Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.6517; Gebirgsjaeger Defenders - Gustav Line 1944 - Gen2 Gear; 120 parts in grey styrene; estimated retail price about US$13.95
Advantages: combination of =93Gen1" figures and =93Gen2" kit a good idea
Disadvantages: no major items noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: For all German and Italian theater fans
The =93Gustav Line=94 was one of several fortified German defensive lines up the =93boot=94 of Italy and ran from the Tyrrhenian Sea in the West to the Adriatic in the east about 75 miles south of Rome. By this time many different units were defending it, including mountain troops (Gebirgsjaeger) who had been trained for this sort of operations.
DML is now offering a set of these troops in the heavier kit used in colder climates (normally they wore shorter paints, tall stocking and =93birgsteiflen=94 or mountain boots). The four figures in the box provide one man preparing to fire a rifle, a lieutenant on a field phone reporting, one loading a flare pistol, and one moving laterally with a submachine gun at the ready.
The figures are the so-called =93Gen1" type consisting of seven basic parts (head, collar/hood, torso, arms, and legs) with separate hands for one figure. This has been one of the points of debate between fans of the simple figure and the more detailed =93Gen2" figures which normally run 16-18 parts each, providing much more detail but being harder to get a =93clean=94 assembly for painting.
One compromise here is the use of =93Gen2" style kit which uses more slide molding techniques and are more natural in appearance once attached to the figures.
The weapons are new mold, but surprisingly are not the true =93Gen2" weapons with slide molded hollow muzzles. Still, they provide a good selection for troops stationed in Italy post-1943 when the Italians nominally went back over to the Allies.
The artwork is by Ron Volstad and as usual is top-flight, as well as providing a much easier set of painting and assembly directions.
Overall this is another take on German troops and one which fills another niche.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.