W.W.II British MG Team Marching (NW Europe)
Gecko Models, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Al Bowie
Hot on the heels of their excellent A9 series of Cruiser tanks comes their second figure set, which is a Vickers MG team in marching order dressed for the North West Europe campaign of 1944/45.
The Vickers MG was employed in Infantry Battalions and specialist MG BN’s attached to Divisions and allocated to formations as required. The Vickers was a WW1 Era water cooled Medium MG firing the .303 Rifle bullet. It was capable of sustained fire for long periods and employed in groupings used mainly in the indirect fire mode in both Defence and attack. As such the weapon had indirect fire sights which are faithfully reproduced here along with a supporting crew of five.
The set comes in a familiar sized box for 1:35 scale figures but it has an inner box of sturdy cardboard with a top opening lid which will be handy to protect the delicate parts and to hold them whilst working on them.
The box has a small instruction booklet in colour which is a new one to this modeller for a figure set. It contains 11 sprues in light grey plastic comprising 105 parts, some of which are very miniscule but well detailed. It also has a vinyl hose for the water recuperator and a good sized photo-etched fret with numerous weapon slings and detail parts for the gun and the ammo boxes plus a large decal sheet with uniform insignia and ammunition box stencilling.
The difference between this set and the previous one is confined to the figure sprues which are five figures in marching order.
Five figures are supplied and are all in battledress with uncovered Mk. II helmets and leather Jerkins plus standard 38 Webbing with 44 Pattern Respirator pouches and Ammo bandoliers. The five figures are:
Note that optional arms are provided to pose four figures in different poses
The Vickers MG is the best I have seen in this scale and is made up of 17 plastic parts plus 1 photo-etched part and a vinyl hose. It gives the options of the solid or corrugated water jacket; a sleeve is on the solid jacket.
The gun has the direct fire sight fitted. Detail on all the weapons is exceptionally well done with a hollowed-out muzzle on the Bren. Two recuperator cans and three ammo liners are included with one belt of ammunition depicting the cloth belt well. The rangefinder is on a small tripod (very delicate and is in four pieces. It is also supplied as a stowed item in its carry bag. PE slings are provided for all small arms and ammunition liners etc. Additionally, two shovels but only three teacups are included!
The decal sheet is the same as for the previous set and has markings for three Infantry formations that fought in North West Europe. Although no ID is given, they are 11 Armoured Div (159 Infantry Bde), 49 Inf Bde (Polar Bears) and possibly 53rd Welsh Infantry Bde Rank patches for Lance Corporal through to Sergeant and MG Specialist Badges. Decals for the ammunition box stencilling and the recuperator cans are also included.
All in all, this is a fantastic and long overdue set that can be turned into a great vignette or added as part of a larger diorama. The detail is good although there was a small amount of flash present. These figures will have a host of other uses for conversions and the extra arms etc allow a variety of mix and match poses from the box.
Thanks to Thanks to Gecko Models for the sample
Text by Al Bowie