Review - Tamiya 1/48 scale US Infantry at Rest and Jerry Can Set

Kit Review: Tamiya 1/48 scale Military Miniatures Kits:     No. 10 (32510); Jerry Can Set; 184 parts in grey styrene; $11.00
     No. 52 (32552); WWII U.S. Army Infantry at Rest; 156 parts (107 in olive drab styrene, 45 in grey styrene, 4 clear styrene): retail price US$29.00
Advantages: nicely done new figures and an excellent Jeep and accessories
Disadvantages: figures are all only about 5'3" tall!
Rating: Highly Recommended (Jeep and accesssories), Recommended (figures)
Recommendation: for all US WWII and Korean War modelers in 1/48
    In 1973 Bandai launched a bold new approach to the world armor modeling ma rket with a complete set of armored vehicles and accessories - with each ve hicle coming with a crew of three to eight figures as well ? that was wel l received but quickly died out due to a lack of ability to compete with 1/ 35 or 1/76 scale kits. While they are still around - and still nicely done and very buildable after nearly 40 years ? they mistimed their release.
    About six or seven years ago Tamiya charged back into the market with a ne w approach to 1/48 scale armor, and have been joined by Hobby Boss and othe r Chinese companies in providing new mold kits. While those from Tamiya are in many cases pantographed down from their 1/35 scale line, they do look t he part in quarter-inch. While I have not picked any up until now, I decide d to try a couple this afternoon at the IPMS Baltimore ?Maraudercon? sh ow.
    The first set provides a number of useful accessories for 1/48 scale aircr aft or vehicle dioramas. These include: 12 55 gallon US and 12 200 liter Ge rman fuel drums (based on different end plates); 16 German style Jerry cans ; 16 US style jerry cans; six ammo pouches; six field packs; six medical ba gs; and various canvas tarps and US-style barracks bags.
    Each of the fuel drums comes in the normal four-part breakdown (sides and ends) but the German ones also have a central bung in the side which the US ones do not. Although small there are distinct differences between them, s o kudos to Tamiya! All the jerry cans are in two parts with separate and ve ry petite handle sets.
    Directions show them added to both a Sherman and a StuG III as kit, but so mehow I doubt many Germans would get their hands on US Army barracks bags!
    The second set is a set of nine varied figures with a quarter sprue from t he Jerry Can Set kit along with a Willys MB jeep.
    The figures are a good variety with two officers in ?Ike? jackets and dress uniforms, three figures in ?tanker? jackets in different poses, t wo figures in field jackets, and one with a ?patrol? style fatigue cap and field jacket. One of the dress figures looks like Eisenhower and the ot her like Patton, which is a nice touch. The tanker dressed figures are posi ng hands on hips, with a pair of binoculars, and walking with a Thompson M1 A1 submachine gun. The latter figure has shoes and leggings whereas the oth ers have boots, so would guess him to be a suitable armored infantryman. Th e ones in field jackets are walking with an M1 or sitting and listening, al so both with shoes and leggings. The last figure is apparently opening a ca n of C rations and is relaxed, but would appear more suitable for Korea.
    Alas, Tamiya has continued to ensure that their figures are right puny ? all of them scale out to about 5' to 5'3" tall! This was the problem with their 1/35 scale kits for years, and appears to have been carried over into 1/48 due to the pantograph process. This is a shame, as they are simple an d neat and would be great for any armored vehicle or aircraft of the period , but must be used sparingly due to that failing.
    The Jeep kit is another story. This one appears to be based on the old mol d (and copyright ignoring) kit from 1972, but even so that kit still rates as a nice rendition of the popular Jeep. It does not come with an engine (i n this scale it is harder to deal with than the 1/35 ones) but does come wi th all of the basic Jeep bits to include the seats, top bows, jerry can, an d even hand holds for the rear quarters. An option Browning M1919A4 machine gun is included with pedestal mount. A driver is also part of the kit, and in his case as he is sitting behind the wheel his size is not as much of a distraction.
    As noted a quarter sprue from the first set is also included in this kit.
    Finishing directions and decals are provided for two Jeeps, but neither on e has bumper codes provided.
    Overall these are handy kits for anyone doing either vehicle or aircraft d ioramas, and can be recommended as long as the figures have some balance to ensure that they do not tend to make things look out of scale.
Cookie Sewell
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