US Paratroops, 1942–1945

Airfix 1:76 Scale Figure Review

US Paratroops, 1942–1945, 1:76 Miniatures Airfix 01751

Contents

48 Figures in 14 Poses – 22 mm equal 167 cm Height

  • US Paratroop Officer/NCO with Binoculars and M1 Carbine (1)
  • US Paratroop Officer/NCO with M1A1 Thompson SMG (3)
  • US Paratroop RTO with Motorola SCR-300-A »Walkie Talkie« (2)
  • US Paratrooper with M1 Carbine, signaling (4)
  • US Paratrooper with M1 Carbine, advancing (4)
  • US Paratrooper with M1A1 Thompson SMG, kneeling (4)
  • US Paratrooper with M1 Carbine, kneeling, firing (4)
  • US Paratrooper with M1A1 Thompson SMG, standing (4)
  • US Paratrooper with M1 Carbine, standing, firing (4)
  • US Paratrooper, throwing Grenade (4)
  • US Paratrooper with M1 Carbine, prone, firing (4)
  • US Paratrooper with Sten SMG, on hands and knees (4)
  • US Paratrooper with Entrenching Tool and M3 »Paratrooper« Knife (3)
  • US Paratrooper, unarmed (3)

Evaluation

Excellent choice of subject, these Airfix figures are wearing the M.1942 paratrooper jacket and trousers which some units retained until the Battle of the Bulge in 1944/1945. The olive drab no.3 paratrooper jacket and trousers faded from a light olive to an attractive sand colour which contrasts nicely with the dark green knee and elbow patches later sewn on to strengthen the paratrooper uniforms and make them last longer. These »Rigger modified« jackets and trousers are not actually modelled on the miniatures, but they are easily painted on.

Ten of the fourteen figure poses represent advancing, patrolling, and fighting paratroopers suitable for wargames and dioramas. Using legs of the kneeling paratroopers, the unarmed paratrooper and his buddy with entrenching tool and knife in hand may be converted to mortarmen or anti-tank gunners. The Airfix 1:76 scale model of the QF 6 Pdr. Anti-Tank Gun easily converts to a US 57 mm Gun M1.

The paratrooper on his hands and knees is not a particularly useful or attractive figure, and he is incorrectly armed with a British Sten sub-machine gun. The best thing to do is to convert him to a morale marker or casualty figure for wargames.

Unfortunately, this set of US Paratroopers is gravely incomplete, lacking the automatic rifles, light and medium machine guns, mortars, and Bazookas, which are needed to field a US parachute infantry platoon or company for wargames and dioramas. Airfix even omitted paratroopers armed with the M1 Garand rifle, leaving 36 percent of the figure poses in this set unarmed with the exception of a final grenade, an empty Sten SMG, entrenching tool and knife in hand. Experienced modellers may want to convert regular US infantry figures to paratroopers by adding thigh pockets and painting other equipment to represent those items used by airborne troops.

Compatible with Fujimi, Matchbox, Milicast, Cromwell Models, Ostmodels, MMS, and Vac-U-Cast.

Possible Conversions

  • French Foreign Legion Paratroopers
  • Argentinian Infantry, Paratroopers, and Marines of the Falkland War

These Airfix figures are among the oldest scale miniatures on the market today, but they continue to set a sculpting standard against which other manufacturer's paratroopers need to be judged.

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US Paratroops, 1942–1945