by: Mario Krajinovic [ ]
introductionOne of the most famous military units in the world is the 82nd Airborne Division. Fighting all the way from WWI to WW2, Korea, and Vietnam; through almost every combat situation up to the current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the men and women of the 82nd Airborne Division are a true symbol of warfighters everywhere. This figure represents one of 82nd soldiers, specifically a medic in one of the first parachute assaults onto Sicily in 1943.
The figure is nicely packed in a clear plastic clamshell container with a single zip-lock bag holding the resin parts. For a single figure it doesn’t have lots of parts (only 2) , but since the container space is relatively small, there is no play of loose parts in the packaging.
Like all Mig Productions figures, featured in the packaging, is a very nice “box-art” with the figure painted by Diego Jose Jimenez Molina. This is also noted on the packaging as well as the name of the figure master builder, Wim van Hool. A very nice touch is the addition of the picture on the back, showing the built and painted figure from behind, which will ease painting as no instructions or paint guides are provided. On the back you can also find a date which I guess is the manufacturing date (in my sample it says 17th November, 2011.)
The figure is comprised of only 2 parts molded in cream resin. The parts are as following:
• complete body
• head with helmet
The resin itself is cream colored, which obscures visible details which you know are there. They are kind of hard to see. I wish resin manufacturers would use the gray color which lets you immediately know what you’re looking at. It also feels a bit greasy due to the release agent or something. The casting is lacking in this review sample. Molding lines are running the entire length of the left side of the figure as well as the inner side of the legs. I feel this is a result of a mold shift and could prove to be difficult to remove to more novice figure builders due to the nature of the creases and folds of the uniform. All in all, the casting is not up to par to modern day figures which come out of the molds almost perfect.
A relaxed, standing pose is depicted with the figure holding hands in pockets looking slightly sideways. This pose is useful for lots of situations, either as a stand-alone vignette or part of a larger diorama with a number of figures. I think it could be used for “post-action” scenes, or looking at some vehicle wreck, even just a pause after the battle. It is versatile for such a relatively in-mobile figure pose.
The head is nicely casted with the helmet and has excellent facial features. This can really ease the painting of the face and once painted will certainly look the part.
The helmet itself is the M1 type, more specifically the M1C helmet. The M1 was a combat helmet, used by the United States military from World War II until 1985, when it was succeeded by the PASGT helmet. For over forty years, the M1 was standard issue for the U.S. military and naval forces, and has become an icon of the American military, with its design inspiring other armed forces around the world. The M1C helmet was a variant of the U.S. Army's popular and iconic M1 helmet. Developed in World War II to replace the M2 helmet, it was issued to paratroopers. Despite the numerous differences between the M1C and the standard M1 helmet, the shell of the M1C is practically identical to standard swivel bail infantry helmets, making a concrete identification of a helmet as an M1C difficult.
The visible features of the helmet are the netting which was used to reduce the helmets' shine when wet and to allow burlap scrim or vegetation to be added for camouflage purposes, the leather chin strap on the helmet rim and the helmet chin straps attached to the helmet shell via the netting. The only thing I could tell from looking at photos, the paratroopers used a enlarged chin cup attached to the chin strap which is lacking.
The figure wears M1942 Paratrooper Jacket and Pants, both made in tan cotton. The jacket features a zipper front, an adjustable waist belt, dual collar snaps, snap cuffs, shoulder straps, 2 snap-closure slanted bellows chest pockets and 2 snap-closure waist cargo pockets. One thing identifying this figure as a medic rather that an a common soldier is a medic’s band on the left arm. The peculiarities of M42 Paratrooper Jacket are bellows in the middle of the back and a dual-zippered knife pocket located in the upper chest. The pants feature slash front pockets, 2 rear pockets with single button closure, small pocket above right slash (for lighter or compass), canvas leg tie straps, 5-button front and 6 buttons at waist for suspenders. During early airborne operations in North Africa and Italy, the M1942 uniform was found to be lacking in several areas, most notably strength; the fabric was relatively thin and it wore out easily. Prior to Normandy, divisional riggers were fixing these problems by reinforcing particularly weak areas on elbows and knees using heavy olive drab canvas. I like the way sculptor captured the baggy feel of the M42 uniform in scale and the only thing a modeler needs to add in order to improve the visual appearance of the uniform are US Army unit, flag and Red Cross patches. The patch and Red Cross symbol are protruding out somewhat and if no decals are available will ease painting of the mentioned symbols.
One of the key features is the M1936 Musette Field Bag on the back of the figure and used as a shoulder bag. The heavy duty canvas constructed assault bag had a large main compartment and two side pockets. The Musette Bag was never officially issued as a backpack, however many soldiers used it in place of the unpopular M1928 Haversack.
One other specific piece of paratrooper equipment this figure features is a pair of brown Corcoran jump boots. With high tops and reinforced toes and heels, tightly laced Corcoran boots provided ankle support for the jumper. Also attached to right boot is what appears to be a scabbard for a knife, probably a M3 knife often used by paratroopers but I could not ID this properly.
This is a very nice WW2 US figure with a variety of possible uses. From stand-alone figure to a part in a diorama it can be used for almost anything. It is also very easy to convert its medic role to a more generic one with some light filling/sanding of the medic arm-band. The negative thing about this figure is a large seam line running the entire length of the left side of the figure and the legs which can be difficult to remove properly due to lots of folds and creases on the uniform and the inside of the legs. Due to the lovely master sculpt and the potential of the use this figure is still recommended.
* I have added a few pictures with a quick wash that show the features of the figure as I feel the cream resin is pretty hard to photograph as it obscures almost every detail...