Developed in 1917 as a follow up to the MG-14, the MG-14/17 Parabellum was a machine gun used on WWI German aircraft that was capable of firing 700 rounds per minute of its deadly 7.92 mm ammunition. In addition to use on aircraft, my internet research also located photos of the guns used by the infantry. The offset 3-power scope shown in many of the photos is included with this Eduard release.
Eduard did a great job capturing the detail of the MG-14/17 with the gun itself, ammunition drum, and scope being cast in resin, while the ammunition drum faces and their details, barrel handle, front sight, scope mounts, scope ring, and trigger/guard being photo etched parts. The set includes 11 parts for each gun, with two guns contained in the kit, and a single sheet of paper with directions and recommended colors (Gunze color numbers are provided along with the noun names). Also mentioned in the instructions is a 12 mm piece of 0.25 mm wire, which is not included in this release.
Aside from mentioning that you should have experience in handling small photo etched parts to avoid frustration with this kit, I also recommend caution when removing excess resin between the stock and grip, as I accidentally lost one grip during my cleaning process. For construction, I used a mix of a medium viscosity CA and thin viscosity CA to attach the PE parts to my guns. I also tried out one of the new UV light activated glues to attach the ammunition drum to the gun itself as this instantly set the drum in place.
I painted the guns with a coat of Vallejo Surface Primer Black, which I used for the first time on this project, and was pleased with the results. I used Vallejo Burnt Cadmium Red to drybrush some color on the stock and grip, and then I utilized a drafting pencil to add tone to the bullets in the ammunition drum, while Humbrol Brass provided the shell color.
My hits for this set would have to start with the fine level of detail cast into the resin parts as well as the photoetched parts for the trigger and scope ring. The guns build up quick and easy, with only minimal cleanup of the resin items.
The only miss that I had, which may just be a personal item for me, was the lack of the wire for the brace between the ammunition drum and barrel. I purchased a long tube of stainless steel suture wire at my first IPMS Nationals (Virginia Beach, 1996), and thought that it looked about right compared to photos of the real gun.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend these Eduard MG-14/17 guns to modelers who are looking to add that extra level of detail to their 1/48 scale WWI German aircraft. The detail is great, and building the guns should not present a challenge to those experienced with resin and small photo etched parts.
I would like to thank the folks at Eduard for graciously providing this gun set to the IPMS-USA for review and to Dave Morrissette for allowing me to receive this set. I would also send kudos out to the assistants in the Review Corps for the great job they do in keeping the Corps running strong and as always, my appreciation to anyone who takes the time to read my comments.