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In-Box Review
135
U.S. Rangers Normandy 1944 (Premium Edition)

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction


Sometimes it is difficult , as a modeller, to grasp the contribution made by individual units. A good case in point, are the well-documented landings of Operation Overlord on the 6th of June 1944. On that first morning, some of the bloodiest fighting took place on Dog Green (Omaha) beach in the first hours of the landings. Two of the (six) Ranger battalions - 2nd and 5th Bn, were given the weighty responsibility of neutralising a heavy artillery battery on the cliffs overlooking the beach. This they carried out with heavy casualties allowing the infantry trapped on the beaches to begin to move inland. This (revised) figure set allows the modeller to build either one of the two battalions involved.

Basics:


DRA6306 - U.S. Rangers Normandy 1944 (1/35th Scale) is a four-figure set portraying U.S: Rangers configured for the assault on Point du Huc on the 6th of June 1944. The essential differences between this set and the previously issued set are the new weapons, helmets and heads. Also added is a small photo-etched sheet consisting of weapon slings, helmet straps and buckles. The set comes in SIX (grey plastic) sprues and one of Dragon Styrene (for the heads).

In Detail:


As is customary, I will look at each relevant area of the kit and finish the review giving an overall impression.

Poses: Three standing figures and one kneeling figure are included. All are in 'action' poses, one running forward with a 'Bangalore' torpedo, one carrying satchel charges forward, one firing a BAR upwards and a the kneeling figure, firing a rifle-grenade.

Uniforms: All of the figures are wearing the M41 Field jacket with the Herringbone Twill trousers. Boots are the standard service 'shoes 'Roughouts' worn with canvas gaiters.

Headgear helmets are provided for all the figures although the option is provided to use the woolen 'Watch' (sometimes described as 'Jeep') cap. Only one helmet with netting is provided - moulded in Dragon Styrene.

Equipment: Much of the equipment is the standard issue U.S. equipment - M1910 Canteen, M1910 entrenching tool etc. However, there any many additional pieces of equipment such as satchel charges, the 'battle jerkin' (worn on the chest) which make this 'Ranger Specific'.

Weapons: When I recently reviewed the 'Gen2' USMC set, I was particularly impressed with the NEW weapons that DML had provided. This set is no exception. Apart from the original sprue containing two Garands, an M1a1 Thompson SMG and a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle), two NEW weapon sprues have been added containing two Garands (with rifle grenade launchers), an M1a1 Thompson SMG, an M1 Carbine and a BAR. All of these are completely new mouldings and all contain seperate bolt mechanisms (open or closed!), spare clips and, in the case of the BAR, a new bipod. Also included is a bangalore 'Torpedo'

Heads: The original, styrene heads are included although DML has done something different by giving four NEW heads - moulded in Dragon Styrene. This has been used previously with some figures although, now, it seems as if this is the ideal medium. The detail is superb - crisp and excellently defined.

Conclusions:


DML has obviously considered this set carefully with its design team. The moulding is excellent with only a few tiny mould-lines present on the figures themselves. Detail is clearly defined although the fact this is a recently produced set, indicates the moulds are still relatively new. The additions are well-done and enhance rather than giving the impression they have been done 'for the sake of it',

I do have a few comments about the set. Firstly, the six WW2 Ranger battalions were deployed in virtually every theater of war - from Italy to New Guinea. Perhaps a less 'Normandy Specific' set might be a future possibility?

Secondly, although I can find few areas of crticism in the uniform provided, there are some areas which could have been considered. In the first instance, replacing the gaiters and short boots with Corcoran Jump boots would have given a little less 'uniformity' to the figures. That said, there is a bit of a debate as to whether 'Jump' boots were worn in Normandy. On the same theme, the 1943 Jacket was certainly worn by Rangers - although again, it may not have been used at Normandy.

An excellent set, which should be of a great use to those modelling the Normandy landings.

Acknowledgements:


Firstly, my thanks to Dragon Models Limited for providing the review sample.

Secondly, there are many sites out there covering the extraordinary events of that day in June 1944. One of the most evocative is this: Ranger Family Webste (Link)

Some of the best places, to research Ranger Uniforms are the re-enactment sites, here is just one of many: 5th Rangers Company Website
SUMMARY
This is the first 'Premium Edition' kit that I have reviewed and it must be said that this is not just an 'interesting' initiative, it is one that other manufacturers would be well-advised to emulate. The concept is simple - take an existing (sound) kit and add in additional material to bring it up to a higher standard.
  MOULDING:90%
  EQUIPMENT:100%
  DESIGN:95%
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6306
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 19, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.06%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.23%

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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)
FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2017 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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