2nd Division USMC
Tarawa 1943

Dragon Kit No. 6272
1:35th Scale
Review by Terry Ashley

Generation2 comes to the Marines with this set of four “leathernecks” from Tarawa in 1943 wearing a combination of the two piece herringbone twill utilities and camouflages jungle suit with each wearing the M1 helmet and camouflage cover.

The figures are in action type poses with one standing officer with M1928A1 Thompson, a crouching rifleman with M1 Carbine, a prone rifleman with M1 Garand and a kneeling Flametrower operator. You will notice both from Ron Volstad’s excellent box art and the figures there are no rank insignia worn which is correct as all insignia was removed by order as it provided too much of an inviting target for snipers. Officers could usually be distinguished by the weapon they carry, in this case the Thompson.

If it weren’t for Airfix, Dragon could have labelled this set “multipose” as while there are only four figures each can be assembled in one of two poses with multiple parts included as follows;

Each figure is broken down into front and back torso halves with separate collar section, separate legs in one piece for each leg with separate leather boots, separate arms also in one piece each with separate hands plus the usual Gen2 heads in two halves, front and back. As none of the figures have the helmet chinstrap in place as was normal the join line down the side of the faces will have to be eliminated but the fit of the two halves is quite good so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

The lower flaps of the jackets are in four separate segments to give excellent detail relief and these fit neatly in place without any problems with the remaining detail on the uniform very well done. There are minor moulding seams on the legs and arms but thankfully these don’t compromise the fabric seams included on the parts as well as nicely done folds and creases plus the pocket and belt details.

The facial features are excellent due to the method of moulding the heads but as mentioned the side join line will have to be eliminated. The hands are also mostly well done but the right hand on figure 1 is a little too long in the wrist and his trigger finger has seen a fair bit of action as it is rather swollen. Good for picking noses but not much else and you may want to trim this down a little and shorten the wrist for a better appearance, but that was about all the ‘nit picks’ I could find apart from some minor trimming to fit the hands to the weapons which we’ll get to shortly.

The leather combat boots also have sole details included instead of the usual flat undersides which is good as you can see the soles on all but figure 1 given the various poses and this adds a bit more detail.

As well as the figures there is a nice selection of personal equipment such as water bottles, ammo and first aid pouches which have nicely rendered details.

As with other Gen2 figure sets there are excellent weapons included with 2 x M1 Garand Rifles, 1 x  M1 Carbine, 1 x M1928A1 Thompson SMG, 3 x M1911A1 Colt .45 in M1916 holsters, 1x  M1A1 Flamethower plus 3 x KA-BAR ‘Bowie’ knives and an M3 trench knife. To compliment the weapons are etched slings and clips to really finish off these excellent weapons.

The M1 Garand and M1 Carbine have separate top bolt sections, one closed and other open for added detail and there are 12 eight round clips for the Garand to use as required. The Thompson again has superb details with the top cocking lever shown in excellent relief by the use of slide moulds as are the ribbed cooling vanes above the forgrip, both features of the earlier M1928A1 Thompson as is the Cutts compensator included at the muzzle. There are also separate 20 and 30 round magazines for the Thompson.

A quick look at the weapon sizes sees the Garand, Carbine and Thompson scale out exactly to the actual size and special mention should be made of the inclusion of the earlier M1928A1 Thompson and not the usual M1A1 as in earlier Dragon and most other US figure sets.

The Flamethrower has the two main tanks in two halves with a separate smaller tank with superb details on the long nozzle section and moulded hose lines for the two different posed available for this figure and will make for a dramatic figure.

As well as the etched slings and clips for the weapons the muzzles are also slightly opened up with slide moulds but those on the Garand and Carbine are just very small indentations and almost invisible to the naked eye. These indentations do provide a firm central locating point for you to drill out the barrels further for a better appearance.

I have fully assembled figure 1 the standing officer to see how things go together and the findings should be applicable to the other figures also.

The fit of the parts was spot on without any trimming needed with just the elimination of the upper torso side join seams after the glue has dried but as the fit was good this was very easily done.

There are large locating notches in the boots and arms to ensure precise location which helped get these at the right angles and the helmet was a quite good fit to the head but you may want to bevel the top of the ears for a snugger fit.

One thing I do which helps when you have to fit the two hands to a weapon is add long metal pins to the hands that fit into corresponding holes frilled into the arms as this allows the hands to be firmly attached yet can still move to better locate around the weapon. You can leave the hands unglued so they can be removed for easier painting in you wish as the long pin will hold them firmly in place.

There was some minor trimming needed to better fit the hands to the Thompson on this figure with the shortening of the wrist as mentioned and slight trimming of the top of the hand behind the thump to better fit the contours of the Thompson stock but that was about it.

Etched fret

Another excellent set of figures in the Gen2 series with superb details on the uniforms and especially the weapons with the choice of poses adding further appeal as you can buy two sets and build eight different posed figures.

This set is a great start on the allied side in the Gen2 series but looks rather lonely in the announced releases for the rest of this year and hopefully we will see more allied figures given the Gen2 treatment.

Highly recommended

The Sprues
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Thanks to my credit card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten for the review kit.

Page created March 22, 2006

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