Thursday, November 4

Preview: MiniArt's 35th scale U.S. Tank Crew Special Edition - more guns, equipment & decals to up the ante...

When we reviewed MiniArt Models 35th scale U.S. Tank Crew a few years ago, the only thing missing was extra weapons, equipment & decals for badges of rank & unit. Well, Miniart has added just that to make this kit into a special edition. We look at the tankers, the set & what's new in our preview...

Preview: MiniArt's 35th scale U.S. Tank Crew Special Edition - more guns, equipment & decals to up the ante...

U.S. Tank Crew Special Edition
From MiniArt
Kit No #35391
1/35th scale
The kit contains five figures with decals
The Subject: The US Tanker in WWII:
US tank crews in WWII had a lot of catching up to do by the time they entered the war in 1942. Although training had already begun, the British, Germans, Soviets and others had been fighting for many years already. One thing that WAS in their favour was the supply chain and industrial might of the US, supplying them with almost everything they needed to become a strong fighting fore as the war went on.
Indeed, as the war went from the training to the fighting stages, and then through northern Europe after D-day, the US soldier became arguably the best-equipped tankers in the war in numbers and materiel. this assisted their new gained experience and resilient, independent nature.
We thought we might look at some of the details of the gear that these soldiers are wearing, the most prominent are the tanker overalls. These are the US herringbone twill type, with his regulation shirt underneath.

Below is a tanker in a 1941 publicity shot with all of the elements of this figure, the Tanker hood, the Bib-style overalls and the tanker's jacket over that...
The padded tanker’s helmet (you can show them with or without goggles) was derived originally from the early gridIron helmet and made by Spalding in the USA. The M1938 headgear choice is featured here in the photo below, on top of the helmet is the latter-war style M-1944 Goggles. The M-1944 goggle sets were developed by Polaroid and delivered with three lenses (clear, dark polarizing, red) for dust, wind, and sun protection so you can add your own tint here if you like.
For protection outside the tank, the preferred weapon of the tankers is the short M3/M3A1 “Grease Gun”. Short and easy to carry but effective and fast firing. The M3/M3A1 is still one of the most effective weapons of its type. Due to the large .45 ACP calibre round the M3/M3A1 fires and its simple construction with stamped/pressed steel, it is very reliable, extremely simple to operate, compact & having a strong short-range knockdown power, relatively high controllability on full auto due to a decreased cyclic rate of fire, it is simple to fix and maintain, and cheap to manufacture. The compact size, reliability, and stopping power of this weapon kept it in service with the U.S. for decades after WW2 (particularly among armoured vehicle crews up until the introduction of the M4 Carbine), and it is still used in some countries into the 21st century.

Featured on some of these figures is the "Jacket, Combat, Winter" (formal name) which was also called the "Tanker Jacket," because it was originally issued exclusively to armoured units. Worn over a shirt, with the jacket as a top layer that also covered the pants or the winter overalls. On the shoulder, you can see both the sergeant’s stripes and the 3rd armour patch which is on the left sleeve.
Shown below is the M1911 pistol and leather holster. Another common self-protection weapon that is included in this special edition kit.
MiniArt has released a redux of an earlier figure set this month. They are five figures that will suit pretty much any US Armoured fighting vehicle in 1/35th scale. This "Special Edition" sees an older set, no #35126, enhanced with extra weapons and equipment, and new decals to place these tankers in rank and in unit.

Five figures in the set come on two sprues, with each of the figures set apart in their own "space" making them easy to construct.
A nice visual detail of what is added in this special edition kit.
The special edition kit here features three more sprues. The first being a duplicate sprue, that of a weapons and equipment sprue, with the Tank Helmet M-1938 with goggles, Colt M1911 pistols in their leather holsters and ammunition pouches
The third sprue contains the Colt M1911 and colt revolver in, and out of their leather pouches, binoculars in and out of their pouch, a camera and a map pack in cloth for the soldiers.
The decals supplied in this special edition are also very helpful, with the shoulder flashes of the 1st & 2nd armoured division. The single stripe of a Corporal and the three stripes with one rocker as a Staff Sergeant are also included to make painting the kit a whole lot easier.
That is all we have on this kit so far, See more about all of MiniArt's kits on the MiniArt Website