Following directions from his officer pointing a swagger stick, the British gunner aimed and fired his Vickers medium machine gun at the German soldiers advancing across the field. His loader lying on his right fed the weapon with continuous 250-round belts of .303-inch cartridges until the water in the barrel-cooling jacket was boiling from the intense heat. The reliable weapon, mounted on a tripod, sustained high rates of fire as the British soldiers desperately held off the enemy attack. Dragon has a brand new 1/35 scale figure set that allows modelers to recreate such a scene from May 1940. The new set represents four “Tommies” from the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), a formation sent to Europe to dissuade Hitler from attacking Western Europe. After the Phoney War came to an abrupt end with Germany’s invasion of France and the Low Countries on 10 May, the BEF was forced back until much of the remnant was evacuated from Dunkirk by early June.
This exciting set fills a glaring gap in the range of plastic figures that are currently available on the market. The 1/35 scale Vickers medium MG is itself a work of art. The weapon sits on a tripod and it’s connected to the condenser container necessary for keeping it cool. Dragon has thoughtfully provided the MG with boxes of ammo, the same bullets as fired by the iconic Short Magazine Lee-Enfield rifle (Rifle No.1 Mk.III*). Two such SMLE rifles are included in the set. The British figures are sharply molded, and most are wearing the Mk.II steel helmet as well as greatcoats to protect against the night-time chill. The officer, on the other hand, is clad in a raincoat. The four figures of the MG team combine to create a very effective and dramatic vignette as they defend a strongpoint somewhere in France during the confused withdrawal. With these BEF figures, Dragon has greatly expedited the model-maker’s task of producing an early WWII scene.