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I got this set a day or two ago.
The figures in this set are very good indeed some of the best WWI figures around. I would buy lots of these figures if I didn't have to buy the howitzer every time I wanted 10 of them. Bundled with a summer set of the same they would make a much wanted figure set. I have mentioned it before but the chap pulling the lanyard would be great pulling a draught horse or mule and many others could be found other uses. Of course some interact well with the howitzer. The fact that a lot have gas mask haversacks makes them adaptable for at the front uses though wearing it at the ready would make it awkward to operate the howitzer.
The howitzer is indeed the Mark I. One thing missing is the large earth filled metal box (part of the emplacement). Generally the kit is a bit like a short run resin or plastic kit. It needs lots of filing, squaring up, Plastruct (or another) bits, time, plans(which I have) and photos etc. The emplacement box is easy to scratch build but the shell hoist has curves and gearing etc and is not easy to make from the very basic parts provided (dull pink and light grey on the box pics). The hoist is folded and down when the howitzer fires and should line up with and fit into the rectangle on the rear platform. When raised it lines up a shell opposite the breech with the barrel in a horizontal position(hoist position for loading see the box photo*). The operating wheels (traverse, elevation etc)should be bigger especially the fast elevation wheel (for loading) on the right hand side as one of the figures has the right pose for it. Not a kit for those who are not skilled with projects like this nevertheless a good basis for a reasonable model. I like a challenge.
*Looks like the Imperial War Museum exhibit plenty of nice detail pics of this on the Internet
WW1 sappers for both Axis and Allied have generally been ignored.What I liked about the 9.2" figures are that they are in winter gear. More of the winter period gear figures would be welcomed.
What would be also nice to see a set(s)like HaTs British artillery crew in shirt sleeves which with simple head changing can represent most countries gunners for WW1 and early WW2.
As for selling the artillery crews separetly it would be a way to get more capital returns from the moulds
As for figures relating to WW1 tanks you only have Emhars 2 figure carrying a box and two German with wrenches - so much potential there.
Reading between the lines in my own text I think I was suggesting the 9.2" howitzer model is likely to be a semi scratch build though nothing really awkward. The earth box was camouflaged with vegetation or even sandbagged and most heavies had awnings to take camouflage nets. These howitzers were often sited in wooded areas or on a tree line for camouflage and covered with tarpaulins so again a basic shape could be used if the howitzer was not being fired. The shells were heavy about 290 lbs each so 4 soldiers would be less of a Hernia inducing lift. From pics and films it seems that the shells were rolled (like full beer kegs) and lifted in a cradle by 4 soldiers for the last bit. see
and same with a bit more detail
From the film there seems to be about a dozen men round the gun when loading. Hatless and with Wellie boots some of them could almost be farm labourers. The shots of the shells bursting are of course from a forward trench.