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In-Box Review
135
Allied Force ETO 1944
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Dragon Models Limited has graced us with an interesting figure set for folks who lean toward the Allied side of modeling. This is something of a hybrid set for a couple of reasons. One, Dragon has continued their recent policy of '39-'45 Series figures mixed with Gen2 accessories, although the only Gen2 items are the weapons, not the personal gear for each of the figures.

Secondly, this is another one of those mixed forces sets with 3 American troopers and one British commando figure. In that sense it is a bit like their earlier release of kit #6563 “Fragile Alliance”(Reviewed here) and #6344 “28th Division in Poland” (Reviewed here) which included an Italian and a Polish soldier respectively. It is a bit different in that the two sets mentioned were centered on a common theme, something that is missing with this particular grouping.

Review

The set comes with four figures packaged in the end opening style box with a Ron Volstad illustration on the front, repeated on the reverse with the painting guide. There are no instructions included beyond the back of the box; which are easy enough to understand. The four figures are all very well done, certainly up to Dragon’s recent standards of excellent figure releases, '39-'45 Series or not. The three American figures, an officer with M1 Carbine at the ready, an NCO in a relaxed pose with a Thompson at the hip, and a private with an M1 Garand in a slightly relaxed on guard pose. The British, or perhaps more properly, Commonwealth commando figure is armed with a Sten gun at the ready.

For head and footgear the commando is wearing the distinctive beret and canvas gaiters, the EM wears a helmet with the net cover along with combat boots, while the other two wear the standard US helmet and M38 canvas leggings. The sample I had unfortunately was struck with the dreaded cooling disease on the torsos of three of the figures, the only one spared was the officer (typical officer type I guess!). These are the visible lines seen in the images.

The weapons, all Gen2 , are excellent; two M1 Garands, the Sten gun, M1 Carbine and, for good measure, a BAR. The weapons all feature pre-drilled barrels. Included now as standard with the Gen2 US weapons are the twelve 8 round en bloc clips, but does anyone really use them? I can’t recall seeing them in a model yet. One minor annoyance was the lack of slings for the weapons, I know they have them, throwing them into the box and charging a bit extra would have seemed to be an acceptable tradeoff.

Conclusion

Another very useful group of figures from Dragon that can be used in a myriad of post D-Day situations. I kind of like the different armies approach, it is almost like a couple of mini figure sets all in one box. And of course, anything Allied is always welcomed by most modelers.
SUMMARY
Highs: Variety of figures, very well molded and you get the Gen2 Weapons.
Lows: No slings, cooling lines, odd combination.
Verdict: I like the idea of different nationalities mixed in one set. The poses in this set offer a variety of uses.
Percentage Rating
92%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6653
  Suggested Retail: $12.95
  Related Link: DragonUSA Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Mar 09, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright ©2017 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. 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

I've had these "cooling lines" on some figures as well and they did show through after painting. So I'd recommend some Mr. Surfacer and a light sanding, just to be sure. Cheers! Stefan
MAR 23, 2011 - 03:42 AM
I just bought this set and have a couple of questions for anyone who has some knowledge on the British commando figure; 1, Is the rucksack based on a real item or is it made up ? All of the reference I have (and the box art) suggests that this should be the GS Bergen although the actual part looks nothing like it. - Does anyone make an accurate bergen ? 2. The fastening straps of the gaiters/putees on the right leg are on the inside of the leg, not the outside. Is this a mistake or is there any evidence of this happening ? I think I already know the answers but just want someone with some insight to confirm my doubts Thanks, Andy
APR 19, 2011 - 06:30 PM
As far as Im aware the gaiters are wrong,buckles should be on the outside. I agree from what I can see the bergen looks rather misshapen. I understand accurate armour do a british infantry figure accessory set that includes a GS bergen. My concerns were, based on the photos I've seen and not the real thing thatthe beret looks like a squashed chef hat rather than something worn by a serviceman. Would replace with a hornet head. Also the use of a sten is odd as though there was some use of the sten by the commandos the most common smg by far was the thompson. By the way from what I can gather, certainly by the end of 44 most commandos were wearing the para smock,so the dragon figure would be best suited for d day or before.
APR 22, 2011 - 08:29 AM
Jason, Thanks for the info, pretty much confirms what I thought. I am already with you on the beret, Hornet heads are on the way ! I didn't know about the AA set, thanks I will take a look. I have replaced all of the personal equipment with Tamiya parts in this case because their British equipment is leagues ahead of the Dragon stuff. The other thing that is annoying is the lack of the Fairbairn-sykes dagger - clearly shown on the box art and an iconic symbol of the British commando - time to raid the spares box again. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the thought but why do Dragon spend so much effort researching their German stuff, give us ridiculously accurate models and then throw together an allied set with what looks like little research Pity none of the "reviews" picked up these obvious errors. Thanks for the help, Andy
APR 22, 2011 - 05:17 PM
Andy, you'll find the Accurate Armour Bergans spot on. Really do look the business and are correct. One of the things I find with DML these days is while they spend time researching weird tanks that never went past the drawing board, producing figures for utterly obscure units and yet they still find it beyond their scope to actually produce any Allied figures which are really of any use these days. This box? The US troops would be okay for taking POW's. The Commando? I have no idea. The main SMG of Commandos as someone has already stated was the Thompson. Lets face it noone wanted the Sten and as Commandos had more say in what they used they went for the better SMG. Same as some Commandos preferred the SMLE III as it was more accurate and The Vickers K for it's better rate of fire (as documented in photos in Normandy). Now DML is a company that has a worldwide audience yet they make such schoolboy errors as moulding gaiters on back to front? Now to me research is the fundamental thing. Finding original 3rd Reich items to work from is a lot more difficult to finding Commonwealth or US items to work from. Ron Volstadt always does an outstanding job of doing the box art and them someone in moulding/design completely buggars it up. A comparison is ordering a steak medium rare then ending up with a bowl of tofu. It's not what's on the box. How is it new companies such as Miniart and Masterbox can produce items that are (a) correct (b) interesting (c) dynamic (d) as on the box? I'm currently working on a Normandy dio and have used some DML figs which I've modified using Accurate Armour, Miniart, Masterbox, Airfix, Hornet, Ultracast bits as the DML stuff was not suitable for what I had planned. They really need to up their game as far as Allied modellers are concerned. When you've got companies like Bronco releasing 17lbers and Pheasants (deep joy!) Archers, Valentines etc they deserve to get left behind. What's there next development? A tank Hitler drew on the back of a bit of paper while on the toilet with a tank crew in space helmets for his invasion of the moon?
APR 22, 2011 - 05:57 PM
Thanks for the review Rick. Very concise. I hear ya. I have used the artwork for the US soldiers here as some equipment reference and posing ideas when sculpting, and knew that someday DML would have a crack at them in plastic and not be able to manage more than a passing likeness...
APR 22, 2011 - 07:43 PM
Karl, Thanks for the additional recommendation on the AA bergens, I have some on order now. Some of the other bits in this set look useful too. Why is painting one figure turning out to be so troublesome Thanks again, Andy
APR 23, 2011 - 05:24 AM
One good thing, is that in our search for detail we sometimes miss the obvious, this set reminded me that my Commandos should have Thompsons and not Sten Guns, so for that I 'm thankful. Nice figs though. Al
APR 23, 2011 - 04:00 PM
Thanks for all of the callouts on the relatively minor innacuracies and solutions. I picked up this set shortly after it's release and seeing the review, and now I have a better idea of what to do with them. Cheers Jeremy H
APR 23, 2011 - 04:12 PM
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