by: Darren Baker [ ]
The M240 machine gun firing a 7.62mm round at the rate of 950 rounds a minute and adopted by American armed forces in the 1970ís. This is a popular weapon with many armed forces of the world as a heavy machine gun as it is next to impossible to break and instead just keeps on going. It is quite a heavy weapon at 27lb and so carrying the weapon as part of an infantry unit can be a pain, but if carried over the shoulder it is manageable. The M240 is also the favoured machine gun to provide suppressive fire on armoured vehicles of many countries with a number of mounts used. Legend Productions has released two sets of M240 machine guns with alternate vehicle weapons mounts. One set offers the M240B version of the M240 and the other has the M240L stock, but it does not have the shortened barrel that I believe signifies the L version of the weapon.
Both of these offerings consist of two M240 machine guns and the swivel mounts for adding them to the model of your choice. These are packed in the usual card boxes of the end opening type favoured by Legend Productions and sealed in shrink wrapped plastic. The packaging is quite good as regards presentation and storage, but both will need further protection in the postal system.
An examination of the parts that are provided shows the viewer just how good Legend Productions are at casting resin pieces. The mouldings are crisp, well supported on their pour plugs and so have remained in their original cast shape and true. One of the issues with resin parts and especially so when the parts are very fine is that they are brittle and so can easily be snapped, but looking at these two offerings have zero defects as far as production is concerned.
The machine guns are very nicely done with a very high level of detail. The effort put into the openings for the ammunition belt and the ejection of the spent cartridges is appreciated by this modeller. A possible downside to this area of the machine gun is that the breech has not been provided separately and so cannot be shown open such as in the act of loading. Moving to the muzzle of the machine gun and I have found that there is no opening or indentation present, this means the use of a drill is required and will require great care to avoid breakage of the area. The stocks of the weapons are very well replicated as regards shape and detail, but all my searches indicate that the M240L has a shortened barrel which is not the case here; I am not saying this is wrong just that I cannot prove or disprove this element.
Legend Productions has provided a torch mount with torch on the right side of the barrel and what I believe is an infra red light on the left of the barrel. I have searched for evidence of these parts being attached to a vehicle mounted M240 without success, but I would happily accept the infra red mount even if I question the torch on a vehicle mounted weapon, that said I am sure it could occur most likely on the lighter vehicles where crews mount their own weapons.
Each set offers a different sighting system for the machine gun in addition to the nicely detailed iron sight provided by Legend Productions with particularly good detail. The M240B is equipped with TA648MGO-M240 ACOG 6x48 Scope sight I believe, the M240L has the AN/PAS-13 thermal weapon sight as best I can tell. The ammunition boxes look correct as far as I can tell with Legend Productions having supplied a choice of ammunition belts which are either a belt not yet applied to the weapon and the other of course inserted into the breech.
The swing arm supplied with the M240B is a double arm that I believe can be used as a single arm in addition to the directions provided by Legend Productions. I prefer this swing are as it allows the machine gun to move around the figure when aimed rather than having to change body position to look along the weapon. The M240L is supplied with a pintle mount with a locking elevation adjuster, I am unable to locate an exact match for this mount but then again there are so many types I am not surprised at my failure.
These two offerings from Legend Productions are really nicely replicated models in their own right. The instructions provided by Legend Productions can be a weak spot of their products, but in this case I have no concerns in this respect. I would have liked to see some indicator at the very least to help the modeller make a hole at the end of the muzzle. So having given these a good going over I am for the most part very happy, but I do feel the modeller needs to be selective about what elements they use on what vehicles.