The fame of the US Marine Corps in World War II needs no retelling here, yet at its peak it did not represent more than about five percent of the total US armed forces. For obvious reasons it was mostly employed in the ‘island-hopping’ campaign in the Pacific, where it would be tested to the limit against tenacious Japanese resistance.This game piece for the Art of Tactic range provides five figures which are mainly intended to be displayed on a single base as seen here, but as separate individual bases are provided, the figures can also be used as shown above. The poses are all perfectly good for general battle, and are nicely realised. The first two men carry rifles (Garands from the look of it), while the third holds a Thompson submachine gun, the fourth a man-portable flamethrower and the fifth an M1A1 bazooka. The flamethrower would be a particularly useful weapon for flushing out stubborn Japanese defenders from strongpoints, and though they faced few tanks, the Bazooka also had a role to play against enemy strongpoints, so all the weapons are appropriate. The men all wear utilities, including field leggings which are partly hidden by the trousers on all but the flamethrower operator. The helmet of course is the steel M1 model, worn throughout the assault on the Japanese empire, and the webbing is all correct too, including a couple of three-pocket grenade carriers.
As always, these are lovely sculpts, with great poses and plenty of detail. The faces are clearly a standard computer-designed form, and show no emotion or character, but that is a small price to pay for the precision sculpting. Each man has some element of assembly, which allows for such natural poses, but the parts all fit perfectly without need for glue. There is no flash, so once put together they are ready to go.
While this is a slow and expensive way to create a limited body of Marines, as a game piece it is visually very appealing, and the figures work well by themselves too. If this were a complete set then we would bemoan the lack of a loader for the bazooka, but as a game piece the weapon is merely being represented, which is fine. As per usual, great figures which serve to remind us of what we are missing since Zvezda stopped making full figure sets.