The large range of pieces for the Zvezda Art of Tactic game system has for a long time focused just on the battle between German and Soviet forces, although lately a number of sets for the British in 1940 have also appeared. This is the first set depicting American troops, marking a further expansion of the range.
The spec for this set is much the same as for the rest of the range. You get five figures, which are primarily intended to be used together on a single base (as shown here), but as separate bases are also provided, they can be deployed individually as pictured above. The poses are mostly fairly conventional, and perfectly good for representing these troops, but the last figure, which we take to be an officer by the field glasses round his neck, is a strange pose. He holds his submachine gun like a pistol, and is waving his left hand as if beckoning his men forward. He can’t actually be firing his weapon while like this, as his control of it would be minimal, and this is not the best way to carry the weapon either. It is a strange pose, but the others are fine and useful.
The uniform is the same for all, being the M1 helmet, M1941 ‘Parsons’ field jacket, trousers, long leggings and boots. They all wear correct webbing, including the M1928 haversack with entrenching tool and meat can pouch, plus what looks like the pack carrier, which is a surprise as this was not liked and rarely worn during World War II. Ammunition pouches, first aid pouch and canteen are all correct. The weapons on show here – the M1 semi-automatic rifle (‘Garand’), the Browning Automatic Rifle, the M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun, the M1 Bazooka (the early model as it has a forward hand grip) and the M3A1 ‘Grease’ Gun – are all correct and nicely done. Both the officer and bazooka operator also have sidearms.
As always, Zvezda sculpting is superb, with all the detail you could ever require. The weapons are the most obvious manifestation of this, but everything here is just beautiful. All the figures have some simple assembly, and the hard plastic is perfectly engineered to give a tight and secure fit without recourse to glue. There is no flash, nor unwanted plastic anywhere – just perfect precision.
So great figures apart from the odd officer pose. A word on the packaging however, as it claims a date range of 1941 to 1945, which is another example of Zvezda stretching credulity. Some of these weapons and uniform were not around in 1941, or at least not widely issued, so treat with caution. Other than that, a great little game piece and an interesting new line in the game system that is now so well established.