You have to admire the soldiers of the Allied Forces that landed on the French Coast during Operation Overlord on the 6th June 1944, better known to most as D-Day. These troops landed on beaches under withering enemy fire, many of them suffering from sea-sickness and failing to even make it down the ramp of the landing craft. A very recent release from Master Box
depicts a group of seven US soldiers of the thousands that landed on that day and the days that followed D-Day.
This product is packaged in an end opening card box with a depiction of the figures in the box. Inside the carton you will find 2 sprues in a re-sealable clear plastic bag.
A look over the two sprues found no flash and very light seam lines. There are no marks to mare the finish of the figures, but there is evidence of sink marks in a few locations, this aspect will be covered in more detail further into the review.
2 of the figures in the box are the ‘US machine Gunners’ set produced by Master Box
back in early 2007. The moulds would appear to be holding up very well or had some work done on them as I could find no moulding issues with this sprue. The weapon an M1917 water cooled heavy machine gun is a little on the light side as regards moulded detail by today’s standards, but it is not beyond use with a little spit and polish. I have a couple of issues with the M1917 MG; firstly I find it hard to believe that such a cumbersome heavy weapon would be used as an assault MG, I am aware that this weapon was used during World War 2 as a defence weapon, particularly by the US Marine Corps fighting against the Japanese. I will not say it never happened but I believe would be very rare. One other downside is that the water expansion tank and hose are not supplied in the kit and will need to be scratch built. One of the highs with this gun is a very nicely moulded ammunition belt, something modellers always seem to be short of.
The two figures are still good for their age; the moulded detail is very slightly less refined than what we have become accustomed to, but still very useable. Uniform and crease detail is of an acceptable standard, once painted and placed with other troops they should not stand out as an older product. The hand and facial detail is also lacking when compared with newer figures from Master Box
and they suffer flat top head syndrome for placement of the helmets. I myself would happily use these two figures in the setting the product is advertised for, but I would change the machine gun for a tripod mounted M1919 MG and give the M1917 MG to a set of US Marine Corps figures.
The 5 infantry figures supplied with this set are I believe all new offerings; all 5 of these figures are depicted in a charging run; very acceptable for the setting they have been designed for. The detail on the uniform is good and I particularly like the fact that Master Box
has provided locations for the equipment to sit naturally against the bodies of the figures, an aspect not replicated by all manufacturers. The creases present in the mouldings look natural and other than some very light seams, should be a joy to work with. The only negative I can see at this point is that there is no detail on the soles of the boots that can be seen on the running figures except for the instep. Hand and facial detail is of a better standard than the MG crew being slightly more refined in their finish, finger detail such as spread fingers rather than all scrounged up hands and fists is present; the faces benefit from having greater expression present and not suffering flat top head syndrome. The fact that the heads are complete rather than flat is better to my mind as it provides more options for the modeller when it comes to display. All of the figures in this product look to be well proportioned in both height and build, so no 4ft or 7ft soldiers here
Items of equipment such as backpacks, entrenchment tools, water bottles and ammunition pouches all look very well detailed and should satisfy most modellers. Only one item causes me any bother here and that is the helmets, on the box top artwork the helmets are clearly depicted with netting in place as they should; however the helmets supplied with the product are as smooth as the proverbial ‘baby’s bum’ and this does disappoint me a bit.
Remember those sink marks I referred to earlier? Well this is where they are. The personnel weapons supplied with these figures which consist of;
3 M1 Garand rifles
1 Thompson machine gun
1 M1 Carbine rifle
2 Colt 45’s in holsters
There is also an ammunition box and extra belt of ammunition for the machine gun, another really nice inclusion are 2 tool pouches for the machine gun being very finely detailed for their size. None of the weapons supplied have been slide moulded and so some light drilling will be needed to improve the weapons. The Thompson machine gun and Colt 45 are fine with nice detail of a good standard. The M1 Garand and M1 Carbine all suffer from shrink marks on the rifle butts and in the case of the M1 Garand rifles this is very prominent on both sides of the butt and also the stock of the rifles. I am sure these sink marks could be filled and sanded, but it would require a lot of effort in the area of the stocks and I would recommend replacement as it is that bad. Very disappointing from a company like Master Box
as it is not a common problem that they suffer, the rifles are on the outer edges of the sprue and look to be the only parts affected by the issue.
This set has a very nice selection of figures which are let down by their weapons, sound familiar to any military bods out there? Moulding quality is very good until you look at the rifles in the product, and while alternative weapons are easy to source it is disappointing to have to do so. The missed netting detail on the helmets is also a low point here, but then again it would not always be present; I like the detail as it adds some texture to an otherwise bland surface. Would I buy this set of figures knowing what I do now? Yes I would as I really like the work that has gone into the running figures and the MG team are also acceptable despite their age. I strongly urge Master Box
to consider a follow up set to accompany this one depicting US infantry taking cover behind beach obstacles and defences, that set would provide a more rounded look to this product.