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In-Box Review
135
BEF France 1940
British Expeditionary Force - France 1940
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by: Rob Williams [ WEDGETAIL53 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

The set consists of five sprues:
A single large sprue contains all of the body parts and equipment for four figures, a sprue containing parts for a Vickers MG, a sprue containing three Lee Enfield Mk III rifles and two unsheather bayonets, two sprues of greatcoat skirts for each figure, and a sheet of etched brass.

main sprue

This sprue contains all of the body bits for the four figures; a kneeling officer, a seated machine gunner, a prone ammunition number feeding the MG, and a prone rifleman. All of the figures including the officer are wearing 1937 pattern webbing and greatcoats.

Each figure is equipped with a small pack and gas mask container, with the gunner and riflemen also wearing basic pouches. Helmets are provided for all, with a peaked cap for the officer as well.

Moulding is generally good, with well defined creases and straps, although the buckles on the webbing are a bit soft at the back. Gaiters appear to have the straps the right way around this time.

The helmets appear a bit too high and rounded and look suspiciously similar to French helmets of the period, as well as having a knob in the middle, which I do not believe is correct.

weapons

The weapons sprue W contains three Lee Enfield Mk III rifles and two unsheathed bayonets. Details on the rifles are good, but as these are not Gen 2 items, do not have separate bolts. Although the cover illustration shows the prone rifleman as loading a clip into his rifle, the rifle is not provided with an open bolt nor the clip.

the vickers machine gun

The gun on its tripod is made of 15 parts including an ammunition belt and three ammunition cases, one of which is open, but has no lid provided.

Also included is the coolant condenser can with attached tubing, but I believe the tubing would be improved by being replaced with some more flexible material.

The three ammunition cases have webbing strap handles on each side, meaning six are required, but only three are provided in etched brass, which will definitely require annealing.

This sprue includes, as I mentioned above, an ammunition belt, but no empty belt is provided as shown on the box top. Readers should note that Vickers MGs used canvas belts and fed (as correctly illustrated on the box) from the right.

the greatcoats

The greatcoat skirts for all four figures are provided as separate pieces, and appear to have a good natural appearance and drape.

conclusion

Despite a few minor shortcomings, this kit is recommended.
SUMMARY
Highs: Early war British troops at last, and a Vickers MG.
Lows: Detail a bit soft in places, and a few bits inexplicably missing.
Verdict: Good - worth buying.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6552
  Suggested Retail: $A21.50
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 12, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

About Rob Williams (wedgetail53)
FROM: QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

I've been modelling in total for about 45 years (yes, I'm ancient) and concentrate these days mostly on mid to late war German, British and American armour, although I'm not averse to an occasonal artillery piece or even a softskin. I'm a member of AMMS Brisbane, and editor of the newsletter, wh...

Copyright 2017 text by Rob Williams [ WEDGETAIL53 ]. 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

Seeing this for the first time yesterday in the news secton(yes I REALLY have been out of touch) I really have to hand it to DML for finally going a little more imaginative. That though, is somewhat tempered by the utility of prone/semi-prone figures. The greatcoats (long on my personal wishlists) are also a great selling point. Hopefully they'll be backed-up with some STANDING infantry figures?
DEC 20, 2012 - 06:03 AM
There is a Bren Carrier pictured as part of the box art. I hope this indicates a near future release of this vehicle by Dragon. The ancient Tamiya one is getting harder to find (if anyone cares to find it!)
DEC 20, 2012 - 09:56 AM
The smallest PE bits are some kind of locking handles (or something) on the Vickers tripod post. Were there more than one style of cooling jacket made by Vickers? The Dragon has a relatively smooth surface, and MB's Vickers has a fluted, or grooved jacket. Although the MB one is very good, Dragon's is marginally better.
DEC 20, 2012 - 10:04 AM
Marginally better? Not too sure about that, because the Dragon gun looks far too short in my opinion. The length information which I've been able to find gives the Vickers gun as being 43-44 inches overall - just less than 32mm in 1/35 scale. The Dragon one is much shorter than this.
DEC 21, 2012 - 06:24 PM
That's the Mk 10 version with shortened barrel to make it lighter and save space.
DEC 23, 2012 - 11:00 AM
Having built and reviewed the Masterbox Vickers I'm wondering how this set compares- has anyone built it yet?
MAR 11, 2013 - 05:08 PM
Hi, Anyone seen this kit in the UK? Al
AUG 22, 2013 - 08:50 AM
Alan, I saw it in Belfast about six months ago in The Modeller's Nook
AUG 22, 2013 - 08:58 AM
Thanks Pat, I hadn't seen the set at any of my normal suppliers. Al
AUG 22, 2013 - 10:58 AM
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