Darren Baker takes a look at Scottish Highlander Piper and Infantry, Normandy, June 1944 in 1/35th by Gekko Models.

Introduction

This offering from Gecko Models features four infantry soldiers, in patrol stances, being lead by a piper. A search on line revealed a photograph, showing men of the 2ndArgyll and Sutherland Highlanders of the 15th Scottish Division moving forward during Operation Epsom 26th June 1944, that matches the box art quite closely. 

This offering from Gecko Models, arrives in an end opening carton, with artwork on the front and images of the parts on the rear. Inside is a cardboard tray with a flip top lid that should ensure the model reaches you as intended. The parts for the model are all bagged in four plastic bags, a fifth plastic containing photo etch and decals.

 

Gecko Models, is one of those companies that when releasing a figure set provides everything that is needed for the figures, just requiring that you place them in a setting. The patrol figures consists of two riflemen, a third with a Sten gun, the fourth as a Bren gunner and lastly of course the piper. The uniform worn by all of the figures is appropriate for the figures, consisting of a short battle blouson, trousers made of the same material as the trousers, gaiters, short boots, steel helmet, and standard webbing of the time. While the webbing straps are moulded as part of the figure, the webbing attachment themselves is provided separately, allowing the modeller with a minimum of effort to decide what they wish to attach or not attach if their requirements differ from what is instructed.

 

The webbing pattern I believe is the 1937 pattern, this consists of:

Ammunition Pouches

Pick elf and pick head(the head being held in the odd shaped bag at the back),

Haversack - whichagain hangs at the back

A water canteen

 

There are two bandoleers provided with this figure set, that I am at a loss to identify, and the bayonets appear to be missing. These will need to be replicated for accuracy. The steel helmets, are provided with the option of scrim net camouflage added or without. The piper himself, has the option of a Tam O Shanter or steel helmet. The Tam O Shanter should have the badge to the side, rather than over the eye like it does in the image. Many of you will be familiar with seeing Scots troops wearing kilts in battle with the tartan coloured kilts covered with the wool serge material the same as the uniform. The bagpipes themselves have been provided with a decal for the application of the tartan material, with two designs provided. No weapon is carried by the piper, and none appears to be carried for the piper.

 

Weapons

The weapons provided in this offering consists of four short magazine Lee Enfield's, and these have been provided with photoetch carrying slings, a Sten gun with separate magazine, and a Bren gun which due to being slide moulded, is provided with a hollowed out muzzle and the option of a folded or deployed bi-pod. Again photo etch slings are provided for these weapons. An examination of the photo etch reveals nicely done clips for the weapons with which to use the photo etch slings. A pickaxe is also provided with one of the figures, and is held in place tucked under a haversack, it would also be very common to see a full shovel carried in the same manner, and if you have one, by all means use it. The faces of the figures in this offering, are provided in a front and rear sections in this figure set. An option that I cannot decide if I like or not, but it has allowed very nice facial detail to be replicated. Hand and finger detail, is also very well done and beyond clean up should look very good. The decals provided in the set cover ranks, arm and shoulder details, and are one of those small touches that add a lot in my view.

Conclusion

This figure set offering from Gecko Models, is a very nice five figure set. With one inclusion issue and a moulding issue, the moulding issue relate to excessive flash on some parts, which while not the end of the world is disappointing to see on a new release. The inclusion issue is the lack of the bayonet that should be mounted on the webbing, to the left of the pick elf bag and unfortunately is not there. The plus side is that you get five very nice figures of in this case Scottish troops, but that could be utilised as a number of Commonwealth troops. With the exception of the scabbard all details appear to be present and well replicated, with especially well replicated weapons, and it is unusual and pleasing to have the photo etch sling detail with them.

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