Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.6515; Allied Assault Monte Cassino 1944; 80 parts in grey styrene; retail price US$10.95
Advantages: options for three different nationalities, extra weapons
Disadvantages: may not have all specific differences among nationalities covered
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Commonwealth and Italian campaign fans
More than 30 years ago Peerless Max released a kit of a CMP Chevrolet15 cwt with a set of Commonwealth figures - one British, one Indian with Sikh turban, and one Australian with ANZAC campaign hat. It was a nice idea, but unfortunately very crudely done. As such, the idea went back into the dormant stage and remained there until the release of this kit (I am not counting resin figures or the use of after-market heads.)
The latest set of figures from DML is quite interesting, for it is the first new one which gives the modeler a clear cut option for three different basic nationalities: Commonwealth soldiers - e.g. British, Canadian or other =93Anglo=94 ethnicities; Indian, essentially Sikhs with turbans; and Gurkhas, complete with their legendary knives. As a result there are no less than 12 heads in this set, which is a boon for those who want to =93mix and match=94 their figures.
Each figure consists of the usual six basic parts: head, torso, arms and legs. There are two arms with separate hands to mate with the weapons chosen, basically so they can either carry a rifle or the aforementioned Gurkha knife. A choice of two helmet styles for each figure are included =96 clean (shown with British heads) or with a mesh netting attached (with the Gurkha heads).
Two sets of weapons are provided, one with the Mark IV series rifles with the short barrel projection and one with the flat fronted Mark III rifle. Bayonets are included for the Mark IIIs which I assume are to be used with the Indians.
The box art by Ron Volstad shows two British soldiers in action with one Indian and one Gurka alongside them. The poses are all combat, with running and crouching/firing being the main options.
As is the norm with Volstad work, the directions are on the back of the box and show the various recommended options with the different heads and weapons.
Overall this is a nice idea and one which will be appreciated by many Commonwealth modelers.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.