Having done a build review of the German s.10cm Kanone 18, (found Here on Armorama
), I decided to look into a crew for the gun, and DML provide just the product to accompany this product, the German Field Howitzer Gun Crew. The set I have bought is a Premium edition and it is a very welcome addition for anyone building the German s.10cm Kanone 18 (6411) or German sFH 18 Howitzer with limber (6392).
Inside the standard DML box you will find it is packed to the gunnels with plastic. The contents consist of;
7 grey plastic sprues packed in 5 plastic bags.
2 Dragon Styrene sprues in tan.
A painting guide and multi-pose figure instructions.
I believe I should start this review with a general break down of the parts, and it is a considerable number. In this set you get;
Two wicker mats for under the wheels of the gun.
Four wicker cases for artillery rounds.
Six pairs of legs which are separated at the groin.
Fifteen right arms.
Sixteen left arms.
Six flat top heads.
Twelve helmets (I am unable to tell if they are M1935, 40, or 42 models).
Fourteen bayonets in scabbard.
Six gas mask holders.
Six multi-part gasmask holders.
Ten entrenchment tools in two designs.
Eight bread bags.
Six gas sheets for the shoulder strap.
Six water bottles.
Six mess tins.
Two binocular cases.
Six drum magazines.
An assortment of magazine pouches.
Two closed Lugar holsters.
One open Lugar holster.
One open P38 holster.
One closed P38 holster.
Four bed rolls or tent quarters.
There are two other types of pouches of which you get four of each, I am unable to identify them though.
Five of each shell design for the German sFH 18 Howitzer with limber (6392) kit.
Ten shell cases.
Five covers for the shell cases.
A gun stick
As you can see from this list it has, I suspect, as many pieces as the gun kits it is designed to accompany. The mouldings are all first rate being free of any blemishes, flash, or ejector marks.
The crew have so many options as to how they are positioned I am just going to cover the general information on one of the figures, which excluding their posture is shared by them all. The figures consist of two legs which are joined at the groin and also have the portion of the tunic from the belt down; detail is of a good standard with the creases in the uniform having a fluid look to them rather than the very stiff creases that look unnatural. There are no ejector pin marks to worry about and the mould seams are very light and easily dealt with. The various parts of the boots are replicated with the exception of the sole of the boot; however the detail quality does vary.
The torso of these figures is also free of flash and ejector pin marks, and again the mould seams are very light. As these figures are fulfilling the artillery role there are no Y straps shown on the figures, there is the shoulder strap of the gas mask holder and gas sheet moulded on each figure but it could be scrapped away and replaced if wanted. The reichswehr
eagle patch has been depicted above the right breast pocket along with shoulder boards and collar patches. The creases shown on the tunic look natural and, to me, depicted in the correct locations for the posture of the figures. The tunic is of the early war type with a closed collar, but I do not know the exact time periods covered by the various uniforms.
There are so many options as regards the arms that you cannot fail to find the arm you need. The hands vary in quality as regards finger detail, but they should all be usable with a little work. Creases are again naturally depicted on the sleeve and placed naturally depending on if the arm is straight or bent.
The faces are all of a good standard for injected moulded plastic which should meet the needs of the average modeller, they could also always be replaced with an after market manufactured item from a company such as Hornet if you really want to add extra detail.
The equipment supplied with this set all looks to be of a high standard and cleanly moulded, and I will leave the pictures to do the talking as I believe they will be of more benefit than my descriptions would be. The biggest boost of this set for me is the 10 rounds of ammunition supplied for the German sFH 18 Howitzer with limber (6392) which along with the shells supplied in the kit gives the modeller 20 shells to use as needed. The extra wicker packing cases and mats also help when purchased to accompany the German s.10cm Kanone 18 (6411) which fails to provide any of these items.
This set from DML with all the possible poses of the figures is a must have to accompany the sFH 18 line of artillery guns or any other artillery piece used by the Germans within reason. Quality wise this set ranks amongst the best that DML have released excluding the Gen 2 series of figures. The only real complaint that can be levelled against the set is the lack of rifles which I believe would be in easy reach of the crew if needed.