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Mike

WWI German MG08 MG Team (35711) 1:35

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WWI German MG08 MG Team (35711)

1:35 ICM via Hannants

 

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The MG08 was one of the primary defensive machine guns used by the Germans in WWI, and was developed from the original Maxim and adopted into service in 1908 then used throughout the war.  It was belt-fed and water cooled with a canister feeding around 4 litres of water through the cooling jacket to avoid overheating the barrel and crewed by two.  It fired between 500-600 rounds of 7.92 ammunition that was fed from an ammo box in lengths of 250 rounds at full auto while the trigger remained pulled.  It was later redesigned to reduce weight by shaving bulk from the receiver and opting for a narrower cooling jacket with a shorter bipod that allowed the gun to be fired from the prone position.  The original 08 had a rather large and heavy sled that was carried by the operators between engagements, and meant that the trigger-man was sat up in a more exposed position.

 

The Kit

This kit includes two figures plus sufficient parts for one MG08 including a sled-mount, cooling reservoir and ammo box.  Additionally there are also two MG08/15 included in the box with its reduced diameter cooling jacket, breech and a wooden stock with pistol grip, supported by a thick bipod and with a large drum magazine clipped to the left side of the receiver.  The top-opening box has the usual ICM captive lid inside, and there are three sprues in grey styrene inside plus three sheets of instructions.  The figures are held on one long sprue, the standard and one /15 are on another (the two sprues are linked in this boxing), and the accessory sprue contains another one plus a host of additional weapons, pouches etc.

 

The figures are both kneeling on one knee, one operating the trigger, the other feeding the linked ammunition into the receiver.  Each figure is broken down into head, legs, arms and torso with a large backpack and a shoulder bag.  The heads are finished off with a cloth cap but the accessory sprue contains an additional four metal helmets for the safety conscious.  The accessory sprue covers a wide range of additional weapons from Broom Handled Mauser (my favourite), Bergmann MP18 anti-tank gun, Gewehr 98/98a, early Luger, holsters, pouches, hand grenades, water bottles, entrenching tools and bayonets.  Plus of course the additional /15 machine gun.  The full listing can be found of the rear of the instruction sheet along with codes for painting.

 

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The original MG 08 can be built on the tripod in a raised or lowered position which was achieved on the real thing by altering the geometry with a pin on either side of the front legs.  This requires holes to be opened up in the curved front of the back legs which is then detailed with the elevation mechanism that is again set in two manners, the higher one being for indirect fire with the barrel tilted upward.  The gun itself is mostly supplied as one part with the handles and pivot added along the way before it is joined with the sled which then clips to the front legs so that it can stand upright.  The water can, alternate water box and two types of ammo box are then made up, the two narrower ones being open and closed, while the double-width can has a separate lid into which you can put the bottom end of the ammo belt with the other end slotted into the receiver and a short length added to the opposite side minus the bullets.  You will need to provide a length of wire to connect the jacket with its reservoir to whichever version of the canister you choose to use with the caveat below.

 

The MG08/15 is much simpler overall (much like the real thing), but the gun is made up from jacket, bipod and receiver, with the magazine added to the side, and from looking at the pictures available online it seems that the rectangular water reservoir was more often used with this lightened variant.

 

 

Conclusion

Detail is excellent on the figures, machine guns and accessories and there isn't much more you could add to improve it other than the aforementioned hose for the water cooling, while the length of bullets are already provided. 

 

Highly recommended.

Available in the UK from Importers H G Hannants Ltd.

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Review sample courtesy of

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