The British Army Self Loading Rifle (SLR) L1A1 was a licenced version of the Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN) weapon developed in Belgium in 1947. The Fusil Automatique Leger (FAL) or Light Automatic Rifle was first prototyped in 1948. After much debate about the caliber the weapon should be manufactured in it was finally settled at 7.62mm which was to become the standard NATO round.
The original Belgium rifle had been fully automatic but the British design built under license by Enfield was semi automatic. The British have always put great store in individual marksmanship, why waste 10 rounds when 1 will do!.
The rifle was considered a Battle Rifle given its size and fire power. The standard magazine was 20 rounds although in reality 18 would have been normal. The rifle was gas operated and introduced into service in 1954, serving with the British Army for over 30 years.
The early British Army rifle had a wooden butt and grip which was replaced around the early 1970s with a plastic version. It could be fitted with the L1 knife bayonet which was a design and style of the clip point blade introduced during the war and favoured by the British.
Canada, Australia and New Zealand also used the L1A1 and it was exported around the world to many countries in various forms.
Standard ammunition load for the British Infantry man at this time was 5 magazines of 20 rounds, plus 2 spare magazines in Company HQ and a bandolier of 50 rounds ie 150 rounds of ammo carried and 40 in immediate reserve.
The set consists of 9 individual weapons cast in a grey resin. The carry handle is shown folded down and as both the wooden and plastic versions had the same air holed in the grip these could be used across the 30 year plus time period.
The weapons are attached to the pour stub at the butt and barrel ends and magazine base so you will need to take care when removing them. If there is a weakness in the set it is at the join with the barrel as this reduces the quality of the flash eliminator and removes any chance of the bayonet lug being present.
That said the overall detail is very good. There will be some flash to remove, and you will need to drill a small hole at the barrel end for better definition.
A good set of 1/35th scale weapons which are nicely detailed. These will be very useful for any British Army scene form 1954 to 1985 when the SLR was replaced by the L85A1.
The weapons could also be used by a wide variety of countries and are still in service with some armies today.
Highs: Good detail in general.Lows: Detail around the flash suppressor.Verdict: Recommended.
About Alan McNeilly (AlanL) FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM
Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...