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Set 209

U.S. Paratroopers

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 1983
Contents 48 figures
Poses 14 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Dark Green, Light Tan
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)


This set is subtitled as being the 82nd Airborne Division, which was created in August 1942 from the 82nd Infantry Division and was the first airborne division in the US army. It participated in the Normandy invasion and the action at the bridge at Nijmegen as well as many other operations, including Ardennes.

This set departs somewhat from the Esci formula by having only 14 poses, and with many of the Esci favourite poses missing, but the result is all the better for it. The most eye-catching pose is the man pulling in his parachute - an interesting pose that has the parachute being blown to one side rather than flat as in other sets. The figure has no base, but the parachute makes the model steady without one. Another pose is of a man packed up and ready to jump, though he lacks much of the kit that burdened troops when they jumped, including a weapon. The rest of the poses are more standard World War II fare, and all are useful except one. This one is the man holding his Thompson in his left hand by a handle it does not have and holding a hand grenade in the air in a very unconvincing manner (third row, first figure).

The uniform is the 1942 type, with slanted breast pockets, and has been correctly modelled with plenty of detail. However by the action at Nijmegen all US paratroopers wore the slightly different 1943-style uniform. Corcoran or Goodrich jump boots, which lace up all up the front, are also being worn by all, and most wear their helmets with netting covers, though they do not seem to have placed extra compresses or other items on them as was common. One man is showing bravado by going bare-headed, revealing his Mohican haircut, though we understand this was characteristic of the 101st Airborne and not the 82nd (as is the eagle shoulder patch on the box artwork, and indeed the title 'Screaming Eagles' itself!). In every respect the uniform and kit is accurately done.

The range of weapons being used by these men is a real strong point of this set. Several different types and variants of carbines and sub-machine guns are on show, truly reflecting the variety used by these troops. Again detail is very good and the weapons are correctly sculpted. One man is using a .30 Browning M1919A4 light machine gun mounted on a tripod, but the tripod is at a 90 degree angle to the gun, which is to assist the sculptor rather than a likely usage.

The normal excellent Esci detail is on show in this set, and though the poses can be a little two-dimensional they are still quite usable. There is no flash, and in most respects this is the finest set of US paratroopers made so far.


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

Further Reading
"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
"Militaria (French Language)" - No.61
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