Private, E Company, 506th PIR, 101st AB
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

Michael Roberts, Ltd.

This is a simple but popular 1/32 scale resin figure comprised of ten pieces: body, arms, head, helmet, canteen, musette bag, and an M1942 entrenching tool. The white metal hands are molded around the M1 Garand, which has a strap also in white metal. There is also a simple base for display.

He's dressed in the M1942 airborne jumper's coat and trousers, and holds an M1 Garand. The M1 helmet has a medical pouch tied to the mesh netting. Strapped to his left leg is an assault gas mask case. An M3 trench knife is tied to his right ankle. A nice feature is the chin cup, which is actually molded to the collar of the jacket. The head has the helmet straps attached to it.

This figure shows up a lot on the modeling web sites and I haven't seen a bad rendition yet. Because of its scale, it lends itself best as a stand-alone product. If you were to scale this figure out in 1/35, he'd stand about 6'8", a few inches taller than VP figures, and a lot taller than Nemrod or Warriors figures. So he's going to be tough to place with any other paratroopers, though I've seen an effective vignette with him standing over a dead fallschirmjager from Jaguar.

But there are some little quirks in the overall scaling of this figure that suggest it could be used with larger Verlinden figures, at least, if you wanted to incorporate it into a diorama.

The figure is nicely-sculpted and detailed, on par with Warriors or Nemrod. Proportionally, however, his arms and hands are the same size as 1/35 figures. The head is the same size as Verlinden figures, but the helmet, wrapped in mesh, is larger than VP's. The musette bag is the same size as Verlinden and smaller than CMK's. The Garand is smaller than the 1/32 scale Garands found with Airfix and Verlinden soldiers, but slightly larger than Tamiya.

I knew this figure was 1/32 (54mm) scale, but it has the pose I want for a diorama so I thought I'd take a chance. I was disappointed that, on first glance, the figure was vastly taller (though not significantly wider) than the other 1/35 scale figures I intend to use. But on close examination, it appears that his body size is similar to Verlinden's Airborne figures, though the boots are considerably larger. The bandolier and ammo pouches on the belt are the same size as those found on VP figures. So I'm inclined to removing the boots from the Roberts figure and replace them with VP boots and a head, which could make the figure more compatible for a diorama I'm planning that uses a number of Verlinden paratroopers.

There are only slight seams running up the sides of the legs. The 101st Airborne insignia is raised on his left sleeve, and a flag is on his right. However, very few, if any, 101st soldiers wore flags on their sleeves. These can be replaced with decals.

On his own, this is a well-done but curiously sized piece that might be more versatile with a little careful surgery.



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