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Set 72140

U.S. Marines

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2024
Contents 32 figures
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23.5 mm (= 1.7 m)


Originally the US Marines had provided guards for naval facilities, ship-board security and landing troops from ships – all the traditional marine roles, but after their actions in France during World War I, many were asking why the nation needed a separate force when it could become just a part of the Army, at a much cheaper cost. To counter this prospect, the Marine leadership developed a new focus during the 1920s on policing colonial possessions, and in particular, on developing the techniques and equipment required to conduct amphibious landings in order to establish forward bases for such actions. With the rise of aggressive Imperial Japan in the 1930s, it was becoming more likely that any future war would be in the Pacific, and involve the taking of many islands, for which the Marines were increasingly well-suited. When war did finally come in December 1941, this scenario came to pass, and the US Marine Corps played a huge part in the Pacific campaign, establishing a reputation which meant that there was never again any question of the Marines being disbanded or absorbed into the Army.

In the early days of the war the Marines were mostly grouped in small units in various far-flung possessions, and could do little to stop the Japanese tide. In time this would change of course, as would their appearance and weaponry, and as we shall see, this set is aimed squarely at the later, more famous and victorious battles of the USMC. None of these figures carries the well-liked Springfield 03 rifle, but three have the later M1 Garand, which would soon prove its worth and become the standard rifle of the Corps (the first man in our second row may instead be holding a shotgun, but hard to see). One man holds a Thompson submachine gun, which had a mixed reputation with the Marines, but was certainly used and is worthy of its place here. Another man holds an M1 Carbine, which was preferred to a pistol, although several of these poses also have a holstered pistol for self defence. The second figure in our second row holds a classic Pacific War weapon, the flamethrower, which is again a later war model, the M2-2. Finally we have two heavier weapons that had a much longer heritage. In the top row we have an M1919A4 Browning light machine gun mounted on a tripod, and in the lower row an M1917A1 heavy machine gun (with no condenser). Both are appropriate weapons, and indeed all the weapons here are fine for the subject, but we were a little disappointed that there is no evidence of grenades on any figure.

The clothing matches the later war weaponry, as all the men wear the ubiquitous combat ‘utilities’ or ‘dungarees’ of shirt (officially called a coat) worn outside of trousers. The helmet is the M1 steel helmet (apparently with a cover), officially adopted before the start of hostilities, but only common wear after the first few battles. One man wears instead a peaked utility cap, which was often worn under the helmet, but rarely by itself like this when in combat. More than half of the poses wear leggings, which were not well-liked and were generally discarded when going into action, so we felt they are rather overrepresented here.

The men are quite generously provided with kit. This includes ammunition pouches round the waist, a bayonet on the right hip for riflemen, a water bottle (sometimes two) and first aid pouch. Several have a pack on the back, including some with an entrenching tool strapped to it. This is a bit surprising as such things were often put aside when going into action, although it cannot be ruled out of course. One man seems to have some wire-cutters tucked into his belt, and the man with the Thompson has extra magazine pouches at the back of his waist. Some of this smacks of being a bit over-supplied for troops in battle, but all are missing something we really think most should visibly have – the KA-Bar knife.

The sculpting is good, with the usual levels of fine detail, but this is rather soft in places, and in particular the gunner for the M1919A4 has had to sacrifice some detail for the sake of a single-piece pose. The weapons are quite good, although the frankly weedy bayonet on one man looks very unimpressive. The two heavier weapons both have the gun fitting into the tripod, and while they are nicely detailed they both need the hole to be enlarged and the peg trimmed before the fit can be made. This is because there is a fair amount of flash on all of these models, which will certainly take some time to trim, and does in places quite disfigure the pose. Speaking of poses, those here are reasonable, although we did not care much for the second figure in the top row, who holds his rifle somewhat awkwardly. The poses are fairly active, and all do the required job, with both heavy machine gunners matching well with their weapon. Most obviously missing however is a number two gunner for either weapon.

In the past several manufacturers have found it hard to distinguish between US Army and the Marines, and have marketed their figures as both at different times. This set is properly targeted at the Marines, and presents us with no significant concerns as to accuracy, although some figures are not entirely typical of these troops in combat. The amount of effort required to clean and assemble these models is certainly a drawback, however, and the small number of poses means you get few of each weapon type, but some decent sculpting means these are still useful additions to your Marine force in their most iconic conflict.


Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 8
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 9
Mould 6

Further Reading
"Infantry Weapons of World War II" - David & Charles - Jan Suermont - 9780715319253
"The M1 Garand" - Osprey (Weapon Series No.16) - Leroy Thompson - 9781849086219
"The Marines in World War II" - Greenhill Books (GI Series No.21) - Christopher Anderson - 9781853674266
"US Marine Corps 1941-45" - Osprey (Elite Series No.59) - Gordon Rottman - 9781855324978
"US Marine Rifleman 1939-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.112) - Gordon Rottman - 9781841769721
"US Marines in World War Two" - Arms and Armour (Uniforms Illustrated Series No.11) - Robert Stern - 9780853687504

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