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The 80th anniversary of D-Day and the invasion of Normandy is approaching fast. Because this is one of the most significant events of the 20th century, Polish brand COBI is commemorating this with a special range of building sets. In this blog we’ll be taking a look at the sets as an introduction. Some of these will also be reviewed in the near future. 

Dedicated to one of the most pivotal moments of World War II – the epic Battle of Normandy, known as D-Day. Travel back in time and recreate the historical events of Operation Overlord, with COBI building sets. We have created vehicles, planes, buildings and figures in a modelling scale, which you can proudly display in your collection! Miniature historical models allow us to understand and celebrate the courage and determination of the soldiers who fought for our freedom.

Our kits are marked with a special logo belonging to the organisers of the official celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Allied landing in Normandy. Many kits have also been released under official license from military equipment manufacturers.

COBI-4849 LCVP Higgins Boat

When most people think about the Normandy invasion, the beach landings will probably be the first image. With movies like ‘The Longest Day’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’ these have become really memorable. The Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel is one of the boats used to get the troops, vehicles and supplies to the beaches. So this is a really essential inclusion!

COBI-2296 Willys MB

COBI-2297 Willys MB & Trailer

COBI-2295 Medical Willys MB

The Willys Jeep is another icon from the allied forces. Used in operations all over Europe this Jeep is a frequent sight in World War 2 museums and at historic events. The Jeep is rather compact and basic, making it really suitable for mass production and overseas transportation. Cobi has released 3 versions of these iconic vehicles. A standard version, a version with a trailer and a medical version. Like the LCVP and other vehicles these are in a 1:35 scale, making them compatible for presentation or play. Later this year, display models on a 1:12 scale will also be released of all 3 versions of the Willys jeep.

COBI-3110 DUKW Amphibia

The DUKW is an amphibious truck, based on the GMC army trucks. Being amphibious they can be used on land, but also crossing water. Making it a very versatile supporting vehicle to allied forces.

COBI-5755 Waco CG-4

The planes are the exception in the range, being made on a 1:48 scale. This is a bit of a shame because it makes them less suitable for display in a diorama together with the other sets. Glider planes were as essential as boats though, since part of the operations were done with Airborne troops, landing with gliders or parachutes. The Waco is one of the glider planes used and features the black and white ‘invasion stripes’. Markings added to planes to reduce the risk of encountering friendly fire. It is however a shame that the British Horsa glider wasn’t chosen for inclusion. This was used for the first 2 nighttime raids on June 6th, on what is now known as Pegasus Bridge and Horsa Bridge.

COBI-2299 Sainte-Mère-Église Church

The church of Sainte-Mère-Église has become known because paratrooper John Steele from the American 82nd Airborne Division got stuck on the spire with his parachute. Thankfully he managed to survive the ordeal. Today there is a parachute and doll added to the church to commemorate the incident. The village of Sainte-Mère-Église is located closest to Utah Beach on the peninsula where airborne and infantry troops were supposed to link up. This really is the masterpiece of the collection of sets. Buildings are not something COBI does a lot and it’s immediately a big one.

COBI-3111 Dodge WC-56 Command Car

This model is based on General (later USA President) Dwight D. Eisenhower and his car. Making it probably the rarest vehicle from this collection. The equipment of this vehicle clearly shows the difference with vehicles more likely to engage in combat like the Willys Jeep. It’s less sparse in any sense and shows the different requirements for a command car.

COBI-2257 Dodge WC-54 Ambulance

The reality of war sadly means there will be casualties. So there is no denying the role of medics and ambulances. They might not have the heroic appeal of some of the other sets, but that doesn’t make it any less important. So it’s great to see this vehicle also included with the D-Day sets.

COBI-5743 Douglas C-47 Skytrain Dakota

When using paratroopers, planes are needed to drop them at their landing zones. The Skytrain Dakota was one of the planes used for this purpose.  Although the box isn’t branded with the 80th anniversary logo, but Cobi still has included it to the collection. Just like the Waco Glider this features the invasion stripes, although the ones near the tail are not fully round. When telling the story of operation Overlord, this plane certainly is an important part of it.

COBI-2054 D-Day 06.06.1944

COBI-2055 D-Day Allied Forces

To complement the other sets, 2 figure packs were also released by COBI. The style seems a bit familiar to minidolls. Like with the other sets, the main focus seems to be on Americans. With an Airborne trooper from the 101st (eagle emblem on shoulder) among 2 other American figures in the first pack. This is understandable because of the Hollywood productions mentioned before, but might not be the most balanced representation.

Of course many other COBI historical sets contain planes, tanks and other vehicles used by both sides during operation Overlord. For this blog we stuck to the sets mentioned as a D-Day special themselves. With all the tanks in various specifications it would have been interesting if a Sherman DD (“swimming tank”) was also included into this collection. Maybe that’s a model COBI can make in the future?

A different set we also like to mention is the D-Day Diorama by BlueBrixx. This looks like a fun build and the use of bushes for explosions in the water is a rather nice parts usage. The accuracy might not be as good as the COBI sets, with the landing craft and tanking seemingly being different from what would have been used, but for anyone wanting to do a D-Day related build this might be a good starting point.

If you’re located in the UK and want to purchase any of the COBI sets, you might want to go to the Brick Tanks website. Our friend Cabbageface_ has a discount code for them. Use: Cabbagaface-2023 at checkout (and be sure to follow him on Instagram and Youtube!).


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The Brick Post's Foreign Correspondent, AFOB from The Netherlands. 

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