Monday, November 6, 2017

BMC Iwo Jima Marines and Japanese in Marx-compatible colors.

Some years ago, I bought the Iwo Jima playset by BMC. That was when it was first released. I liked it then. The ground base was cool, and the LVT and Sherman tank looked good. Though I liked the poses and detail, I thought the colors of the Japanese figures were a bit too orange. The Marines were a lighter OD shade. I later acquired more of the sage-green Marines and tangerine-colored Japanese.

The new Add-on set issued by BMC has 14 Japanese (2 of each pose), 12 Marines (1 of each pose) plus the six-man Iwo Jima flag-raising diorama. The figures have not changed. One thing that has changed is the availability of the Iwo Jima figures in new colors. responding to customer suggestions, BMC offers this set in both the original colors and in colors that are more compatible with Marx, Tim Mee, MPC and Lido troops. These new colors are a darker green for the Marines and a khaki tan for the Japanese.

What a difference color makes! Both Marine and Japanese figures look great in these colors. The colors make the details stand out better. Frankly, I like these Japanese troops better than the Airfix counterparts. Ditto for the Marines. The Airfix 1/32 Japanese and Marines are okay, but the BMC figures are better. As good as the Marx recast Japanese Infantry figures are, BMC’s Japanese troops have better detail. They might not have as many poses, but the BMC figures are much better detailed. BMC Japanese have 7 poses, Marx’s set has 12.

Many people do not know that the originals were made as painted metal figures by King & Country. BMC licensed the figures for the Iwo Jima Playset.

The set itself has plenty of firepower. Japanese forces have riflemen supported with light machine gunners and “knee mortars”. US Marines have riflemen, BAR gunners, a flamethrower and a bazooka.  There is also a peculiar figure of a Marine in life jacket standing on  box. He was supposed to ride wither in he landing craft or the LVT.

Consider it a plus that the Iwo Jima Marines and Japanese are affordable, quality figures. List price is $12.20 a bag. That includes 12 Marines, 14 Japanese and an Iwo Jima flag-raising piece with six more figures. Man for man, that is less than the average price for Marx recasts. Get while the getting is good!

The BMC set has enough troops for a game of OMOG Advanced, by the way. That would place 12 on the US side and 14 for the Japanese.

So how do these new “Marx compatible” colors measure up against the old ones? Let’s take a look! I have plenty in the older colors: light (Sage) green Marines and orange-tan (Tangerine) Japanese. The darker Green Marines and Tan Japanese look much better than their light green and Tangerine counterparts. See for yourself!

Improved Flag on rifle for Tan figures
A bag of cabbage salad? No, these are the Iwo Jima figures in the old colors


You can get there here:

Marine on box imitates politician on soap box. 


  1. Some nice figures here. Probably my favourite would be the running green guy. In my view, if you aren't going to do an all-over paint job on the Japanese, the orange is probably salvageable using a black or sepia ink wash. For one, it will darken the figure; for another, it will bring out the detail.

    Here are some pix of some troops I gave this treatment:

  2. Super job, Unca Thor, and up to your usual high, incisive standards!

  3. I was lucky enough last year to find boxes of these clone copies China made of these for 50p a box in a seaside toy shop with no idea of the prestigious K and C original maker - deep Pound Store joy! These will probably get the ImagiNations toy soldier paint treatment

    1. Looking at the crude Chinese clones on your site, I prefer to stick to the originals. To me, the poor quality of the knockoffs stands out. I'd rather pay more to have better.

  4. You are right about the color Thor, it makes a big difference. I have got to get some more of these figures. Not to many Japanese WWII figures in plastic these days.