US Infantry, 1943–1945

Matchbox 1:76 Scale Figure Review

US Infantry, 1943–1945, 1:76 Matchbox 5002.

Matchbox “American Infantry” may be painted as US, Brazilian, and French infantry of World-War Two, even if the uniform requires some conversion to correct the most obvious mistakes.


49 Figures in 17 Poses – 22 mm equal 167 cm Height

  • Officer in Greatcoat, firing Pistol (2)
  • Officer with Binoculars (2)
  • Officer with Motorola SCR-536 »Handie Talkie« and M3 SMG (1)
  • NCO with M3 Submachine Gun, standing, firing (5)
  • NCO with M3 Submachine Gun, advancing, firing (5)
  • Infantryman with Bazooka (2)
  • Rifleman, standing, firing (6)
  • Rifleman, kneeling, firing (6)
  • Rifleman with fixed Bayonet, running (6)
  • Rifleman with fixed Bayonet, prodding for Mines (2)
  • Rifleman, throwing Mk 2 Grenade (4)
  • Gunner with .50 Caliber M2 Browning Machine Gun (1)
  • Assistant Gunner with Box, Ammunition, Cal. .50, M2 (1)
  • Assistant Gunner with Mortar Bomb, kneeling (1)
  • Assistant Gunner with Mortar Bomb, prone (1)
  • Combat Engineer with M1 Flamethrower (2)
  • Mechanic / Tank Crewman in HBT Coveralls (2)
  • Medium Mortar and Bipod


Excellent choice of subject, American Infantry is a staple for wargames and dioramas.

US tank crewman, and infantry with flamethrower, Mk 2 grenade, and Bazooka, 1943–1945, 1:76 Matchbox 5002.

While there is a great number of poses in this set, many poses are wasted on submachine gunners, heavy weapons, combat engineers and tank crewmen, who were not part of a rifle platoon or company. On the other hand, M1 Carbines, Browning Automatic Rifles, 60 mm Mortars, .30 cal. Browning M1919A4 Machine Guns are not covered at all, and there are only enough rifleman for two rifle squads.

US Infantry with .50 caliber M2 Browning machine gun and 81 mm mortar, 1943–1945, 1:76 Matchbox 5002.

The figures are wearing the US M-1943 field jacket, but with incorrect pleated pockets similar to those of a German M40 tropical field blouse, and US M-1943 paratrooper trousers with cargo pockets. The figures might be made more accurate by removing the lower external pockets from the field jacket and the cargo pockets from the trousers. However, the easiest conversion is a headswap, turning the US riflemen into German soldiers of the Afrikakorps.

In our tutorial “Browning Automatic Rifles for US Infantry” we convert the standing firing submachine gunner to a BAR gunner by inserting a longer barrel made of 0.6 mm piano wire, and shortening the magazine.

US Infantry with M1 Garand semi-automatic rifles, 1943–1945, 1:76 Matchbox 5002.

The bayonets are short shot, too thick and blunt to be accurate. Airfix did a much better job with their British 8th Army figures which carry perfectly sculpted bayonets.

The mortar is a representational wargame model only. Miniaturists and diorama builders will want to replace it with a more accurately detailed weapon.

Due to their light and narrow bases, these toy soldiers are quite difficult to set up and play with. For ease of handling, wargamers may want to base the US infantrymen on ferromagnetic steel bases.

Painting Guide

  1. Revell 316.35 »Flesh«: Faces, Hands
  2. Revell 316.46 »Nato Olive«: Steel Helmet, M1943 Field Jacket
  3. Revell 361.67 »Green Grey«: Trousers
  4. Revell 361.84 »Leather Brown«: Boots, Pistol Holster
  5. Revell 361.85 »Brown«: Rifle
  6. Revell 361.89 »Beige«: Webbing
  7. Revell 361.91 »Steel«: SMG, Rifle Barrel and Lock

The original Matchbox painting guide recommended Humbrol Authentic Colour HM3 »US Olive Drab« as the uniform colour for the M-1943 Field Jacket and Trousers. Revell has since re-released the old Matchbox American Infantry, and their painting guide now lists two different greens for the jacket and trousers.

Historical Employment

  • US Infantry, 1943–1945
  • French 2e Division Blindée, 1944–1945
  • Brazilian Expeditionary Force, 1944–1945

Possible Conversions

  • German Afrikakorps, 1941–1943

Matchbox American Infantry was first released in 1976. While this set still offers a few interesting poses, these troops have long since been superseded by more accurate US Infantry miniatures from other manufacturers.

US Army Miniatures of World War Two