|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Brass tripod leg|
The MG 42 (shortened from German: Maschinengewehr 42, or "machine gun 42") is a 7.92mm universal machine gun that was developed in Nazi Germany and entered service with the Wehrmacht in 1942. It supplemented and in some instances, replaced the MG 34 general purpose machine gun in all branches of the German Armed Forces, though both weapons were manufactured and used until the end of the war.
The MG 42 has a proven record of reliability, durability, simplicity, and ease of operation, but is most notable for being able to produce a stunning volume of suppressive fire. The MG 42 has one of the highest average rates of fire of any single-barreled man-portable machine gun, between 1,200 and 1,500 rpm, resulting in a distinctive muzzle report. There were other automatic weapon designs with similar firepower, such as the Hungarian-Gebauer single-barreled tank MGs, the Russian 7.62mm ShKAS aircraft gun and the British Vickers K machine gun. However, the MG 42's belt-feed and quick-change barrel system allowed for more prolonged firing in comparison to these weapons.
The MG 42's lineage continued past Nazi Germany's defeat, forming the basis for the nearly identical MG1 (MG 42/59), and subsequently evolved into the MG1A3, which was in turn followed by the MG 3. It also spawned the Swiss MG 51, SIG MG 710-3, Austrian MG 74, and the Spanish 5.56mm Ameli light machine gun, and lent many design elements to the American M60 and Belgian MAG. The MG 3 served with many armies during the Cold War and remains in use to this day.
As Like other Dragon large scale weapons kits, this one is not parts intensive, having but 160 pieces. The two brass tubes are used for the front leg of the tripod. A DS bullet belt is a very nice addition as it is easy to paint and flexes just like a real belt of bullets would do. This makes them easy to install inside the ammo drum. The breech is designed to be opened and there is a spring in there so that one can probably make the trigger operable after cocking.
The builder has a choice of using the bipod as a one-man hand carried weapon. This includes a carrying strap. The other option is the larger and much more complex tripod assembly. In fact, I dare say that the tripod takes up most of the parts count of this kit so it would be a shame not to build it. Makes it easier to display as well.
The instructions are on a single sheet of paper with parts layout and color guide (Gunze and Model Master) on one side and the 13 construction steps on the other. These are CAD drawings with the parts labeled. I have to say that at first look, all is rather confused and jumbled as there is no specific sequence of building. One just looks at where the parts fit and builds things up from there. No decals are included.
For those who like these big scale weapons, this will be a real treat. Construction may be a tad confusing at first, but I've seen others in this series built up and they are quite impressive when they are finished.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_42 October 2009
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