Verlinden Productions
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

Verlinden Productions is is the granddaddy of the aftermarket parts and resin figure manufacturers. The company was the brainchild of Belgian modeler François Verlinden, who gave up a career in the scrap-metal business in the late 1970s to pursue his love of armor modeling and creating dioramas. He opened a hobby store in Lier and, dissatisfied with the limited products available for the serious diorama builder, began to create and sell his own line of merchandise. It wasn't long before Verlinden Productions quickly expanded to aftermarket sets or resin and photoetched brass to correct and upgrade plastic kits, dry transfers, and publications highlighting particular AFVs and planes.

In the 1980s Verlinden met American modeler Bob Letterman and the two started a business relationship with Verlinden's other Belgian partner Josef Stok. The new company, VLS, imported Verlinden Products into the U.S. and offered other product lines.

By the 1990s it became clear that Verlinden Productions and VLS would economically benefit if the Belgian company relocated to the U.S., Verlinden packed up shop and moved to the St. Louis, Missouri area where Letterman was located. Alas, differences in philosophies and personalities among the owners and staff led to a rather acrimonious split after a few short years. Verlinden Productions remained in Missouri, directly competing with VLS until the latter was bought up by Squadron in 2007.

Like many AFV modelers, I have a love-hate relationship with Verlinden products. Early figures are scaled at 54mm even though the box might say 1/35 as well. They tower six and a half feet or more while representing an era where the average male height was 5'7". To this day many weapons for the WWII figures are clearly knock-offs of old Airfix 1/32 plastic weapons (for example, the ejection pin marks from the Airfix plastic molding are clearly seen on the resin M1 Garand). This forces a modeler to use weapons of different sizes, or try to replace them so all are of the same scale. Critics cite numerous accuracy problems with Sherman replacement turrets and hulls. Similarly, there are figures whose uniforms are poorly researched and executed. And Verlinden was among the first to "clone" earlier figure releases into new sets with slightly modified poses, which is frustrating for those of us who want more original figures and dislike paying full price for figures that are based on ones we've already purchased.

While Verlinden occasionally does come through with interesting product updates that provide quality and value, it's best check the online discussion groups or reviews for details. Their photoetch parts are often thick and less refined than similar parts from Eduard or Aber. Instruction sheets are often imprecise—if included at all. Recent figure sets have decreased in price to a third less than comparable pairs from other resin manufacturers like Warriors and Nemrod, but the quality has suffered as the figures appear more stiff and stylized. Dragon and Master Box figures are more convincing that many of these later offerings.

Verlinden Productions is no longer the major player in the AFV hobby that it used to be. New conversion or upgrade sets have slowed to a trickle, as have the diorama products. Granted, some of that production has shifted to 1/48 subjects. But it's been a while since VP has generated much excitement among modelers.

It would be nice if VP could sharpen its imagination and recapture some of its former glory. Nonetheless, François Verlinden has influenced legions of modelers, and will forever be one of the most significant 1/1 figures in 1/35 scale modeling.

134U.S. Tank Crew WWII
142Mechanic #1 (OOP)
143Mechanic #2 (OOP)
144Mechanic #3 (OOP)
149U.S. Heads WWII
191Sleeping Soldier
212U.S. Sergeant Paratroops D-Day
220Awakening Soldier (barechested soldier sitting up in sleeping bag) (OOP)
231U.S. Infantry Field Gear
253Wounded GI & Medic (OOP)
266"What did you do in the war, Daddy?" (male with female in bed)
325U.S. Radio Set WWII
376Shaving Soldier "Long John" (OOP)
383U.S. Uniform Insignia WWII - 1988
520Soldier at Rest
604GIs WWII (3 figures walking)
700USAAF Fighter Pilot & Mechanic WWII
702U.S. Paratroops WWII
711U.S. Infantry WWII Rifleman and Bar Gunner
727U.S. Infantry w/Overcoat Europe
747U.S. Riflemen WWII
754U.S. Cal. 30 Machinegun Team (OOP)
838Liberation Normandy 1944 (GI and elderly woman)
844U.S. Tanker and Priest Europe 44-45
850U.S. Tankers WWII (2 full and 1 half figure)
1100”That Way” U.S. WWII (2 figures)
1105U.S. Tankers Warming Up (2 figures)
1118U.S. MP and Tanker WWII
1130U.S. Tankers Loading Ammo (2 figures)
1154U.S. Infantry Gear WWII Super Value
1180U.S. Infantry ETO WWII
1197Medic! U.S. WWII
1216U.S. Heads WWII to Present (25)
1218Captain, USAAF (walking in trench coat)
1223Captured! Europe 1944 (1 GI and 2 Germans)
1257U.S. Tankers WWII “Have a Light?” (2 figures)
1292 “Spoils of War” WWII GIs
1327U.S. WW2 Truck Drivers (2 figures)
1336U.S. MPs (2) WWII
1358U.S. Infantry Officers ETO
1368U.S. Infantry ETO
1429U.S. Army WWII Salvage Diver (2 figures)
1437U.S. Infantry Europe WWII
1438Liberation Europe 1944 (GI hugged by civilian woman)
1443Welcome GI France 1944 (1 GI and 1 male civilian)
1509Fallen Enemy (GI crouching by dead German)
1525Willy’s Jeep Crew and Accessories (3 figures and gear)
1558U.S. Mechanics WWII - Korea (3 figures)
1573U.S. Tank Crew Bailing Out (Set 1) (2 figures)
1575U.S. Tank Crew Bailing Out (Set 2) (2 figures)
1586U.S. Tank Crew Wet/Cold (4 half figures)
1594U.S. WWII Clothing
1609U.S. Tank Commanders
1619U.S. AFV Crew WWII (3 full figures)
1644U.S. Tankers WWII Track Troubles (2 figures)
1663Trapped U.S. Infantry WWII
1673U.S. WWII Streetfighters (2 figures)
1683U.S. Tankriders Set #1 (2 figures)
1686U.S. Tankriders Set #2 (2 figures)
1700U.S. Reconnaissance Team (2 figures)
1712U.S. Infantry WWII Running (2 figures)
1720Souvenir Hunters (2 Figures) (2 figures)
1722"Aus der Traum" (1 GI and 1 German prisoner)
1731Jeep Riders (2 seated figures)
1732"Give It Up Jerry" (1 GI and 1 German prisoner)
1737U.S. Marines Pacific WWII Set 1 (2 figures)
1745U.S. Paratroopers WWII Scouts
1753U.S. Marines Set II with Japanese POW (3 figures)
1755U.S. Marines WWII - Korea (8 heads, 7 with helmets, 1 with cap)
1765U.S. Rifleman and BAR Gunner
1779U.S. Airborne Screaming Eagles
1780U.S. Tanker Captured (GI and German soldier)
1790U.S. Marines IV (2 figures)
1801U.S. Marines Running WWII (2 figures)
1813"The Rescue" (wounded tanker helped by another)
1815U.S. Airborne WWII in Overcoat (2 figures)
1817U.S. Medics Running (2 figures)
1837"Get Up!" (GI pointing pistol at reclining German)
1839"There!" (2 tanker figures)
1848General Patton andStaff (3 figures)
1849US Tankers, "Letters for Home" (2 figures, one writing letter)
1851"Ball Game" (2 figures, one with bat and one with ball and glove)
1861U.S. Infantry "Run!" (2 figures running)
1864U.S. Navy Landing Craft Crew and Beach Party WWII (3 figures)
1871Marines "Checking It Out" WWII (2 figures)
1882U.S. Marines Tank Crew (3 half figures)
1888U.S. Tankers (2 figures)
1897U.S. Tankers WWII "Look What I Found" (2 Figures)
1907U.S. Tankers Chow Time (2 figures)
1914Bloody Tarawa (10 figures, submerged Sherman, palm trees, accessories, diorama base)
1917GI's WWII Chow (2 figures)
1926East Meets West (1 GI with 1 Female Russian Soldier)
1927U.S. Airborne WWII
1928U.S. Rangers WWII (2 figures)
1930GI Down Europe 1944
1937Marines Into the Breach (4 figure vignette)
1938Right There! U.S. Marines (2 figures, one pointing)
1940 Marine Casualties
1948"Sniper" Vignette (figures from 1930 and base)
1949U.S. Marine Tankers (2 figures)
1959Wounded Marine and Corpsman (2 figures)
1960 Ammo Loading USA (2 tanker figures)
1961Loading Up (2 tanker figures)
1970 Body Search (1 GI with 2 surrendering Germans)
1971No Glory (1 GI with 2 surrendering Germans)
1981Shallow Grave Marines WWII (2 figures)
1982Marines Flamethrower Team (2 figures)
1985Wounded U.S. Marines (2 figures)
1992U.S. Marines Radio and Command (2 figures)
1993Marine Tank Crew/Amtrac Crew (4 half figures)
1996Things to Do II U.S. WWII (2 soldiers defecating)
2004Consulting the Map U.S. GI Europe (2 figures)
2012Cornered GI's WWII
2036Have a Light Marine? (2 figures)
2060U.S. Marines WWII Trophy (2 figures)
2069U.S. Airborne WWII Para Down!
2072U.S. Marines and Japanese Officer (1 Marine and 1 dead Japanese soldier)
2082U.S. Para's Rescue
2091U.S. Paratroopers WWII Attack!
2096Figure Conversion Parts U.S. Marines WWII (various body parts and gear)
2106U.S. Paratroopers WWII Incoming!
2108U.S. Airborne Probing
2113U.S. Army WWII Europe Figure Conversion Set
2174GIs Down WWII
2190 U.S. Gun Crew WWII
2191U.S. Ammo Handlers WWII
2234Howdy Buddy (American and British soldiers shaking hands)
2243White Wash U.S. WWII (2 figures painting AFVs)
2283 U.S. Infantry WWII Winter Outfit (2 running figures in white smocks)
2305Rescue G.I.s WWII
2313Marines WWII (2 figures)
2329U.S. Machine Gun Team Bastogne 1944 (2 figures)
2371 U.S. Tank Mechanics WWII
2420Pacific Hell Vignette (4 figures)
2440 U.S. Airborne WWII Conversion Parts and Accessories (body parts and gear)
2452GIs on the Move Europe WWII (2 figures)
2455U.S. Tankers WWII Rest Stop (2 figures)
2467Check It Out US WWII (2 figures)
2471U.S. Paras WWII at Battle (2 figures)
2476U.S. GIs WWII Running for Life (2 figures)
2511 U.S. WWII Tank Mechanics (2 figures)



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