Thursday, 30 July 2009

Coming soon to a modelling site near you

July has been a rather quiet month modelling-wize for me. I finished up a work engagement at the end of June, only to have to pull one or two knives from my back a few days later - you just have to love those players that wait until you are off-site to put a knife between your shoulderblades and then twist it. We are also moving house at the end of August, so the missus and I have been doing a bit of packing. Apart from the review items and a few kits I have bought since, all the kits and figures have been packed.
In order to try get out of this modelling motivation funk I am going through, I have seconded the missus' help: she is to ensure that I spend at least an hour every night either writing or photographing reviews. Hopefully that way I can make some decent progress through the pile.
So, the reviews I currently have on the go, and coming soon to a modelling site near you are:
  • Wee Friends' WF35020 WWII German Infantryman, with PPSH
  • Alpine Miniatures' 35086 German Heer Panzer Crew Set
Both of the above items are being reviewed for Armorama. I am also working on a review of Tamiya's 1/24 Volkswagen 1300 Beetle ('66), which I'll post on my own site (RRSM).
In addition to the aforementioned, I do have a number of other items due, however I had better not commit to a specific date just yet, however I do hope to complete most (preferably all) prior to the move.
Watch this space... and wish me luck!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

DML Self-Propelled Gun Crew (Review)

Manufacturer: Dragon Models Ltd
Item Code: 6530
Medium: Plastic Injection Mould
Review Publication Date: July 2nd 2009

In the wake of the catastrophic first winter in Russia the Quartermaster-General of the Army was commanded to develop a winter combat uniform for the next winter campaign season. The uniform which resulted was tested in Finland, and in April 1942 approved. In winter 1942 the level of winter clothing issue was increased to include not only the new padded jacket and trousers but also a number of other protective items such as a matching insulated hood and over-mittens, the woollen toque headscarf, gloves (both woollen and fur-lined), etc. While the majority of troops of all branches of the Army received – over time – the basic uniform, it was not until winter 1943-44 that the padded uniform could really be seen as being “general issue”.

Figure set 6530 Self-Propelled Gun Crew, a 1/35 scale set of plastic injection mould figures, depicts four Wehrmacht self-propelled gun crew members wearing padded reversible winter suits loading ammunition. The set was released December 2008 with the box art by Ron Volstad.

Not content to simply retool and reissue old scale model moulds DML introduced the Premium Edition, which not only includes the retooled kit, but usually a few extra plastic sprues and photoetch frets. One such kit, Dragon Models’ figure set6530 Self-Propelled Gun Crew is essentially a retooled, reboxing of their older figure set by the same name, but different kit number, 6016 Self-Propelled Gun Crew. So what is the difference? In the case of 6530 Self-Propelled Gun Crew, included in the kit are a Dragon Styrene (DS) generic German head set, a DS sprue of wicker ground mats and charges, a DS sprue of wicker cases, a PE fret for the radio head-set, as well as a sprue featuring rounds of Gr.19 and Gr.19 Concrete Piercing rounds in DML’s standard plastic.

For figures which were sculpted in what I estimate to be the mid-1990’s these figures are still rather good by 2009 standards. The casting is above average for plastic injection mould figures, and while there are light casting seams on the limbs these should not take the average modeller long to remove. If there is one thing that really lets this kit down it is the fit of the legs and torso.

DML market this figure set as a Wehrmacht SPG crew loading or firing. Personally I think these figures, due to pose and garb, have a lot more potential than just these two scenarios.


Click here for my full review on Armorama