by: Peter Ong [ ]
The venerable and ubiquitous M2 12.7mm (.50 caliber) heavy machine gun (HMG) has been around for decades and remains the mainstay belt-fed heavy machine gun of United States military and many NATO countries.
Often too heavy to transport via foot, the M2 machine gun can be found arming tactical trucks, “Technical” pickups, Fast Attack Vehicles, armored fighting vehicles, helicopters, ships, boats, light attack aircraft, and operating bases. It’s simple, effective, and proven design has withstood the test of time and no other heavy machine gun to date has toppled it from its use. The latest ammunition has made the M2 .50cal into a truly remarkable deadly weapon such as the SLAP (Saboted Light Armor Penetrator) being one of the hardest hitting 12.7mm bullets.
The M2A1 is an improved design with an improved flash hider, fixed headspace and timing, slot barrel retention system, removable barrel handle, and a Quick Change Barrel.
Normally fed by a 100-round box, the Legend Productions’ M2 has a Quick Change Barrel (QCB) for rapid barrel replacement using the attached barrel handle. Legend also includes the latest optical sight and Surefire under-barrel flashlight, making this M2 QCB updated to beyond year 2000.
The cream gray parts consist of the machine gun itself, single cast. The gun’s dimensions scale almost exactly to a 1/35 DML M2 although the DML M2 shows the rivet heads on the top and bottom of the gun whereas the Legend ones doesn’t.
The resin appears nearly flawless with no casting errors, blobs, flash, warping, or runs. I found it amazing how intricate resin can be cast these days using the latest technological advances. Most parts are mounted on thin resin sprues that separate them from the pour blocks allowing for minimal cutting and sanding. Nonetheless, care should be taken snipping off the parts to avoid loss or damage. All parts come in the customary Legend Productions’ nice black cardboard box with a color computer graphic showing the total assembly. The parts were designed using 3D sculpting software.
Nicely produced and rendered 3D computer generated instructions are included, printed in color on white glossy paper. The clear and detailed instructions have a parts breakdown and angles of the completed assembly to show how the parts are assembled along with color suggestions on how to paint each part.
Two optical sights are included, a red-dot hololens, a simple reflex sight, and a magnifying scope sight that mounts on the Rear Optic Mount’s Picatinny Rails on top of the gun’s receiver. The rest of the assembly consists of parts to mount the M2A1 onto the tripod pedestal and the box magazine’s brackets and cradle. The box magazine is attached to the cradle bracket with the top cover open, allowing the modeler to glue a belt of bullets into it. Three short belts of bullets are included, each with a different spacing between bullets. The box magazine’s bracket design gives this kit a distinctive modern look as the modern scopes and metal brackets didn’t exist back in the Cold War days.
A Surefire spotlight is included with its own under-barrel cradle, allowing the modeler to use this HMG for even nighttime scenes. The improved flash hider slot is visible at the end of the barrel to a keen eye.
The pedestal is a tripod with a short swing arm and a rotating handle. There is a hole on top of the tripod for attachment although I highly doubt that this allows the machine gun to swivel 360 degrees as the tripod and hole doesn’t appear robust enough to support any movement.
Legend Productions’ M2A1 QCB with Tripod Pedestal Mount kit would fit many scenarios, be it the bed of a pickup or truck, a 1/35 boat, or at a fort or base. The resin appears flawless and well-cast with thin attachment points for many of the pieces.
With clear color instructions and a reputation for quality, Legend Productions’ 1/35 M2A1 QCB 12.7mm heavy machine gun with Pedestal Mount should be a welcome addition to any modern military modeler.
Special Thanks to Legend Productions for the review sample.