When this set was released Caesar had already made one set of US Infantry which we have reviewed here. That set suggested the early years of the war, up to late 1943 or 1944, by the weapons and clothing chosen, so the expectation was that this, their second set, might emphasise the last months of the war, and that is pretty much what it does.
The first set lacked much action or interest in the poses, but this one does a little better. Those wishing to survive a World War II battle often found themselves kneeling or on the deck, so we felt the high number of such figures in this set reflected the realities of 20th century warfare very well - certainly better than many sets on the same era. No one pose particularly stands out, but all are very serviceable.
The dating of these figures to the latter part of the war is based partly on their jackets, which are all four-pocket examples that look very like the M1943 combat jacket that was the norm by 1945 in Europe and earlier in the Pacific. All the trousers lack any visible pockets, which is not wrong but we would have liked to have seen some with cargo pockets on the thigh. The standard M1 helmet is of course on every head (although missing all the usual straps), and on all the feet are the M1943 'buckle boot' with the short ankle piece secured by two straps. These appeared from late 1944, replacing the canvas leggings, and are therefore the other major piece of dating evidence. Webbing is reasonable but the number of pouches is sometimes not what the regulations stipulated. None of the men have packs, but what kit they do have looks authentic.
Several of the men carry rifles which we could not identify with certainty but should be the Garand and would certainly work as such. The radio operator looks to have an M1 carbine, and three have the Thompson submachine gun. The Thompson on the last figure in the bottom row makes sense as he looks like a junior officer or squad leader, but the two in the top row make this set a bit heavy with the weapon. The prone machine gunner is probably using a Browning Automatic Rifle, while the man behind him seems to be firing a grenade from the muzzle of his rifle. Behind him is an infantryman firing an M18 57 mm recoilless rifle, which is the first time this weapon has been modelled in this hobby, and it only appeared very late in the war. Finally there is the mortar, which with a barrel length of about 10 mm must be the M2 60 mm. This model too is less than ideal as it is missing fully half of the baseplate.
The detail is pretty good and the proportions and clothing done to perfection, while there is no flash anywhere and some of the men have been given multi-part moulds to avoid undesirable extra plastic and loss of detail. The result is very good and means there is no assembly required anywhere. Surprisingly this includes the mortar, which does indeed come as one piece. Apart from the damaged baseplate this is a pretty good model, which is impressive, although the usual Caesar softish plastic means the mortar is particularly prone to bending.
The radio man is very nice but the seated man next to him is something of a mystery. He seems to hold something in his right hand, but this is almost entirely obscured and so cannot be identified. Perhaps it is a compass or a pocket watch, or perhaps he is simply smoking a cigarette, although in truth it could be whatever you wanted it to be.
This is a very decent set of American GIs for the last months of the war, and with a fair range of weapons too. As with so many sets this one depicts a neatness and uniformity that would surely have been the exception rather than the rule on the battlefield, and with subjects such as this there is always lots more that could have been included. However with the 12 poses Caesar have produced a good spread of equipment, and some people will always want more of one weapon or less of another. So, as with their first set, this is a very usable and worthy set which will largely do the job for which it was intended.