This is, to my knowledge, the third incarnation of the DML Jeep, the first being the SAS release from Cyberhobby, which was much criticized, the second being the armored jeep with .50 cal machine gun, which featured quite a few improvements and has been reviewed by Andy Renshaw here :
There were many field modified armored jeeps, featuring .30 and .50 cal machine guns and the version represented here with two bazookas. One wonders why DML abandoned their practice to release 2 or even 3 in 1 kits, as this could have been the perfect candidate for a 3 in 1 kit. Maybe their next release will be an armored Jeep with .30 cal machine gun?
The Jeep represented here was a field modified variant, done by an I & R platoon of the 60th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division. It was a simple conversion mounting two 2.35-inch bazookas on a .50 cal pedestal mount. The only two photos I know of were taken on 16 January 1945 in the Ardennes/Belgium. They can be found in Concordís ďThe Battle of the BulgeĒ, No. 7045 by Steven Zaloga, on page 62. You can also find them in this thread on Armorama:
The box contains three gray sprues of parts with the chassis, the body and the windscreen separate. There is one small clear sprue, one PE fret and one decal sheet. Most of the sprues are the same as in the previous release so I will concentrate on the new bits for this review.
Sprue B contains all the parts for the chassis and is unchanged from the previous release. Several parts here are not used. Sprue C (black) is also carried over from the previous release and contains the wheels and front grille. The chassis and body are also carried over from the previous release without any noticeable changes.
Sprue A is unchanged as well. Attached to this is sprue C (blue) which is new for this release. As is evident when comparing to the previous release, the bazookas and the .50cal are on the same mold, so even more it makes me wonder why there was no 2 in 1 release here. The sprue contains the mount and the two bazookas. A slide mold was used here to make the bazookas' well detailed with an open muzzle.
The PE fret is new, though evidently based on the previous one. There are some additional parts but no changes to the old ones. This is especially evident for the armored shield. This should have a round cut out on co-driverís side which is not there, although it is on the box art, specifically mentioned on the back of the box and also indicated in the painting instructions, though not on the build instructions. Another item specifically pointed out on the back of the box is the attachment of the font armor plate to the side plates, as well as the noticeable gap between the plates, which would necessitate there being three separate parts. Altogether DML obviously have done the research on this part but have not carried it over to the kit.
Another obvious omission is the rifle rack mounted on the driverís side. From the reference photos I would say there was an M1 carbine mounted. DML have completely left out this part.
Other PE items are for the jerry can rack; a feature I really like and hopefully it will be carried over to other allied kits. Also new are straps to hold down the canvas frame, another nice feature.
The last new part is a canvas covered windscreen. While the canvas is very realistic, I donít like the lower end of the screen which instead of an opening is just flat and closed. While this is not too noticeable on this release since it will be on the side of the armored shield, It would have been better to use a slide mold here for someone who doesnít want to add the armor or for future releases.
The decal sheet is the same as the previous release with the exception of the vehicle registration number. A nice feature is all the dashboard gauges and information plates, which are all provided at least twice so you can use them on other kits as well.
Altogether I agree with Andy that the basic Jeep is nice, though there are no significant advantages over the recent Bronco release unless you want to build this particular version. The relatively high price also makes the Tamiya Jeep still a very good option, the only significant disadvantage being that Tamiya has no PE.
To get an altogether accurate armored shield you will have to cut the armor plate apart to make three separate parts. You will also have to add a rifle rack to the driverís side.