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HaT

Set 8265

WW2 American Tank Riders

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2011
Contents 44 figures
Poses 11 poses
Material Plastic (Fairly Soft)
Colours Green
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

In World War II the US Army was one of the most mechanised in the world, but that still meant troops having to march when transport was not available, so a ride on a tank was a welcome relief. There are plenty of photos showing this to have been a common occurrence, but this is the first set to depict these troops in this relatively relaxed situation.

The poses of course are mostly of men sitting, and they all look to be fairly calm. All are in natural posture, cradling their weapon and enjoying the ride. There are also a couple of kneeling poses, including one that has his submachine gun at the ready, so is a little out of place amongst the rest of the men. However he comes with a choice of weaponry as we have illustrated - either a Thompson or an M3 (the “Grease Gun”). Both these weapons were commonly used to equip tanks for their own defence. The last two figures are of tank crew, with both being placed in an open hatch. We liked all the poses a lot, and thought they looked very good when in their natural state, i.e. mounted on a tank.

Another thing we like is historical accuracy, and there are no problems here. The uniforms and helmets are fine, as is the kit, which for most amounts to only an entrenching tool and a canteen, but one man has a special ammo vest for carrying rounds for either a mortar or a bazooka. Many also have grenades hanging from their straps, which is fine. Apart from the submachine guns weaponry includes a number of rifles and carbines, plus a BAR and an M9 bazooka, so again no problems. The two tanker figures are also correctly attired, including the distinctive helmet of such troops.

The sculpting leaves something to be desired, for while the detail is mostly there it is not particularly well rendered. In particular the faces are not good, and the helmets protrude over them rather more than they should. Where weapons do not face the mould some detail has inevitably been lost, but there is no flash and the one piece of assembly, the choice of submachine gun, fits well (although gluing is still required).

Some very nice poses make these an appealing set of figures, and while the sculpting is not amongst the best the accuracy and engineering is good and these will decorate many a tank model in an interesting way.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 10
Sculpting 7
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"American Web Equipment 1910-1967" - Crowood (Europa Militaria Series No.33) - Martin J Brayley - 9781861268327
"Infantry Weapons of World War II" - David & Charles - Jan Suermont - 9780715319253
"Tank and AFV Crew Uniforms Since 1916" - Patrick Stephens - Martin Windrow - 9780850593624
"The US Army in World War II (2) The Mediterranean" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.347) - Mark R Henry - 9781841760858
"The US Army in World War II (3) North West Europe" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.350) - Mark Henry - 9781841760865
"The War in Europe" - Greenhill (GI Series No.1) - John P Langellier - 9781853672200
"The World War II GI" - Crowood - Richard Windrow - 9781847970336
"US Army Tank Crewman 1941-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.78) - Steven J Zaloga - 9781841765549
"US Army Uniforms of World War II" - Stackpole - Shelby Stanton - 9780811725958
"US Infantryman in World War II (3) European Theater of Operations 1944–45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.56) - Robert Rush - 9781841763323

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