took over a year and a half from when this kit of winter GIs was announced and
when it finally hit the shelves in mid 2002. During that time Tamiya released
several nice winter "action figures" with their two Ardennes Sherman
variants. While they may be late, these four DML troopers are a fine complement
to the Tamiya releases.
team is posed in wary stances, pictured in the box art as being on patrol. Two
soldiers wear the long wool melton overcoats, which are cast in several pieces
and drape nicely. A bit of Testors Contour Putty will help fill the few slight
gaps where the pieces mate. One of these figures carries a BAR; the other holds
third figure, stepping forward cautiously with his Thompson submachine gun, wears
a tan mackinaw coat. These were common in the ETO but only recently have they
been available in plastic figures.
last figure is kneeling, his Garand raised to his cheek and ready to fire. He's
dressed in the M1943 OD jacket and the airborne pattern trousers with the large
pleated cargo pockets. The trousers are really the only feature distinguishing
any of these soldiers as airborne troops, and you could carve the large pockets
off to make him straight infantry. He totes not just one, but two bandoliers,
one slung over the other. These take a bit of work adding in layers and you'll
probably want to add a strip of paper to extend from the molded strap to the edges
of the outer bandolier for a more realistic effect.
set comes with the typical assortment of gear. Note that the entrenching tools
were originally designed for one of the older DML sets and have a partial loop
around the handle, just under the tool cover, for attaching the shovel to a backpack.
You should carve this bit off the handles, as there are no packs for these figures
(though you could add musette bags from DML's Varsity airborne set or any of the
other Tamiya or Verlinden bags available). All figures wear the black rubber boots
with the four buckles.
figures are nicely molded and fit together well. The heads, however, are a big
disappointment - all four actually look identical, at least prior to painting.
Ron Volstad's exquisite artwork raised hopes that there would be one or two bearded
faces in this batch, but that's not the case. Replacing these noggins with Hornet
or Warriors heads will give the figures more distinctive characters. The figures
stand just under 6'. The helmets are much more to scale than previous DML sets.
can mix and match these guys with the Tamiya figures and other DML sets and put
together a pretty decent squad of GIs battling back the German advance in the
Ardennes. I highly recommend this set.