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There is pros and cons about the lemon squeezer hats. On balance, I would prefer the figures with hats instead of helmets.
I would rather suggest to re-work the machine gun crew. The loader is missing part of his right elbow and his head seems very big, with the hat sitting way too high. The gunner seems rather to be laying the gun or fixing a jam than shooting. When shooting, he should be sitting behind the gun. This is difficult to mould but can be done nicely if using a two-part figure, see e. g. Zvezda, HäT, or Early War Miniatures.
Finally, some round magazines for the Thompson submachine guns would be a refreshing change from the rectangular ones.
Other than that, this is another fine example for Strelets' recent improved sculpting. Well done! Regards, Pa
I too have never seen those soft hats in combat. If done with helmets I think you would have a fine set useful for many areas of service.It would be a shame to put so much effort into a set which may not sell that well.Just a thought. Best Regards! Cappy
I have two different sets of WWII NZ/ANZAC figures in 20mm lead that are wearing the soft hat/lemon squeezer....not entirely accurate, but serves to distinguish them from the Brits. Strelets have obviously decided to take the same approach.
I'll accept the inaccuracy and gratefully buy them for what they are.
"I have never seen a photo of Kiwi`s in soft hats" - that may well be the case, but then would you have distinguished them from ordinary Brits? Should we have followed that logic, we would have made yet another British infantry set, whereas the idea was quite different.
If each sprew had six to eight head swops with helmets, then the number of unique poses could be doubled maintaining the Mini Set Format and giving customers the option for both unique and traditional looks.
I personally like your Masters just the way they are, being a big fan of the A/F WWI Doughboys, and Aussie Infantry in soft hats. Yet I empathize with the commenters requesting helmeted poses also.
In fact, I'm waiting for the day Strelets makes a set of SAND PEBBLES movie fame US Naval Soldiers in both Navy Caps and Helmets. And when / if you do, please include a set of Head Swops so I can have both Sailors and the Landing Party figures.
I have read accounts of the Africa Corps fighting New Zealanders with "Schlapphüten" hats on their heads fighting.
I've used troops in certain situations even when they are not entirely accurate historically. I just pretend it's a slightly alternate universe in which some South African and New Zealand units did go into combat with soft hats instead of helmets. One of the beauties of our hobby is that we can use our figures however we want to
Useful points about the Vickers. There is a pdf of the Vickers .303 MkIV MG (1930) manual on the internet with excellent line drawings which show the points you make. The steam tube is much finer and connects at the bottom of the jacket*.
The scope on the SMLE should be about a third of the length of the rifle barrel, breech etc and doesn't go much beyond the rear of the bolt. Either the rifle is small or the scope large or a bit of both. Not sure why the group doesn't have a Bren.
Nice to see rolled up sleeves makes them useful to fight the Japanese or in Italy, Greece etc.
*water goes in by a funnel in the plug at the top of the jacket just in front of the breech