Kit Review: DML 1/35 Scale ?39-?45 Series Kit No. 6199: 2nd SAS Regiment (France 1944); 58 parts in grey styrene; price $6.95
Advantages: nice, crisp new figures of British airborne soldiers in kit; choice of weapons permits making them a number of different units
Disadvantages: Alas, so far no new vehicles for them to compliment!
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: For all Commonwealth fans
DML has cornered the market on German figures from WWII of all sorts, so it is really a special event when they produce something other than German figures. (Note that for political reasons they have not done any Japanese WWII items, as this is a very sore subject in China and Korea!) Therefore this kit was a pleasant surprise and should please a lot of people, especially as it is being released right before the 60th Anniversary of Operation Overlord and the D-Day lndings.
The kit ? accompanied by the usual great artwork from Ron Volstad ? has four SAS troopers on what looks to be a "recce" patrol with a mixture of US and British weaponry ? two M1 carbines, an M1928A1 Thompson with "stick" magazine, and a Bren gun. They wear service dress and red berets, with three in camouflage smocks and one in the leather "battledress jacket" that seems to have more commonly been called a jerkin. Two different kinds of pistol holsters are provided, one for the M1911A1 Colt .45 and one for what appears to be a Webley revolver.
Since the new US style weapons ? which appear to be what makes these figures SAS and not Airborne or commandos outside of the traditional "Commando" knife ? come on the kit sprue (e.g. #6199) the optional sprue with the Bren gun comes with para weapons ? two SMLE rifles and a Sten gun as provided with Kit No. 6065, Commonwealth Troops in Northwestern Europe 1944. Two of the figures come with separate collars for their smocks, with one loose and one spread (think Sean Connery in "A Bridge Too Far"). All are well animated and the poses will be useful for many things.
Overall, this is a great set and will finally give some more options to Commonwealth fans (e.g going back to "A Bridge Too Far", a diorama or vignette with 1 Para Div soldiers meeting a XXX Corps Sherman Firely after withdrawing from Arnhem.) It is only a shame (especially in light of the box art) that there is not a nice new vehicle like a Para "scout jeep" for them to complement!
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.