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Jon Smith Modellbau - German 08/15 MG Set

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Product Description

Jon Smith Modellbau

120mm. Resin Cast.



Machine Gun 08/15 - Maschinengewehr 08/15 (3 parts)

Standard MG 08/15 Bipod - MG08/15 Zweibein

Rubber Steam Hose

Double-Ended Metal Spare Barrel Container - Ersatzrohr-Behälter

Drum Magazine - Trommelmagazine, or the official name: Patronenkasten 16 (2 parts)

Wooden Ammunition Boxes

Wooden Ammunition Box - open (3 parts)

Water Container - Wasserbehälter (2 parts)

Ammunition Belt

Stick Grenades - Stielhandgranaten M.15

Steel Helmet - Stahlhelm M.16


Gas Machine Gun 08/15: Maschinengewehr 08/15. Germany's first light machine gun - Maschinengewehr 08/15 entered service in the second half of 1916 and was available in greater numbers from 1917 onwards. Sir Hiram Maxim invented the first machine gun, and the original was patented in 1883. The need for an increase in the volume of fire, particularly in the attack and defending newly won ground, led to this somewhat cumbersome and heavy LMG. It was in reality a scaled-down version of the original MG 08, incorporating many interchangeable parts. To decrease the weight the constructors reduced the water capacity of the cooling jacket from 4 to 3 litres, redesigned the box receiver and removed the mount for the ZF12 telescopic sight. A pistol grip in place of the double-handed spaded grips and a wooden rifle type shoulder stock were added along with a lightweight bipod. A new flash hider (muzzle booster/flash suppressor) was introduced to give better recoil action. The savings resulted in a portable MG, still weighting 43 lbs. (19.5 Kg) but with the advantages of some interchangeable parts, same function, rate of fire, ammunition (also belts), similar training for crews already rehearsed on the MG 08 and ease of production at the same factories.


Conflicting accounts for the correct amount of crew, or Trupp for the MG 08/15 seem to vary between 3 and 4 (2 x trained gunners and 1 or 2 ammunition carriers). A second Trupp consisting of 7 riflemen and section commander could back up thisMG Trupp, or section. The two Trupps would form a Gruppe, the object being to defend the MG at all costs. It was possible with the aid of a leather sling and the 100 round drum magazine for the gun to be carried and operated by a single gunner.


The separate crank handle can be attached to the rear right side of the MG block. During firing the handle moves in a half cycle forwards and backwards. Using a small drill and a knife it is possible to hollow out the space inside the breach block, allowing for the ammunition belt to be placed into the opening - here the resin has been cast as thin as possible. This can also be applied to the inside of the forward and rear sling attachment (under the barrel jacket and in the wooden stock).


The term 08/15 (spoken ´Null Acht Funfsehn´) is used in the German language to describe anything, which is ordinary, or simple / crude - to describe something senseless - and apparently derived from this MG. Colour: the wooden pistol grip and shoulder stock were of a hard dark wood. The water jacket was either dark green or painted in the many different German outlined-camouflaged patterns seen on steal helmets - this was in fact an official directive from the High Command, but judging from original photos seems not to be too widespread. All other parts are dark gunmetal.


Standard MG 08/15 Bipod: MG08/15 Zweibein. This entirely new pressed-steel lightweight bipod was to replace the large and heavy sled mounts used with the MG 08 and allowed for a 180° traverse. It had a universal attachment fitting, which could be fitted to the Mauser T-Gewehr - Mauser anti-tank rifle. Colour: dark green.


Double-Ended Metal Spare Barrel Container: Designed to carry two spare barrels and a cleaning rod. This was an essential piece of equipment with the high rate of fire achieved by this weapon. Barrel changing was an important part of the training and could even be achieved whist the barrel jacket was still full of water. Colour; grey-green with pale coloured cloth straps and reinforced leather fastener holes.


Drum Magazine: Trommelmagazine. The side mounted drum magazine (or the official name: Patronenkasten 16) made out of sheet metal and incorporating a 100 round belt enabled the operating of the gun from the slung position by a single gunner. This magazine weighed fully loaded 3.17 Kg and was attached to the receiver by means of a bracket. The small handle on the rear face had to be lifted into the up position during firing to disengage the ratchet (on the model the handle is in the locked position, preventing the belt from unwinding itself). Normal allocation per gun would be 2 drum magazines, delivered in a wooden box. The round openings at each side of the drum are the actual rotating spindle (2 small discs). Looking into the top one can see 2 rounds cast into the bottom of the hole. On top of these can be placed the 3 separate rounds to indicate a full magazine. Colour: dark green. Discs - metal. A casting web is attached to the handle enabling a better flow of resin - this will need to be cut away.


Drum (Magazine) Bracket: A separate detachable bracket is supplied with the MG to support the drum magazine. On many original photos this seems to have always been attached to the MG, regardless if drum fed or from ammunition boxes. For the correct fixing of the bracket there is an indent and small ledge under the feed-block. For ease of casting the recess holes within the bracket have been filled, the outside edges still visible - theses can of cause be drilled out. Pictures of a finished MG can be seen on the JSM website from 2008 onwards.


Wooden Ammunition Boxes: The wooden ammunition box held a 250 round woven cotton belt with brass spacer. A push-in fastener held the lid closed with the metal handle folding into the crevice of the lid. One box has a detachable lid - the strip of ammunition can be painted separately and placed inside the open box afterwards. Plywood was used in making the original master ammunition box in order to maintain the wood grain surface structure.

The boxes, which I had looked at, had been painted originally in grey-green, with of cause the edges quite worn.


Ammunition Belt: The woven cotton belt with brass spacers and rounds in caliber 7.92mm. Different types of ammunition used were: standard ball, armoured- piercing and armoured-piercing tracer (1 every 10 rounds) the belts had a tendency to swell out when wet, loosening the rounds and sometimes causing stoppages. Colour: cotton belt - khaki or light yellow / brown. Case spacers - brass. Round heads - copper.


Rubber Steam Hose: The 2 m rubber steam hose would be attached into the top of the water jacket and is to extract the vaporized water, which is then collected within the water container / can. Firing from a trench, or fixed position the MG crew, provided that they had a sufficient water supply, would burry the end of the hose to one side of the gun and thus avoid the rising white plume of steam giving their exact position away. The condensed steam can if necessary be reused to refill the water jacket. Colour: dark matt coloured rubber - not quite black.

Tip: the hose has already been sanded matt with fine sandpaper - just rub paint (oil paint for example) into the hose and wipe off afterwards. At least one end of the hose is hollow and should fit over the hose -attachment on the MG.


Water Container: Used to collect the condense steam generated by the sustained firing of the MG and refill the cooling jacket afterwards. The swivel spout could be turned back into the recess of the can enabling better storage when not in use.

The water cans, which I had looked at, had been painted originally in different grey-greens. Like the wooden ammunition boxes these show considerable ware and tare on outside edges.


Steel Helmet: Stahlhelm M.16. This helmet, which first entered service in 1916 was designed by Professor Friedrich Schwerd and made from high quality chrome-nickel steel. Weighing between 950 and 1200g, depending on size - more heavier than the Allied helmets, but giving a better protection to the face, ears and neck. The horn venting bolts on each side enabled the fitting of an extra armoured shield over the helmet (also available in 1:15th, 120mm from JSM, winter 2008) for sentries, snipers or other more dangerous employment. This weighing around 2000g was seldom used; although a total of 50 000 were produced.  Colour: the helmet was issued in field- grey, but was sometimes repainted at the front with a four- colour camouflage scheme - red- brown, ochre (brownish- yellow), green and blue- grey. Some helmets had these patterns also outlined in black. Helmets were also covered using the light brown sandbag material, or the issued helmet-covers, seen particularly in the later war period.

The M.17 & 18 helmets followed with only slight differences to the inside and chin strap fasteners. The last model to see service during the war, if only in small numbers was the M.18 Ohrenausschnitt, or Helmet with ear cut-outs (also available in 1:15th, 120mm from JSM, winter 2008), more commonly (and stubbornly) known as the Cavalry or Telegraph Helmet. In fact the cut-outs were a further design feature of the M.18 to improve the hearing ability of the wearer.


Note: The rim and underneath edge of the helmet can be thinned out, giving a more realistic appearance of the original item - for casting reasons this has to be thicker. The brown card supplied can be used to represent leather or material chin straps etc. Cut the card approx. 1.2mm wide and 22 mm long and flatten or rub down on a hard surface with a blunt tool (handle of a modelling knife is ideal). Bend the strip around a pencil to give a natural curve and glue into position on the figure. The colour, thickness and texture achieved from rubbing down the card gives a good reproduction of leather in this scale.


Stick Grenade: Stielhandgranate M.15. The second type of German stick grenade to be issued (in greater numbers from 1916 onwards). The turned wooden handle would have the fuse duration stamped on one side, along with the makers name and production date. This grenade had the advantage of a screw cap, covering the porcelain ball and pulls cord igniter-system, keeping it dry and free from dirt. Most stick grenades were set with a 5.5 or 7-second time delay. The cap crown has 8 knurled indents to enable a better grip in wet/muddy conditions, or when wearing cloves. The metal clip on the side of the explosive charge is for attaching to equipment etc. On some original photos it can be seen that the screw caps have already been removed, ready for instant use if needed. The original master model was made using a fine grain wood to reproduce the surface of the handle. Colour: Metal parts - green/grey. Wooden stick/handle - untreated wood starts turning grey after a length of time when exposed to the elements.

Note: with a bit of care and a thin, sharp blade it is possible to hollow out the gap behind the clip and the explosive charge, not forgetting to leave the bottom part of the clip still attached




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