I usually start off my reviews with a history of the subject of the kit. However, I have been able to find absolutely NOTHING in my home library of books about the Leichtgeschutz 40. There are many books around on the Fallschirmjager troops, so I will not go into that either. If anyone knows something about this weapon, I would appreciate hearing about it. True to form, and one of my pet peeves with DML kits, is that they don't seem to care about providing the modeler with any history on the instruction sheet. I wish they would change that policy.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?:
The kit comes in a lid and tray type box (which I personally prefer over the end opening type). The lid is adorned with the usual excellent boxart by our old friend Volstad. Interestingly, on the side of the box are three black and white photos of the real weapon. I think two of them were probably taken somewhere in museums, and the third photo is of one parked under a tree...probably a war time shot.
Upon opening the box, one is greeted with five cello bags of gray plastic parts.
This kit has a lot of recycling in it. I mean, by that, that a lot of the trees are from earlier kits.
The first small tree of parts has the kit no. 6087 on it. This is a tree from DML's kit "German Naval Troops, Dieppe 1942". It holds one MP 28 sub-machine gun with ammo clip, two MG ammo belts (for either the MG 42 or MG 43?...neither of which is included), two 98K carbines. (six total parts) DML should have blued the ammo belts out on the parts illustrations, as they are never shown to be used in this kit. All the other weapons on this tree are used.
The next small tree of parts has the kit no. 6005 on it. This tree comes from DML's kit "German Fallschirmjagers, Monte Casino 1944". It holds a MP40 machine pistol, a FG42 assault rifle with ground tripod, an ammo clip for the FG42, and 2 98K carbines. The FG42 and its ground tripod are blued out on the instructions as not to be used. This is very strange, as it is a weapon heavily used by Fallschirmjagers. (seven parts here).
A third small tree of parts is from DML's kit no. 6006 "Cross of Iron, Eastern Front 1944". It holds a MP43 assault rifle, one folded ground tripod, a MP40 machine pistol with folding shoulder stock, two captured Russian PPHS 41 sub-machine guns with ammo drums. Only the MP40 with the folding stock is shown to be used on the instructions. All else are blued out as spares. Again, this is strange because the MP43 is heavily used by Fallschirmjager units. (eight parts here)
There are two, identical, medium sized trees that are new. These hold two of the 7.5cm Leichtgeschutz 40 weapons. This is because the box art shows one set up for firing and one being pulled along by a couple of Fallschimjagers. In addition to all the parts for the weapons and their wheeled carriages there are left and right alternate, fully sleeved arms for one of the figures on the 6070 kit tree. He has short sleeves on that sprue (these two trees give us 60 parts). There are four total ammo rounds provided, two each of two different types. Not near enough to suit me.
Another medium sized tree is unique to this kit also. It holds three figures. Two of them are kneeling and one is standing. Each is provided with his pioneer gear: helmet, bread bag, canteen, mess kit, shovel, bayonet, an odd cylinder shaped pouch. There is also one pair of binoculars, two large ammo pouches, and whole bunch of small ones...that are to be strung together as a bandolier worn around the neck of one or two of the figures. (66 parts on this tree)
The largest tree in the box (and the final one) is the complete contents of DML's earlier kit no. 6070 "Horesdrawn 2.8cm Spz.B 41 Anti-tank gun & JF8 Limber with Crew". This tree is called out as letter "A" and a number on the instruction sheet. One of the figures on this tree is to have his arms replaced with the long sleeved arms on the two identical trees mentioned above. There are four standing figures on this tree, their bread bags, two of those cylinder shaped pouches (anybody know what those carried?), their helmets, four Lugers in holsters, three potato masher grenades, a large ammo pouch, more of the little ammo pouches to make into bandoliers, and four canteens. (70 parts here)
There are no decals in the kit. The instructions are four pages long. Page one shows the box art in black and white, followed by the parts tree drawings. As mentioned earlier, no history is given. Page two begins with international assembly symbol explanations and the color number chart. The bottom of the page shows two drawings of the 7.5cm weapon in the towed and firing positions. These are very busy drawings, and should be carefully studied as they show all the parts in place with part numbers pointing at them....not the usual EXPLODED drawings we mostly see in kits. Pages three and four give us seven illustrations of the seven figures and painting instructions for them.
Putting this all together into the scene shown on the box art is going to make for a neat diorama. However, I think I am going to use the assault rifles, rather than the 98K carbines the instructions want. The kit is highly recommended. It adds a new, unique weapon to a armor collection. Now...if only I could only find out some data on these 7.5cm weapons.