German WWI Machine Gun Parabellum LMG 14 (7.92mm) Barrels

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Base Kit
most 1/48 German WWI aircraft
Company: Master Model - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Master Model - Website: Visit Site
Parts Packaging

The Parabellum LMG 14 was introduced in 1914 by the German company Deutche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken, and was based on their MG 08 gun. Rather than using a belt feed system, the LMG 14 utilized an enclosed drum magazine to hold the same 7.92 mm ammunition as its predecessor. Other modifications for the LMG 14 included a lighter casing and the use of air instead of water for cooling the barrel. The gun had a rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute, and was used mostly on bombers, scout planes, and zeppelins. There were attempts to synchronize this particular gun with the propeller on initial Fokker E.1 planes, but this was later abandoned due to issues with the reliability of the LMG 14.

Not researching what I had requested to review for this particular item caught me a little off-guard when the plastic bag from Master Model first arrived. Fortunately for me, amongst my stash was an Eduard Hannover Cl.IIIa (kit 8008) in need of an upgraded observer’s gun. The plastic gun provided in the kit was used as the starting point for my use of this detail set, which comes with the barrel, cooling jacket, sights, and two additional items that I have not found the technical names for (one fits on the end of the barrel and connects a rod that runs back to the ammunition drum, the other sits atop the cooling jacket).

I have reviewed a few Master Model items in the past and, once again, I was not disappointed with this new item from them in the Air Master Series. I have seen cooling jackets offered in the past by other companies as items on a photoetch fret that I would then have to roll in order to form them as cylinders. These do not look bad, but there is a seam line to deal with when you are done, which normally you can hide against the aircraft. Master Model instead offers their cooling jacket as a single piece of hollow brass, which of course has the ventilation cutouts taken care of. The ends of the cooling jacket are nicely designed as they have a small edge that aligns perfectly with the jacket. There are two ends with sights available to the builder in order to allow for an option of which style they want to represent on their aircraft. I did have a slight fit issue with the openings on the end pieces that the barrel needs to slide through, as mine needed to be opened slightly to allow the barrel to pass through. I was able to do this with a small, round needle file, and it did not take much cleaning, but I could not get the barrel to pass through initially without doing this. There is one trick in the assembly of this kit as the holes for the barrel need to line up on both end pieces of the cooling jacket, so you can do as I did and glue one end into place, then use the barrel to align the other end piece, or you can do whatever else works best for you.

As far as my hits for this item, I think that once again Master Model has put out an excellent product that can turn an average kit part into a work of art. The preformed cooling jacket is a phenomenal idea and, although there may be someone else out there producing these as well, this was my first time seeing one. The folks at Master Model are even considerate enough to have a small plastic trough in the contents bag to keep the barrel protected until it is needed. Based on my research of the LMG 14, the detail parts are exacting in their detail, and it was easy to replace the end of my kit’s plastic gun barrel with these new items.

I do not have any real misses for this particular item. As I did mention, I had to do a little cleaning on the end pieces to allow for the barrel to slide through, but this was not a big deal, and could have just been an issue with my particular review kit.

Overall I would highly recommend this detail set to anyone wanting to dress up an LMG 14 in 1/48 scale for their next World War I aircraft sporting one of these weapons. I would expect anyone buying such an item will be an experienced modeler, so this should not present any issues with assembly. For a less experienced builder, there are some very small parts involved, and there is a small edge on the inside-facing sides of the end pieces, that if missed, would add a little bit of a challenge during assembly.

I would like to thank the folks at Master Model for providing this kit to the IPMS/USA for review, to Steve Collins, who runs the review corps, for selecting me to do the build, and to you for taking the time to read my comments.\/p>


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