by: Adie Roberts [ ]
During the First World War the Marines of the 5th and 6th Marine Regiment's 4th Marine Brigade, 2nd Division, United States Army, saw and participated in some of the first tank-infantry assaults of recorded history. Among the first witnesses of these attacks were a few far-sighted officers, who, after the war, were to fight later-on to convince the Department of the Navy that the Marine Corps should have at least one platoon of tanks. But, with the end of the “War to End All Wars”, it was a long, hard, uphill fight to get the military purse strings loosened up enough to afford a tank platoon. Never the less, one was authorized in 1923. It is a sad note that the names of these farsighted officers cannot be found, due to the red tape of history.
Thus with the reluctant blessings of the Great White Fathers of the Navy Department in Washington, the first of a long line of Marine Corps tank units were formed. It was officially designated "Light Tank Platoon USMC" at Quantico, Virginia, on December 5th, 1923. The Platoon consisted of twenty-two enlisted men and two officers. The Commanding Officer was Captain Leslie G. Wayt, and the Executive Officer was Second Lieutenant Charles S. Finch.
A typical box which most companies use for their figures, thin cardboard with opening flaps at each end of the box.
The artwork on this particular box from MiniArt is quite colourful and eye-catching with a third of the box in blue then red and white stripes going across it with five figures standing in different poses across the middle.
Five medium grey sprues contain the five figures.
The painting guide on the back of the box is quite comprehensive and covers a large number of different painting companies.
7. Life Color
There is also a chart on the back of the box which lists the colours used.
On opening the box and pulling out the sealed bag I noticed one of the bodies had come adrift from its sprue and fell into my hand upon opening the said bag. I was shocked, to say the least at the level of detail contained in the ballistic vest. I was amazed at the level of detail on all of these figures and would say that they are comparable to most resin figures on the market.
The five figures that come with this set are four tank crew (USMC) and one field officer possibly Armour branch. I did notice that the tank crew were wearing two different uniforms, two in the newest USMC tankers coveralls the other were wearing flying suits.
So I took the first sprue to have a proper look over the one which the main body had come adrift from, which was the tank commander who was wearing the newest of U.S. Marine Corps tankers coveralls. The head of the commander looked realistic enough with well-proportioned face nose and eyes all well done, on his head, he has the hard shell helmet which is moulded separately. There is no denying the detail of these figures from MiniArt the ballistics vests are very real like and full of detail. The hands on the commander have four fingers and thumb that look natural in the position of the hand resting on the holstered gun. The hand holding the maps is in the correct position with the thumb holding the middle of the maps. The clothing on all the figures all carries the right amount of sag and positioning as you would expect in the positions that they are possed in.
The field officer’s face seems to have an agitated expression on it which gives it something different he appears to be in communication with someone, his nose and mouth are good he is wearing glasses so you cannot see his eyes. He is wearing the latest USMC camouflage uniform and the ballistic vest. He comes with an M16A4 (Rail) assault rifle with sights it looks good, like the commander the uniforms creases, sag have a natural look to them the two arms of the field officer, however, do have some flash on and will need clearing up before painting. One arm is bent up to his ear with a separate, telephone, the right arm is in a position to carry his assault rifle. There is also a separate helmet allowing for more detail to his head.
The tanker with the Nomex gloves on is like the tank commander wearing the brand new USMC tankers coveralls he is using the internal communications system (ICS)
A plus point on this figure is that even though wearing his protective clothing (around his mouth) you can still see the outline of the nose and mouth, such small detail usually becomes lost. He also has separate ballistic glasses two small packs intercom and separate helmet.
The last two tankers are wearing traditional USMC flying suits both of these figures still have sag and creases in the right places that you would expect to see them. One of these figures is using his ICS has ballistic goggles has good detail around the face. The last figure is using a pair of binoculars so much of his face is covered however the parts you can see are very good.
I did decide to partially build the commander figure just to see if they fit together without too much extra work, the legs were not a perfect fit but with some minor manipulation will go together without too much effort. The arms fitted nicely to the body as did the head to the torso, there is a tiny gap around the waist and torso but nothing to major at all. I did not use the helmet left hand holding the maps, holster with sidearm or his ICS as I will be using these figures in a diorama build with an Abrams in a diorama build
I was taken by the crisp and realistic detail on these figures from the moment I opened the box, they are as good detail wise as a resin figure but does have some small areas that need cleaning. I think that it is also a great choice that MiniArt did in using different uniforms that are still current in the USMC corps. I can see some fantastic choices for dioramas in these figures and one of the best sets of figures that have been produced in plastic kit form.