U.S. Paratroops WWII
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

Czech Master's Kits

Apparently there's not much time for a smoke break for this pair of airborne soldiers, who may have just landed in France or taken Carentan. But it seems the officer is not content for the war to go on without them.

The soldiers wear the distinctive M1942 airborne jumper's coat and trousers, with the ample pockets crammed with supplies and tied off for support. Both sport the long rising paratrooper boots. The NCO carries a Thompson submachine gun, and has a smoke grenade and an M1918 Mk 1 fighting knife, featuring the handle with the "brass knuckles," hanging from his web straps. The other soldier has a standard M1 carbine with the wooden stock (for which you could swap one of the metal folding stock M1A1 carbines from DML). On his web straps are a Mk IIA1 "pineapple" grenade and a TL-122-C flashlight.

Both figures have 82nd Airborne patches engraved on their right arms and flags on their left arms. You can carve them off and use Hudson & Allen's excellent set of decals for either the 82nd or 101st.

A noteworthy drawback of this set is the way accessory pieces are molded onto the resin carriers. Rather than being attached at the top or bottom of the item, the pieces are attached across the back to the carrier. This means they need to be sawed off, rather than severed with a hobby knife. The result is more resin dust to contend with, and the chance of sawing into the piece you're tyring to remove. On the plus side are the two original musette bags that are not identical to one another. But you'll need to scrounge up a couple entrenching tools, as none are included.

Sculpting of the figures is decent but certainly not up to Nemrod or Warriors standards. The heads are large and characterless, like many early VP heads. I'll probably repalce them with Warriors heads. The hands seem to be taken from DML figures. The uniforms are accurate, however, and well-rendered. There are impressions in the uniform into which ammo pouches nestle, rather than sitting atop the folds of the uniforms, a nice touch. Scalewise, the boys are more along the lines of Verlinden's size, i.e., 1/32. They stand around 6'4". Weapons appear similar to Tamiya is size and detail, while the canteens are distinctive of DML offerings.

Because they're on the large side, these figures will work nicely with similarly sized figures from Verlinden, or with other smaller figures if attention is paid to the size of heads and helmets.



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