Kit Reviews Gecko models - 1/35 British MG Team in combat (NW Europe)

smeg-head

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Gecko Models Kit No. 35M0013 - W.W.II British MG Team in Combat (NW Europe) 1/35 scale
In-box product review by Smeg head.

133 grey coloured parts on 13 sprues; one PE fret; one plastic tube; one decal sheet.

This is a fantastic and long overdue set that can be turned into a great vignette or added as part of a larger diorama. The detail is good although there was a small amount of flash present. I look forward to its companion set of an MG Detachment Marching. The kneeling figures will have a host of other uses for conversions.

For the long suffering modeller of the British Army in WWII, the last year has seen a number of releases of mainstream British subjects hit the market from several new players in the market.

Hot on the heels of their excellent A9/10 series of Cruiser tanks comes Gecko Models’ first figure set which is a Vickers MG team in action dressed for the North West Europe campaign of 44/45. The Vickers MG was employed in Infantry Battalions and specialist machine gun BN’s attached to Divisions and allocated to formations as required. The Vickers was a WW1-era water cooled medium machine gun firing the .303 rifle bullet. It was capable of sustained fire for long periods and employed in groupings used mainly in the indirect fire mode in both defence and attack. As such, the weapon had indirect fire sights which are faithfully reproduced here along with a supporting crew of five.

The kit comes in a familiar sized box for 1:35 scale figures but it has an inner box of sturdy cardboard with a top opening lid which will be handy to protect the delicate parts and to hold them whilst working on them.
The box has a small instruction booklet in colour, which is a new one to this modeller for a figure set. It contains 13 sprues in light grey plastic containing 133 parts with some being very miniscule but well detailed. It also has a vinyl hose for the water recuperator and a good sized photo-etched fret with numerous weapon slings and detail parts for the gun and the ammo boxes, plus a large decal sheet with uniform insignia and ammo box stencilling.
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Five figures are supplied. All are in battledress with Mk.II helmets and leather jerkins plus standard 38 webbing with 44 pattern respirator pouches. The five figures are:
Kneeling ammo handler serving the gun, Sitting gunner, Kneeling NCO with binoculars, Prone range finder, Kneeling firing a rifle
Each figure is multipart with typically nine parts. A nice touch is the addition of separate soles for the boots of some figures. A sprue of small arms is included which has the following weapons:
SMG Sten Mk II, LMG Bren Mk II with folded and deployed bipod, Rifle SMLE 4 No 1 Qty 2, Rifle SMLE III* Qty 2
The Vickers MG is the best I have seen in this scale and is made up of 17 plastic parts plus 1 photo-etched fret and 1 vinyl hose. It offers the options of the solid or corrugated water jacket. A sleeve is on the solid jacket. The gun has the direct fire sight fitted. Detail on all the weapons is exceptionally well done with a hollowed out muzzle on the Bren. Two recuperator cans and three ammo liners are included with one belt of ammunition depicting the cloth belt well. The rangefinder is on a small tripod (very delicate) and is in four pieces.
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Photo-etched slings are provided for all small arms and ammunition liners etc. Additionally two shovels and three teacups are included!
The decal sheet has markings for 3 Infantry formations that fought in North West Europe. Although no ID is given by Gecko, they are 11 Armoured Div (4 Bn Royal Northumberland Fusiliers) 49 (West Riding) Infantry Div (2 Bn Princess Louise's Kensington Regt) and 53rd Welsh Infantry Div, (1 Bn Manchester Regt).
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Rank stripes for Lance Corporal through to Sergeant and MG Specialist Badges are supplied on the decal sheet. Decals for the Ammunition box stencilling and the recuperator cans is also included.

This is a fantastic and long overdue set that can be turned into a great vignette or added as part of a larger diorama. The detail is good although there was a small amount of flash present. I look forward to its companion set of an MG Detachment Marching. The kneeling figures will have a host of other uses for conversions.

Highly recommended, 4 out of 5

Smeggers
 

Stumpy4154

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#2
Gotta get me one of these. I feel a Sherman diorama coming on after finishing my current, abysmal efforts with hairyplanes.
 

napier

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#3
The idle No. 2 on the Vickers has put his rifle bolt down on the floor. Take that man's name Corporal!
 

smeg-head

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#4
The idle No. 2 on the Vickers has put his rifle bolt down on the floor. Take that man's name Corporal!
No. 4 aiming his rifle obviously couldn't be arsed to find cover either. Corporal! Warn him for orders!
 
#5
The Vickers MG was employed in Infantry Battalions and specialist machine gun BN’s attached to Divisions and allocated to formations as required.
Sadly no. The Vickers gun was used in NW Europe by MG battalions attached to infantry divisions, independent MG companies of armoured divisions and motor battalions of armoured divisions or independent armoured brigades. In all cases the detachments were carried into action by the MG version of the Universal carrier.

The platoon orbat was the same in all three units:-

Machine-Gun Platoon
(1 + 33)

Universal Carrier with a No22 Wireless
Lieutenant (Officer Commanding)
2 x Private (Driver-Operator)
No18 Wireless

Universal Carrier
Sergeant (Platoon Sergeant), Private (Officer’s Servant), Private (Driver-Mechanic)
PIAT

Fordson WOT2H or Bedford MWD 15cwt 4x2 GS Truck
4 x Private (Gun Number), Private (Driver)
Bren Gun​

Ariel W/NG, Matchless G/3L or Triumph 3HW 350cc Motorcycle
Private (Orderly)​

2 x Section
(0 + 11)​

Universal Carrier
Sergeant (Section Sergeant), Private (Rangetaker), Private (Driver-Mechanic)

2 x Machine-Gun Carrier with a Vickers Gun
Corporal (Gun Number), 2 x Private (Gun Number), Private (Driver-Mechanic)
 

smeg-head

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#6
Sadly no. The Vickers gun was used in NW Europe by MG battalions attached to infantry divisions, independent MG companies of armoured divisions and motor battalions of armoured divisions or independent armoured brigades. In all cases the detachments were carried into action by the MG version of the Universal carrier.

The platoon orbat was the same in all three units:-

Machine-Gun Platoon
(1 + 33)

Universal Carrier with a No22 Wireless
Lieutenant (Officer Commanding)
2 x Private (Driver-Operator)
No18 Wireless

Universal Carrier
Sergeant (Platoon Sergeant), Private (Officer’s Servant), Private (Driver-Mechanic)
PIAT

Fordson WOT2H or Bedford MWD 15cwt 4x2 GS Truck
4 x Private (Gun Number), Private (Driver)
Bren Gun​

Ariel W/NG, Matchless G/3L or Triumph 3HW 350cc Motorcycle
Private (Orderly)​

2 x Section
(0 + 11)​

Universal Carrier
Sergeant (Section Sergeant), Private (Rangetaker), Private (Driver-Mechanic)

2 x Machine-Gun Carrier with a Vickers Gun
Corporal (Gun Number), 2 x Private (Gun Number), Private (Driver-Mechanic)
I think you will find that the units named after each division were in fact the Independent Machine Gun Battalions for those divisions. I can only work on facts that are gleaned from books and appropriate internet sites and quote the same. I am also willing to stand corrected if need be, but in this case, not.
 

smeg-head

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#7
Further to the question of independent Divisional MG Battalions, the following has been copied from a War Office document:
Machine Gun Platoon of WW2
The Machine Gun platoon of the Divisional Machine Gun Battalion started off as a 15-cwt Truck-borne unit.

By the time the small arms manual was printed in 1944, it solely referred to the use of Universal Carrier. The quantity of gun numbers had also decreased in line with the additional efficiency of ammunition supply and the ability for carriers to get closer to the gun positions.

Sources
 
#9
You've lost me, we're both saying the same thing.....

The same platoon organisation occurs in WE II/231/3 of January 1944 for the motor battalion, WE II/239/1 of January 1944 for the independent machine-gun company and WE II/240/1 of February 1944 for the machine-gun battalion.
 

smeg-head

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#11
2nd Bn Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment.
At the outbreak of War, the 2nd Bn was part of the 6th London Infantry Brigade, a Second Line Territorial Army Infantry Brigade. It remained here until 03 May, 1940. It was in the United Kingdom throughout this period.

From 07 June, 1943, until 27 February, 1944, the 2nd Bn was the Divisional Support Battalion to the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division. It reverted to the Divisional MG Battalion establishment from 28 February, 1944, until the end of the War.

The 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division was mobilised in September 1939 as a First line Territorial Army Infantry Division. During the time the 2nd was with the 49th, it was in the following theatres and battles.

DatesTheatreBattles26 April, 1942, to 06 June, 1944United Kingdom06 June, 1944, to 12 June, 1944At Sea12 June, 1944, to 31 August, 1945North West Europe
  • The Odon (25 June to 02 July, 1944)
  • The Scheldt (01 October to 08 November, 1944)

 

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