by: Darren Baker [ ]
Gecko Models are a new company on the scene of scale models and they have already impressed me and others with their line of A10 Cruiser Tanks. I now get to look at the first figure set released by Gecko Models in the form of a WW2 British MG Team in North West Europe. This offering is a five figure set with a surprising amount in the box.
This offering from Gecko Models is supplied in a cardboard box with a flip top, this is then further protected with a full card cover that is well decorated with visual information on this product. Inside of this is a small booklet covering the assembly and painting of the figure set. The sprues inside are further protected by sealed plastic bags. Also in this offering is photo etched elements and decals along with a plastic coated length of wire. The mouldings are well done with some minor flash present.
The figures are all of the same basic construction of a torso with separate head, arms and legs. One of the figures has been supplied with alternate arms in order to finish it in a different stance. Some of the figures have separate sole detail for their boots in order to provide good detail in this area.The figures consisting of:
A kneeling rifleman sighting down his rifle at a distant target
The second figure has the duel finishing option with the option of a kneeling figure with his rifle pointing towards the ground, alternatively the figure can be finished kneeling with binoculars in hand
The third figure is also kneeling and this one is set to feed the ammunition to the gun.
The fourth figure is prone and depicted using a rangefinder.
The fifth figure is seated and firing the Vickers heavy machine gun.
The uniform detail is good from my examination, but the leather jerkin worn is more usually seen on artillery troops. The Jerkin being present on all of the troops seems a little odd to me as the item was not worn that commonly by infantry troops, but it was used and so not inaccurate in this case. The webbing looks to be the 1937 pattern which is correct for WW2, but it does need to be remembered that other webbing patterns were used. The British Army only used leather webbing during training, but this did see wide use by free foreign troops and even the Russians were equipped with it.
The crease detail looks good to me if a little over used, but not to the extent that I am unhappy with the offering. The helmets are a nice touch with the option of having the chin strap over the brim of the helmet or holding the helmet in place. Ammunition pouches have a good level of detail to them and I particular like the used look about them rather than new and featureless. The backpacks are only shown worn by one of the figures but there are four included and so could be used for stowage in future builds. Two of the figures are shown wearing bandoliers which is an item I am not familiar with having seen used by British infantry. Finally the water bottles are nicely replicated as are the entrenchment tool holder.
The faces on the figures are of a very good quality as regards all of the features being well represented and clear, but the expressions are non committal. The hands need cleaning up to bring them to a high standard, but I am only unhappy with the hands of the figure I have built which need a lot of work to improve; I can only assume that this is due to the awkward position of the thumbs.
Looking back at the equipment I am very impressed that Gecko Models has included a considerable amount of photo etched elements for these figures. They have supplied not just slings for the weapons but also chin straps, slings for some of the bags supplied and also for some of the ammunition cases. The water container looks very much like a flimsy, but most closely replicates an early 2 gallon fuel container which were also used in civilian life. This item is supplied with decals indicating water inside. Gecko Models has supplied separate cap for the container and photo etched handle. I am also pleased to see the inclusion of mugs in this set, an item widely seen carried by Allied troops.
The ammunition box with the strap handles is an item I am unfamiliar with and so I am a little unclear on its specific purpose. The more usual ammunition box is very well detailed and is supplied with nicely replicated handles using photo etch. Again Gecko Models has supplied nice decals for the ammunition boxes.
The first item looked at here is rightly the Vickers heavy machine gun. The parts break down make it an easy to assemble item and has also been equipped with a choice of a bare or jacketed barrel shroud. The muzzle on both options has been slide moulded and so are ready to use. The plastic coated metal wire is supplied to replicate the tube that takes the water to the container from the machine gun jacket as it boils and expands. A single ammunition belt is supplied by Gecko Models and can be used either held by the figure designed for the task or straight from an ammunition box. I was pleased to see that the feeder strip has been moulded and that is the end that enters the weapon first.
Supplied with the Vickers MG is a Bren gun with a choice of folded or deployed bipod. The details look good compared to the WW2 Bren gun I own with the feet on the bipod seeming a little large. A weapons sling is supplied in photo etch for this weapon and looks good. The muzzle of the Bren gun has been slide moulded and looks good, but in my example is a little bent and needs to be straightened carefully. A Sten gun is included with a separate magazine and again has a photo etched sling. This item has not been slide moulded. The last offering here is four Short Magazine Lee Enfield rifles, two of these are Mk III rifles and the other two are Mk IV offerings, these are again supplied with photo etched slings by Gecko Models. The details are good overall but have not been slide moulded.
Decals are provided for these figures in the form of three infantry units listed below. Ranks are also included for Lance Corporals, Corporals and sergeants, Also included are what I believe are scrambled or eggs or Warrant Officers badge ( do not mix these with other ranks as indicated in the instructions.
159th Infantry Brigade
49th Infantry Brigade
10th Armoured Division
This offering from Gecko Models is a really nice figure offering, especially so when you consider how hard it is to get decent British infantry offerings. The only real disappointment is the finger detail on at least one figure. The highs are many and perhaps the fact that all you need to do is add them to a diorama due to all of the items you normally need to look for from after market providers being in the box.