.S. Recon group, 1943-45 (3 figures)
9603GI POWs walking, Battle of the Bulge
9604GI walking with BAR
9605GI walking with radio and carbine
9606GI walking with M1 rifle, 1943-45
9608GI POWs standing, Battle of the Bulge
9609U.S. Medic treating wounded GI
9610Deceased GI, 1943-45
9611U.S. tankers re-arming (2 figures)
9612U.S. tankers bailing out (2 figures)
9614U.S. paratrooper standing (in overcoat)
9616"5 card stud" (5 figures) [this kit was listed but may not have been produced]
9617U.S. tank crew (multi-pose, 4 3/4 figures)
9618U.S. heads with netted helmets (6)
9619U.S. tanker heads (6)
9620U.S. heads with plain helmets (6)
9622U.S. Jeep driver
9623U.S. paratrooper in overcoat (hands in pockets)
9624U.S. tanker (sitting and drinking from canteen)
9628U.S. heads (6, each with knit caps)
9630Civilian casualty (covered with tarp)
9631U.S. Dodge ambulance driver (seated w/leg extended out of cab, includes driver's seat)
9632Red Ball Express black drivers
9702U.S. Tank Riders #1 (5 figures)
9705M18 "Hellcat" crew (3 full and 2 partial figures)
9708U.S. 75mm halftrack gun crew (3 figures)
9712U.S. tanker heads #2 (6)
9718U.S. GIs in ponchos eating(3 Korean War figures)
9725U.S. Medic/MP (MP35006)
9733U.S. Wading Merrill's Marauders (2 half figures in jungle stream)
9745U.S. GIs / Overcoats Warming by Fire
9746U.S. Marine Corps dog handler with Doberman


35101U.S. GI in Sleeping Bag #1 (MP35002)
35102U.S. GI in Sleeping Bag #2
35108U.S. Tank Rider #1 (Winter) (MP35005)
35109U.S. Tank Rider #2 (Winter) (MP35007)
35110U.S. Tank Rider #3 (Winter) (MP35004)
35111U.S. Tank Rider #4 (Winter)
35112U.S. Tank Rider #5 (Winter)

Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © Timothy S. Streeter