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In-Box Review
135
D-Day 6th June 1944
Move, Move Move!!! US Soldiers Operation Overlord Period, 1944
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

You have to admire the soldiers of the Allied Forces that landed on the French Coast during Operation Overlord on the 6th June 1944, better known to most as D-Day. These troops landed on beaches under withering enemy fire, many of them suffering from sea-sickness and failing to even make it down the ramp of the landing craft. A very recent release from Master Box depicts a group of seven US soldiers of the thousands that landed on that day and the days that followed D-Day.

Contents

This product is packaged in an end opening card box with a depiction of the figures in the box. Inside the carton you will find 2 sprues in a re-sealable clear plastic bag.

Review

First Impressions
A look over the two sprues found no flash and very light seam lines. There are no marks to mare the finish of the figures, but there is evidence of sink marks in a few locations, this aspect will be covered in more detail further into the review.

Machine Gunners
2 of the figures in the box are the ‘US machine Gunners’ set produced by Master Box back in early 2007. The moulds would appear to be holding up very well or had some work done on them as I could find no moulding issues with this sprue. The weapon an M1917 water cooled heavy machine gun is a little on the light side as regards moulded detail by today’s standards, but it is not beyond use with a little spit and polish. I have a couple of issues with the M1917 MG; firstly I find it hard to believe that such a cumbersome heavy weapon would be used as an assault MG, I am aware that this weapon was used during World War 2 as a defence weapon, particularly by the US Marine Corps fighting against the Japanese. I will not say it never happened but I believe would be very rare. One other downside is that the water expansion tank and hose are not supplied in the kit and will need to be scratch built. One of the highs with this gun is a very nicely moulded ammunition belt, something modellers always seem to be short of.

The two figures are still good for their age; the moulded detail is very slightly less refined than what we have become accustomed to, but still very useable. Uniform and crease detail is of an acceptable standard, once painted and placed with other troops they should not stand out as an older product. The hand and facial detail is also lacking when compared with newer figures from Master Box and they suffer flat top head syndrome for placement of the helmets. I myself would happily use these two figures in the setting the product is advertised for, but I would change the machine gun for a tripod mounted M1919 MG and give the M1917 MG to a set of US Marine Corps figures.

Charging Infantry
The 5 infantry figures supplied with this set are I believe all new offerings; all 5 of these figures are depicted in a charging run; very acceptable for the setting they have been designed for. The detail on the uniform is good and I particularly like the fact that Master Box has provided locations for the equipment to sit naturally against the bodies of the figures, an aspect not replicated by all manufacturers. The creases present in the mouldings look natural and other than some very light seams, should be a joy to work with. The only negative I can see at this point is that there is no detail on the soles of the boots that can be seen on the running figures except for the instep. Hand and facial detail is of a better standard than the MG crew being slightly more refined in their finish, finger detail such as spread fingers rather than all scrounged up hands and fists is present; the faces benefit from having greater expression present and not suffering flat top head syndrome. The fact that the heads are complete rather than flat is better to my mind as it provides more options for the modeller when it comes to display. All of the figures in this product look to be well proportioned in both height and build, so no 4ft or 7ft soldiers here

Ancillary Equipment
Items of equipment such as backpacks, entrenchment tools, water bottles and ammunition pouches all look very well detailed and should satisfy most modellers. Only one item causes me any bother here and that is the helmets, on the box top artwork the helmets are clearly depicted with netting in place as they should; however the helmets supplied with the product are as smooth as the proverbial ‘baby’s bum’ and this does disappoint me a bit.

Weapons
Remember those sink marks I referred to earlier? Well this is where they are. The personnel weapons supplied with these figures which consist of;
3 M1 Garand rifles
1 Thompson machine gun
1 M1 Carbine rifle
2 Colt 45’s in holsters
There is also an ammunition box and extra belt of ammunition for the machine gun, another really nice inclusion are 2 tool pouches for the machine gun being very finely detailed for their size. None of the weapons supplied have been slide moulded and so some light drilling will be needed to improve the weapons. The Thompson machine gun and Colt 45 are fine with nice detail of a good standard. The M1 Garand and M1 Carbine all suffer from shrink marks on the rifle butts and in the case of the M1 Garand rifles this is very prominent on both sides of the butt and also the stock of the rifles. I am sure these sink marks could be filled and sanded, but it would require a lot of effort in the area of the stocks and I would recommend replacement as it is that bad. Very disappointing from a company like Master Box as it is not a common problem that they suffer, the rifles are on the outer edges of the sprue and look to be the only parts affected by the issue.

Conclusion

This set has a very nice selection of figures which are let down by their weapons, sound familiar to any military bods out there? Moulding quality is very good until you look at the rifles in the product, and while alternative weapons are easy to source it is disappointing to have to do so. The missed netting detail on the helmets is also a low point here, but then again it would not always be present; I like the detail as it adds some texture to an otherwise bland surface. Would I buy this set of figures knowing what I do now? Yes I would as I really like the work that has gone into the running figures and the MG team are also acceptable despite their age. I strongly urge Master Box to consider a follow up set to accompany this one depicting US infantry taking cover behind beach obstacles and defences, that set would provide a more rounded look to this product.

Related Reviews

U.S. Machine-gunners Live links

SUMMARY
Highs: The running figures will I am sure be well received as they have great potential in a number of areas.
Lows: The shrink marks in the rifles and lack of netting detail on the helmets rank lowly with me.
Verdict: Still well worth picking up due to the versatility of the figures in various settings.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35130
  PUBLISHED: Jan 07, 2015
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

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 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 ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Can't you take Dragon's 'Commonwealth Infantry', 'British Infantry', and 'Monte Cassino infantry' sets and stick 'em on a beach? Maybe add a few discarded bicycles - lots of pics of landing Brit troops with folding bicycles. Don't know how long that lasted! Not too many pics of Brit troops cycling around the Normandy countryside!
JAN 12, 2015 - 08:43 PM
Leo....you have to have an LCA in the background to show how the bikes got there...😜
JAN 13, 2015 - 02:27 PM
HI, ALL! When I typed "early Marines' Landing Craft" in one of my earlier threads, I was referring to the US Marines' LVT-1. These vehicles were first used at Guadalcanal. They also saw service in other amphibious landings, notably at Betio and Tarawa...
JAN 13, 2015 - 07:48 PM
Hi, Jason! I AGREE WITH YOU 1,000% REGARDING THE LCA!!! REVELL revived the old MONOGRAM US Navy's UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) boat and Frogmen recently. I remember seeing quite a few pics of US Marines landing in these boats- Guadalcanal, Betio and Tarawa, specifically... I may even use the figures that we discussed, and the REVELL boat (The designation of this watercraft escapes me, at the moment) to do a Guadalcanal landing, adding some of the stuff contained in the MASTER BOX USMC in Guadalcanal figure set and the DRAGON USMC Guadalcanal figure set, and converting/modifying/re-sculpting etc, to match-up with the 1942-issue USMC HBT uniforms... PS- Wish we could have a full set of 1/35 Amphibious Landing troops, i.e US/British/Commonwealth/ANZAC and USMC in crouching/kneeling/ducking positions, readying themselves as if the landing craft has not quite reached the shoreline yet...
JAN 13, 2015 - 07:58 PM
Hi, Jason- IALERI, VERLINDEN and TRUMPETER also make LCM kits...
JAN 13, 2015 - 08:22 PM
Dennis, totally agree mate 1,000% comment...! I haven't ventured onto an LCM kit yet, only the LCA and LCVP my end. Have you built one..? If so which do you recommend! Cheers.
JAN 19, 2015 - 04:55 PM
Hi Jason, If you thinking of an LCM 3 go for the Italeri kit. The LCP R can be achieved from the Revelle kit although the boat is about 4 foot short. An armoured version was use during the Normandy campaign. For troops you'll have to improvise. RN LCA RN LCP R USN LCP R Italeri RN LCM 3 Trumpeter USN LCM 3 email Italeri asking them to expand their range to include an LCP L, LCV and a new LCA Cheers Al
JAN 19, 2015 - 05:19 PM
Hi, Jason! WHO makes the LCA? I'd seriously look at a kit of an LCA- or is the LCA the same as the REVELL UDT Boat and Frogmen kit? I don't have my SQUADRON US LANDING CRAFT IN ACTION BOOK close by... The 1/35 ITALERI LCVP kits are really nice kits. I never did get either the TRUMPETER or the ITALERI LCM kits... I see the ITALERI LCM on ebay every so often. I'm pretty sure that there may be some comparison reviews at these modelling sites: PMMS, Australia, and at CYBERMODELER. Possibly even at MODELING MADNESS or MISSING LYNX... Some time before the ITALERI and TRUMPETER LCM kits hit the market, VERLINDEN marketed a full-resin kit of the LCM. I don't think I'd go for the VERLINDEN LCM, just because I know that I would have less time invested in either of the plastic TRUMPETER and/or ITALERI kits... I don't think that I'll be buying the "NEW" ITALERI LCVP kit with crew and 30 GI's. Seeing as the figures of the GI's are all posed standing. If these figures are assaulting at OMAHA BEACH, they would be ducking, crouching and kneeling inside the boat, because the Germans were shooting every single one of their artillery guns, machine-guns, rifles, sling-shots and pea-shooters at the incoming GI's... Even if the GI's were landing at UTAH BEACH, which was not as heavily defended by the Germans as at OMAHA, the troops would have still been crouching and kneeling... The same would have been true at SWORD, GOLD, and JUNO Beaches, where the British and Canadians were landing... Film clips of of the invading troops that were taken by the various War Correspondents will bear me out on this...
JAN 19, 2015 - 05:42 PM
Hi, Al!!! You just answered my question regarding the REVELL UDT boat- It is the USN LCP R, and I'm going to get two of these kits, of which one of them will act as a donor kit in order to graft the extra 5 feet to the hull of the primary kit to correct this gross error. Gotta add a USN LCP R, and an LCM-3 to my collection!!! THANKS!!!
JAN 19, 2015 - 06:01 PM
   

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