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Found 49 results

  1. Dornier Do.217J-1/2 (48272) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The origin of the Do.217 was the Do.17 Flying Pencil as it was colloquially known, to extract more power from the engines, extend its range and give it a better bomb load amongst other improvements. The resulting airframe was a good one and left the early war designs in its wake becoming known as a heavy bomber in Luftwaffe service, something they were very short of throughout the war. It was also a versatile aircraft much like the Ju.88, and was adapted to many other roles like its predecessors, including the night fighter role, to which it was suited, although not initially. Various engine types were used through the endless rounds of improvements, with radial and inline engines fitted in a seemingly random pattern throughout the aircraft's life. The first night fighter was the J-1 with radial engines, had a crew of three in an enlarged cockpit and solid nose sporting four MG17 machine guns and another four 20mm cannons in the front of the gondola for concentrated forward fire. The crews disliked it due to the increased weight of the extra equipment however, and criticism led to an order to cease production of the night fighter variants, which Dornier either didn't receive or chose to ignore. The J-2 was little better, changing the 20mm FF/M cannons out for MG151s and removing the vestigial aft bomb bay, which was faired over with an appropriate drop in overall weight. Some of this weight was gained back with the installation of the FuG 202 Lichtenstein radar. This still wasn’t enough and the crews continued complaining, leading Dornier to produce the improved N series, which eventually entered service in small numbers as the N-1 and N-2 variants. The Kit This is a minor tooling revision from ICM, based upon the sprues from the J series’ successor, the N series that ICM tooled first. You can see our review of the N-1 here, and you might recognise the main sprue pictures below if you view them side-by-side (hint: they’re the same pics). The additional sprues cover parts for the backdating of the engines and nacelles to the earlier BMW 801 radials, as well as a new nose cone and cover for the radar equipped J-2 and earlier J-1 with its clean radar-free nose. New Sprues Construction begins with the well-detailed cockpit and fuselage, which is almost identical to the N until you reach the nose cone, giving you a choice of the unadorned J-1 nose with cover for the tip where previous variants had searchlights, or the similar J-2 nose that has a pair of supports for the radar whiskers. The wings and tail are also identical to the N, although the new engines and nacelles are where things start to diverge properly. The radial BMW units are made up from two banks of pistons, the rear set having a bulkhead moulded in, then has the ancillaries and cooling fan added to the front. The cowlings are built in sections with exhaust stubs fitted to the insides, with three sections linked to complete the cylindrical cowling into which the engine slots before being locked in by the front cowling lip. This of course is done twice, as are the nacelles, which have ribbing detail moulded within and bulkheads to add detail and prevent see-through issues. The engine cowling slots onto the front of the nacelle and the retraction jacks are installed from above before it is fitted to the wing, as are the main oleos, mudguards and the two-piece wheels. You can also add in the gear bay doors at this point if you’re a masochist, or leave them off until main painting is over. The underside is completed by adding in the engine nacelles, completing the rear of the gondola under the nose with its glazing and inserting the closed bomb bay doors for the J-1, or by leaving the bay open, adding the extra fuel tank that was used to extend range, and installing the bifold doors in the open position. The retractable rear wheel also has its doors fitted with a small insert in front of the bay, finishing off the area. Flipping the model over shows the open cockpit, which needs the remaining parts adding before the glazing can be glued in place. Some small parts are added to the inside of the canopy before it is put in place, with the rear turret and defence machine gun added into the rear fairing. Additional appliqué armoured glass is present on the two front canopy panels, which can be “glued” with some clear varnish, making certain you haven’t trapped any bubbles between the parts before you set it to one side to dry. The next steps involve guns. Lots of them. All the barrels are slotted into the nose and your choice of nose cap is fitted, with the radar whiskers made up and cut to size for the J-2 decal options. The props are made up from a single part with all blades moulded in, then trapped between the front and rear parts of the spinner. The last parts are a set of cheek “pouches” at are fixed to either side of each nacelle with a set of curved grilles moulded in, and two exhaust deflectors on the top of the nacelles. Markings There are four decal options available from the decal sheet, only one of which is a J-1, the rest being J-2s of course. There are a variety of paint schemes too, with three using splinter on the upper surfaces but with three different heights of demarcation between the top and bottom colours that will require you to stay on the ball when masking. The other option is an all-black machine with all the opportunities of weathering and fading that black allows. I remember my art teacher telling me there is no such thing as true black, but that was before Black 3.0 was released! From the box you can build one of the following: Do.217J-1 II./NJG 1, Hungary 1944 Do.217J-2, Germany Spring 1942 Do.217J-2, Germany Autumn 1942 (with optional camouflage variation) Do.217J-2, 4./NJG 3, Denmark, 1944 The decals aren’t marked by its printers, but they’re in good register with colour density and sharpness that should be more than acceptable for use and have a glossy carrier film that is cut close to the printing, with a few exceptions on the codes. Conclusion Another detailed kit of the Flying Pencil and its relatives, filling a gap in the range that’s now available from ICM. I can’t wait to see what’s next? Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Wehmacht 3t Trucks (DS3507) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd. While tanks and fighting vehicles maybe the more glamours side of vehicles used by armies it is often forgotten that the humble truck is the back bone of logistics; without which no army in the world can unction. This set from ICM brings together three of their 3t German truck models under one box lid. Typ L3000S German Truck (35420) Standardising from 1940 on the Mercedes Benz design in order to simplify spares and maintenance, the L3000S was one of many variants of the truck to see service. Powered by a 4 cylinder 4.85 litre diesel engine with four-wheel drive and able to carry up to 3 tonnes of cargo, it was a workhorse that saw service in almost every theatre of WWII where there was a German presence with almost 30,000 made. Consisting of three large sprues, a clear sprue, three pairs of rubberised tyres, decal sheet and instructions, this is a full engine kit with detailed chassis, multi-part engine assembly, cab and truck bed. Construction begins with the chassis and engine, suspension and exhaust, then moves to the front fenders, driveshafts attaching the rear axle in place, and steering arms at the front, both attaching to the leaf suspension. The wheels have two-part hubs that the rubbery tyres slip over, with two at the front and two pairs on different style hubs on the rear axle. The crew cab is made up with floor, instrument panel with decals, bench-style seat, then the various external panels that box in the crew. There is a small window to the rear, and the main windscreen aperture is moulded into the roof and firewall cowling, while the doors are separate mouldings that can be posed open or closed with separate winders and handles, plus clear panels all round the cab. Before the engine bay is boxed in the cab is joined with the chassis, then the front bumper/fender is glued to the end of the chassis rails and the three-part cowling with separate radiator is dropped between the front wings to complete the chassis. If you were minded, you could score the top panel of the cowling to display the engine, and if the thickness of the part bothered you, you could cut a new one from brass using the original as a template and rolling the edges. The smaller parts such as lights, number plate holders and windscreen wipers are fitted after the cargo bed has been made up. The cargo bed is built on the floor, with upstands latching into their hinge-points and the addition of front fixed panel and the rear door giving it some rigidity. Five cross-braces are added underneath and are joined together by two additional longitudinal rails where they join with the chassis. A spare wheel, stowage boxes and spare fuel cans in cages are then fitted to the underside with the rear mudguards suspended from boxed in sections. The bed fits onto the chassis by a quartet of pegs that locate in corresponding slots in the chassis rail, then the aforementioned lights, pioneer tools and windscreen wipers are glued in place around the model. Markings There are four options on the decal sheet, only two of which are theatre specific to this boxing and painted grey. Not everyone will stick to the theme though, which is fair enough as it's your model. From the box you can build one of the following: WH-272 104 Ukraine, Summer 1941 WL-34548 Russia, Summer 1942 WH-858 842 North Africa, Summer 1942 WH-76836 Italy, Summer 1944 KHD S3000 German Truck (35451) From 1940 onward the German army, by standardizing and simplifying the numerous types of trucks, tried to improve the procurement of spare parts and facilitate repairs. The result was the standard 3 ton truck, which all German manufacturers now used as a basis for construction. This was also the basis on which the motor manufacturer Klöckner Humboldt Deutz AG, (KHD) of Cologne produced the A3000. Various bodies and sets of equipment were available, including a half track, “maultier”. A typical recognition feature was the oval radiator grille and one-piece windscreen. In total about 5960 examples were built between 1940 and 1944. The 4 wheel drive A3000 came to be used on all fronts in the Second World War and was indispensable for supplying the troops with goods of all kinds. The build starts with the nicely detailed engine with the block and gearbox halves glued together followed by the addition of the rocker covers, starter motor, alternator, front engine mounts, cooling fan, air filter, and other sundry items. The instructions then move on to the complicated transfer box, with its input and output shafts and cross member frame that fits onto the chassis rails with the addition of four other cross members and rear chassis end piece, to which the towing eye, cover and pin are added, along with the front mudguards and engine are attached. The front and rear leaf springs are pre moulded to the chassis rails, the front and rear axles and transfer box are then fitted. Turning the rails over the engine can now be fitted plus the exhaust system, which comprises of four parts, and looks particularly fragile so it may be an idea to build in situ rather than as a separate assembly the instructions call for. The two driveshafts are then be added, as are the radiator/front chassis end piece. The steering rack assembly is built up using the four parts provided and, if the modeller chooses can be built up so that the front wheels are pose able, although this may make it rather fragile, particularly the rear tie rod. After fitting the various brackets and supports as well as the front bumper, it’s onto the wheels, these come as single piece tyres plus inner and outer hubs. There are seven provided, singles for the front, doubles for the rear and a spare which fits on the chassis behind the cab and under the bed, along with the four piece fuel tank. The building of the cab begins with filing off the ejection pins marks on the underside of the floor, before fitting the pedals, steering column, steering wheel and handbrake handle. The seat support and cushion is fitted to the floor, whilst the windscreen, instrument panel, (with decal instruments), are fitted to the roof/front part of the cab. Onto the rear panel of the cab the seat back and rear screen are attached. The next assembly for the cab is the bonnet, which is made up of left and right hand parts, bonnet and radiator grille. The completed bonnet cannot easily be made to be posed either open, which is a shame. To finish off the foot plates are attached along with the doors, which are made of the external panels, door cards, clear parts, and door handles. Last details are the wing mirrors, lights, wipers; grab handles, spade, triangular roof marker, jerry can and its support bracket. The last assembly is the truck bed, with the bed itself being fitted with the side, rear, and front plank sections. On the underside, four lateral strengthening beams, plus the two wheel arches are fitted with their attachment struts. The kit comes complete with four tilt rails that attach to the outsides of the truck bed sides. To complete the build the windscreen wipers, wing mirrors, grab handles, headlamps, and width markers are glued into their respective positions. Markings There are two markings on the sheet; A. KHD S3000 Ukraine 1942 in overall Grey B. KHD S3000 France Summer 1944 in Yellow/Green camo. V S3000 (1941 Production) German Army Truck (35411) From 1940 onwards the German army, by standardizing and simplifying the numerous types of trucks, tried to improve the procurement of spare parts and facilitate repairs. The result was the standard 3 ton truck, which all German manufacturer snow used as a basis for construction. This was also the basis on which the motor manufacturer in Cologne produced the "V3000S" from 1941 onwards. Various bodies and sets of equipment were available. A typical recognition feature was the oval radiator grille and one-piece windscreen. In total about 25,000 examples were built. The "V 3000 S" came to be used on all fronts in the Second World War and was indispensable for supplying the troops with goods of all kinds. The build starts with the nicely detailed engine with the block and gearbox halves glued together followed by the addition of the rocker covers, starter motor, alternator, front engine mounts, cooling fan, air filter, cooling pipes, gear stick and other sundry items. The instructions then move on to the chassis rails with the addition of five cross members and rear chassis end piece, to which the towing eye, cover and pin are added. To the top of the main rails the two sub rails are added. These are then further secured to the main rails by six ties and clamps. The front and rear leaf springs are fitted along with the rear axle and transfer box. Turning the rails over the engine can now be fitted plus the exhaust system, which comprises of seven parts, and looks particularly fragile so it may be an idea to build in situ rather than as a separate assembly the instructions call for. The two driveshafts can then be added, as can the radiator/front chassis end piece. The steering rack assembly is built up using the four parts provided and, if the modeller chooses can be built up so that the front wheels are posable, although this may make it rather fragile, particularly the rear tie rod. After fitting the various brackets and supports as well as the front bumper and tow hooks, it’s onto the wheels, these come as single piece tyres and outer wheels. There are seven provided, singles for the front, doubles for the rear and a spare which fits on the chassis behind the cab and under the bed. The inner wheels are glued whilst an middle part is not, to enable the wheels to turn when fitted to the axles which most modellers probably wouldn’t be bothered with. The building of the cab begins with filing off the ejection pins marks on the underside of the floor, before fitting the pedals, steering column, steering wheel and handbrake handle. The seat support and cushion is fitted to the floor, whilst the windscreen, instrument panel, with decal instruments, are fitted to the roof/front part of the cab. Onto the rear panel of the cab the seat back and rear screen are attached. The next assembly for the cab is the bonnet, which is made up of left and right hand parts, bonnet and bonnet ornament strake. The completed bonnet can then be posed either opened or closed. The final part of the cab is the engine bay which is built up of the left and right hand sides, radiator grille, and rear bulkhead. These five sub assemblies are then fitted together to make the full front assembly, which is then fitted to the chassis. To finish off the front, the mud guards/foot plates are attached along with the doors, which are made of the external panels, door cards, clear parts, and door handles. Last details are the wing mirrors, lights, wipers; grab handles, spade, triangular roof marker, jerry can and its support bracket. The last assembly is the truck bed. This is built up with the bed itself, five strengthening beams on the underside along with two storage containers and rear number plate. There are four supports for each of the rear mudguards and the mudguards themselves to be fitted before flipping the assembly over and attaching the front sides and rear panels. On the front panel, two brackets are attached, into which the hoops for a canvas cover, which is not supplied. The whole assembly is then attached to the chassis, completing the build. Markings There are four markings options on the small sheet;; A. V3000S Russia Summer 1942 (Overall Grey) B. V3000S Russia Winter 1942 (Overall white) C. V3000S Italy 1943 (Overall Grey) D. V3000S Sicily June 1943 (Two tone grey camo) Conclusion This is a great combination set that offers a lot in the box that would keep you busy for quite a long time, and for the price of one large tank model (i.e. almost half its individual RRP). Two vehicles and eight figures plus weapons in total, and lots of lovely detail that just begs to be made into a diorama. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Heinkel He.111Z-1 Zwilling (48260) 1:48 ICM via Hannants For much of the late 30s and well into WWII the Heinkel He.111 was pretty much the largest bomber in the German arsenal, as they had pinned their colours wholeheartedly to the fast bomber getting in and out without being molested by fighters that could barely keep up with them. This wasn’t the case by the time hostilities broke out, and as this became apparent with mounting losses, the Heinkels were sent out with a swarm of fighters protecting them from the Hurricanes and Spitfires of the RAF over Britain. In a parallel track the Reich had some positive experiences with using gliders to take troops into combat, which led to the designing the massive Me.321 Gigant (pronounced Geegant in German) glider that was capable of carrying a huge amount of hardware and manpower within its voluminous interior. They needed a towing aircraft, and initially used a trio of Bf.110s, but it was difficult to synchronise their activities to maintain thrust and directional control. This led to the bright idea of attaching two He.111s together with a new central wing panel to reduce the engineering load of designing a whole new airframe for the purpose. They took the fuselages of two He.111H-6s each with the port or starboard wing removed outboard of the engine mount-point, and a new aerofoil linking them housing an additional engine, in order to give extra power to the twinset. Zwilling is German for twin, so you can see where the Z came from. Later on, it occurred to the RLM to use the same airframe as a long-range bomber, and even as a reconnaissance aircraft to take advantage of the additional fuel load it could carry, as their front-line airfields were pushed further back by the advancing Allies. The Kit Starting in 2017, ICM have been bringing out a new range of He.111 kits that we have reviewed over the years. One such boxing was the He.111H-6, which is the basis for this kit, although there are a lot of additional parts in this boxing, both in duplication of engines, fuselage, tail planes and landing gear, but also the main plane between the two fuselages with three new engine nacelles and a giant flap at the trailing edge. The spars have also had to be revisited to adapt to the flat plane of the central section, so as you can imagine there are a lot of sprues in the box. The box is long and large, with a painting of the aircraft on the front in a winter distemper, and when you cut the tape holding the lid on, there is an immediate surprise as two parts trays drop out, with the usual ICM captive lid on each one. The parts are spread between the two trays, and you have twenty six sprues in grey styrene, four in clear, a long decal sheet, and the instruction booklet that has colour profiles at the rear for painting and decaling. Construction for most of the build follows the building of a single kit…. Errr, twice. The bit in the middle is completely new of course, so that’s where we’ll concentrate our attention. It starts with the two asymmetrical spars, which consist of two lengths separated by the boxed-in wheel wells and a walkway part. One is left-handed, the other right with the two horizontal lengths making the basis for the centre panel. It is worth noting that although the majority of the centre panel is horizontal, there is still dihedral on the section between the wing and first inboard engine to reduce the changes needed to the wing root. Small parts are added to the pair of fuselage frames along the way, and these are joined by a mid-upper gun mount and accompanying seat that is fixed to a length of floor behind the wings that leads to another smaller bulkhead toward the tail. Two cockpit floors are assembled in tandem with the pilot’s precarious frontal position and controls attached along with rudder pedals and comfortable-looking armoured seat. The four fuselage halves are prepped with wing root internal skins, windows and small exterior inserts, then a long rack of ammo for the mid-upper gun, the gun itself with dump-bag, and more glazing in the gondola. Each airframe half still runs on its own main gear and tail wheels for weight distribution, the latter being made up from a large leg, retraction jacks and a two-part wheel with integral hub that slips between the fuselage halves before closure. Each spar/cockpit assembly is then slid into the starboard fuselage half and once the radio gear is installed in the port side near another MG, the fuselage is closed up, another seat and the pilot’s control column are fitted in the forward compartment. The rudder is glued to the moulded-in fin with an actuator, and the bomb bay sides are slid inside the fuselage, then the assembly is flipped over to add the mid-upper insert with turret framing added above and below the aperture. The elevators are separate from their fins, and an insert is placed over the bomb bay, which includes raised portions for the carrying of bombs that is, for this version at least, a vestige of its original role that is reused to extend the aircraft's range. The cockpit’s three-part asymmetric nose glazing is joined together using a non-hazing cement with the same glue used for the overhead panel, which has its own decal like the other panels in the cockpit, then it is added to the nose along with the roof opening panel that slips into the frame provided. By this stage you should have two almost complete fuselages and a hankering to join them together! Each one has an underside skin added between the fuselage and the inner wing, then the main lower wing panels are added left, right and centre, giving you the first indication of how big this model is going to be. There’s no going back now though! Five engines are built up from a good number of parts each, then they are mounted in their firewall positions on their four bearers. The centre engine has a new panel slotted into the gap between the two spars, then all five engines are cowled up and have their radiator scoops added in a step-by-step manner, then covered up by the wing root panels and the three main upper wings plus ailerons, of which there are only two. That must be one long control wire/rod. The cowling is finished off over the next few steps with the exhaust stacks, another intake on the topside and the two hemispherical nose gun glazing parts. Everything happens in multiples on this kit, which is a good test of your production-line skills. The next line includes making up the four main gear legs and two-part wheels, the two front and rear gondola glazing parts with their guns in each section. Additional leg supports are added once they are secure in their bays, then the semi-flush pylons under the bomb bays are decked out with a pair of fuel tanks each, using two sway-braces on each one to hold them steady during flight. Main gear bay doors are fitted in four pairs, then you’ll need to get a friend to help you flip the airframe over to add the props, which are made up of two part spinner and a single three-bladed prop, plus a choice of mid-upper glazing in the open or semi-closed position. Add some aerials and pitot probes and then it’s time to realise your spray-booth isn’t big enough for the task. Oops. Markings There weren’t many of these built, but two of them have made it onto the decal sheet, with schemes as different as chalk and green splintered cheese. Look below if you can’t understand a word of what I’m talking about. From the box you can build one of the following: He.111Z-1 Eastern Front, Winter 1942-1943 He.111Z-1 Eastern Front, Spring 1943 Decals are printed anonymously, but it looks like a DecoGraph affair, with good register clarity and density of print. Conclusion I’m beyond excited about this release. I’ve no idea why, but I have a fondness for the Zwillings and to have one of the He.111 in 1:48 in injection moulded styrene is an awesome thought. The ICM He.111 is the new gold standard in 1:48, so two of them joined in the middle is just gravy. Super-dooper highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Wehrmacht Radio Trucks (DS3509) Henschel 33D1 & Krupp L3H163 w/Kfz.72 1:35 ICM Via Hannants Ltd Radios were a little larger in WWII than they are now, so any radio with a decent range needed to be transported by a truck if it was to be mobile, and to a certain extent that's still true. The German Army use different chassis with the same Kfz.72 body with panelled wood sides to contain the equipment and crew needed for communications, which was a crucial aspect of their then-new Blitzkrieg warfare technique. the Henschel 33 truck was a product of the mid-30s and remained in service with the Wehrmacht until 1942, able to carry just over 3 tonnes and powered by a 6-litre petrol engine and made in substantial quantities. The Krupp L3H163 chassis was also used, with similar capabilities as the Henschel, although it was a slightly more modern design originating in 1936 and using Pneumatic braking systems to slow the 110hp engine’s roll. The Kit This is an amalgamation of two kits from the ICM stable, both of which were released originally in 2012 in their radio truck guise. It makes a lot of sense in the same way it did to the Germans at the time, although why they used two types rather than one for simplicity… well, it’s a good thing they did as it made for more complex and back-end heavy maintenance that helped slow things down for them. The kit arrives in a deep glossy box with a painting of the two types next to each other, showing how they differ mainly forward of the Kfz.72 body section, although the accessories and so forth are different between the two types, giving them some individuality. It’s a full box with seven sprues of grey styrene and a clear sprue for the Henschel truck, and nine sprues plus clear in the Krupp bag. Each kit has its own instruction booklet in the slightly older style, with a small decal sheet hidden within the pages of each one. Henschel 33D1 w/Kfz.72 Radio Truck Beginning with the six-cylinder engine and its ancillaries, the chassis rails are next with running boards fitted along with cross-rails, crew stirrups and some stowage, oil containers and jack block. The rear wheels are made up from a pair of tyres with moulded-in hub, joined to the rear by a two-part brake drum assembly. Four of these are made, and then set aside while the chassis is progressed by the insertion of the engine, front axle, steering box, exhaust and air-tanks at the rear. The transmission is assembled with the transfer boxes and drive shafts distributing the power to the rear axles that are mounted on twin leaf-springs on the top and bottom of the hub. The twin wheels are added to the ends of the four axles, and two single-part front wheels are attached to the front along with steering linkage. At this point the chassis is complete, and the body is then begun, starting with the cab. The cab is begun with the driver controls being inserted into a pedal box, instrument panel installed on two brackets, and steering wheel made up and all three assemblies fitted to the firewall along with the window frames and their clear glazing. A full-width bench seat is assembled and added to the cab floor with the front, sides and rear, the latter three having glazing added along the way. The back of the seat fits to the rear wall, and after a lick of paint, the corrugated roof is added, then closed in by the two crew doors with glazing, handles and winders. These can of course be fitted open or closed as you see fit. The front wings/fenders glue onto the chassis with large tabs holding them in place, and the radiator is slipped into the front rail of the chassis in preparation for the cab, which has its cowling made up along the centre rail, which can have its doors flipped up to view the engine. The cab is fitted to the chassis with the cowling once the radio cabin is completed. The cabin is basically a rectangular box with window (and door) cut-outs on the sides and front, a door cut-out at the rear, and two wheel well inserts cutting into the cabin floor. The rest of the cabin is empty, so if you want the extra detail inside you’ll need to do some research on the likely configuration of the interior. The wooden panelled cabin is completed by the curved ribbed roof, the rear door and side door with their glazing panels. The chassis, cab and radio cabin are mated with additional tools, antenna tubes, rear-view mirrors and an upstand enclosure for stowage on the roof, then more small parts such as jacks, lights, cowling clasps, a roof-mounted light bar, pioneer tools, steps, ramps for getting out of mud, and even some foot-pegs to reach the roof and get the stowage. Markings Any colour you like as long as it’s panzer grey. The two decal options are for vehicles in Poland and the Ukraine, with just a few number plates and small stencils completing the job. Decals are well-printed with crisp instrument dials for the panel in the cab. Krupp L3H163 w/Kfz.72 Radio Truck The build of this truck is very similar to the Henschel for obvious reasons. There are some differences to the equipment attached to the chassis, such as winches and the placement of fuel tank and stowage, then at the rear wheels there are large horizontal springs playing a part in the suspension while the front rests on leaf-springs. The cab has a central driver position and full-width instrument panel with some minor cab shape differences, which also extends to the cowling over the engine. The Kfz.72 cabin is based on many of the same parts as the Henschel as you'll see from the pictures, with the differences mainly in terms of the equipment attached to the exterior. In addition, the cab roof also gets a stowage enclosure fitted to the roof for even more carriage capacity. Externally, all the same tools and equipment are fitted to the vehicle but in different places, plus the addition at the rear of a pair of covered-up wind-up antennae that sit either side of the back door of the cabin. Markings It’s panzer grey again, and this time the vehicles depicted are from France and the Ukraine, with a similarly small and concise decal sheet including instrument panel dials for the cab. Conclusion Thanks to the communication needs of Blitzkrieg, these vehicles were ubiquitous wherever German command was established, with more sent closer to the front lines to extend lines of communication and keep abreast of changes on the battlefield. Having two of them in one box gives extra options and the opportunity to load up on Panzer Grey once to paint them both at the same time. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  5. T-34 “Tyagach” Model 1944, Soviet Recovery Machine 1:35 ICM (35371) Like many tanks there are invariably different versions produced and one of these which is needed is that for armoured recovery. The T-34 was no exception, these vehicles were needed to protect the crews when engaged in recovery operations under fire, and had in most cases the power to recover other armoured vehicles, if not tanks. Some older T-34s were built as Tyagach (tractors) with the turrets removed. The Kit Here ICM have re-boxed their 2015 new tool T-34 with the additional parts for the Tractor, indeed it looks like all the parts for the T-34 are still in the box. It arrives in their usual box with the extra flap over the lower tray. Inside are six sprues and two hull halves in green styrene, tracks and towing cables in flexible black styrene, decal sheet and the instruction booklet, which is printed in colour and has profiles at the rear for painting and markings. From the description above, you'll note that these are rubber-band tracks, which suits some and not others, and if you're a fan of metal or individual link styrene tracks, you've probably got your favourite brands already. The detail is nice with a little room for improving the detail with some etched grilles etc., but for most of us the detail is pretty good out of the box, and even though this is an exterior only kit, you get an almost complete breech if you want to pose the turret hatches open, plus a driver's position. For a change the build begins with the upper hull, detailing it with bow machine gun installation with a movable ball, the armoured vents and filling in the other cut-outs on the engine deck, plus the driver's large hatch at the front, which is best left closed unless you're planning on scratching a full interior to back up the seats! The rear bulkhead, armoured exhaust spats and the pipes themselves are all added at the back, and it is then put to the side while the lower hull is prepared with some holes that need drilling, the suspension boxes gluing in behind the hull sides, and the fender extensions added at the rear. After saying there's no interior, there is a pair of control levers and two comfy seats to fit inside the lower hull, but unless you're crowding the area with some beefy figures, there's still a big gap behind them that might be seen. The axles with their swing-arms are all fitted to the hull after the two halves are joined, with two attachment points, the final-drive housing is built up at the rear, and the idler axle slots into the front in preparation for the road wheels, which are supplied individually to make into pairs before they are glued onto the axles. The same happens to the idler and drive sprockets on both sides, then some light detail is applied to the hull in the shape of towing shackles, tie-down bars, and the tracks are joined, then installed. The tracks are in two parts each, which link together seamlessly, but don't react to liquid cement at all, so use super glue (CA), although the instructions are mute on the subject. Aligning the joins at the centre of the track run should hide any visible seams, especially if you're going to paint and weather them with some mud and grit. There is a simple round plug with a built in hatch to replace turret. The hull is then finished off with additional fuel tanks and tarp rolls, plus two tow cables. Markings There are no actual markings provided for this one, and the colour is any you want as long as it Russian green Conclusion It is good to see ICM bringing us a kit of a support vehicle like this. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  6. WWI ANZAC Desert Patrol (DS3510) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Formed in 1914, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) played a substantial part in WWI often in areas that are seldom given the prominence of the Western Front. They were a major player in Gallipoli where they were heavily mauled due to the Lions led by Donkeys approach that pervaded at the time. They also served in Palestine and Egypt, and it was the former where they used the then new Ford Model T to replace the previous vehicles that were suffering due to the poor availability of spares, They used six of them as Light Armoured Cars, often mounting weapons in a manner that became more familiar in WWII in the shape of the LRDG. The Kits The kits arrive in the usual ICM top-opening box with the captive flap on the lower tray and artwork depicting the contents on the lid. Whoever puts those lids together certainly makes them tight and difficult to get off even after cutting the tape between the two parts. Model T 1917 Touring WWI Australian Service (35667) Despite being small, this is a full-detail kit and includes a nicely detailed representation of the engine using 11 parts, a two-part radiator that is moulded into the front axle and attaches to the front of the body shell along with four lifting eyes inside the engine compartment. The completed engine is dropped in behind the rad and with the chassis upended the exhaust is put in place linked to the exhaust manifold on the side of the block. The rear axle of the Model T was suspended on a single lateral leaf-spring, and this is next to be constructed along with the differential and drive shaft assembly. This is also fitted to the underside with various swing-arms and the steering mechanism, then the four single-part wheels are installed and the model is righted once you've had a few moments to appreciate the detail of the wheels, which even have the valves moulded-in. The vehicle looks a bit odd with no upper body, so with the steering column fitted the crew compartment is made up from front, sides and back which have the doors moulded in and the base of the windscreen mount added as a separate part. The cylindrical fuel tank is fitted across the cab in a gap in the floor, and additional fuel is glued to the front bulkhead as a row of four jerry cans in a box on the left side as this is a right-hand drive vehicle. The foot pedals and handbrake are added on the right and the bench seats are made up from bottom cushions (literally!), stiff back with additional cushion and armchair-like sides. Before these are fitted the fuel tank is boxed in and then they can be fixed in place alongside the folded four-part hood and the steering wheel complete with boss and two stalks, one of which was the throttle, surprisingly enough. The pedals on the floor didn't work exactly as you or I would expect either, so it's probably for the best that few of us would ever get chance to drive one. The windscreen can be found on the clear sprue as you'd expect as can the rear light, the front ancillary light and both of the wing-mounted headlights. The screen is in two parts with a C-shaped frame attached to the two halves and a pivot to allow them to be folded or opened. Another pair of fuel cans are attached to the left running board and a spare tyre (no hub) is found on the right. Markings There is only one colour and that is olive green that is used on both decal options, both of which were used in Palestine in 1918. Each one has a code on its bonnet/hood and a unit crest on the rear passenger door. Model T 1917 Utility WWI Australian Army Car (35664) The engine, chassis and floor pan of this kit is the same as the Touring except for a tow-part fuel tank set below the cab. The truck bed is made up of the bed, sides, front and rear sections in addition to the outer curved panels, bench seat and optional rolled up canvas cover attached to the right bed side. The two-part battery is fitted to the driving compartment bulkhead, along with the scuttle, doors and foot pedals. The gear stick and steering column are then fitted to the chassis as is the truck bed assembly. This assembly is then glued into position between the truck bed and engine compartment. Each of the two-part bonnet sections are fitted with grab handles, then fixed together, before being fitted to the engine bay. If you’re very careful, the modeller could cut the lower section of one side of the bonnet and fold it up along the hinge line to show off the engine. The semi open cab consists of the rear three-piece bulkhead, roof and two side sections, which leaves the upper door areas exposed. The windscreen is made up from upper and lower sections that can be folded or extended. The two headlights and single tail light are assembled and fitted, along with the spare tyre, a storage box and water container rack. Markings The small decal sheet contains identification numbers and markings for two vehicles. The two vehicles are both painted in the overall sand scheme with khaki for the canvas cover. Model T Utility 1917, Palestine 1918 Model T Utility 1917, Dead Sea Region, Palestine 1918 Model T 1917 LCP WWI Australian Army Car(35663) Yes - these are the same sprues. This kit shares the same sprues as the Utility car, and diverges after the creation of the truck bed and crew cab, omitting the canvas roof and including a yoke for the machine gun in the passenger seat foot well plus a back for the bench seat. The gun is in three parts with the barrel seemingly rested on the yoke and having no other visible means of support, which might require some detective work to make look realistic. The same water rack, tool box and lights are fitted to this model as the previous option. Markings The small decal sheet contains identification numbers for two vehicles and a small crest for the radiator. The two vehicles are both painted in the overall sand scheme. Model T LCP, Dead Sea Region, Palestine 1918 Model T LCP, Palestine 1918 Conclusion ICM have amalgamated three kits into the one box for a very cost-effective package that would be most useful for the diorama buff as well as someone that just wants all three variants on the Model T, but not in black. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  7. FWD Type B 3 ton truck (35655) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Built by the Four Wheel Drive (FWD) company, this was a very early truck used by the military of Britain and the US during WWI, beginning in 1915 with a small order from the British Army. It was full of curious technology from a modern standpoint, but then vehicles of this type were still in their infancy, so that’s hardly surprising that there were a few dead-ends. It was originally supplied with solid tyres and the front wheels had a strange toed-in look due to the suspension geometry set up to give a light steering load. Its T-head engine produced a monstrous 36bhp for rice-pudding skin removal, and it could be connected to all four wheels or either front or rear in the event of necessity or damage to either drive-shaft. It also had a distinctive pig-nosed front due to the fact that the engine was mounted below the cab, with only the radiator housed in the front and precious little (read: none) cover for the driver and crew. Over 12,000 were made up until the end of WWI, with them finding a ready market in the post-war period in the civilian sector, sometimes with pneumatic tyres added to improve the ride quality. The Kit This is a new tooling from ICM, widening their WWI vehicle range again. Arriving in their usual captive inner lidded box, there are four sprues in grey styrene plus a tiny clear sprue, a similarly small decal sheet and the instruction booklet with colour cover and spot-colour inside. It benefits from the same attention to detail that they have lavished on their other WWI kits and you get a full model that includes engine and chassis details not supplied in some other manufacturer’s kits. Construction begins with the double ladder chassis with suspension and cross-rails included and adding the axles, brakes and drive-shafts, most of which are broadly familiar but a little odd looking into the bargain. The larger rails of the chassis denote the rear of the vehicle, and at the front the steering linkage is added before the wheels are made up from three layers each plus hubcap, then fitted to each corner of the vehicle. The radiator core has its sides fitted then it is dropped into the front of the chassis, then joined by the peculiar engine, which is very well detailed with almost 30 parts devoted to its construction. Once it is painted and in place the exhaust is threaded through the chassis and attached to the manifold outlets, with the diagram helpfully ghosting one of the wheels to improve your view. Power transfer boxes are suspended from the underside of the chassis rails with more drive-shafts, then up at the front the chassis is widened by adding tread-plated “shelves” to the sides before beginning work on the cab and snub-nosed bonnet. This assembly also includes an engine cover that ends up with the crew sitting on it and in the gap between the cowling and radiator the crew have a small footwell with driver controls and a fire extinguisher present, louvered side panels to the cowling and cooling fan for the radiator that is surrounded by a shaped cowling that plugs into the back of the radiator later. The fuel tank is made up from four sections plus two supports, then the lovely deeply upholstered crew sofa is put together with moulded-in buttons giving it a Victorian drawing room feel. The steering wheel and control levers are added to the sides of the cowling, then the seat is dropped on top with a nice cosy fuel tank right behind it. The perfect cab. Exposed to the elements, high up and with extra heating in the summer, plus a big flammable tank right behind your seat. Awesome! The old-skool railway-style front lamps and U-mounted searchlight are put in place on the front and stowage is placed on the left foot-plate, presumably tied down so you don’t lose it on the corners, and the hand-crank starter can optionally be inserted into a socket on the front chassis rail if you wish. The 3-ton load bed begins with the floor and has five cross-beams slotted into position underneath, a front panel and two side panels that have braces added down the sides before they are installed, located on the pins on the end of each cross-beam. The tail gate is made up from frame and panel parts, then two stowage boxes are built up and fitted to the underside front of the bed, which is then mated with the chassis on a number of tabs and slots. You can model your truck with the tilt stowed or in place, with the former having five hoops fitted down the side panels to complete the assembly. For the covered bed there are five parts to make up the canvas tilt with some nice sag moulded-in. Hide the seams and paint it accordingly and you’ll end up with a believable looking tilt. That’s it. You’ve finished. Markings There are two decal options on the tiny sheet with just stencils on the sides to differentiate them from each other as they are both painted olive green. The few decals on the sheet are all white, so there’s no worries about registration, but colour density and sharpness are good. Conclusion An early truck that became a staple of the battlefield in WWI and beyond in injection moulded styrene with plenty of detail. It’s a nice kit and great for WWI military modellers. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Model T 1911 Touring with American Motorists ICM 1:24 (24025) The Ford Model T car has gone down in history as the worlds first mass produced car. By 1927 in a little over 9 years 15 million cars were produced. In 1999 the Model T was crowned the most influential car of the 20th Century. The Model The model arrives in the usual sturdy box with a separate top sleeve with a nice artist’s representation of the vehicle on the front. Inside, within a large poly bag, are four sprues of grey plastic, a clear spure and 4 rubber tyres. There is also one sprue for the figures. The build starts with the nicely detailed engine with the block and gearbox halves glued together followed by the addition of the rocker covers, fan belt, dynamo, exhaust manifold, cooling fan, cooling pipes, and other sundry items. The radiator is attached to the front axle and just needs the radiator grille glued to it to complete the assembly. The radiator/axle is then glued to the front of the floor pan/chassis. The rear axle, drive shaft and differential are built up from only three parts and fitted to the underside of the chassis along with the two piece exhaust/silencer unit. The front and rear axle support frames are then added, as is the steering rack. The four wheels, rubber tyres are added to the spoke wheels and are glued to the axles, the construction moves to the body work. The rear engine wall (not a firewall as its not solid) is made up and added, the engine covers are then added. The rear coachwork body is then made up and added to the chassis. The driver floor pan is added along with the steering wheel and column. Drivers pedals are added. The seats are then made up and added, along with the windscreen and its supporting stays. If fitting the roof this is the next part to be added (note there is no option for the roof down). The rear part has its window added and then its fixed to the roof. The stays are then added and the roof can be fitted. The horn arrangement is made up and fitted . The last items to be made up are the head lights, lights and the motormeter for the radiator. Decals There are no decals included in this kit. Figures This is ICM set 24013 "American Motorist". One is a male driver and the second is a female passenger. Both are what would be considered well dressed for the period. In general the mould in crisp and clean with plenty of detail. . Like ICM's recent figures these are well sculpted and should build up well. Conclusion This is another great addition to the Model T series that ICM have been releasing. As with the other versions, it looks like it wont be a difficult kit to make, but will look great once painted. Recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Chernobyl#1 Radiation Monitoring Station (35901) 1:35 ICM via Hannants We’ve probably all heard of the nuclear power-station at Chernobyl and the disaster that befell it in 1986 due to a mistake made by the staff that resulted in a core meltdown. The behaviour of the neutron absorbing cooling rods wasn’t properly documented (due to a cover-up) as a reason for a runaway reaction under certain circumstances, and this was responsible for a huge quantity of radiation being released over much of Europe and beyond. Initial responses by the authorities were inadequate and a number of firemen and staff were exposed to fatal doses of radiation early on. Eventually a huge sarcophagus was built up around the site, with yet more work being done on the site today, although it has since become a rather mawkish tourist destination for some. The ZIL-131 is a general-purpose utility 6x6 truck, one of the mainstays of the many Eastern Block armies along with the Ural-375, with over a million made. The basic model is a general utility tuck powered by either petrol or diesel engines, depending on the type. Like most armies the chassis for a general truck has been used for a multitude of different versions from a fuel truck to the BM-21 rocket launcher. The KShM is a command vehicle with a compartment at the rear for staff and their commanders to carry out their tasks. The Kit This is a reboxing with a few extras from ICM of their 2015 initial release of the command post boxing, but with added parts in the shape of crew and additional figures, plus a checkpoint shack and barrier to complete the scenario. There’s even an impressive folded card backdrop with the destroyed power station that you can use as your backdrop if you wish. Inside the large box are ten sprues in grey styrene, three in clear, two sprues of nobbly flexible tyres, two small decals sheets, instruction booklet for the base kit, and two further instruction sheets for the five figures and the shack/barrier combination. Detail is excellent throughout, but with only a few boxed-in details within the command post, while the shack fares much better with table, chair and bed, plus a field telephone and even some coat hooks. The final item in the box is the aforementioned folded card backdrop. Construction begins with the chassis, which consists of two rails and multiple cross-braces to which tanks, transmission, transfer boxes and even the engine are attached, with lots of parts used in the process, including a pretty full rendition of the 8-cylinder power pack and the stamped, welded fuel tanks on outriggers to each side of the chassis. Leaf suspension, exhaust and drive-shafts are also fitted to the chassis along with a winch power take-off behind the large bumper irons and under the radiator. A perforated step-plate fleshes out the bumper with some towing hooks, then it’s a case of building up the axles, with two at the rear on their own leaf-springs, fitted with dampers and drive-shafts for better off-road performance. The front axle is a single one with drive-shaft again, which slots into the front suspension and benefits from another few extra dampers. The wheels are simple but well-detailed, consisting of a hub with separate centre that a big black tyre is pressed onto, handed into sets of three each side. The crew cab is next with its structure made up from individual panels fitted to the shaped floor, onto which the driver controls are added, including pedals, gear and ratio sticks, then with a dash slid inside the scuttle area after adding some dial decals following painting. The steering wheel and crew seats are then made up and put in place, having a separate seat for the driver and a wide two-man seat for the passengers, both with adjustment framework between it and the floor. The rear wall with clear rear-view window support the ribbed roof, and the doors have door cards inserted along with handles/winders, then a clear part acting as the window. These can be fitted closed or at any opening angle, and at the same time the curved windscreen panel is also slotted into place on the front of the cab. The sides of the engine compartment are moulded into the cab, but the big wings and tread-plates are separate with light clusters and clear lenses added along the way, then glued in place during its mating with the chassis, after which the front grille if added to surround and protect the radiator. The large bonnet closes up the bay, but you could always leave it open if you are sufficiently proud of your work on the engine. Three roof lights, wing mirrors, windscreen wipers, light cages and even a searchlight finish off the cab if we ignore all the greeblies above it that are added later. The command part of the vehicle is basically a shed carried on the back of the truck, and for the model it is made up from individual sides onto the floor panel. There are three windows on each side with clear parts provided, and next to those are large doors for stowage that gets backed up with a simple box later on. The rear panel is open at this stage, and so is the roof, which has sloped panels at the edge that are decorated with three smaller roof lights before the assembly is closed up, given a pair of longitudinal rails and a pair of doors with small windows and handles glued in place to complete them. Under the floor a number of mud flaps, stowage boxes and a slide-out step are attached, with clear light clusters and number plates added to the rear. At the front of the cabin the environmental mechanism consisting of intakes, exhausts, impellers and various other parts along with C-shaped steps for maintenance access are made up and glued in place over where the cab roof will be, and then after adding more boxes, fuel canisters, a spare wheel on its bracket, steps, roof rails and other small parts, the two assemblies are mated. A section of perforated tread-plate is added to the cab roof on stand-off brackets just before they’re mated, presumably because the equipment above is fairly maintenance intensive. The Figures This single sprue contains all five of the figures for this set, including driver, check-point officer, a check-point soldier sat at the table in the shack on the phone, another figure with white gloves and a pointing stick/cudgel, then the final chap doing a radiation check in a suit with a long wand for scanning low-level targets. All the figures barring the gentleman on the phone have masks on, with only the check-point chap having his round his neck to facilitate communications. Sculpting is up to ICM’s usual high standard with all figures having separate legs, torso, arms and heads, some with flat tops for adding their wide-brimmed caps. The hazmat suited fellow has his hood moulded in, and a few bags are included for a few of the figures. You’ll need to find some fine wire for the link between the radiation detector and the operator’s handheld box of tricks that you’ll find on another sprue (Sprue B). The Shack/Hut The checkpoint has a sprue to itself, and has a wooden floor, plus wriggly-tin sides and roof, then a separate door and a surprising four windows, all of which have clear parts. Inside you have a chair and table made up from two H-shaped parts and linking parts, plus the tabletop and seat top, then a simple cot bed is made up with bare mattress to give an insight into the life of a check-point operator. As well as the radiation detector box, there is a simple field telephone for the man on the blower, plus a handset that he’ll hold in his left hand once you’ve wound some wire into a flex for him. Three coat hooks on a wooden pattress are glued to the long wall, and outside is the barrier. The barrier is of the horizontal swing-type, and has a heavy base, moulded-in brace and separate notice panel, with another post with base at the other end and a peg sticking out to rest the closed barrier on. Markings This monster is painted entirely in Russian Green, and can be built as one of five explicit vehicles, or with the addition of some door insignia, six more users can be depicted. The most germane to this boxing is the Soviet Army vehicle from 1986, which fits the timeframe of our story and could have been in the Ukraine at the time of the accident. Don’t forget that these instructions are from the previous boxing of this kit, which explains the other options. The smaller decal sheet includes a couple of extra STOP signs, duplicate instrument decals, and the rectangular warning notice for the barrier. Decals are well-printed with good register, sharpness and sharpness, and should leave you with plenty of spare Soviet Bloc number plates and emblems in your decal drawer. Conclusion It’s a shrewd decision by ICM to bring out this interesting boxing of their kit, and by adding the shack and figures they have created something that is quite appealing to anyone that either has an interest in the Chernobyl disaster, or has watched the excellent HBO series that aired recently. I believe there’s going to be a fire engine boxing soon, which depicts those poor guys that went in to do their job without knowing they were sealing their own fate. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  10. B-26B-50 Invader (48281) 1:48 ICM via Hannants The good old B-26 Marau… no, wait. The A-26 Invader? Hang on, erm... B-26 Invader. That's it, as long as it's after 1948 as that's when it was re-designated as the B-26 by the US Air Force to confuse us, and later on back to the A-26 just to complete my befuddlement. It was developed a little after the Marauder and despite using the same engines it was designed totally separately from its tubular colleague. It was designed to replace the A-20 Havoc, but it was initially less than popular in the Pacific theatre where its poor cockpit visibility due to the canopy and engine position rendered it unloved by the first users. It was more popular in the European theatre and was accepted as replacement for the Havoc fairly quickly. Two types were designed, The C with a glass bomber nose and the B with a full metal nose filled with either 6 or 8 .50cal machine guns, which coupled with the three in each wing gave it quite a punch, deserving of the Strafer title. It also had a pair of turrets on the fuselage mid-upper and dorsal positions, which were both operated by a single gunner using a complex remote mechanism that flipped between the upper and lower turrets depending on where the gunner was looking through his binocular sights. This trained the guns accordingly and also calculated the correct offset for parallax and lead, but was very complex and caused some delays to it entering service, and even more issues with maintenance in the field. After the war it served in Korea, early Vietnam engagements and other conflicts, ending its days in US service with the Air National Guard in the early 70s. It continued in civilian service as a fire bomber and in other roles, such as actor in the film Always with Richard Dreyfuss playing its brave but ill-fated pilot. The Kit This is a brand new tooling from ICM and a lot of folks have been waiting (im)patiently for it for a while now, hoping for something to replace the old Revell Monogram kit of yore. Here it is! It's the Korean War variant with the Strafer nose that we're getting first, with other options coming in due course. It arrives in the familiar top opening box with a captive inner lid on the lower tray, and inside are eight sprues in grey styrene, one in clear, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet. A quick look over the sprues reveals that panel lines are very crisp, narrow and restrained, the surface is matt and very neat-looking, with plenty of engraved and raised details on the parts, plus subtly indented flying surfaces mimicking their fabric covering. You might also notice that there are parts for an open or closed canopy, the open one having the flat top surface, while the closed canopy has the slightly blown roof that was used after 1944 to improve visibility. That might give you some latitude in case you can't wait to build a WWII aircraft. Construction begins with the cockpit, creating the pilot's seat, instrument panel (with instrument decals) with built-in door to the nose, centre console with throttle quadrant before adding those and the single control column to the floor. The aft compartment is built up around the front wing spar with a set of radio gear hanging from a pair of risers, then a pair of bombs on their racks, the reason for which will become clear in a moment. The port fuselage half is detailed with some side console and panel parts and then has the bomb racks, nose gear bay sides, forward spar with radio gear, rear spar in the centre of the bomb bay, sloped aft bulkhead and another frame behind that, followed by the cockpit floor, so you'll have to do some detail painting as you go. After this the starboard fuselage side is prepped, and here's where a little cautionary note about sink-marks on the exterior of my sample needs making. The right side of the cockpit and bomb bay with its detailed ribbing has caused the shallowest of sink-marks on the exterior, which would be best dealt with using a little filler before you get busy building. You could have dismissed it as oil-canning of the skin if it were consistent and on both sides, but as it isn't you'll need to decide whether you're going to fix it. Happily the majority of it is in areas that are open enough to allow easy sanding back of filler, so it shouldn't slow you down very much. I'll be using some Tamiya Basic on mine in due course and have no doubt it will be just fine. A 0.8mm hole is drilled in the section behind the canopy and the two remaining bomb racks are added inside along with an internal detail panel, nose gear bay side, and a hatch that does a credible impression of a toilet lid. With that and a quantity of detail painting you can then slide the starboard fuselage over the two spars, and it would be a good idea when fitting those spar parts to let them set up with the starboard fuselage taped in place to ensure they make the correct angle when they're set in place permanently. The instructions then have you building up the tail feathers, with the elevators having separate single-part flying surfaces, plus a two piece rudder to attach to the moulded-in tail fin. The gun-nose is appropriate for this model, but as it's a modular part that in real-world situations could be swapped for the glazed-nose in a couple of hours, you can bet your boots these parts will be joined by some additional glazing in a later boxing. The fixed lower and rear section of the nose are built up out of three parts, making space for the 40g of nose weight you are encouraged to fit before you add the single cowling panel that covers the gun bay, with a pair of four barrel gun-inserts added through the holes to depict the .50cals. You'll need to drill out the muzzles or take the lazy way out and get a set of Master barrels, such as the P-47 set until they get their own specific set. The nose section is a straight-forward butt joint to the fuselage, with a small half-moon cut-out that should help align it. The wings are next, and the lower parts have a smattering of flashed-over holes ready to drill out for bombs, gun-pods or drop tanks, plus three cartridge ejection chutes to be cut out for the wing mounted .50cals. The faces of the in-line radiator baths are added to the lower wings and then it's already time to bring the halves together. You'll notice that there are fairings and a hump in the upper wing where the engine nacelles will be, and these are separate assemblies to be built up later. First, the separate two-section flaps (oddly with no deployed option), and the ailerons are prepared and added to the trailing edge of the wings, the latter being of one piece each and slotting into wing via two tabs. The tip lights and underwing landing lights are added from clear parts, and a small insert is glued into the wing that includes three more barrel stubs each and will again need drilling out. At this stage the instructions have you sliding the wings onto the spars and gluing them in place. Whether you'd rather wait until you've added the engine nacelles though is entirely up to you though. There are of course two engine nacelles and these build up pretty much identically apart from their outer skins, which are handed to fit their respective fairings as you'd expect. They are split vertically, and each half has internal structure moulded-in, with bulkheads added fore and aft of the gear bays, coupled with bay lip inserts that bulk out the edges and also hold captive their bay door. This may require some clever masking and a little care during handling, but it shouldn't hold you back too much, as the hinge-points are relatively robust. The two halves are joined together, the prominent intake on the top of the nacelle is made up from two parts, then is added to the nacelle front which is in turn glued to the rest of the nacelle, with the completed assemblies attached to the wings from the underside, as yet without their engine cowlings or props. The engines are added later in the build, and the Twin Wasps are depicted in their entirety with both banks of pistons, push-rods, ancillaries and reduction housing at the front, plus the collector ring and exhausts at the rear, the latter made up from eight parts each. So that they are fitted correctly and mesh properly with the nacelles, they are attached using a jig that is discarded later, so remember not to glue it in! Again the engines are identical and interchangeable with each other, and they fit to the nacelles with a teardrop-shaped tab, after which the engine cowling is slotted over them. The cooling flaps are last to be added in four sets around the rear of the cowling. The top of the fuselage is still open at this point, as it has an insert with the top turret to fit in place, with another for the dorsal turret fitted later on. The remote turrets are both made up together with the ability for the twin .50cals to be left movable if you wish. The top turret has its mechanism and ring made up first, with the two halves brought together on either side of the insert before being glued into the fuselage closing up that area. Then the gunner's compartment with simple seat and periscope is made up and installed under the glazing that sits behind the top turret. Flipping the model over, the lower turret is added to the insert and glued in place too. Another clear light is added to the very rear of the fuselage, and attention turns to the landing gear, which is of the tricycle variety as became the fashion in late war. Each of the three tyres are made from two halves with separate hubs applied from either side, then hung on their respective legs, which have retraction jacks and scissor links added along the way. Happily these can be fitted late in the build, so the open bays can be masked quicker than if they were present. Speaking of bays, you can depict the bomb bay open or close by using either a one piece door for closed, or two separate doors with internal detail for open. This is nice to see, as it's always a little tricky to join two doors and get them aligned with the fuselage so there's minimal join-lines. The main airframe is ostensibly complete save for some antennae and the props, and if you've been sparing with the glue when assembling the engines, the latter should still spin once complete. Your final choice is bombs, tanks or gun-packs hung under the wings. The bombs are made up from two halves each with a spinner insert in the rear and their attachment points moulded into the port side, the gun-packs have a handed three part pod that fits around the central gun-tray, and the drop tanks are simple two-part assemblies with their attachment points moulded into the port side again. They are all mounted on pegs, and fit into their holes that you remembered to drill in the wings before you closed them up, didn't you? Markings In this initial boxing there are three options included on the decal sheet, one in bare metal, the other two in olive drab, one of which has a bare metal leading-edge panel to the tail and an all-over olive drab finish. From the box you can build one of the following: B-26B-30-DL 8th BS, 3rd BG, Iwakuni AB, Japan, Spring 1951 B-26B-56-DL 13th BS, 3rd BG, Iwakuni AB, Japan, August 1950 B-26B-61-DL 730th BS, Miho AB, Japan, Autumn 1950 The decals are printed anonymously, although they look like DecoGraph's output to my eye. They have good registration, colour density and sharpness, and include a number of stencils that are legible with the right eyeware. If you forgot to ream out those cartridge chutes in the wing before you closed them up, some kind soul has added two decals with three black rectangles to help you out. Conclusion This model should make a fair few people happy, and consign a lot of old Monogram kits to deep stash or eBay as a result. Detail is excellent and made so much nicer by the matt surface, and there's a fair proportion of the interior included for what is bound to be a popular kit. Smear a little filler into those light sink-marks before you get started, and no-one will know they're there. Keep 'em coming ICM! Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Moskvitch 401-420A (36484) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd The original Opel Kadett was unveiled in 1936 with some innovative features including a monocoque chassis, and after a minimalistic set of cosmetic upgrades in 1937/8 the K38 was born. The KJ38 was the standard limousine, while the K38 was marketed as the Spezial with better trim levels inside and out so that it lived up to its name. It was also available with a soft roof that could be removed to turn it into a cabriolet, which led to the slightly ungainly Cabriolimousine moniker. There were well over 50,000 K38s made, and as part of the reparations after the war, the Soviet Union were allowed to take their pick of some Opel designs, one of which was the K38. The factory and drawings had been ravaged during the war, so completed vehicles were taken to Russia and reverse engineered using captured German staff, resulting in the almost identical Moskvitch 400/420 with a stylised M replacing the Opel badge. The Kit The original tooling of this kit was made in 2013 and it has been reboxed by ICM and others over the years with a few changes in parts and decals. This new tooling is the soft-top four-door copy by Moskvitch, using new body parts where necessary and giving the option of modelling the canvas hood in up or down positions. The kit arrives in a small top-opening box with the usual captive lid to the tray. Inside are four sprues of grey styrene, one of clear parts, decal sheet, a bag of five flexible plastic tyres and the instruction booklet with colour painting guide to the rear. Detail is excellent and the new sprue contains the four door sides, and additional body parts that differ between the models (the hood logo being one of them). This is a full interior kit, so you also get an engine and most of the internals/underside parts too. Construction begins with the floor of the monocoque chassis into which the two bench seats are installed once the backs and cushions are assembled. Driver controls consisting of the pedals, gear shifter and hand-brake are glued in place then the instrument panel is attached to the sloped firewall and decals are provided for the two dials. The car's sides have moulded closed doors with separate windows that have frames moulded-in, and an internal structure including door cards and pillars fitted to the inside along with window-winders and handles for both sides. These attach to the sides (no surprise there!) and the nicely detailed inner wings join the external fenders, making up the basis of the engine compartment. The boot/trunk is covered by a cut-down part with a separate parcel shelf and the front screen with A-pillars has a flat glazing panel added together with a sun visor and rear-view mirror for the driver on the left side (that's the wrong side if you're not British, Australian or Japanese). The steering column and front brace are added into the engine bay, then the two-part steering wheel is attached at the other end of the column, the central part separate from the rim. The 1,074cc engine that outputs a manly 23hp to the wheels is next to be made with a two-part block, sump, manifolds and the balance of the ancillaries, plus pulleys, radiators and so forth. This fits to the front axle with the drum brakes, forming a modern(ish) subframe that is inserted into the engine compartment from below, much like the real thing. The steering linkage is added later after the exhaust is joined to the engine and suspended from blocks on the chassis underside, then the rear axle with its drum brakes, differential cover and leaf springs are put in place, joined to the transmission by its drive shaft. A cover is fitted over it at about the half-way point, and two additional braces are added to the rear axle, finishing off the underside. The wheels have single part hubs and the tyres are fitted over them thanks to their flexibility which also enables them to have a nice cross-ply tread pattern moulded-in. Flipping the vehicle over, the battery and air-box are installed in the engine bay, then the streamlined front cowl with grille and separate clear headlights are fitted to the front with the new Moskvitch badge and hood/bonnet top ornament added to finish it off. The bonnet/hood itself folds from the centreline on a narrow panel and has the short curved side panels hinged at the edges, which fold inwards under gravity as they are opened. Closing up the passenger compartment takes the two part closed hood and oval rear window part, gluing them in place from front to back. Leaving the roof open means adding two side panels over the windows that are normally hidden, then fixing the four-part folded hood at the rear, mating the curved groove in its underside with the shape of the rear. Remaining at the rear the number plate holder, its light and counterpart on the opposite side are fitted, then a choice of a separate hub with flexible tyre, or a two-part covered spare in styrene. The rear bumper has two iron brackets to attach it to the chassis, as does the front bumper with offset number plate holder. Completing the model involves adding the windscreen wipers, but no wing mirrors – that must have made changing lanes a lot of fun! Markings There are four decal options in the box, two of which are colourful, the others not so much. From the box you can build one of the following: Moskvitch 401-420A USSR late 50s Moskvitch 401-420A USSR late 50s Moskvitch 401-420A USSR late 60s Moskvitch 401-420A USSR late 60s The decal sheet contains the number plates for each option, the instrument dials, silver name-plates for the sides of the hood, and four stylised M V logos for hubcaps, but you'll have to paint the stripes for the corners of each bumper end. Conclusion Having this new “clone” version of the Opel Kadett used in the Soviet Union is a welcome addition to the line-up, and will find uses in dioramas as well as stand-alone models. Detail is excellent throughout too. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from Importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  12. WWII German MG08 Machine Gun Team (35645) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd. The MG08 was one of the primary defensive machine guns used by the Germans in WWI, and was developed from the original Maxim and adopted into service in 1908 then used throughout the war. It was belt-fed and water cooled with a canister feeding around 4 litres of water through the cooling jacket to avoid overheating the barrel and it was crewed by two. It fired between 500-600 rounds of 7.92 ammunition that was fed from an ammo box in lengths of 250 rounds at full auto while the trigger remained pulled. It was later redesigned to reduce weight by shaving bulk from the receiver and opting for a narrower cooling jacket with a shorter bipod that allowed the gun to be fired from the fully prone position. The original 08 had a rather large and heavy sled that was carried by the operators between engagements, and meant that the trigger-man was sat up in a more exposed position. It was successful that it continued in use into WWII, even though it was outdated and less well suited to the constant movement of Blitzkrieg than the MG34 due to its heavy weight and bulky tripod Consequently it was used in static defence and training situations. The Kit This kit includes two figures plus sufficient parts for one MG08 including a sled-mount, cooling reservoir and ammo box. Additionally there also an MG08/15 included on the sprues with its reduced diameter cooling jacket, breech and a wooden stock with pistol grip, supported by a thick bipod and with a large drum magazine clipped to the left side of the receiver. The top-opening box has the usual ICM captive lid inside, and there are three sprues in grey styrene inside plus three sheets of instructions for each aspect of the kit. The figures are held on one long sprue, the standard and one /15 are on another (the two sprues are linked in this boxing), and the accessory sprue contains a host of additional weapons including an MG34, MP40, pouches etc. The operator is sitting down with legs in front of him, the other feeding the linked ammunition into the receiver from a semi-prone position with his left hand feeding the link into the gun. Each figure is broken down into head, legs, arms and torso with all the usual items of a WWII Wehrmacht solider such as gas mask canister, canteen and other bags. The heads are finished off with a steel helmet from the accessory sprue and contains an additional two metal helmets for any other flat-headed German soldier figures you have. The full listing of accessories can be found of the rear of the instruction sheet along complete with codes for painting. The original MG 08 can be built on the tripod in a raised or lowered position which was achieved on the real thing by altering the geometry with a pin on either side of the front legs. This requires holes to be opened up in the curved front of the back legs which is then detailed with the elevation mechanism that is again set in two positions, the higher one being for indirect fire with the barrel tilted upward, which probably wouldn't fit the figures. The gun itself is mostly supplied as one part with the handles and pivot added along the way before it is joined with the sled which then clips to the front legs so that it can stand upright. The water can, alternate water box and two types of ammo box are then made up, the two narrower ones being open and closed, while the double-width can has a separate lid into which you can put the bottom end of the ammo belt with the other end slotted into the receiver and a short length added to the opposite side minus the bullets. You will need to provide a length of wire to connect the jacket with its reservoir to whichever version of the canister you choose to use with the caveat below. The MG08/15 is much simpler overall (much like the real thing), but the gun is made up from jacket, bipod and receiver, with the magazine added to the side, and from looking at the pictures available online it seems that the rectangular water reservoir was more often used with this lightened variant. There are no figures that would be able to use this version of the gun, but it could come in handy one day, so commit it to the spares bin in the meantime. Conclusion ICM have an incredibly skilled team of sculptors, and as you'd expect detail is excellent on the figures, machine guns and accessories and there isn't much more you could add to improve it other than the aforementioned hose for the water cooling. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  13. US Army Drivers 1917-18 (35706) 1:35 ICM via Hannants We reviewed the Standard Liberty truck that this set is intended to mesh with here a few weeks back, and that kit included a squad of US troops. This set arrives in a small top opening box with the usual ICM style captive inner lid and a single sprue of grey styrene wrapped in a resealable bag with instruction sheet. There are two figures on the sprue, and the one doing the driving is a private with putties and utility belt with braces, while the co-driver is his commander with knee-high leather boots and Captain's rank insignia on his shoulder boards. They are both in the seated position as you'd expect and the driver has his hands out grasping the wheel with his feet appropriately angled for the pedals. This is ICM, so sculpting is excellent with simple parts breakdown along natural seams speeding up assembly and preparation for paint. Each figure is broken down into head, torso and separate arms and legs. The hats are separate parts to achieve a better brim and these have a flat contact patch with the equally flat-topped heads, plus moulded-in detail of the hat band with tassles. Conclusion An excellent addition to your Liberty truck at a good price, or any other vehicle used by the US Army in WWI, although the driver may require a little adjustment if the controls for the driver are different. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  14. A-26B/C Invader Decals (D4801) 1:48 ICM via Hannants There's a brand new tool Invader in 1:48 coming from those delightful folks at ICM, who have already given us new lines of He.111, Ju.88, Dornier 17, 215, 217 etc., and show no sign of stopping, which has the be good news for us quarter-scale folks. This set of additional decals has managed to beat their new kit to our shores in order to whet our appetite for the forthcoming plastic goodness. The set arrives in a re-sealable foil bag stapled to a header card, with the decals covered by a sheet of translucent paper to keep moisture from damaging the carrier film. There are options for four bare metal airframes on the sheet, with only one set of national markings, so if you're setting up an Invader production line you'll need some appropriate stars & bars to complete your mission, but those shouldn't be hard to find (hint: there's one set in the box of the kit!). The decals are printed under ICM's banner, and are in good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a commendably thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas, and underprinting of all the white areas for density. The few stencils included are crisply printed and legible under magnification, which is always a sign of good printing and attention to detail. From the sheet you can decal one of the following (or more subject to the caveat above): A-26B-20-DL, 670th BS/416th BG, A55 Melun, France Autumn 1944 A-26B-15-DT, 668th BS/416th BG, A55 Melun Spring 1945 A-26B-20-DT, 555th BS/386th BG, A92 St Trond, Belgium May 1945 A-26C-15-DT, 495th BS/344th BG, R75 Schleissheim, Germany September 1945 Additional scrap diagrams show the nose area with the engines out of the way to enable correct decaling of the red prop-warning lines and other decals in that area. On the back page the wings are covered with decal placement for the stars and wing walkway boxes. Conclusion A really nice set of decals that expand your options for the new kit (when it arrives we'll be sure to review it), or for the old Revell/Monogram kit if you have one knocking about. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  15. le.gl.Einheits - Pkw (Kfz.1) German Personnel Car (35582) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd Made mostly by three German companies, this all-wheel drive staff car designed by Stoewer was produced with different bodies during the early war, the most prevalent being the four seat staff car depicted here. It was however complicated and unreliable, so was eventually replaced by the ubiquitous Kubelwagen. The Kit This is a re-release of their kit (35581) but with new parts for a deployed soft-top roof, which hasn't yet been available with only the stowed roof released so far. The box contains five sprues in grey styrene plus a single clear sprue and decal sheet, not forgetting the instructions with integral painting guide at the rear. The additional sprue contains the new parts for the roof, but you'll still find the retracted roof parts on the original sprues in case you change your mind. New Sprue Construction begins with the chassis, which is first to be built up with dual springs supporting independent suspension and a driveshaft linking the two transfer boxes, plus the steering linkage front and rear. Fuel tank and stowage are placed to either side of the chassis rails and an exhaust pipe is threaded through to the engine compartment, which is filled with a full rendering of its 4 cylinder 2 litre Stoewer power plant over the front axle. The floor of the cab is built up and added to the chassis, then the three part styrene wheels with moulded-in tread are fitted to each corner along with the radiator at the front. The firewall and rear passenger bulkhead are installed next with the former having instruments and transmission tunnel moulded in and pedals attached to the floor. The cab sides, boot/trunk cover, engine cowling and gear shifter are all put in place before the seats are built up from base, cushion and curved back at the front, with a bench seat at the rear of a similar construction that has just enough room down the sides for two Kar98 rifles to be stowed in shackles. Two more rifle points are attached to the front bulkhead, bumpers/fenders and doors are all added with steering wheel and windscreen also made up. The rear light cluster is fitted to racks for additional fuel on the rear quarters with a spare wheel in between them, and the folded canvas roof above is still available if you decide you don't want to install the new one. If you do, and that's probably the main reason you would chose this boxing, the semi-rigid side panels with the glazing panels that mostly stayed on the sprues previously are inserted into the frames which are then attached to the sills and the windscreen. The rear of the hood has a small rectangular window inserted into the flat panel, then has the corners attached before the assembly is fitted to the rear of the car. The external retraction frame drops into grooves in the sides of the rear hood, and finally the top fits on to complete the roof. Of all the joins on the hood the only ones that may need sanding and/or filling are those on the corners at the rear, as the top panel has a handy overlap so has a natural step that matches the kit's panel. Front lights, jerry cans and pioneer tools are attached to the fenders, and windscreen wipers are fitted into the depressions on the frame, with wiper-motor boxes moulded into the frame for completeness. The lights and windscreen all have clear parts so the passengers don't get bugs in their teeth. Markings There are four theatre specific options included in the box with early war Panzer Grey the colour of choice, and these haven't been changed from the earlier boxing, as they're essentially the same vehicles but with the hood up! From the bag you can build one of the following: WH-102 360 16 Pz.D, Don area, June 1942 WH-240 663 11 Pz.D, Ukraine, July 1941 WH-307 582 Panzergruppe 1 Kleist, Ukraine, July 1941 WL-22662 I./JG51 Stary Bykhov (Belorussia), July 1941 Conclusion A welcome addition to the Kfz.1 line from ICM, and perfect for a rainy day... literally! Great detail, crystal clear parts and only a few ejector pin marks on the hood parts if you think they'll be visible. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. British Pilots 1939-45 (32105) 1:32 ICM via Hannants During WWII our brave pilots fought to keep the Nazi enemy from invading Great Britain in the hope of remaining free after most of Europe had fallen under the jackboot of Adolf Hitler's evil empire. They went to war wearing their RAF blues, a pair of fleece-lined flying boots, Mae West life jacket, fleece-lined leather flying jacket (it gets cold at altitude), plus a leather flying helmet with goggles and sewn-in headphones with the mic in their oxygen mask so that they could communicate with their colleagues (Repeat please!) and with ground control who guided them to their foes using ground-breaking radar technology. This large scale figure set contains three of these fine young gentlemen who were entrusted with a very expensive fighter even though many of them were barely out of their teens. The set arrives in a small top-opening box with captive lid on the inner tray, and inside is a single sprue of grey styrene and a sheet of instructions that gives part numbers on the rear plus paint codes. The figures are all broken down with separate heads, torso, arms and legs and in the case of the seated pilot, his parachute pack is included for him to sit on in the cockpit. The seated pilot is dressed in overalls, ready to fly with his oxygen mask buttoned up closed, with his two fingers on his right hand up in a V-salute to indicate his readiness, the other hand on his control column. He is also belted into his aircraft with the four-point harnesses meeting in the centre of his chest at the circular quick-release buckle. The standing pilots are both in relaxed poses, although one still has his un-buttoned helmet, Mae West and his looped comms wire in hand while he looks expectantly at the sky with one hand on his hip. The other gentleman is dressed in boots and jacket but with a bare head and his pipe in-hand, free hand in pocket in the spectator role. The two helmeted figures have separate goggles for ease and sharpness of moulding and if you're feeling really skilled you could hollow the frames out to add some Micro Crystal Clear or clear acetate in there for additional realism. The figures are broken down sensibly along natural lines, and the quality of sculpting is first-rate, especially the faces, fleecy collars, pipe and twisted texture on the headset cable, although there is a little flash to remove before you paint. Clothing drape is well depicted, and even the seamlines down the sides of trousers and round pockets are depicted, giving the avid painter a good head start in cramming in detail. Markings There are no decals in the box as you'd expect with figures, but as all their insignia are covered by their jackets there are none to paint anyway. The table beneath the instructions show codes for Revell and Tamiya, plus the names of the colour if you don't have those paints or a conversion chart available. There are plenty of electronic conversion charts online these days though, which is nice. Conclusion As you'd expect, you may have to trim the seated pilot's butt and legs to get him properly seated in his aircraft of (your) choice, but as long as you plan ahead before you get too far into your project that's hardly an issue. Lovely sculpting and natural poses all-round. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  17. WWI German MG08 MG Team (35711) 1:35 ICM via Hannants The MG08 was one of the primary defensive machine guns used by the Germans in WWI, and was developed from the original Maxim and adopted into service in 1908 then used throughout the war. It was belt-fed and water cooled with a canister feeding around 4 litres of water through the cooling jacket to avoid overheating the barrel and crewed by two. It fired between 500-600 rounds of 7.92 ammunition that was fed from an ammo box in lengths of 250 rounds at full auto while the trigger remained pulled. It was later redesigned to reduce weight by shaving bulk from the receiver and opting for a narrower cooling jacket with a shorter bipod that allowed the gun to be fired from the prone position. The original 08 had a rather large and heavy sled that was carried by the operators between engagements, and meant that the trigger-man was sat up in a more exposed position. The Kit This kit includes two figures plus sufficient parts for one MG08 including a sled-mount, cooling reservoir and ammo box. Additionally there are also two MG08/15 included in the box with its reduced diameter cooling jacket, breech and a wooden stock with pistol grip, supported by a thick bipod and with a large drum magazine clipped to the left side of the receiver. The top-opening box has the usual ICM captive lid inside, and there are three sprues in grey styrene inside plus three sheets of instructions. The figures are held on one long sprue, the standard and one /15 are on another (the two sprues are linked in this boxing), and the accessory sprue contains another one plus a host of additional weapons, pouches etc. The figures are both kneeling on one knee, one operating the trigger, the other feeding the linked ammunition into the receiver. Each figure is broken down into head, legs, arms and torso with a large backpack and a shoulder bag. The heads are finished off with a cloth cap but the accessory sprue contains an additional four metal helmets for the safety conscious. The accessory sprue covers a wide range of additional weapons from Broom Handled Mauser (my favourite), Bergmann MP18 anti-tank gun, Gewehr 98/98a, early Luger, holsters, pouches, hand grenades, water bottles, entrenching tools and bayonets. Plus of course the additional /15 machine gun. The full listing can be found of the rear of the instruction sheet along with codes for painting. The original MG 08 can be built on the tripod in a raised or lowered position which was achieved on the real thing by altering the geometry with a pin on either side of the front legs. This requires holes to be opened up in the curved front of the back legs which is then detailed with the elevation mechanism that is again set in two manners, the higher one being for indirect fire with the barrel tilted upward. The gun itself is mostly supplied as one part with the handles and pivot added along the way before it is joined with the sled which then clips to the front legs so that it can stand upright. The water can, alternate water box and two types of ammo box are then made up, the two narrower ones being open and closed, while the double-width can has a separate lid into which you can put the bottom end of the ammo belt with the other end slotted into the receiver and a short length added to the opposite side minus the bullets. You will need to provide a length of wire to connect the jacket with its reservoir to whichever version of the canister you choose to use with the caveat below. The MG08/15 is much simpler overall (much like the real thing), but the gun is made up from jacket, bipod and receiver, with the magazine added to the side, and from looking at the pictures available online it seems that the rectangular water reservoir was more often used with this lightened variant. Conclusion Detail is excellent on the figures, machine guns and accessories and there isn't much more you could add to improve it other than the aforementioned hose for the water cooling, while the length of bullets are already provided. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from Importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Great Other (16202) 1:16 ICM via Hannants [WARNING: Mild Spoilers if you haven't yet seen the show] There is a fairly well-known show called Game of Thrones from HBO, and if you have heard of it you'll probably know what a White Walker is. They're a race of cold bluish people with shrivelled skin from beyond the Wall that at the beginning of the show hadn't been seen for thousands of years, but the first person to survive an encounter also inadvertently discovered how to kill them – Dragon Glass. They have the ability to reanimate the dead by touching them, which was a welcome aspect for me, as I'm quite partial to a Zombie movie, but that's not the main thrust of the show, although it becomes more relevant toward the end. We've already had the Night King from ICM here, and now we're back with one of his retinue, who usually isn't far behind his leader when more than one of them are seen on screen. The Kit This is a new tool from ICM and it arrives in one of ICM's usual smaller top-opening boxes with the captive internal flap, and inside is one sprue of grey styrene, a smaller black sprue and separate part for the base, plus a clear sprue containing just the staff. The instructions are on a single glossy sheet of A4 with a sprue diagram on the reverse, and you also get a glossy A4 print of the artwork that should be of assistance when it comes time to get the paint out. Construction is straight forward with separate head, long hair at the back, two-part torso, separate legs with individual feet joined at the instep, arms with moulded-in shoulder armour, and four sections of his leather "skirt" armour. His hands have separate fingers to allow him to grasp the clear staff/spear, and all the skin is moulded with the shrivelled, sunken flesh that's typical of their species. Because the leather skirt is made from strips, some part of his butt can be seen between the sections, so be warned that there are a couple of wrinkly cheeks to cope with, but this realism extends no further, leaving a featureless "Action Man" crotch at the front. The spear is clear (sorry about the rhyme) and differs from the box art and instructions which depict it as having a wooden or leather wrapped shaft. The part has the ice blade, but has a spiral groove running down the clear shaft, so check your references and if you feel the urge to wrap it with strips of leather (which is what it looks like to me) or replace it entirely, feel free to do so. The base is a sculpted oval affair, with separate top and bottom sections that you can either paint or add a little ground work to as you see fit. Markings There are no decals as you'd expect, and the instructions tell you to paint the body white and give him blue eyes. The "real" thing was actually a myriad of subtle shades of blue with translucent whitish highlights that will be taxing to replicate, but if done well will look exceptional. I'd seriously think about installing a couple of dim blue LEDs in the eye sockets too, as if you don't, someone else will. Conclusion If you ignore the somewhat clumsy and unsatisfactory ending of the show, GoT has a huge following, and this should appeal to the intersection of fans and figure painters on an imaginary Venn diagram. He's not dressed identically to the screen figure that he mostly resembles, but that's probably got a lot to do with licensing and plausible deniability. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Type AG 1910 Paris Taxi (24030) 1:24 ICM via Hannants Ltd. The Renault built Type AG Taxi de la Marne got its name after a fleet of these vehicles were pressed into service transporting French troops to the First Battle of the Marne in WWI. It was very popular as it was one of the first taxis to be able to automatically calculate the fare due to the inclusion of a meter in the interior, which you can just make out in th picture above. As well as service during the early war it was also popular in Paris and London in the early 1900s The Kit This is a new tool in the predominant vehicle model scale from our friends at ICM, and depicts a colourful rendition of the vehicle in civilian service. It arrives in ICM's standard top-opening box with a captive inner lid, and inside are five sprues in grey styrene, a single clear sprue, two flexible sprues with black tyres plus the spare, decal sheet and instruction manual. It is a full detail kit with 10hp engine and detailed underside plus crystal clear glazing panels for the enclosed passenger cab. Construction begins with the chassis rails with moulded-in rear leaf-springs and two cross-members that are then added to the lower bodywork along with brackets for the running boards on both sides. The little engine is made up of six parts and its transmission from a further three, with both assemblies brought together on a sub-frame at which point the exhaust stub is fitted then it is inserted into the main chassis from below. Flipping it over the firewall and the pedals are slotted in between the front fenders, and this section is set aside while the coachwork is made up from individual panels, starting with the stepped floor. The divide between driver and passenger has two flat panes of glass to keep the weather out, and curved sides reminiscent of the carriages from which they descended. The driver's floor, rear parcel area and the comfortable passenger seat are inserted, and the carriage-style roof is made up with a small rear window. The doors are each made up from two layers with the glass between them, and once fitted with handles they can be posed open or closed, hinging back in suicide door style. The driver has a more utilitarian bench seat with padded backrest attached to the bulkhead behind him, then the chassis and coachwork are joined, the rear suspension, exhaust and steering column are added from below. A sump guard and front axle are added later along with the driveshaft and rear axle while it is upside down, and once righted, the sloping bonnet and less-than-generous side rails that intended to prevent the driver from falling out are installed either side of his seat. There is also an elongated S-shaped "folding mechanism" attached to the side of the passenger hood, which still persists today in some American limousine and hearse designs as a purely cosmetic homage to the original coachwork. The wheels are all spoked and have separate flexible black plastic tyres that slip over the rims. Detail here is good with bolts, rivets and the air valve for these early pneumatic tyres all moulded into the hubs, while the tyres have a faint pattern moulded into them. The spare wheel is mounted on a rim on the right running board, and also has a flexible tyre provided in the box, then it's a case of adding the steering wheel, horn, gear shift and the driver's folding awning that fixes to the front of the coachwork with a short frame inside that allows the real one to fold back if desired. The final items are the two lamps with clear three-sided lenses and the taxi's major innovation, the meter, complete with little flag-shaped arm. Markings One rather colourful scheme is provided in the instructions with a choice of three number plates for front and back, the word "Libre" in white and again on a red background, plus another decal for the front of the meter. The chassis and wheels are painted yellow with yellow accents around the bonnet, and the bodywork is predominantly red with black hood and seat cushions as per the box top. Conclusion The Type AG was quite an important advance in Taxis for the day with the innovative meter, plus the smoothing of the ride quality thanks to pneumatic tyres, which must have been a luxury back then. Not my usual scale, but a nice model none-the-less. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Standard B Liberty Truck with WWI US Infantry (35652) 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd. The Liberty truck was a collaboration between the major US manufacturers and the Quartermasters Corps to reduce the need to carry spare parts for every weird and wacky truck that might find its way into service. The aim was to cut down on the breadth of inventory they needed to keep in stock to maintain the vehicles, and to reduce the training needed for their mechanics who only needed to be familiar with one main design. Production began in mid 1917 as American was becoming more involved in the Great War and with very few alterations over 9,000 were made before the ending of hostilities. The vehicle's engine was also a collaboration and pushed out a staggering 52hp linked to a 4-speed box that drove all wheels, propelling the truck to a break-neck 15mph on a good road, drinking a gallon every seven miles at best, which with a 22 gallon tank gave it a fairly short range. The Kit This isn't a brand new tooling, but was released in 2018 so it's barely out of the "new" range. This reboxing contains an additional set of US WWI Soldiers with their distinctive "mountie" hats from the era. It is a high quality kit with a lot of detail that provides a full interior, erected tilt and bare frame options and engine. The kit arrives in a standard ICM box with four sprues for the truck and two more for the soldiers, plus a clear sprue and decal sheet between the pages of the instruction booklet. Two additional sheets of instructions are included for the soldiers and their accessory sprue. Construction begins with the chassis with leaf suspension fore and aft, then spacer rails to join them together, radiator, axles and steering gear. The rear axle is a substantial chunk and has large drum brakes with a drive-shaft leading to a central transfer box in the middle of the chassis. Front mud guards, bumper bar with rebound springs are added, then it's time to add the wheels with two singles at the front, and two pairs at the rear all with spoked hubs and moulded-in solid rubber tyres around the rim. There is a choice of hub caps on the front wheels, then the engine is made up from 11 parts and dropped in place on the chassis behind the radiator along with a two-part manifold and short exhaust pipe that you'll have to take a small drill to if you want it hollow. The connection to the radiator from the block sprouts from the top of the engine, and at this early stage the gear shifter is installed on the top of the box, ready for the crew cab later. The cab is formed on an stepped floor part that has tread-plate moulded in, to which the sides, full-width bench seat and the firewall with dashboard and fuel tank are attached. Two foldable crew steps are stowed under the floor, and the steering column inserts almost vertically into a hole in the floor, then the assembly is added behind the engine allowing the cowling to be fitted together with a perforated grille that sits forward of the cowling by a few scale inches. The hand brake attaches to the side of the transmission hump, and then it's time for the load bed. The floor is stiffened by five lateral ribs and the front wall is added and braced by the side panels, which also have 4 stiffeners, then two stowage boxes are glued in place under the floor at the front. The tailgate is made up from two thicknesses and is added at whatever variation of open or closed you fancy, then the whole bed is fitted to the chassis on tabs and depressions to get the correct location. Back in the cab the steering wheel, searchlight with clear lens and horn are all fitted, the last two on the top of the dash, and two headlamps again with clear lenses are attached to the outside front of the cab. The area is then decorated with a multitude of grab handles, closures and two towing hooks at the front of the chassis rail. A starter handle is inserted into the front, and the cab's tilt is made up from three styrene parts with two clear portholes and it too is fitted to the cab. The cover for the cargo bed can be modelled either hidden away with just the framework visible, or with the canvas draped over for a bit of variety. The framework option is quite delicate, so care will be needed when taking the frames off the sprues to avoid breakage. There are five of them and they fit at intervals to the sides with a substantial overlap for strength. The covered parts comprise front section, two sides with the exposed parts of the frames sticking down, a rolled-up rear cover, and separate roof section. All have realistic drape and creases moulded in, and your only task is to hide the seams before you apply paint, whilst avoiding breaking off the ends of the frames that hang down. The Figures Four soldiers are supplied on one sprue with their equipment on another sprue. They are all standing with one taking a photo of the others on a box-brownie type camera, while the others walk along, only one of which is acknowledging the camera with a wave. They are broken down into separate heads, hats, torsos, legs and arms, with the arms broken down further where sensible, and the walkers each have a large kit bag that is slung over both their shoulders with rucksack type straps, and over that are their rifles, the slings for which you'll have to make yourself from foil or tape. The accessory sprue contains a plethora of weapons and accessories, most of which you either won't use or can be dotted around this and any other models of the period you may make, including battle bowlers, pistols, pouches, tools, a Lewis gun and other oddities. The instructions show the part locations for each sprue and a combined assembly and painting diagram that is covered in little arrows, with the remaining sheet showing construction of the accessories, their painting and even the names of each item on the sprue, which is very helpful. Markings There are two decal options for the truck, both of which are the same colour, olive green for the body, and khaki for the canvas areas. The sheet is small and includes a few stencils, divisional badges and a warning to carry no more than 3 tons. Conclusion A beautifully detailed kit of an early truck from WWI with the bonus of some very nicely moulded US soldiers into the bargain. Highly recommended. Available from Importers H G Hannants Ltd. In the UK Review sample courtesy of
  21. Wehrmacht Off-Road Cars (DS3503) Stoewer Kfz.1, Horch 108 & DB L1500A 1:35 ICM via Hannants Ltd. War takes place over almost any kind of terrain which is why many military softskins are all-wheel drive with low-ratio gutsy transmission that trade top speed for terrain handling grunt. During WWII the Nazis had a plethora of such vehicles, some home-brewed while others were taken from their conquests and pressed into service. Stoewer, Horch and Daimler Benz were German companies that produced such vehicles seeing action in many theatres carrying staff, troops to and from the front lines, as well as arms, ammunition and stores from place to place. The Kit This is another of ICM's reboxings of existing kits in useful groups that would often be seen together, or used on the battlefield in close proximity. This set includes three personnel vehicles in the one box, and as well as the convenience, there's a decent saving on buying them all separately. The various kits are all recent releases with excellent detail throughout, but for the ease of description we'll handle them separately. They arrive in a newly themed box with each kit/set in its own resealable bag and separate instruction booklets and decals for each one. le.gl.Einheits - Pkw (Kfz.1) German Personnel Car (35581) Made mostly by three German companies, this all-wheel drive staff car designed by Stoewer was produced with different bodies during the early war, the most prevalent being the four seat staff car depicted here. It was however complicated and unreliable, so was eventually replaced by the ubiquitous Kubelwagen. The bag contains four sprues in grey styrene plus a single clear sprue and decal sheet, not forgetting the instructions with integral painting guide at the rear. The chassis is first to be built up with dual springs supporting independent suspension and a driveshaft linking the two transfer boxes, plus the steering linkage front and rear. Fuel tank and stowage are placed to either side of the chassis rails and an exhaust pipe is threaded through to the engine compartment, which is filled with a full rendering of its 4 cylinder 2 litre Stoewer power plant over the front axle. The floor of the cab is built up and added to the chassis, then the three part styrene wheels with moulded-in tread are fitted to each corner along with the radiator at the front. The firewall and rear passenger bulkhead are installed next with the former having instruments and transmission tunnel moulded in and pedals attached to the floor. The cab sides, boot/trunk cover, engine cowling and gear shifter are all put in place before the seats are built up from base, cushion and curved back at the front, with a bench seat at the rear of a similar construction that has just enough room down the sides for two Kar98 rifles to be stowed in shackles. Two more rifle points are attached to the front bulkhead, bumpers/fenders and doors are all added with steering wheel and windscreen also made up. The rear light cluster is fitted to racks for additional fuel on the rear quarters with a spare wheel in between them, and the folded canvas roof above. Front lights, jerry cans and pioneer tools are attached to the fenders, and windscreen wipers are fitted into the depressions on the frame, with wiper-motor boxes moulded into the frame for completeness. The lights and windscreen all have clear parts so the passengers don't get bugs in their teeth. Markings There are four theatre specific options included in the box with early war Panzer Grey the colour of choice. From the bag you can build one of the following: WH-102 360 16 Pz.D, Don area, June 1942 WH-240 663 11 Pz.D, Ukraine, July 1941 WH-307 582 Panzergruppe 1 Kleist, Ukraine, July 1941 WL-22662 I./JG51 Stary Bykhov (Belorussia), July 1941 Horch 108 Type 40 (35505) This is a relatively new tooling from ICM, dating from 2015, with nine sprues in grey styrene, plus a clear sprue, a floppy sprue of black flexible tyres, a small decal sheet and the aforementioned instruction booklet. The model is built up on its ladder chassis, including the engine, transmission, suspension with nicely moulded springs, plus body supports, brake hoses and exhaust system. Overall it's a very neatly detailed underside, with the engine being the focal-point. The hubs are split between inner and outer halves, which facilitates easy painting of the wheels and tyres separately, and installation of the tyres on the hubs without struggle. The coachwork is assembled on the floor plate, which has the rear wheel arches moulded in and stops at the firewall, with spaces for the driver's pedals in the left foot well. The body sides are added, with moulded-in framework, and the dashboard is fitted between them to stabilise the assembly. The dash has a decal for the instruments, a handgrip for the co-driver, heater ducting and a lever beneath the steering column, which is added later. The front inner arches are glued to the underside of the body, and a rear load cover with moulded-in seatback is applied over the rear arches, after which the two rear doors and their handles are installed. A delicate (in this scale) framework is fitted between the rear seats and the driver's area, with the fifth wheel behind the driver, and two bench seats facing each other in the rear compartment, which also have delicate framework under their cushions. The front seats are individual, but of similar construction, and have space for the supplied KAR98 rifles between them, with two more pairs fitted in the rear compartment. The windscreen is of the flip-down type, and has two separate panes added to the frame, with no windows supplied for the sides as it is modelled with the hood down. The doors can be fitted opened or closed, with their own separate handles inside and out. Once the chassis and body are mated, more of the underpinnings are added, and the radiator with cooling fan are attached along with the louvered bonnet and front bumper irons. At the rear the hood is constructed from four parts, sitting on top of the load cover in a folded state, as there isn't an option for a raised hood on this variant. Wing mirrors, pioneer tools, front headlights with clear lenses, and number plates are dotted around to finish off the build. Markings Four decal options are supplied on the small sheet, with unit, number plate and tyre pressure stencils being about all that is to be seen. All options are from the Eastern front, with three shown in Panzer Grey, and one in the Sand Yellow scheme used later in the war. From the box you can build one of the following: 8.Pz.Div, Soviet Baltic, 1941 – grey Russia, Summer 1942 – grey Russian, Autumn, 1942 – grey KG 51, Russia, Summer 1943 – Dark Yellow '43 L1500 (Kfs.70) WWII German Personnel Car (35525) This is the larger of the three vehicles manufactured by Mercedes Benz in a predominantly personnel role, but it was also built as a truck in small quantities. There are three sprues in grey styrene, plus one of clear parts, and the black and white instruction booklet with decal sheet slipped inside. It is a full-detail kit that includes a chassis and engine compartment, together with all the associated underpinnings. Construction begins with the chassis-rails, leaf-spring suspension and crew-steps attached to the outer edges, joined together by a number of perforated cross-braces plus the front bumper and rear towing bracket. The drive train and axles are assembled along with the three-part styrene wheels separate from the chassis, but it may be prudent to at least test-fit them to the chassis before the glue sets so that they retain the correct shapes. The transfer box is at the centre of the assembly with drive-shafts leading to the axles, and it is added to the chassis with the exhaust between them, and at the front a well-detailed engine is installed, built from 16 parts. The body is then begun with the firewall which has the dashboard, driver controls and steering wheel attached along with the two-pane windscreen with clear panels added from behind. The crew seats are assembled on a raised box and a rear compartment, the boot/trunk if you like, is built up to be incorporated into the body. The bodywork begins with the tread-plated floor, onto which the rear wheel wells are fitted, then the side body panels with cut-outs for their separate doors, rear panel with moulded-in doors and the already-assembled firewall with windscreen. Next are the gearstick, seats, spare wheel and frame that helps keep the spare wheel in place and supports the front bench seat, which faces the rear seats so the troops can stare at each other while they travel. The canvas hood is supplied as a four-part folded assembly and rests over the top of the trunk area, leaving much of it exposed as a kind of "parcel shelf". The body is joined to the chassis and the engine compartment is cowled in either the opened or closed position along with the distinctive Mercedes 3-pointed star on the grille. The front mudguards are also installed and are decorated with headlights with clear lenses, convoy light and width indicators plus side mirrors, door handles and a rear-view mirror inside the screen. Underneath, two stowage areas are added between the front and rear wheels, one boxed in, the other a framework. Rear number plate and lights finish off the build. Markings As often is the case with ICM, there are four decal options included in various patterns and colours but as the side profiles are in black and white it's hard to tell without referencing the table on the opposite side of the page. Looking on the bright side, the constant flipping back and forth will help create a draught to keep you cool. Grossdeutchland Division, Ukraine, Summer 1942 Grossdeutchland Division, Kharkov, Summer 1942 North Africa, Summer 1942 Italy, Summer 1944 The decals are printed on a strange lavender coloured paper, but are otherwise identical in registration, sharpness and colour density to their usual fare, so well up to the task. There are instrument decals included for the instrument panel, which is always nice. Conclusion If you want some WWII German Personnel cars for your collection/stash or for a diorama or two, then these are just the ticket, with lots of good quality detail and decal options that give the modeller plenty of choice of finishes. Very highly recommended. Available in the UK from Importers, H G Hannants, Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Kadett K38 Cabriolimousine WWII German Staff Car (35483) 1:35 ICM via Hannants The original Kadett was unveiled by the then Opel chief in 1936 with some innovative features including a monocoque chassis, and after a minimalistic set of cosmetic upgrades in 1937/8 the K38 was born. The KJ38 was the standard limousine, while the K38 was marketed as the Spezial with better trim levels inside and out so that it lived up to its name. It was also available with a soft roof that could be removed to turn it into a cabriolet, which led to the slightly ungainly Cabriolimousine moniker. There were well over 50,000 K38s made, and it was only natural that some of them ended up in military service, predominantly as Staff Cars to transport officers of for them to drive themselves around in. Curiously, as part of the reparations after the war, the Soviet Union were allowed to take their pick of some Opel designs and they chose the K38. The factory and drawings had been ravaged during the war, so completed vehicles were taken to Russia and reverse engineered using captured German staff, resulting in the almost identical Muskovich 400/420 with a stylised M replacing the Opel badge. The Kit The original tooling of this kit was made in 2013 and it has been reboxed by ICM and other over the years with a few changes in parts and decals. This new tooling is the first attempt at the soft-top variant by ICM, using new body parts where necessary and leaving the hard roof on the sprues in favour of a new canvas moulding. The kit arrives in a small top-opening box with the usual captive lid to the tray. Inside are four sprues of grey styrene, one of clear parts, decal sheet, a bag of five flexible plastic tyres and the instruction booklet with colour painting guide to the rear. Detail is excellent and the new sprue contains both the stretched hood in closed position and the retracted hood complete with detailed end parts as well as some additional body parts that differ between the models. This is a full interior kit, so you also get an engine and most of the internals/underside parts too. Construction begins with the floor of the monocoque chassis into which the two bench seats are installed once the backs and cushions are assembled. Driver controls consisting of the pedals, gear stick and hand-brake are glued in place then the instrument panel is attached to the sloped firewall and decals are provided for the two dials. The car's sides have moulded-closed doors with separate windows that have frames moulded-in, and an internal structure including door cards and pillars fitted to the interior along with handles and window-winders for both sides. These attach to the sides (no surprise there!) and the nicely detailed inner wings join the external fenders, making up the basis of the engine compartment. The boot/trunk is covered by a cut-down part with a separate parcel shelf and the front screen with A-pillars has a flat glazing panel added together with a sun visor and rear-view mirror for the driver on the left side (that's the wrong side if you're not British, Australian or Japanese). The steering column, front brace and a triangular box section are added into the engine bay, then the two-part steering wheel is attached at the top end of the column, the central part separate from the rim. The 1,074cc engine that outputs a huge 23hp to the wheels is next to be made with a two-part block, sump, manifolds and the balance of the ancillaries, plus pulleys, radiators and so forth. This fits to the front axle with the drum brakes, forming a modern(ish) subframe that is inserted into the engine compartment from below, much like the real thing. The steering linkage is added later after the exhaust is joined to the engine and suspended from blocks on the chassis underside, then the rear axle with its drum brakes, differential cover and leaf springs are put in place, joined to the transmission by its drive shaft. A cover is fitted over it at about the half-way point, and two additional braces are added to the rear axle, finishing off the underside. The wheels have single part hubs and the tyres are fitted over them thanks to their flexibility which also enables them to have a nice cross-ply tread pattern moulded-in. Flipping the vehicle over, the battery and air-box are installed in the engine bay, then the streamlined front cowl with grille and separate clear headlights are fitted to the front with a badge and optional hood/bonnet ornament added to finish it off. The bonnet/hood itself folds from the centreline on a narrow panel and has the short curved side panels hinged at the edges, which fold inwards under gravity as they are opened. Closing up the passenger compartment takes the two part closed hood and oval rear window part, gluing them in place from front to back. Leaving the roof open means adding two side panels over the windows that are normally hidden, then fixing the four-part folded hood at the rear, mating the curved groove in its underside with the shape of the rear. Remaining at the rear the number plate holder and its light and counterpart on the opposite side are fitted, then a choice of a separate hub with flexible tyre, or a two-part covered spare in styrene. The rear bumper has two iron brackets to attach it to the chassis, as does the front bumper with a central over-rider. Completing the model involves adding the windscreen wipers either as a pair or only for the driver, plus two wing mirrors (oh the luxury!), then the offset front number plate and the convoy light that resembles a flattened German helmet. Markings There are four decal options in the box, which include the cream civilian option from the front of the box, two grey vehicles and one dark yellow option from later in the war. From the box you can build one of the following: Germany, Summer 1939 Wehrmacht, Poland, September 1939 Ambulance, Germany, Summer 1940 Staff Car, France, 1943 Decals are printed anonymously, with good registration, sharpness and colour density for the task at hand, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion While not a brand-new tooling, the addition of the new parts adds interest and will find uses in dioramas as well as stand-alone models. Detail is excellent throughout too. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from Importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  23. American Gasoline Loaders 1910s (24018) 1:24 ICM via Hannants Designed to complement their Ford Model T Delivery truck in the same scale, which we reviewed last year here, this two figure set from ICM comes in a small box with captive lid on the tray. There are three sprues inside, one holding the parts for the figures, the other two identical and holding the canisters that they will be moving. The figures are split down with separate heads, hats, legs, arms and torsos, with a couple of forearms separated out to achieve the desired pose and keep the detail. On fine gentleman is dressed in dungaree-style overalls and a flat cap, hefting a large canister, while the other crouches within in the van's load bed with his hands forward ready to accept it, wearing a similar cap, a shirt and ¾ length trousers with socks and shoes. Sculpting is excellent with tons of detail moulded in and realistic drape and creasing to the fabric parts. Although substantially larger than my usual 1:35 figures the level of detail included has been increased accordingly so that they don't look bland. This is especially evident in the hands and faces, which have superb detail and are different enough so that they don't look like they came out of a mould, even though they did! Highly recommended. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  24. German MG08 Machine Gun (35710) 1:35 ICM via Hannants The MG08 was one of the primary defensive machine guns used by the Germans in WWI, and was developed from the original Maxim and adopted into service in 1908 then used throughout the war. It was belt-fed and water cooled with a canister feeding around 4 litres of water through the cooling jacket to avoid overheating the barrel. It fired between 500-600 rounds per minute of 7.92 ammunition that was fed from an ammo box in lengths of 250 rounds at full auto while the trigger remained pulled. It was later redesigned to reduce weight by shaving bulk from the receiver and opting for a narrower cooling jacket with a shorter bipod that allowed the gun to be fired from the prone position. The original 08 had a rather large and heavy sled that was carried by the operators between engagements, and meant that the trigger-man was sat up in a more exposed position. The Kit This little kit includes sufficient parts for one MG08 including a sled-mount, cooling reservoir and ammo box on two sprues with a short instruction booklet. Additionally there is also an MG08/15 included in the box with its reduced diameter cooling jacket, breech and a wooden stock with pistol grip, supported by a thick bipod and with a large drum magazine clipped to the left side of the receiver. The vanilla 08 can be built on the tripod in a raised or lowered position which was achieved on the real thing by altering the geometry with a pin on either side of the front legs. This requires holes to be opened up in the curved front of the back legs which is then detailed with the elevation mechanism that is again set in two manners, the higher one being for indirect fire with the barrel tilted upward. The gun itself is mostly supplied as one part with the handles and pivot added along the way before it is joined with the sled which then clips to the front legs so that it can stand upright. The water can, alternate water box and two types of ammo box are then made up, the narrower two being posed open and closed, while the double-width box has a separate lid into which you can put the bottom end of the ammo belt with the other end slotted into the receiver and a short length added to the opposite side minus the bullets. You will need to provide a length or wire to connect the jacket with its reservoir to whichever version of the canister you choose to use with the caveat below. The MG08/15 is much simpler overall (much like the real thing), but the gun is made up from separate jacket, bipod and receiver parts, with the magazine added to the side, and from looking at the pictures available online it seems that the rectangular water reservoir was more often used with this lightened variant. Conclusion Detail is excellent and there isn't much more you could add to improve it other than the aforementioned hose for the water cooling. If you're wondering about crewing it, there's a figure set coming soon from ICM (35711) that includes two soldiers to turn it into a deadly weapon. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from Importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Model T 1917 Touring WWI Australian Service (35667) ANZAC Drivers 1917-19 (35707) 1:35 ICM Via Hannants Formed in 1914, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) played a substantial part in WWI often in areas that are seldom given the prominence of the Western Front. They were a major player in Gallipoli where they were heavily mauled due to the Lions led by Donkeys approach that pervaded at the time. They also served in Palestine and Egypt, and it was the former where they used the then new Ford Model T to replace the previous vehicles that were suffering due to the poor availability of spares, They used six of them as Light Armoured Cars, often mounting weapons in a manner that became more familiar in WWII in the shape of the LRDG. The Kits The kits arrive in the usual ICM top-opening box with the captive flap on the lower tray and artwork depicting the contents on the lid. Whoever puts those lids together certainly makes them tight and difficult to get off even after cutting the tape between the two parts. Model T 1917 Touring WWI Australian Service (35667) Inside the box are two sprues in grey styrene and one in clear, a tiny decal sheet and glossy instruction booklet with painting and decaling guide printed in colour on the rear. Detail is excellent as we've come to expect from ICM, and the small size of the vehicle is immediately evident as the four mudguards moulded into the vehicle's floor give away the dimensions. Despite being small, this is a full-detail kit and includes a nicely detailed representation of the engine using 11 parts, a two part radiator that is moulded into the front axle and attaches to the front of the body shell along with four eyes inside the engine compartment. The completed engine is dropped in behind the rad and with the chassis upended the exhaust is put in place linked to the exhaust manifold on the side of the block. The rear axle of the Model T was suspended on a single lateral leaf-spring, and this is next to be constructed along with the differential and drive shaft assembly. This is also fitted to the underside with various swing-arms and the steering mechanism, then the four single-part wheels are installed and the model is righted once you've had a few moments to appreciate the detail of the wheels, which even have the valves moulded-in. The vehicle looks a bit odd with no upper body, so with the steering column fitted the crew compartment is made up from front, sides and back which have the doors moulded in and the base of the windscreen mount added as a separate part. The cylindrical fuel tank is fitted across the cab in a gap in the floor, and additional fuel is glued to the front bulkhead as a row of four jerry cans in a box leaving space for the wheel as this is a right-hand drive vehicle. The foot pedals and handbrake are added on the right and the bench seats are made up from bottom cushions (literally!), stiff back with additional cushion and armchair-like sides. Before these are fitted the fuel tank is boxed in and then they can be fixed in place alongside the folded four-part hood and the steering wheel complete with boss and two stalks, one of which was the throttle, surprisingly enough. The pedals on the floor didn't work exactly as you or I would expect either, so it's probably for the best that few of us will ever get chance to drive one. The windscreen can be found on the clear sprue as you'd expect as can the rear light, the front ancillary light and both of the wing-mounted headlights. The screen is in two parts with a C-shaped frame attached to the two halves and a pivot to allow them to be folded or opened. Another pair of fuel cans are attached to the left running board and a spare tyre (no spokes) is found on the right. Markings There is only one colour and that is olive green used on both decal options, both of which were used in Palestine in 1918. Each one has a code on its bonnet/hood and a unit crest on the rear passenger door as you can see below. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. ANZAC Drivers 1917-19 (35707) Cars won't go anywhere without crew and they help to give a vehicle a sense of human scale. This set complements the Model T above, which is why it's here. Inside is one sprue of grey styrene that holds parts for two figures in ANZAC uniforms with their wide-brimmed hats. They are broken down into head, torso, arms, legs and hats with one of the co-driver's arms split between two parts to allow better adaptation to any weapon he might be tasked with. The instructions show the location and number of each part and give painting instructions that refer to a table over the page with Revell and Tamiya codes listed. They do give the gentlemen a slightly sun-burned look through their choice of flesh tone, but that's just a point of amusement to my childish mind and doesn't really matter a jot. Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
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