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
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
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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