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In-Box Review
135
German Gun Crew
German Field Howitzer Gun Crew - Premium Edition
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Having done a build review of the German s.10cm Kanone 18, (found Here on Armorama), I decided to look into a crew for the gun, and DML provide just the product to accompany this product, the German Field Howitzer Gun Crew. The set I have bought is a Premium edition and it is a very welcome addition for anyone building the German s.10cm Kanone 18 (6411) or German sFH 18 Howitzer with limber (6392).

Contents

Inside the standard DML box you will find it is packed to the gunnels with plastic. The contents consist of;

• 7 grey plastic sprues packed in 5 plastic bags.
• 2 Dragon Styrene sprues in tan.
• A painting guide and multi-pose figure instructions.

Review

I believe I should start this review with a general break down of the parts, and it is a considerable number. In this set you get;

• Two wicker mats for under the wheels of the gun.
• Four wicker cases for artillery rounds.
• Six torsos.
• Six pairs of legs which are separated at the groin.
• Fifteen right arms.
• Sixteen left arms.
• Six flat top heads.
• Twelve helmets (I am unable to tell if they are M1935, 40, or 42 models).
• Fourteen bayonets in scabbard.
• Six gas mask holders.
• Six multi-part gasmask holders.
• Ten entrenchment tools in two designs.
• Eight bread bags.
• Six gas sheets for the shoulder strap.
• Six water bottles.
• Six mess tins.
• Binoculars.
• Two binocular cases.
• Six drum magazines.
• An assortment of magazine pouches.
• Two closed Lugar holsters.
• One open Lugar holster.
• One open P38 holster.
• One closed P38 holster.
• Four bed rolls or tent quarters.
• There are two other types of pouches of which you get four of each, I am unable to identify them though.
• Five of each shell design for the German sFH 18 Howitzer with limber (6392) kit.
• Ten shell cases.
• Five covers for the shell cases.
• A ramrod.
• A gun stick

As you can see from this list it has, I suspect, as many pieces as the gun kits it is designed to accompany. The mouldings are all first rate being free of any blemishes, flash, or ejector marks.

The crew have so many options as to how they are positioned I am just going to cover the general information on one of the figures, which excluding their posture is shared by them all. The figures consist of two legs which are joined at the groin and also have the portion of the tunic from the belt down; detail is of a good standard with the creases in the uniform having a fluid look to them rather than the very stiff creases that look unnatural. There are no ejector pin marks to worry about and the mould seams are very light and easily dealt with. The various parts of the boots are replicated with the exception of the sole of the boot; however the detail quality does vary.

The torso of these figures is also free of flash and ejector pin marks, and again the mould seams are very light. As these figures are fulfilling the artillery role there are no “Y” straps shown on the figures, there is the shoulder strap of the gas mask holder and gas sheet moulded on each figure but it could be scrapped away and replaced if wanted. The reichswehr eagle patch has been depicted above the right breast pocket along with shoulder boards and collar patches. The creases shown on the tunic look natural and, to me, depicted in the correct locations for the posture of the figures. The tunic is of the early war type with a closed collar, but I do not know the exact time periods covered by the various uniforms.

There are so many options as regards the arms that you cannot fail to find the arm you need. The hands vary in quality as regards finger detail, but they should all be usable with a little work. Creases are again naturally depicted on the sleeve and placed naturally depending on if the arm is straight or bent.

The faces are all of a good standard for injected moulded plastic which should meet the needs of the average modeller, they could also always be replaced with an after market manufactured item from a company such as Hornet if you really want to add extra detail.

The equipment supplied with this set all looks to be of a high standard and cleanly moulded, and I will leave the pictures to do the talking as I believe they will be of more benefit than my descriptions would be. The biggest boost of this set for me is the 10 rounds of ammunition supplied for the German sFH 18 Howitzer with limber (6392) which along with the shells supplied in the kit gives the modeller 20 shells to use as needed. The extra wicker packing cases and mats also help when purchased to accompany the German s.10cm Kanone 18 (6411) which fails to provide any of these items.

Conclusion

This set from DML with all the possible poses of the figures is a ‘must have’ to accompany the sFH 18 line of artillery guns or any other artillery piece used by the Germans within reason. Quality wise this set ranks amongst the best that DML have released excluding the Gen 2 series of figures. The only real complaint that can be levelled against the set is the lack of rifles which I believe would be in easy reach of the crew if needed.
SUMMARY
Highs: This set supplies an incredibly high number of options for a gun crew and their equipment, the addition of the ammunition and wicker mats is a very nice inclusion.
Lows: With all the equipment and extras supplied in this set it would have been good to have included the gun crews personal weapons, having included some Gen 2 weapons would have made this set shine.
Verdict: I have no concerns in highly recommending this product to you to man your WW2 German artillery gun.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6461
  Suggested Retail: £8.50
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 17, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Photos
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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. 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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Comments

This is exactly the same crew that you get with the SIG33, except that there are the mats and shells as extras. This crew originated some years back to man the Dragon Railway gun, though they have worn quite well. The extra pouches are for MP40, MP44 and Gewehr43 automatic rifle, none of which are appropriate for artillery troops; they are obviously a standard sprue lobbed in for the 98K rifle pouches. The uniforms are early war, basically the 1936 pattern tunic with the box pleats on the pockets and blue-green collar, but it was possible to see this in wear throughout the war. By sanding down the box pleats you get a fair approximation of the M43 jacket. The tall marching boots were being supplanted by ankle boots by mid-war, but again could be seen in use virtually throughout the conflict.
DEC 17, 2010 - 06:32 AM
I just got the Trumpeter s.K 18 10.5cm Kanone and have been looking for a crew. Definitly have to chalk this one up on my vingette roster.
DEC 17, 2010 - 07:24 AM
Steve thank you for the added information on this kit. I am not however going to criticise the kit for including these items. I like this set so much with all the added extras that I have bought 3 sets of them, I would like to see a late war version of them as well but suspect they would have a lot less in the box and cost more. It is my opinion that as it stands it is the best set of WW2 German artillery figure available at this time, that is until MasterBox and MiniArt get their teeth into more artillery figures, I should add that these will be used in combination with figure products from these manufacturers. Matt I believe you will be happy with the purchase of this figure set.
DEC 17, 2010 - 11:31 AM
Darren, a very good review. I built this set with DML's sIG 33 kit, and as Steve points out, they're a good set, especially as Dragon has added more arms to the original ones. These later items are better-molded and show more lifelike poses than the old-style static renderings we still see on Tamiya figures, for example. Steve, your suggestions about "fixing" the uniforms are duly noted. Thanks!
DEC 17, 2010 - 01:03 PM
Steve ref your comments on the uniform I understand what you are saying about the pleat on the jacket pockets, but it was my understanding that as the war progressed the collar became an open affair rather than the high collar depicted in this set is that correct?
DEC 27, 2010 - 11:35 AM
Darren Actually all the German tunics could be worn with an open neck including the M1936 pattern worn by these figures (orders permitting - e.g. in hot weather). The white neck liner in the early tunics could be unbuttoned and reattached with an open collar. I suspect what you are thinking of is the M1944 (Allied designation) uniform without skirts, British BD style, which is nearly always depicted with an open neck. You would be hard pushed to convert these figures to this spec without major work. However as the war progressed the early tunics were simplified, the bottle green badgecloth collar disappearing, becoming field grey as the rest of the jacket, the box pleats removed and the percentage of reworked "shoddy" or reclaimed cloth increased. The field grey colour also changed becoming almost slate grey in the late M1944 jacket. Naturally any serving soldier retaining an early better quality tunic would try and make it last as long as possible. I've seen photos of actual tunics where pockets from other jackets have been sewn on as repairs (even different colour).
DEC 29, 2010 - 06:16 PM
Good review Darren. Definately a versitile set and very useful. Great photos ... its 100% clear whats in the kit. I wish Dragoon would put a little creative energy into the faces of their figures. As you say they are good enough, but they lack expression and character which is important when you have a small scene like this, IMO. For all Dragon΄s achievements with molding and quality, this is one area where they are behind their competitors.
DEC 30, 2010 - 05:47 AM
Steve thank you for that; if I have understood everything said to me about early and late German uniform it is: 1. Early pleat on breast pocket - late no pleat and from what I have seen sometimes no pocket. 2. High legged boots on early figures and ankle boots on later figures. 3. Collar is worn high on all early figures but it is also possible that later uniforms can look like this. 4. All early uniform can be seen in the later stages of the war due to declining standards in uniforms overall. Frank I am forced to agree with you that the faces lack expression; in their defence I will say that they have come a long way since their early figures and just need a way or willingness put some life into the features. Thank you both for the feedback.
DEC 30, 2010 - 08:23 AM
Hi Darren What's your reference for late war tunics with no pockets, I've never come across this. 3. Collar is worn high on all early figures but it is also possible that later uniforms can look like this. The collar on the late tunics was also meant to be closed- it's just a lot of soldiers didn't button it up fully
DEC 30, 2010 - 08:42 AM
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