Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dragon WWII US 29th Infantry Division soldier "Mike Connolly" (D-Day)

This was Dragon's D-Day 60th anniversary commemorative figure (released in 2004), a 1/6 scale 12-inch US Army 29th Infantry Division soldier "Mike Connolly" at Omaha Beach on that fateful day - June 6, 1944 (D-Day). It even came with a Diorama base.

Dragon's 1/6 12-inch "Mike Connolly" came with some EXCELLENT special features and many NEW accessories at that time. The uniform consisted of M1 Helmet with Net, M1941 Field Jacket, Herringbone Twill Jacket (HBT, 2nd Pattern) with 29th Infantry Div. Patch, Gas Detection Brassard, Herringbone Twill Trousers (HBT, 2nd Pattern), GI Wool Shirt, M1938 Dismounted Leggings and GI Service Shoes.

His Equipment included Wire-cutter with Pouch, .30 cal M1 Ammunition Bandolier, M1923 Cartridge Belt, M1928 Haversack, M1942 First Aid Pouch, M5 Army Assault Gasmask Bag with M3 Gas Mask, Inflated M1926 US Navy Life-belt, M1910 Canteen with Cover, M1910 Entrenching Tool with Carrier, Meat Can Pouch, M1905 Bayonet in M3 Scabbard, Mess Kit with Fork, Spoon and Knife.

His Weapons: M1 Garand Rifle in Black Waterproof Cover, MK II A1 Fragmentation Grenade, M1A1 Bangalore Torpedo Section (Metal) and break-apart M1 Garand Rifle

Head sculpt looked very much like Christopher Walken. Walken won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the 1978 film "The Deer Hunter". He also starred in the 1981 action adventure "The Dogs of War". In "Biloxi Blues", Walken convincingly played an eccentric drill sergeant known for his stinging sarcasm and sharp wit, not dissimilar to his real life talents.

Also comes with a Diorama Base with Anti-landing Tellermine 35 Special. These were part of obstacles constructed along the waterline as the first line of defense, together with sea-mines drifted in large packs at sea. The teller-mines were secured on top of wooden stakes placed at a sharp angle. When the tide was high, the mine was more or less even with the waterline.

The infamous Teller-mine 35 was a saucer shaped object filled with around 6 kilos of TNT. Believing that any forthcoming landings would be timed for high tide (this caused the landings to be timed for low tide), Rommel had the entire Atlantic Wall fortified with tank top turrets and extensive barbed wire, and laid a million mines to deter landing craft.

Mike Connolly with all his gear getting his butt onto the beach

I always felt that Dragon's WWII US M1 helmets ("steel pots") were too high. All the other gear is GREAT, including M3 Gas Mask in M5 Army Assault Gasmask Bag, cloth M1923 Cartridge Belt, Wire-cutter in Pouch and M1942 First Aid Pouch

His M1 Garand Rifle is protected from the sea water and sand in Black Waterproof Cover

The .30 cal M1 Ammunition Bandolier has the words printed on it, like the real thing

He wears the Gas Detection Brassard on his sleeve and has his M1905 Bayonet in M3 Scabbard, M1928 Haversack, Inflatable M1926 US Navy Life-belt, M1910 Canteen with Cover

Herringbone Twill Trousers (HBT, 2nd Pattern), M1938 Dismounted Leggings and GI Service Shoes.

Meat Can Pouch with Mess Kit, Fork, Spoon and Knife. M1910 Entrenching Tool with Carrier

M1A1 Bangalore Torpedo Section (Metal) - used to breach wire obstacles, allowing soldiers to subsequently clear a path of mines using hand-emplaced demolitions, grappling hooks or other means. In The Big Red One, screenwriter and director Samuel Fuller, a veteran of D-Day, expressed through the narrator his disdain for the inherent hazards of assembling and employing the weapon: "The Bangalore Torpedo was 50 feet long and packed with 85 pounds of TNT, and you assembled it along the way - by hand. I'd love to meet the ass-- who invented it!" PLUS break-apart M1 Garand Rifle

See my previous posts (links here and here) on my coverage of D-Day!

UPDATE May 4, 2010: Compare this figure with DID's Captain "Millers" figure with Tom Hanks likeness as seen on the morning of June 6, 1944 (D-Day).


Anonymous said...

How do you get the meat can pouch to connect to the haversack?

Anonymous said...

Looks like it was sewed on with a needle and thread.

alex teo said...

No, if you look at one of the side profile pictures closely, you can see the straps of the bag going around his shoulders. I'm not much of a sewer, I work with what I'm given to make it work CHEERS