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British 8th Army Infantry El Alamein 1942

DML 1/35 British 8th Army Infantry El Alamein 1942 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review December 2007 Manufacturer DML
Subject British 8th Army Infantry El Alamein 1942 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6390 Primary Media 61 parts in grey styrene
Pros Nice newly molded figures of "Desert Rats" will be appreciated; very nicely done "original style" figures Cons Commonwealth troops yet to rate "Gen2" weapons and kit
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $10.00

First Look

It seems to be all too rare that DML turns its attention to something other than WWII German subjects when it comes to their excellent line of figures, and therefore it is always an occasion when something not wearing swastikas pops up in the "new items" list. This is the first set of Commonwealth figures in some time, and with the advent of new WWII African campaign related vehicles (alas, not from DML) they will be well appreciated.

The set provides four figures in standard short sleeve/short pants desert attire: an officer with a Webley pistol and a whistle, a kneeling figure with a Thompson and 50-round drum. an advancing infantryman with an SMLE and bayonet, and a crouching Bren gunner. Each figure is composed of the "standard" DML breakdown (head, torso, arms and legs) and has several items of kit - canteen, backpack, ammo pouches, "tin hats" and holsters for those authorized them.

The only surprising item is that so far the British do not rate the "Gen2" treatment for their weapons as the German figures have received. The weapons in this set are from the much older British Commonwealth Troops, NW Europe 1944 set (No. 6055) – two SMLE, a Sten gun and a Bren with two options for its bipod (closed or open). A new Thompson (parts 10 and 11) and an older model of the SMLE with flush muzzle, bayonet and scabbard (parts 14-16) are included but the latter is not indicated in the directions, even though it is what the figure on the box art and directions is clearly holding, but not what is indicated (part 1 off the 6055 sprue). Go figure. There is also another pouch (part 12) and an odd item (part 13) on the sprue which likewise are not called out. I am no longer surprised when DML makes errors on its major kit directions where more than a thousand parts are involved, but in this case with but 61 in the box it is hard to fathom.

Box art is not bad but it is not credited; however, from the style it was not done by Ron Volstad but one of the other DML artists.

Overall, any new set of British figures is welcome, and even more when new British desert oriented vehicles are becoming available such as the forthcoming M3 Grant from Academy. (I do wish that, given some of the disappointment in the uneven quality of recent Academy efforts DML had done one up to match these figures though.)

Thanks to DML for the review sample.