ARM: Review - DML 1/35 British Premium Figure Sets with Welbikes

Kit Review: DML 1/35 scale 39-45 Series Premium Edition British Figure Sets     Kit No. 6585; Red Devils w/Welbike and Drop Tube Container Arnhem
1944; 113 parts (98 in grey styrene, 15 etched brass); estimated price about US$16-19     Kit No. 6586; 2nd SAS Regiment w/Welbike and Drop Tube Container France 1944; 112 parts (97 in grey styrene, 15 etched brass); estimated price about US$16-19
Advantages: very nicely molded Welbike and drop container with etched brass details; nicely done figure sets, with Commonwealth figures always at a premium
Disadvantages: Gen1" weapons; DML playing dirty pool by only providing ONE Welbike option per kit!
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for Commonwealth and Airborne Forces fans
    Every major country formed airborne forces for the Second World War the USSR, Germany, Britain and the US. But as these were light infantry whose only great advantage was mobility, they either needed specialized weapons which could drop with them or glider-borne support vehicles and systems. While the gliders were capable of carrying standard weapons like jeeps and light antitank guns up to 57mm caliber, the same was not true of the C-47 (Dakota) transports which were the primary carrier for US and UK airborne troops. Both countries developed small courier motorcycles which could be air-dropped for forces once on the ground, with the US creating a Cushman and the UK the Welbike.
    These were basically semi-rear area machines as they were only marginally capable of off-road performance, but would speed up communications where radio was either not available (or as at Arnhem inoperable for most of the operation).
    Recently the humble Welbike has now come to the attention of model companies, and this is the second effort to reach the market. DML has provided a 34 piece version of the little bike and a 16 piece drop container to go with it in each of two of the older figure sets, No. 6023 Red Devils and No. 6199 2nd SAS Regiment. The bikes are little gems with the engine alone consisting of 10 parts and the bike offering an option of either a styrene or brass chain and rear gear set. The spokes are plastic but among the finest moldings I have seen (and three dimensional) so only the purist would want to replace them with brass.
    But DML pulled a fast on the modeler. The F sprue with the Welbike comes with two ears a left and right and they gated them on each kit. 6585 comes with the left ear which is the set of parts for the Welbike in operating condition with the handlebars raised and unfolded; 6586 has the right ear with the parts for the Welbike in folded condition. In other words, you do not get an option with either kit and will have to get both of them to get a choice!
    Beyond that, the figure sets remain excellent. Both are based on Ron Volstad artwork, but the internal directions are unfortunately the stick here variety and not the Volstad ones with the figures showing specific painting instructions. Both sets are in jump smocks with the 1st Airborne in airborne helmets and the 2nd SAS in berets. All figures are in semi-action poses but the arms provide for the standing figure in the 1st Airborne set and the kneeling figure in the SAS set to be holding or working on the Welbike with the optional set of arms (which come with jump smock sleeves).
    Overall these are nice little kits and the Welbike is a jewel, but it would have been nicer if DML gave the modeler the option of open or closed!
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sets.
Cookie Sewell
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On Nov 14, 4:31pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Hi Cookie and thanks for the review. I especially appreciate the heads- up regarding the Welbike lack of options. Fortunately for me the kit where the bike can be built as in use is the Red Devils and those are the troops I could use the most. I agree tat Dragon has pulled a fast one on modellers with these two kits. Or is t a money grab? Amyway you cut it at least we now have a Welbike in styrene in 1/35 scale/
These Welbiikes will go very nice with the 1/35 scale GLIDER and C-47 kits complete with Flight Crews that Masterbox currently has in development. It should not be too long before they are released. Can you imagine the dioramas possible by combining these kits with these kits combined?
Cheers from Peter
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See my post to your announcement of the C-47 and Horsa!
Cookie Sewell
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On Nov 14, 4:31pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Hey there Cookie.
Thinking further about these kits and whether to get them leads me to ask you yet another question. Where are the PE parts used in these kits? FWIW, I *HATE* PE parts.
Cheers from Peter
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The PE parts in this kit are pretty much optional other than the trim for the drop container. Nice of them to keep it that way!
Cookie Sewell
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On Nov 25, 5:48pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Hi there Cookie.
Thanks for the info regarding the PE parts on these kits. I'm glad to hear that most of the PE parts are optional and I agree it was nice of them to make it that way. Now everyone likes PE parts.
Cheers from Peter
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