Saturday, June 20, 2009

Free and Worth It

A British model magazine had a special officer of buy the magazine and get as sprue of 20 mm US Army WWII figures for free! I purchased the magazine despite the figures looking a bit large for 20 mm. When I got them home I measured them out as 27.5 mm tall. Not exactly what I consider to be 20 mm. When I read the magazine they explained these were the new Valiant Miniatures US Army set in 1/72nd scale. 1/72nd scale means one inch equals six feet, or about 24.5 mm tall. So these large corn fed American boys are all from Texas and are well over six feet tall. That's not the only problem with them, their heads are enormous. Even if you are big you helmet is the same size as everyone elses helmet. These guys must be wearing Navy talkers helmets. Compare this figure to a large Italeri US Army figure and you will see how simply huge these new solders are. I complained the Italeri guys were too big and then I saw these moose boys.

This is the free sprue I got. As I understand it you get four identical sprues in an actual set of Valiant Miniatures soldiers. Very little flash, some on the helmets and some on them M1 rifle front sights.

A good collection of weapons, 30 caliber machine gun, 60 mm mortar, two bazookas, two Thompson SMGs, three carbines, only one BAR, a radio, and a man with a Colt .45 in his hand. Mine has his other hand broken off.

Many of the figures have a separate arm or two. The machine gunner is in two halves, not unlike the 50 year old Airfix WWII Russian figure, except the Valiant figures accept regular model glue, and are of a slightly stiff plastic. There are extra heads, many with netting and the helmet strap dangling which is common for WWII US Army troops. With 15 troops, or 60 in the full set you get enough for a 12 man squad or a full platoon. More BARs would have been good, as the squads often had two each.

The machine gunner fits the 30 caliber very well, but he is kneeling and really should be prone so he can use the sights. There are several arm / weapon options. I did the bazooka team with a #2 loader. I did the 30 caliber machine gun but used the guy I suspect is the loader as the radio operator. A small walkie talkie would have been nice too with all the little bits.
These are very nice figures but a bit cartoonish. They remind me of many metal figures and look like they were designed to be used with lead and are probably easy to paint. For me they are just too big, neither large enough to be real 28 mm nor small enough to be real 1/72nd scale. Too bad, I would have purchased a ton if they were just three mm smaller and had proportionate heads.


Jim. said...

When the next issue comes out, in their new format, it will have Napoleonics. I might get it for the content of course. Actually, they are supposed to get 16 pages of new material from Flames of War which makes me wonder if they are going to become a house organ for Flames of War.

Jim. said...

As Mike knows, I like and use the Valiant British and first box of their Germans. They are bigger than our usual troops, but are so nice I use them anyway. Lots of extra pieces and you can mix and match arms and weapons. My two platoons of German infantry are from Valiant. And one company of my 3 Canadian companies is Valiant British.