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US Paratrooper

Glencoe 1/10 US Paratrooper Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review December 2008 Manufacturer Glencoe
Subject US Paratrooper Scale 1/10
Kit Number 5902 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat large scale paratrooper with 3 build options Cons Most trees not cello-bagged and many parts broke off sprues
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $9.95

First Look

US Paratrooper
US Paratrooper
US Paratrooper
US Paratrooper
US Paratrooper

Since WWII, elite paratroopers have been the first to see action in most battles. Highly trained and highly motivated, airborne units open the possibility of a “third flank” in military operations by flying troops directly into the enemy’s rear areas.

The fact that these elite soldiers have stepped forward and volunteered for something extra sets them apart from the regular units. Together with the motivation and flexibility paratroopers possess, they can successfully accomplish a mission where others might fail.

Few nations today employ their airborne units solely by parachute. Almost every major conflict has its airborne heroes. Whether it be behind the lines at Normandy and Bastogne, to the jungles of Viet Nam and deserts of Kuwait, paratroopers accomplish their mission against challenging odds.

Glencoe Models is a model company based in Northboro, MA (USA). This kit has a copyright date of 1991. It comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art shows a paratrooper wearing “Desert Storm” camouflage. He is descending onto sand, with fellow paratroopers in the background. A side panel gives a listing of Model Master and Testor paints recommended for completion of the kit.

There is a statement next to the paint listing that Glencoe will replace any defective part in the kit. The other side panel lists features of the kit: extra parts to allow the modeler to build one of three options – a modern U.S. Paratrooper, a WWII U.S. Paratrooper, or a French Foreign Legion Parachute Battalion (BEP) Paratrooper, at Dien Bien Phu. There are 3 different weapons provided – a U.S. M16/M203, a U.S. WWII M3 “Grease Gun”, and a French MAT 49. There are two styles of helmets – a steel one (WWII U.S.) and a modern Kevlar type. You get two alternate heads and two methods of displaying the figure etc. Below this listing is line drawings of the three different weapons.

Because of the option to do the paratrooper as three different types, the name of the kit is kind of a misnomer.

On the shrink-wrap of the box, there is a sticker that says “ A portion of the proceeds from this kit will be donated to the family support groups of the Armed Forces”. A very nice gesture by Glencoe for sure.

Inside the box is the remnants of three trees of white parts, a cello bag with another remnant of a parts tree and a base piece in it. I say “remnant” because 95% of the parts on these trees broke off the trees in transit from the factory and are floating around loose in the box. The decal sheet and instructions complete the kit’s contents.

The instructions consist of a single sheet, folded in the center to create 4 pages in 11” x 8 ½” format. This is again folded in the center of it’s length to fit the box.

Page one of the instructions has a black and white repeat of the boxart, next to the history of paratroopers. Below this, in 9 languages (including English) is the statement that the kit is not for kids under 3 years old. At the bottom of the page is international assembly symbol explanations and Glencoe’s address.

Pages two through four give a total of 7 assembly drawings. Only the first 5 are numbered. There are no parts tree illustrations and there are no part numbers on the sprues, but a few parts have part numbers molded inside them. This means, on smaller parts you will have to identify parts by their shape on the assembly steps.

In step no. 5, you decide which of the 3 paratrooper options you want to build.

Step 6 (which is un-numbered on the instructions) gives you the option to suspend the paratrooper’s harnesses from a 2 part mount or attach his legs to the base piece. The 2 part mount is not pictured here, but it’s 2 part numbers (38 & 39) are in raised letters on the two parts. This step is also where you add insignia for the paratrooper version you wish to complete your kit as.

There are lots of markings to do a modern or WWII U.S. paratrooper, but no insignia is provided for the French Foreign Legion paratrooper, should you choose that option.

Parts are very well detailed and the faces on the two head options are really well done. The only flaw I found in the kit was a sink mark in the top of the steel helmet.

The decal sheet has U.S. flags, individual name tags, rank insignia for private thru sergeant and 101ST Airborne Division and 82nd Airborne Division patches, in both high-visibility and low-visibility type. Also a paratrooper’s breast badge.