M1917 US Machine Gun

Published on
January 12, 2024
Review Author(s)
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Company: Special Hobby - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Special Hobby - Website: Visit Site
Packaged product

The M1917 Browning is a crew-served, belt-fed, water-cooled heavy machine gun used by the United States armed forces in World War I and World War II, through the Korean War (National Guard and Reserve units had them in their inventory through the 1970s). It was also employed by over a dozen foreign militaries. The M1917 had a long life and modelers have a plethora of options for a model of this ubiquitous machine gun in 1/35 scale.

Special Hobby hit it out of the park with this mixed media kit. A bulk of the parts are 3D printed resin with a PE fret. The kit comes with the machine gun, gun cradle (with traverse and elevation mechanism), tripod, water condensing can, and two sets of ammo cans (wooden WWI and steel WWII) – one closed and one opened. The modeler will have to source a wire piece for the cradle and flexible wire/rubber for the cooling water tube.

The kit arrives well protected in a unique plastic clamshell design with packing foam to protect the 3D printed parts; there is even a plastic cover to separate the PE fret. The instruction sheet highlights the 3D printed parts, which come in a cluster that have to be carefully removed. I recommend starting with removal with the larger pieces and working your way to smaller, using the instruction sheet as reference. Fortunately, a few of the small parts (Nos. 7, 14, and 18) are duplicate for the inevitable breakage or sacrifice to the carpet monster.

The parts are tiny and care must be taken in removal and assembly. Heavy handedness with super glue will not serve you well, and good optics enhancers are your friend. I will admit to being intimated when starting this model as the detail is truly fine.

There are a few drawbacks I noted. Already mentioned are the lack of the wire for the cradle and wire for the water-cooling hose (both are easy enough to replicate). A recommended angle to set the tripod would be helpful (although this really depends on how the model is to be displayed); take your time assembling the tripod and cradle so the machine gun sits at the angle desired. If this is being built for a figure, ensure the figure is test fitted to the gun before gluing. The final nitpick is the ammunition belt PE. It doesn’t have a lot of detail, but it can be “hidden” in the open ammo can with enough of it showing to look convincing. Take your time and you will soon be rewarded with a beautifully built replica of the M1917 machine gun.

I had a lot of fun building this gem from Special Hobby. This kit is a great build out of the box with plenty of detail. The M1917 machine gun served a lot of militaries for a long time, so its use on models, vignettes and dioramas is only limited by one’s imagination. I know we will soon see a lot of these beautiful little kits in the near future.

Profuse thanks to Special Hobby and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.


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