Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.6379; U. S. Marines Guadalcanal 1942; 83 parts in grey styrene; estimated retail price US$10.99
Advantages: early war Marines with early war weapons and uniforms
Disadvantages: weapons are =93Gen1" type
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all early to midwar Marine Corps fans
The Marines have always had problems when it comes to weapons and equipment. While part of the Department of the Navy, due to their land force activities they have to rely on the Department of the Army for weapons and equipment, and generally the Army takes priority. The Marines have nearly always been able to keep their own unique uniforms (=93fatigues=94 become =93utilities=94 if you are a Marine) but have to get the rest =96 weapons, universal equipment such as helmets and webgear, gas masks, etc. =96 from the Army.
Early in WWII the Marines were in this same position, and as a point of reference they took their prewar or early war weapons into their first major combat action at Guadalcanal. It was only later in the war that they received standardized weapons that were completely supported by Army supply chains and the Ordnance Branch.
This new kit from DML provides four figures from this time frame; they are dressed in the Marine Corps utilities of the day (single breast pocket) but do have the new M1 steel helmet with liner. But as noted above, these Marines carry the M1918 BAR (no bipod), the short- lived Johnson M1941 submachine gun, and two M1903 Springfield rifles, one with a bayonet attached.
Each figure is in the =93Gen1" DML style and consists of six basic parts (head, torso, arms and legs) with additional items. Each figure has a knife or other edged weapon, canteen, and ammo pouches for the appropriate weapon. Poses are those of a small unit patrol with the Marines walking at the ready in a cautionary pose.
These figures will go well with some of the armored vehicles out there, and later period (but non-camouflaged) troops can be converted by swapping the early model weapons for the M1 rifles on the other sprue (from the USMC in Korea kit!) or adding a Thompson or other weapon from the spares box.
Artwork is by Ron Volstad and is excellent as usual.
Overall this is an excellent set and should be well received by Marine and Pacific War fans.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.