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Caesar

Set H076

US Paratroopers

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2012
Contents 34 figures
Poses 11 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23 mm (= 1.66 m)

Review

The US had begun seriously organising a parachute unit after German Fallschirmjäger actions in the war in Europe demonstrated what could be achieved. The new paratroop units were quickly created and immediately became an elite within the US Army due to their training and more rigorous standards. They saw action in many theatres, but are perhaps best known for their participation in the Normandy Landings and Operation Market Garden in 1944.

This Caesar set joins several others depicting these troops, so this is a subject that is already quite well covered. We thought all the poses in this set were reasonable but there is not a lot of action here, and viewed as a whole they are nothing to get too excited about. The last two in our top row are the best of the bunch, but otherwise there is not much to say about the poses.

The accuracy of these figures looks to be good. They all wear the 1942-style jacket with the slanted pockets, which saw service for much of the War, including D-Day, but had been withdrawn by Arnhem. The trousers with the large cargo pockets – sometimes supported by ties round the leg – and the boots all look good, as do the helmets with their netting and extra compresses attached to some. Levels of kit vary, as they did in real life, but all these men have rid themselves of parachute and any carriers etc. The items they carry vary but all are reasonable, although a few of the pouches are hard to explain properly. Still with a few carrying extra grenades, a knife strapped to the leg, and other variations, we liked the mix of styles here.

Weapons are often less than clear in their detail, but the general shape looks correct for the carbines and Thompsons, plus one M3 (‘Grease Gun’). One figure in the second row holds a bazooka, which to our eye looks much too short, although in fact it is only a little shorter than it should be. Perhaps more importantly, there is no second crewman to actually feed and operate this weapon. The tripod-mounted machine gun in the bottom row is also lacking much detail, but seems to be a Browning M1919A4, which would be appropriate. Gun, tripod and ammunition are all moulded as one piece, which helps explain the less than ideal level of detail.

Although generally the level of sculpting is very good, with clothing and some equipment done well, many of the weapons lack much detail. Also several have a lot of excess plastic between figure and weapon, which is unusual for Caesar and therefore particularly worthy of mention. There is no flash, but we continue to be mystified as to why kneeling figures are not provided with bases. True they all do stand by themselves, but they are less stable than their upright comrades, and of course are shorter than them by the thickness of the base.

One further observation, which you may like to consider as an accuracy problem, is that the last kneeling figure in the second row wears no helmet. This is surely done to show off his Mohican haircut, which was popular with paratroopers and so perfectly valid, but however proud this man might be of his haircut he is very unlikely to be in action without his helmet securely fixed to his head.

For the most part these are accurate and useable figures but nothing to set the pulse racing and with at times indifferent levels of detail. This is a satisfactory set, but other manufacturers have done better on this subject in our view.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 7
Sculpting 9
Mould 9

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
"Screaming Eagles: The 101st Airborne Division from D-Day to Desert Storm" - Greenhill (GI Series No.22) - Christopher Anderson - 9781853674259
"The World War II GI" - Crowood - Richard Windrow - 9781847970336
"US Airborne Forces of World War Two" - Arms & Armour (Uniforms Illustrated Series No.18) - Cameron Laughlin - 9780853687375
"US Army Airborne 1940-90" - Osprey (Elite Series No.31) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459487
"US Army Paratrooper in the Pacific Theater 1943-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.165) - Gordon Rottman - 9781780961293
"US Paratrooper 1941-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.26) - Carl Smith - 9781855328426
Magazines
"Militaria (French Language)" - No.61

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