by: Rob Lively [ ]
Originally published on:
Parts and Pieces
I did not include any pictures of the separate pieces since DML’s website has an excellent series of photos that allows a modeler to look at every piece, including the ability to focus in and out. This kit is injection molded plastic. DML has met their usual high standards with this kit and all the pieces are really beautifully sculpted. The weapons sprues are packaged separately and include plenty of weapons for all six figures. (Note: There is a B.A.R. included, but no ammo pouches for that weapon. If you want a B.A.R man, you will have to rip off some ammunition pouches from the spares box.) The heads, arms, torsos and legs are all molded in pieces and don’t need much filler at all once assembled.
The figures are easy to put together and look fantastic. The kit forms a section/half a squad/depleted squad. There are three riflemen, a radio operator, a section leader/NCO/Officer and a medic. All of the men wear the M1943 Combat Uniform and the M1943 ‘buckle boots.’ Each man bears the standard issue bag for the lightweight gasmask and all have folded entrenching tools. One rifleman wears the issue raincoat and all three riflemen have bandoliers. The NCO/Officer has binoculars (‘big eyes’), a map case, sidearm and angled flashlight. The radio operator, carries an SCR 300 on his back. Each of these two are kneeling and armed with carbines. All have steel pot helmets and three have the netting. The medic is a wonderful touch. He carries his pair of medical bags on the special yoke harness with a very broad rear shoulder piece. He sports a Red Cross brassard on his left arm. The kit features one canteen for each man, but the medics usually carried two (one for patients/general use and one for their own personal use.)
Overall pros and cons
Let me tell you – the pros far outweigh the cons. This kit is absolutely beautiful and really fills a gap. DML really knocked it out of the park with this kit. They included six men, so the combinations are endless and they could be adapted to other theaters/campaigns. The figures are lifelike and perfectly sculpted. There is ample equipment to swap out/swap around. The medic and the radio operator are really neat additions and the decals are really high quality.
By comparison, the cons seem trivial. There are no grenades in the kit. These men would have had grenades. The heads for these men still look too much alike. I test-fitted aftermarket Warriors heads, but they looked huge compared to the figures. Other than that, this kit is all positive.
The finished kit
When Armorama staff sent me this kit for review I was so impressed I just had to build and paint them. This small vignette represents what is left of a rifle platoon of the 99th Infantry Division. I painted them with a selection of Model master and Vallejo acrylics. I built the kit out of the box as much as possible. I only added rifle straps and a strap for the binoculars. I used a wire to simulate the radio antenna since I broke the kit one. With that said, it would not have been difficult to adapt the figures to the Italian front since the M1943 combat uniform was first tested at Anzio by the 3rd Infantry Division. (Note: The uniform was a hit and became very popular in that theater, but shunned in the European Theater until late 1944. The uniform featured large pockets and led many troops to forsake the harness and “fight out of their pockets.”) I used the kit decal red crosses for the medic, and they were superb. I used a little Solvaset, and they settled right down.
This kit is outstanding. I opened the box and I fell in love. I have always loved DML but they really created a masterpiece here and it is great to see them producing a new Allied subject. I hope that there are more in the near future.
Most Highly Recommended.
Thanks to DML for the review sample.