by: Jon Hayward [ ]
IntroductionThis set is designed to replace the rather soft and unrealistic plastic ammo belts supplied with plastic .50calibre guns, or the flat and lifeless photo etched belts which have been around for a while. They offer a realistic look and come complete with accurate links. This set is one of several on the market right now, and comes complete with bullets, links and ammunition cans.
ReviewThe kit comes very well packaged, in a nice stiff card carrier containing the small sachet of rounds and a photo etched fret holding enough links to service all your bullets plus spares and the ammunition cans. The instruction sheet is tucked away inside and provides perfectly adequate directions for what is a straightforward assembly process.
The links are required to be curled in order to house the rounds. I used a very fine drill bit as the former which made the process quite easy. 2 links house 3 bullets, so it doesnít take as long as you would think!
The ammunition boxes are beautifully made, with lovely etched details which are very crisp. The brass is of good quality and bends easily. The box itself bends along pre-etched bend lines, but again you are required to curl tabs for the hinges, and so once again I used a drill bit as the former. Lids for the boxes are provided as are handles, though lids arenít needed when the ammunition is loaded into the gun.
The bullets themselves are very nicely machined and capture the .50cal roundís shape perfectly. Compared to a real round they have done an excellent job of replicating the contourís of the casing. There is however a problem. When scaling the bullets to the real round they actually work out to be closer to 1 / 32 scale than 1 / 35 and as a result are too big to fit into 1 / 35 scale .50cal machine guns. This has had the knock-on effect of making the ammunition boxes larger as well, and so again will not work with 1 / 35 machine guns unless a scratch built cradle is made for the ammunition box.
ConclusionThe contents of this set are very nice and if used loose as vehicle stowage or similar will add excellent detail with very little work. The ammunition boxes alone would add a lovely touch to stowage, or tucked away inside a halftrack or similar. The problem comes when trying to use this ammunition to feed a machine gun from a kit, when scale issues hamper itís use. As a result, additional work is required which may be a bit daunting for some. The result is undoubtedly worth the extra effort, but other sets out there seem to offer the same detail enhancement without the problems.