on the heels of their release of the M2/M2A1 half-track came this 2007 set of
figures, which were featured in the vehicle box art (sometimes the manufacturers
give you a clue about what's coming, sometimes they don't!). As part of the Gen2
series, the figures have some simple multi-pose capabilities and the oft-trumpeted
slide mold weapons with bored-out muzzles. And you get numerous extras from the
machine gun sprue of the half-track kit.
GIs are dressed in common garb for the late 1942 to 1944 time frame: the second
pattern OD field jacket with the shoulder loops and flapless slant pockets, light
shade OD wool serge trousers, canvas leggings, and combat shoes. As such, they'll
work in North Africa, Italy, or Northern Europe. The quality of DML's sculpting
is really pushing into a realm once reserved for high-priced resin figures, but
you need to do some additional work to achieve that quality. The shoulder loops,
for example, are separate parts, as are the collars and lower hems of the jackets.
The fittings on the leggings are finely detailed, and with the boots they form
separate pieces to attach to the bottom of each soldier's leg (nice if you have
some late war figures with the leather gaiters that you want to adapt for earlier
settings). Each torso is molded in two front and back halves, rather than the
one solid chest that has long been the norm, and they have nice detailing and
folds in the cloth. Even the faces are more defined, though I'm not wild about
the odd two-part heads. As always, there a numerous sources for replacement noggins.
multi-pose approach yields modest changes for the three machine gun crewmen: you
can swap the gunner's .30 Browning for an M1 Garand. The separate hands designed
to carry the ammo box and tripod have empty-handed alternatives (though the tripod
carrier looks a bit stiff without the weight of the tripod pulling his left shoulder
down). Fortunately, DML figures have always been rather easy to swap upper and
lower body halves and you can probably get a little more mileage out of these
figures by combining them with other sets with a minimum of alterations.
personal gear is is appropriately limited to what armored troops would take into
combat: weapons, ammo, and water. If you have them on hand, you could slap some
musette bags or cargo packs and entrenching tools on them if your want to make
them leg infantry. The Gen2 weapons set is nicely detailed, but the separate bolt
mechanisms are a bit fiddly for my taste, and I'm not sure what to do with all
of those clips of ammo. But the machine gun sprue holds a nice bonus: a .50 and
two .30 guns, two pair of two types of cradles, early slanted .50 ammo boxes,
pioneer tools (without straps) and the SCR-508/608 and SCR-510/610 radios. The
spares box will be happy!
feature of the Gen2 sets is the addition of photoetch. This kit offers straps
for both the M1 helmet and the liner presumed underneath the steel pot. The remaining
straps are devoted to the weapon slings. As such, they are a little tricky to
piece together with only the DML illustrations to rely on.
You have three PE pieces
to work with for the Garand slings (MA2, MA3, and MA7). Looking at the larger
inset image of the MG gunner as equipped with the Garand. What they show is a
simplified approach that may not be 100% accurate for the leather belt DML is
portraying; it appears more like the 1944 web sling.
section of the sling, MA2, has perforations at the two ends. These would be hooked
by the "cloverleaf"-shaped metal clasps on the right end of MA2, and
the right end of MA3. If you examine the actual Garands above, you can follow
the flow of the straps.
goes through the buckle on MA3. Both MA2 and MA3 loop back onto themselves. But
the way DML has portrayed this, the ends just loop back onto the two individual
straps, like an elongated figure 8.
MA7 is a loop that helps keep the forward end part of the strap in place, just
like the little loop on the belt you wear on your pants.
real life, the straps go through fittings on the bottom of the butt and forward
stock. As portrayed on the kit's Garands, the fittings are solid, so you either
glue the ends of the outer loops of the photoetched straps onto the outside of
the fittings, or carve them off and just glue the straps directly to the underside
of the rifle. The other option, which I've used in the past with homemade slings,
is to wrap a thin wire around the straps at that point and glue them to the rifle.
web strap for the carbine is simpler. Just loop the left end over to the buckle.
There is a small loop at the forward end that attaches to the front of the gun.
greater accuracy comes with greater complexityremember back in the early
1990s when everyone was clamoring for indy links? But DML is to be commended for
pushing the envelope with their Gen2 sets and giving more features to more demanding
modelers. This is a very worthwhile and versatile addition to the expanding GI