The MG 08 machine was the main stay heavy machine gun of the German army during World War 1 also an air cooled version being fitted to the fighter aircraft of the day and also saw limited service in World War 2 as a fortification defensive weapon. This weapon had a rate of fire in the 500 – 600 rounds a minute. The ammunition for this weapon was 7.92 rounds in non disintegrating cloth belts of 250 rounds. ICM has now released a 1/35th scale model of this iconic WW1 German machine gun.
The model is packaged in the now usual cardboard tray with a flip top lid and a second card lid with the model artwork on it favoured by ICM. The design of this packaging does mean that you can be reasonably sure that the model will reach you in its intended condition. Inside there is an instruction sheet. There is a single re-sealable bag containing the two grey sprues.
The mouldings offered here by ICM are fair to good as some details could be stronger and crisper, but that may be because I have been looking at resin offerings lately. As regards weaknesses the only one I would point out is that the holes that need to be drilled in parts (A1/19 and A1/22) do not have the needed drill size mentioned; I used a 0.45mm. Some of the parts are very fine and so require a lot of care when removing them from the sprue. This product actually provides two versions of the German MG 08 and I am surprised that is not indicated on the box.
The mounted MG 08 can be set up in two firing modes by the modeller and you need to decide how you wish to finish it from the very start, you have the option of a setting it as it would with the user in a seated position, the other option is indicated to be a prone firing position. I drilled out all four of the holes so that you could see where they are located easily, but I have opted for a seated firing position as it looks the most natural. To begin with assembly of the support plate is easy to manage. The issue comes with stages 3 to 5 that take six pairs of hands. I suggest adding the plate assembled in stage 2 to the side and then add the other side followed by the parts in stage 3; this will give you a more stable structure to work with. Make sure you have the correct option for stage 6 and add it quickly before the gun pivot sets; this is the device for setting the height of the machine gun. If I said I enjoyed this part of the build I would be lying as I found it a pig due to large hands and ended up using two sets of tweezers for a lot of it.
The water cooled machine gun itself is a breeze to work with but the muzzle needs to be drilled unfortunately. If you are wondering about the disc on the barrel I have been told it was to help prevent the flash from affecting the sight of the user. The seam lines on this need to be taken care of, but that is it as regards extra work. I would suggest that those into scratch building skills make a new cocking handle as it is a weak detail on the gun in my opinion. When you come to adding the front support legs you get to understand what the holes you drilled are for. The expansion tank for the water cooled jacket has a good and surprising amount of detail provided, but the pipe that goes from the barrel the tank is not included, I used a piece of wire which took some work to make look natural in its position.
The machine gun is provided with two options when it comes to the ammunition boxes as there is a single and double ammunition box, your choice. In addition these boxes can be assembled open or closed and are aspects where I feel ICM did particularly well. The ammunition belt is supplied flat and needs shaping either by heat or manipulation; I went for glue as it is a softening agent that when applied to the mostly hidden face makes life easy and stops me getting scolded. The feeder portion of the ammunition belt is supplied as a separate part and so could be attached directly to the ammunition box to indicate ammunition coming into use. This is again supplied flat and shown flat coming out of the machine gun in the instructions; that is wrong as even with the rounds fired it would still sag being a cloth belt.
AN MG 08/15 is supplied with this set that is a very easy build that again needs the muzzle drilled out a little. A word of caution the instructions show the magazine incorrectly fitted and so I have included a picture that indicates the correct orientation. A water can which also serves as a reservoir is supplied for this but I did not build it; Sorry.
Once all of the elements are brought together it looks very nice but why is there no figure provided as it screams out for one? The ammunition belt is an especially well replicated part of this offering with ICM catching all of the relevant detail. The machine gun itself is weak where the cocking handle is concerned and I would have liked to see an attempt at providing a hollow in the muzzle. The stand is a pig at the start to build but is very well detailed from everything I can see.
Darren Baker takes a look at and builds the German MG 08 Machine Gun from ICM in 1/35th scale.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...