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REVIEW
DML U.S. Marines Peleliu, 1944
c5flies
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Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012 - 06:55 AM UTC
Russ Amott reviews Dragon's long awaited U.S. Marines Peleliu 1944 set, four figures with Gen2 gear.

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If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
russamotto
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Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012 - 09:57 AM UTC
Thanks again, James.
GSPatton
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Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012 - 11:29 AM UTC
Just bought the set. Nice figures, nice poses. No grenades??? Really Dragon?? Every German set you sell has more than enough to go around. The Corpsman you MUST scrape off the armband. No corpsman went around with an ETO style red cross armband.
dioman13
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Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2012 - 12:59 AM UTC
I am having a love hate relationship with Dragon over this set. I posted a reply to Dragon care and have been going back and forth with them over the ammo pouch issue. I understand that it would be rather expensive to produce the needed pouchs, of which for a rifleman would require 5 on each side for a total of 10 per figure but, without them a modeler will be going through their spare parts box for 18 of them for the 3 figures. Even I don't have that many laying around. And I agree that the packs and entrenching tools look too small. Even the artwork is screwy. Ron V's work was much better and more to fact. The art work shows the wounded marine with bar ammo pouchs and a grand in his nand. Dragon, in all fairness is looking into the problem and I made the suggestion about a personal equipment set for allies and axis down the road, like the weapon set they used to have. This would cure any misstakes like this in the future, and provide extra equipment for dio builders. It was forwarded to the R&D team. Though the figures are nice, the problem with missing parts that should have been there for combat ready troops in the first place, will be a problem. It really looks like this kit was thrown together in a hurry as the last kits Dragon has released are full of so called extras. As noted by Russ and everyone, no grenades or things like flashlights, machettees ect. A bit more reaserch here would have gone a long way to produce an excellent kit. All in all, this kit will not keep me from purchasing other Dragon sets in the future, everyone is intitled to make a misstake now and then.
Emeritus
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Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2012 - 08:57 AM UTC
Nice review!

That's indeed weird how Dragon didn't include enough equipment. It's not like they didn't already have the moulds. Nor are they strangers to including extras in their kits.
Why couldn't they throw in the equipment sprue "GA" from their Gen2 "2nd Division USCM Tarawa 1943" set?
Its 20 Garand clip pouches, 3 holstered M1911s, 6 first aid pouches, and 6 canteens would have made space on the main sprue for more "crossflap" canteens, BAR magazine pouches (did I miss them or aren't there really any?), grenades, and what-have-you.
I guess it wouldn't be too much of a hassle to squash-mould the needed amount of extra ammo pouches from Milliput. But a hassle still.

Naturally, including an extra sprue ramps up the price of the kit, but I can't help doubting it would have made it unreasonable.
But as they say, business ain't charity.
russamotto
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Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2012 - 02:28 PM UTC
Thanks for all the comments.

Eetu, the magazine pouches included with the set look like they should be for the BAR to me, which Bob commented on as well. The entire time I was looking this set over I kept thinking of the GA sprue from the Tarawa set. Considering how liberal Dragon has been with extra sprues in the past, I really can't understand why they didn't add another here for equipment. Every US figure set I had from Dragon up to this one had enough equipment to go around, as well as some extra options. The figures are very good, the poses are nice, you have to outsource their equipment.
dioman13
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Posted: Monday, August 27, 2012 - 03:32 PM UTC
Two words, Dragon Care. May take awhile, awhile, awhile, but they will respond. I would have liked the set to include the P/E for the weapons and paid a bit more if needed. Aside from this mistake, I really like the figures and hope they go together well. Now if we can talk them into doing a set for the Wake Island Marines with a water cooled .50 cal M.G. pedistal mounted, I'll be one happy camper/modeler.
dioman13
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Posted: Monday, August 27, 2012 - 04:15 PM UTC
Hey Russ, the ammo pouchs provided with the set are for the grand rifle. If you look at the other sets, the BAR pouchs have an extra bit of material on each side to provide the needed spacing between them and are thicker, as two clips are in each one. Check out the extra clips on the weapon sprue (WA) for each weapon and you will see the differance. The pouch that has the split in the middle (B12) & (D11) are for the .45 cal colt. Hope this clears it up for everyone.
russamotto
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Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 01:04 AM UTC
Thanks for catching that, Bob. I had it backwards. I'll contact Dragon Care.
snowgoon81
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Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 03:16 PM UTC
As the rest of you, I was quite surprised at the lack of accessory gear for the figures. Also, the molding wasn't quite as crisp as we've all been spoiled to want. I'm using the Tarawa set as well and they are a much higher quality set.

I'm not sure I agree with the BAR belt vs Cartridge belt.
https://www.atthefrontshop.com/searchresults.asp?cat=134
What they have provided in this set appear to be BAR pouches, to my eyes. Compared to other DML sets, the Cartridge belt pouches are much smaller (and include 10 per fig). It could make sense if they were a BAR team with a gunner and assistant...

My big question though is what in the world did they include as packs? They certainly aren't the M1941 haversack
https://www.atthefrontshop.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=USGBP782H
you'd expect to see. If anything, they look like a universal extra ammo bag. Still a little at a loss as what to do with those pieces.
russamotto
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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 12:43 AM UTC
http://www.military-historians.org/publications/journal/samples/BradfordPack.pdf This shows good images of the 1941 pack system. Again, the DML parts look undersized, as do the entrenching tools.
dioman13
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Posted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 06:36 AM UTC
So the confussion continues in a good natured way. The 12 pouchs are for the grand, though they might not be exactly correct. The bar in this set are not provided with any. If we look at the other sets from Dragon, we can see that they are not included in this set, and all the bar pouchs from earlier releases are larger (two clips per pouch) and have the mystery extra bit of a spacer on each outside edge. Whether they are size correct or not I can not say. But, they fit the ammo clips. If you take an extra clip that they provide and superimpose it to the pouch, they basicly fit. So with that thought, I am assuming that the 12 pouchs are for the Grand rifle and not the Bar. The Bar pouchs hold 2 clips per pouch and once again, superimposed with the Bar clips seem to fit. So, I'll go with that. Even Dragon Care has stated the omission of the Bar pouchs and not the right amount for the Grand and the lack of any for the Carbine. If they are not exactly the right size, I'll live with it.
As far as being a Bar team, I am not sure about the ammo ditibution for each. It makes sence that a rifleman who would be a part of any Bar team would carry the amount of rifle ammo for that and extra pouchs for the Bar gunner. Once again I'm not sure. Anyone who knows better can chim in on this.
And as far as the packs are concerned, they are way too small according to time era photos, though I'll have to check with the photos I have as to the type. I can always just leave them off if not correct. The entrenching tools suffer from being too small also. It seems that manufacturers have that problem when they do a new set of figures. Look at Tamiya's German sets. Sometimes the equipment from one set varries so much that they end up worthless.
But, what we have is what we have to work with. So long as Dragon is able to fix the shortage I'll be o.k. with the size problem with the pouchs. The entrenching tools and packs are a differnt matter and they will go into the scrap drawer. Once the pouchs are attatched to the figure, in 1/35th scale the difference is not so noticable. Maybe the manufacturers should have a basic mold for equipment instead of making molds with figures and equipment each time they do a new set. Dragon has weapons sprues that they add to each set (except this one) and it is of a benifit that it continues the size continuation from set to set as far as weapons and standard equipment is concerned. German helmets came in 3 sizes so things like that could varry, but a M-1 or a submachine gun is the same size no matter who it is issued to.
So maybe Dragon will take my suggestion for a personal gear set (grenades and smoke, 1st aid and ammo pouchs, knifes and machettees, anything a trooper might want to carry) and we wont have these problems down the road again.
converse
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Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 02:01 AM UTC
Hi Guys,
I have just purchased this set and boy what a foul up by them over the backpacks, or complete and utter lack of them. They have included ammunition bags as backpacks not the correct packs. The ammo bags have no points to even attach the entrenching tools or pack rolls (or whatever they are called).They are next to useless as backpacks for this set. I do recognise that they can be worn as a small pack and there are a ton of pics of that being done in France etc... That aside that's not what was advertised. Its just plain deceptive and sloppy by them. have just shot an email over to dragon asking if they can send me the actual packs as shown on the cover and on the back.

Usually I am quite relaxed about these sorts of things but I have been building the sdkfz 10/5 kit and they left a vital piece off the photoetch piece, just plain forgot to put it on! Thats more to get onto them about. They need to lift their game if they are to keep customers.

Sorry for the rant.
dioman13
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Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 02:02 PM UTC
Hey Sean, nothing to apologise for, right is right and wrong is wrong. And man, they were wrong on this set. Compaired to the other 3 sets of marines, this set was disapointing. Lack of ammo pouchs, small entrecnhing tools and wrong packs. At least the figures seem O.K. though I have not built them yet. That comes this winter when I do my four vign.'s. Am still waiting for Dragon care to find the extra sets of pouchs and ship them, that will probably be the 12th of never at this pace. But who knows, they might come through yet. It has been a frustrating situation though. I don't think they have the right packs for them, the other sets had none I belive so I don't know where they would get them from unless they mold them up special for us and I don't see that happening.
hogarth
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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 01:40 AM UTC
Hey all,

I don't have this kit, but in looking at the pictures of the sprues as well as the box art, this is what I think:

The wounded figure with the M1 Garand is shown on the box front with a BAR belt and then 2 bandoliers of M1 clips. It was probably not uncommon for an assistant BAR gunner to be so equipped. It would mean an extra 12 magazines for the BAR in his belt pouches, plus 12 Garand clips in his 2 bandoliers. It would be quite heavy, but I feel pretty sure I've seen real-life pics of soldiers with such a setup.

Because the other figures are shown armed with a BAR and an M1 Carbine (the other guy, the medic, having no long gun), there was no need for M1 Garand pouches to be included in the set.

HOWEVER....those BAR pouches look terrible! Way too small. DML has done at LEAST 3 different BAR belts over the years....pouches that came with the old Iwo Jima Marines were different than the ones that came in the Vietnam Green Berets set (2 of those figures had BAR belts) which, in turn, were different than the ones that came in the Operation Varsity airborne set. Some of these were also variously used in other WW2 sets that included BARs. ANY of these other pouches would have been better than what comes in the Pelielu set, for sure.

As for the backpacks, if all you want is a haversack and decent shovel, try the cheap Tamiya US Infantry equipment set that is sold as a single sprue in shrinkwrap for about $5...excellent haversacks in that kit, along with great .45 pistols in holsters, grenades, and well detail bayonets in sheaths.

Equipment-wise, this is definitely a dud by DML.

Rob