U.S. Tank Riders
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

YANKS Miniatures

This was the first set of GI tank riders, and the only set until 2001 when Verlinden came out with two pair and Hobby Fan produced a four-figure set.

While not up to the crispness of Warriors figures in general, this is a well-executed five-figure set that deserved a much better response that it probably received when it was first released.

Four of the infantrymen are seated.  Two wear the M1941 khaki jacket; the others are dressed in the longer M1944 olive drab jacket.  Two of them have cargo pockets on their pants, so those will need to be painted OD as well.  The others can be painted OD or the brownish color for wool trousers (mix Model Master Leather and Field Drab).  Three figures wear the canvas leggings with their boots; one clearly has the leather gaiter, and the final figure’s pants are out of his boots but it appears he has the gaiter as well.  Three of these guys are riflemen, and the other is a BAR gunner.

The fifth figure is a medic, shown leaning against the turret of the Sherman the guys are riding.  He does not have the yoke worn by medics to help carry their equipment bags.  Instead he has a bag slung over each shoulder, and though the information supplied with the soldiers calls them musette bags, they less resemble the M36 musette bag than they do the shorter medic bag less the bottom stitching. The set includes five canteens and three entrenching tools.  One figure wears a full M1944 combat pack very similar to the one Verlinden has been churning out over the past decade.  Oddly, however, the handle of the entrenching tool is missing both on the figure and the one shown in the package photo.  The M1 Garands are very similar to those from DML.  The BAR is not up to DML quality and could be replaced.

While the sculpting of the figures, attributed to three sculptors, is not on par with Warriors figures, they are very good and the heads are as good as any by Warriors or Hornet.  Scale-wise these guys are probably between Tamiya and Warriors, but any difference will be negligible as they are seated or leaning.  In fact, you don’t need to place these guys on a tank; they’d look fine after combat in the ruins of a French or German village.  Some of them have their legs extended outward or tucked under them, so they might not work well in a halftrack or deuce and a half, but a couple of them could.

If you can still find this set, you might want to grab it.  With the additional sets recently released, one could nicely populate a Sherman or two as seen in photos of troop movements through France and breaching the Siegfried line.



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