Although much of the everyday uniform of US tankers was identical to that elsewhere in the US Army, they received a variety of specialised clothing, some of which was intended for general issue, due to the nature of their work. Once committed to combat in 1944, tankers ended up with various items of clothing, some as substitutes, some due to personal preference, and could be seen wearing jackets or other items worn by infantry, just as infantrymen could be seen wearing items of tanker clothing. Alpine Miniatures’ 35095 “WW2 US Army Officer Set” is an excellent example of US Army soldiers wearing an eclectic mixture of cold weather gear.
35095 – “WW2 US Army Officer Set” is set of two 1/35th scale resin figures sculpted by Krisztian Bodi. The two US Army Officers are portrayed wearing an assortment of winter-wear: the one stands somewhat relaxed with legs crossed having a cigarette break; while the other communicates using a hand-held radio transceiver. Released during November 2009 the box-art is painted by Marcin Skfzypek, his first for Alpine Miniatures.
Both figures are also available individually as figures 35093 WW2 US Army Officer #1 and 35094 WW2 US Army Officer #2.
35093 WW2 US Army Officer #1
35093 WW2 US Army Officer #1 depicts a late war US Army officer standing with legs crossed, one hand in the pocket, the other holding a cigarette. There is nothing specific that would identify the Officer with a particular US Army branch of service although he wears garb not uncommonly, even though officially General Issue, worn by tankers.
The Officer wears the Officer’s quality double texture OD (olive drab) raincoat, which featured epaulettes, an integral belt, and all-round buckled strap cuff adjusters. This is worn over a five (5) button sweater and the winter combat trousers very frequently worn by tank crews in cold weather. Although the winter combat jacket and trousers are commonly associated with tank crews, they were intended to be for general issue. The jacket was often worn by infantry; the trousers, which were cumbersome, less often. Made of windproof and water repellent tan cotton with full blanket lining, they have a central zipped closure from the top of the bib to the crotch. These, the second pattern, had metal buttons and clips at the front ends of the suspenders, zipped access through both side seams, a small zipped access for toilet purposes, and snap-fastened tabs at the outside ankle vents. Around his waist (and under the raincoat) he wears a standard issue web belt with attached magazine pouch.
Footwear consists of the initial design of the cloth-topped four buckle overshoes, with rubber soles, was to protect the service shoes from extreme conditions. They replaced an early-war version with all-rubber uppers; and in 1945 were replaced in their turn by an overshoe with rubber uppers and five snap buckles.
The Officer is presented with two headgear options; he wears the manganese steel M1 helmet, and offers M1941 wool knit cap as an alternative. The M1 helmet is worn complete with the separate inner liner: the chinstrap of the liner is pulled over the front rim of the helmet while the chinstrap of the steel shell is, as was frequently done, fastened up over the rear rim. The M1941 wool knit cap or “jeep cap”; was first issued in 1941 and intended for wear under the M1 helmet in cold weather, it had a short stiffened visor, and the double-knit sides could be pulled down over the ears.
35094 WW2 US Army Officer #2
35094 WW2 US Army Officer #2 is portrayed speaking into a hand-held radio transceiver. Like his colleague, there is nothing in particular that places the Officer within any particular branch of service, nor is there anything that would denote the officer’s exact rank – or indeed that he is an officer.
The Officer wears the standard issue M1938 enlisted man raincoat. The design of the raincoat was a five button, straight front coat with two pockets that opened to the inside so the wearer could reach into clothing pockets while wearing the raincoat. Raincoats were issued to US Army enlisted men as a standard piece of their field gear. In 1938 the rubberized fabric raincoat was standardized, replacing the previous oil treated fabric raincoat. This raincoat was replaced after a few years by a new synthetic material raincoat. After 1942, the synthetic raincoat was supplied throughout the remainder of World War II although the fabric raincoat continued to be found in use.
Figure 35094 appears to be wearing the Winter Combat Jacket, sometimes referred to as the “Tankers’ jacket”, under the raincoat. His trousers, although indeterminable due to fall of coat, are most likely the OD wool field trousers, which the Officer has rolled to slightly below mid-shin.
Footwear consists of the M1943 combat service boot. Made flesh side out and without toecaps, they did away with the necessity of wearing leggings by incorporating an integral 5 inch deep leather cuff or gaiter fastened with two buckled straps. Although testing in North Africa in 1943, it was late 1944 before they were available in any numbers in Europe.
As noted above, the soldier is portrayed using the BC-611/SGR-536 “handie-talkie” hand-held radio transceiver. Like his fellow Officer, 35094 is presented with two headgear options: the M1 helmet; and a M1941 knitted wool cap with the short visor turned up.
The set, moulded in Alpine Miniatures’ traditional light grey coloured resin, comes in a kit form consisting of a total of eight (8) pieces. The kit is packaged in a small, clear acetate box with each figure’s parts inside its own small zip-lock bag. A small card displaying the painted set of figures, as well as the individual figures is supplied.
Figure 35093 WW2 US Army Officer #1 consists of the following four (4) parts:Full figure, excluding head and right hand;
Head wearing M1 helmet; and
Head wearing M1941 knit cap.
Figure 35094 WW2 US Army Officer #2 consists of the following four (4) parts:Full figure, excluding head and left and right hands;
Left and right hands holding BC-611/SGR-536 hand-held radio transceiver;
Head wearing M1 helmet; and
Head wearing M1941 knit cap.
As we have become accustomed to from Krisztian Bodi the figures are superbly sculpted and Alpine’s casting is simply magnificent.
The four heads are well-sculpted, and we see a return to the Alpine norm of both pairs of faces sharing identical facial details with only the headgear that differentiating them (the previous Alpine release featured four heads of differing facial features). The faces are cleanly sculpted and extremely well defined, with well-textured hair visible under the headgear, which itself is well proportioned and nicely detailed – the woollen caps in particular and realistically textured. The casting blocks are situated under the necks of the two capped heads, and on the helmets for those two heads.
The figures proper, i.e. torsos, arms and legs, are beautifully sculpted and folds gather convincingly for the materials and garments portrayed. The drapery of the raincoats and the trousers is exceptional. The clearly defined gathering of folds on 35093’s trousers as they group into the folded legs stood out to me particularly. Similarly bagginess of the winter combat trousers worn by 35094 tucked into boots demonstrated this. Finer details include the winter combat trousers’ buckles, binoculars, the unclasped boot buckles of 35093 and the memory creases around the crotch area of 35094’s trousers. Modellers desiring the additional “air of authenticity” may consider drilling out the skirts of the raincoats slightly.
The casting on this set is exceptional. In fact, 35093 has probably one of the cleanest casts I have seen to date, with only the residue of the casting blocks left beneath the feet – and less than usual at that as well! Figure 35094’s casting overall is similarly excellent, however does feature some light flashing between the ankles and a negligible amount between the legs, all of which will be extremely quick and easy to remove. As per usual the casting blocks beneath the feet of figure 35094 have been cut away and no more than a quick clean-up is required.
The remaining two parts of the set, namely 35093’s right hand, and 35094’s hands and radio, are as the rest of the kit, are well defined and cast. I was pleasantly surprised to not that 35093’s cigarette survived the journey to my post-box as this type of part typically breaks off en transit. The casting block is attached at the wrist, which itself features the textured cuff of the jumper. 35094’s hand/radio part is neatly and cleanly cast. The detail is excellent, with the cuffs of jacket finely textured. The radio looks terrific and based on the reference material consulted accurate. The casting block is attached under the right wrist.
The sculpting is Krisztian Bodi at his best and predictably Alpine Miniatures’ casting is outstanding: this is another exceptional couple of figures from Krisztian Bodi and Alpine Miniatures. The quality of the cast and recent resurgence in WWII Allied subjects should make this set very popular. Recommended.
following material was consulted for purposes of this review, and is suggested reading for more information on the subject:“The Word War II GI - US Army Uniforms 1941-45 in Color Photographs”. Richard Windrow and Tim Hawkins. The Crowood Press. 2000.
“World War II Infantry in Colour Photographs” Europa Militaria 02. Laurent Mirouze. The Crowood Press. 1999.
“The GI in Combat - NW Europe 1944-45”. Warrior 6507. Steven Zaloga and Ronald Volstad. Concord Publications. 2002.
“The US Army 1941-45”. Men-At-Arms 070. Philip Katcher. Illustrated by Chris Collingwood. Osprey Publishing. 1978.
“The US Army in World War II (3) North-West Europe”. Men-At-Arms 350. Mark Henry. Illustrated by Mike Chappell. Osprey Publishing. 2001.
“US Infantryman in World War II (2) Mediterranean Theater of Operation 1942-45”. Warrior 053. Robert S Rush. Illustrated by Elizabeth Sharp. Osprey Publishing. 2002.
“US Army Tank Crewman 1941-45 European Theater of Operations 1944-45” Warrior 078. Steven J Zaloga. Illustrated by Howard Gerrard. Osprey Publishing. 2004.