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Built Review
135
WW2 British MG Team
WW2 British MG Team in North West Europe
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

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.

Review

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.

Weapons

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

Conclusion

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.
SUMMARY
Highs: Everything needed for the figures to be built to a high standard is in the box.
Lows: The hands need some work to lift them on some of the figures.
Verdict: A very nice offering as an opening gambit by Gecko Models in the figures market place.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35GM0013
  PUBLISHED: Jul 24, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 0.00%

Our Thanks to Gecko Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2018 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Is Gecko the same as, or associated with, Bronco models?
JUL 25, 2018 - 03:06 AM
To my knowledge there is no connection between the two and was not set up by Bronco.
JUL 25, 2018 - 07:55 AM
Nice figure set, Gecko seems to be another player to consider closely. Question: do they offer a similar set for North Africa?
JUL 25, 2018 - 09:41 AM
Not to my knowledge.
JUL 25, 2018 - 11:26 AM
Great review just two points... Leather jerkins were widely worn by all combat troops in the colder months after D-Day...they were less cumbersome than the greatcoat. There's many, many, photos of infantry in jerkins in combat. The WO badge you refer to is actually a machine gunners proficiency badge (specialist trade badge) worn usually by the gunner and maybe his No2. It's the letters MG over a laurel wreath.
JUL 29, 2018 - 11:57 PM
Yep, I agree with Martyn. The leather jerkin was actually an item of clothing dating back to the First World War, but was just as popular in WW2. It was frequently worn by "technical troops" such as machine gunners, as the lined jerkin gave extra padding when humping the heavy gun parts around. "The World War II Tommy" by Martin Brayley and Richard Ingram,a full colour photograph book of reconstructed British uniforms, contains a five page section covering a Vickers crew, and depicts both wear of the jerkin and the machine gunner's proficiency badge as depicted in the set, as well as an assortment of ammo boxes. Note also that as well as the cover on the barrels, one is depicted with the prominent flash suppressor, which was a later war modification and one without. Classed as a Medium machine gun, the Vickers was supplied to the machine gun platoon in infantry battalions (6 guns), as well as Medium Machine Gun Battalions in Infantry Divisions. In both World Wars, the Manchester Regiment and Middlesex Regiment provided MMG Battalions. The bandoliers were of a cotton fabric and were intended to be folded up into the ammo pouches. Infantrymen would acquire as much ammo as they could, so when the pouches were full (60 rounds) extra ammo could be festooned in the bandoliers.
JUL 30, 2018 - 12:41 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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