by: Rick Cooper [ ]
A new player in the world of scale modeling is from Hong Kong. They have entered the fray in the last year or so and are making inroads into all facets of military modeling; figures, vehicles, aircraft, and ships. Two of their latest releases are weapon sets of British and Commonwealth infantry and heavy weapons.
Rather than be more than a little repetitive with two separate reviews I have just combined the two into this one. Both kits come well packaged in sturdy end opening boxes that are in almost universal use by companies that produce 1/35th scale figure sets. No instructions to speak of are in the box, but the back of the box has a construction and painting guide that is pretty easy looking to follow. The painting guide gives call puts for Tamiya, Humbrol, Model Master, and Mr. Hobby paints.
Inside the box both kits provide two sprues of light gray plastic. Both sets appear a bit small in context to the box, could easily have doubled the number of sprues like the old Tamiya weapon sets and still had room left over in the box.
Set A provides a nice punch for your Tommies; 4 different Sten guns, one Thompson SMG, 3 Webley revolvers, a Lewis gun, a Boys AT gun, a PIAT projector, and both a 2 inch and 3 inch mortar. Besides the weaponry you also get four very nice British helmets complete with liners and a nice mortar ammo case with one round for each mortar.
Set B gives you 2 Bren machine guns, one with the heavy duty mount and a Vickers water cooled MG on the heavy tripod. The Vickers includes the water cooling tank. This set also includes one ammo case for the Bren and one for the Vickers, in addition the Vickers includes a nice belt of ammo. Besides that you receive 11 SMLE .303 rifles, three that have attached sniper scopes, one with the standard number 3 bayonet attached, and another with the no. 9 socket bayonet attached. The other 6 SMLE rifles are provided as 3 Mk I patterns and 3 that are of the Mk. IV pattern.
My examples are completely flash free with no exposed knock out marks at all. There is just the slightest hint of a mold seam that will need to be knocked down for a nice crisp look. Some of the pieces for the heavy weapons do get a bit small so some care will need to be taken to ensure you don't lose anything. Also, the machine gun mount for the Bren gun in particular looks like it would be a rickety construction that may prove a bit tricky to keep everything aligned.
Everything looks to be in scale without any issues that pop out at me. The rifles and Sten guns do not have hollowed out muzzles but not sure how clear that would really be if everything is kept to perfect scale.
The prices may seem a bit high but these are some really nice additions that you just don't see all together anywhere else. I for one am glad that saw fit to fill in this gap in what is easily available to the scale modeler today.