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Mike

WWII German MG08 Machine Gun Team (35645) 1:35

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WWII German MG08 Machine Gun Team (35645)

1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd.

 

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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 it was 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 fully 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.  It was successful that it continued in use into WWII, even though it was outdated and less well suited to the constant movement of Blitzkrieg than the MG34 due to its heavy weight and bulky tripod  Consequently it was used in static defence and training situations.

 

 

The Kit

This kit includes two figures plus sufficient parts for one MG08 including a sled-mount, cooling reservoir and ammo box.  Additionally there also an MG08/15 included on the sprues 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 for each aspect of the kit.  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 a host of additional weapons including an MG34, MP40, pouches etc.

 

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The operator is sitting down with legs in front of him, the other feeding the linked ammunition into the receiver from a semi-prone position with his left hand feeding the link into the gun.  Each figure is broken down into head, legs, arms and torso with all the usual items of a WWII Wehrmacht solider such as gas mask canister, canteen and other bags.  The heads are finished off with a steel helmet from the accessory sprue and contains an additional two metal helmets for any other flat-headed German soldier figures you have.  The full listing of accessories can be found of the rear of the instruction sheet along complete with codes for painting.

 

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 positions, the higher one being for indirect fire with the barrel tilted upward, which probably wouldn't fit the figures.  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.  There are no figures that would be able to use this version of the gun, but it could come in handy one day, so commit it to the spares bin in the meantime.

 

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Conclusion

ICM have an incredibly skilled team of sculptors, and as you'd expect 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.

 

Highly recommended.

 

Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd.
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Review sample courtesy of

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