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German Wiking Division Kovel 1944

DML 1/35 German Wiking Division Kovel 1944 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review September 2009 Manufacturer DML
Subject German Wiking Division Kovel 1944 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6519 Primary Media 143 parts in grey styrene
Pros Mixture of “Gen1" figures and “Gen2" kit more popular with modelers Cons Painting directions limited
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $13.95

First Look

There is a scene in the movie “The Lion in Winter” in which the second Plantagenet son, Geoffrey, discusses things with his mother Eleanor of Aquitaine. He notes that he knows that she knows that he knows that Henry II knows ad nauseum and then notes “We’re a very knowledgeable family”. Such is the same thing with a kit like this one.

Due to worldwide condemnation – most readily apparent in the Council of Europe countries – WWII Nazi regalia is banned and as such no mention or highlight can be made of it. Even when the insignia are used in a historical context such as on a scale model they are verboten in any sense of the word. (Ask me, I know; I had a 1/32 Bf-109E-3 with swastikas on its tail “arrested” in West Berlin in 1978 for that very reason!) And this kit is no different.

DML follows the rules, but as most of the rest of the world and all of the modeling community knows these figures are not from the “German Wiking Division” but the 5th SS Panzer Division “Das Wiking”. The figures on the box art – a machine gun team in camouflaged uniforms – dutifully have blank collar tabs where the SS runes would go. While I am no fan of Nazis or fascism at all, it seems silly in many cases to have to hide the facts that most people know when it relates to a model kit. (At least pre-“censored” artwork does mean that European shop owners do not have to go through the kits with a magic marker to blot out the markings or cut them out of decal sheets with a scalpel!)

This new set from DML is an “in action” set with the team taking up positions and the machine gunner (here with an MG-42 on a sling) firing from the hip at a target his team leader has located. The other two “numbers” are looking for targets and the kneeling ammunition number has a spare belt open and around his neck.

The figures are mostly wearing the SS camouflage uniforms of the late war period that are popular with figure modelers and diorama builders due to the challenges they pose in 1/35 scale. Each figure is a “Gen1" type of six basic parts – head, torso, legs and arms – with a large number of detail parts to add to them. DML is now continuing its “Gen2" gear series in which generic sprues of improved detail parts are included in the kit, but not the full “Gen2" figures which comprise up to 20 parts each and have caused some frustration among figure modelers (they can be difficult to assemble and get a good fit of the uniform bits.) This seems to be a good compromise and one which gives the most detail to the modeler with the least amount of hassle.

The weapons are now modified as well - no more separate bolts or hollow muzzles on the rifles, but hollow flash suppressors for the machine guns and more options: this set offers one MG-34, one MG-42, three MP-40, one MP-44, one Gewehr 43, and four Kar 98K plus clips and magazines. The generic kit sprue also provides grenades and a Luger and P38.

The kit does come with the full ammo belt assembly for the ammo number, as well as a carrier for drum magazines as well. But there are no slings for any weapon, so the modeler is on his own to come up with the carrying/firing sling for the box art pose.

The painting instructions are the “B” kit (e.g. non-Volstead) ones with the “stick here” assembly photos and a small reproduction of the box art.

Overall this is a good set to go with late war German armor and should be popular with German modelers.

Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • 6519 51 Four figures and machine gun accessories
  • G 4 German generic - entrenching tools
  • G 58 German generic kit - helmets, bread bags, small arms, etc.
  • W 30 German weapons - MG-34, MG-42 MP-44, Kar 98K, MP-40, Gewehr 43