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101st Airborne: D-Day

WWII Special Forces
by yo go re

After a brief (but very good) foray into the civilian sector, Plan B's ToY Award-winning Special Forces line has re-enlisted, getting back into the fatigues for another tour of duty. Rather than the modern soldiers seen so far, this time Plan B went back to the battlefields of World War II.

101st Airborne June 6th, 1944 - 6,000 Screaming Eagles jumped into France behind enemy lines. Their task was to eliminate gun emplacements that bombarded the beaches of Normandy.

Badass as they were, the 101st Airborne didn't have great luck in Operation Chicago. Inexperienced piloting and difficult terrain caused them to be badly scattered throughout the countryside around their target of Vierville. Some fell in the sea or deliberately flooded areas. After 24 hours, only 3,000 of the 101st had rallied. Many continued to roam the bocage and fight behind enemy lines for days.

The 101st Airborne did finally get their act together. The 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment's "Easy Company" fought their way to Kehlstein mountain and captured Hitler's "Eagle's Nest" stronghold, and these events were dramatized in Steven Spielberg's HBO series Band of Brothers.

Plan B has made a few changes to its Special Forces body for this line. The first thing you'll notice is that they're not using the same generic body that's been around since the first line in the ReSaurus days. In fact, there are two new bodies, one for the Axis and one for the Allies - very clever, since there's no way that both sides would have used the same uniforms.

lotsa crap Another change regards the accessories; the web gear, formerly one removable piece, is now more customizable. The harness is a sculpted part of the torso, and the various bags and pouches can all plug in however you like. Our little Currahee comes with a pair of M1910 canteens, an M1911 pistol and holster, a lineman's kit, first aid pouch, M1943 entrenching tool, M1936 Mussette bag, and a Thompson 30 round magazine pouch to go along with his M1A1 Thompson Sub Machine Gun. All very authentic. In fact, the only thing missing from this paratrooper is, oh, a parachute. It doesn't have to fold out, guys - it can be stowed.

You talkin' to me? He's also got an M-1C helmet, which fits snugly on his head. The head beneath has a mohawk and facepaint, which a lot of the real paratroopers did on D-Day; it'll also make him perfect for a Code Talker once we get over to the Pacific theatre. And hey, darned if he doesn't bear a slight resemblence to a certain emotionally distressed taxi driver. Like all the Special Forces figures, the 101st Airborne has a removable head.

Along with the new body comes new articulation. He still moves at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, knees and ankles, but the hips are now balljoints. We saw this beginning with the Emergency Forces firefighters, but it's nice to see it continue.

The detailing on the figure really makes him shine. The uniform has lots of crosshatching to suggest the threadbare fatigues with which soldiers often had to make do, and has a Screaming Eagle insignia on the left shoulder and an American flag on the right. His suspenders are accurately styled and the pockets are all tilted at just the right angle. He's even got stubble on his chin and the sides of his head!

Plan B keeps making their Special Forces figures better and better. More bodies, more articulation, more accessories and overall more for your money. Whether in modern-day military, public servants or WWII, the Special Forces are here to serve.


Would you like to see a female Special Forces figure? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.

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