This two figure set, sculpted by Bill Chilstrom, comes nicely packaged in a clear, plastic clamshell container. On the front there is a color label with a product photo. The image shows two marines operating a 50 caliber machine gun. One is in the firing position while the other is feeding the ammo belt into the gun.
As I had similarly mentioned in my review of set #1, the buyer may be surprised to find that the kit does not include the hardware/weapon found in the picture. Instead of a 50 caliber machine gun and ammo belt, there are two Garand rifles, jungle knives, and bayonets. I later discovered the figure set is meant to be used with Academy’s U.S. Machine Gun Set. You can check out Delbert’s great review on the Machine Gun Set here
As I’ve stated before, it would be a benefit, and remove all doubt, if the manufacturer would place a disclaimer on the packaging stating that the machine gun was not included, or that it was meant to compliment the Academy set.
Both figures are molded in a soft, light colored resin. For each figure, the legs and torso are one casting, with the arms, head, rifle, knife, and bayonet as separate pieces. The sculpting detail is crisp and well defined. The heads have very nice detail. The uniforms are sculpted to look worn with great folds and wrinkles as well as tears in the helmet covers. Aside from the pieces listed above, all other accessories, such as ammo pouches, canteens, and side arms, are molded directly onto the figures which helps facilitate a natural look.
The gunner is kneeling down on his right knee. He is gritting his teeth which enhances the character of the figure. The handles for the 50 cal. are incorporated into his closed fists. The modeler only needs to remove the handles from the Academy gun, and attach the grip braces to the top and bottom of the handles in the hands.
The loader is leaning to the left, away from the machine gun as he feeds the belt into it, which creates a more interesting and dynamic pose. The right hand appears to be a little undersized to me. I realize some people in fact do have small hands, but it just seemed a bit unnatural. It really shouldn’t pose too much of a problem though, as it will be obscured by the ammo belt. The Academy ammo belt, which is straight when removed from the sprue, will need some work to make it hang naturally in the loader’s hand.
The presence of flash was minimal. There were only a few minor air bubbles on both of the figures. All of which were in inconspicuous areas. There are also a few seams up the back of the legs which are easily scraped away with a sharp blade.
The parts went together without any problems. The underside of the arms had nice indentations which guide you in matching them to the legs they are resting on. They also prevented the arms from appearing to “float” over the leg. I made sure to have the machine gun assembled and ready when attaching the arms to the gunner to ensure that all necessary connection points lined up, which they did beautifully.
After the assembly, some minor amounts of putty will need to be applied to close the seams around the arms.
This kit is highly recommended for modelers of the Pacific Theater. You’ll be proud to have these figures on your diorama.
Thanks to VLS for providing the review sample.