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  1. In 2019 ICM is to release a new tool family of A/-B-26B/C Invader kits: - ref. 48281 - Douglas B-26B-50 Invader, Korean War American Bomber - release expected in Q3 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48281 - ref. 48282 - Douglas A-26B-15 Invader - release expected in Q4 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48282 Dedicated decals by ICM: - ref. D48001 - Douglas A-26B/C Invader (WWII) - release expected in Q3 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICMD48001 - ref. D48002 - Douglas B-26B/C Invader (Korean War) - release expected in Q4 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICMD48002 V.P.
  2. 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
  3. In 2019, ICM is to release new tool 1/32nd Gloster Gladiator kits: - ref. 32040 - Gloster Gladiator Mk.I, WWII British Fighter - release late November 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM32040 Dedicated decals by ICM: - ref. D32004 - Gladiator Mk.I/II in Foreign Services - release Q4 2019 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICMD32004 V.P.
  4. With the Typhoon finally done its time to pick the next build. I recently listed my entire stash (who's size is a well kept secret) to ScaleMates. One of the nice things about that is I now have some statistics. It turns out the most popular kit in my stash is ..... Spitfire - 9 kits of different models. I looked up my work room stash and noticed a pair of Spitfires - a Fujimi one and an ICM. A double-build came to mind but when I open the kits and cleaned them up it became very clear that these are way too different to allow that. The Fujimi is a 80' era, ~20 so parts, very crude and simple and rumor has it it's not even 1/48. The ICM on the other parts has probably the most detailed 1/48 spitfire out there with lots of parts and options. So, it won't be a double-build but I will try to start them together and see how it goes. You can follow up on the Fujimi build here. The ICM kit is quite detailed: It's also heavily covered with mold grease. I soaked it for a while but think I need to re-do that.
  5. Confirmed as new tool with ref.48261. Release expected for Q3 2017 https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48261 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Not mentioned in the 2016 catalogue (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234995418-icm-catalog-2016-programme/), dixit scalemodels.ru ICM is to release in 2017 a new tool 1/48th Heinkel He.111H-3 kit - ref.48261 Source: http://scalemodels.ru/news/10678-anons-ICM-1-48-He-111H3.html A new family of 1/48th He.111 in view? Would make sense after the 1/48th Do.17/Do.215 & Ju-88 ICM kits but wait and see. Scalemodel.ru info also show a box art... Dubious as it's the Revell 1/32nd He.111H-6 one! V.P.
  6. After the recce-bomber MiG-25R/RB family (link & link) and interceptor MiG-25PD (link), ICM is to release in Q4 2019 a 1/48th SEAD MiG-25BM "Foxbat-F" kit - ref. 48905 Source: https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48905 V.P.
  7. 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
  8. American Sports Car Drivers (1910s) ICM 1:24 24014 ICM seem to be working their way through as many Ford T car variants as they can on 1:24 scale. Now they bring us a set of figures which can be used in them, mainly the sportster . One is a feamale driver and the second is a male passenger. Both are what would be considered well dressed for the period . In general the mould in crisp and clean with plenty of detail. Conclusion This is a new set of 1/24 figures in a large enough scale for the detail to pop out. Highly recommended if you have any of the ICM model Ts. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Sd.Kfz.251/6 Ausf.A With Crew (35104) 1:35 ICM via Hannants The Hanomag Sd.Kfz.251/1 was the mainstay of the German armoured Personnel Carrier fleet, but was flexible enough to also take up many other tasks within the Nazi War Machine, from Anti-Aircraft duties to Howitzer carriage and back again to armoured reconnaissance, which led to a lot of variants. With two steering wheels at the front, the rear was carried on tracks, giving it good clearance and rough ground capabilities that a truck simply could not manage once the going got tough. It was armoured sufficiently to deflect non-armour piercing rounds from small arms fire, but with an open top it was susceptible to both grenades and aerial bombardment, where the armour would concentrate the blast and reduce the interior to a tangled mess. The Ausf.A was used at the beginning of WWII alongside the Ausf.B, and was generally fitted with an MG.34 on the front cab wall, operated from inside. There were more than 20 official variants and more unofficial field modifications, but despite their seemingly ubiquitous nature in German service, not many were preserved after the war, and they are highly sought after now, with many examples being based upon post-war builds from Czech factories that have been made to look as convincing as possible by their restorers. While the purist may notice the differences in films, they're still a huge improvement on repainted American half-tracks from an authenticity point of view. The command version being identifiable by the large antenna. The Kit This is a reboxing of kit number 35102 of the same vehicle, which in itself was a reboxing of 35101 so ICM are getting their monies worth from this one. where you can see all the pictures below, as well as the build process and our thoughts on the model. The review of the original boxing can be seen here, and the command boxing here. There are now six grey, a clear sprue (just the headlamps are used), and the flexible tracks and wheels. Also included in this boxing is the command vehicle crew. Markings 2 markings are supplied in any colour you want as long as its Panzer Grey WH 179467 Command Vehicle of General H Guderian, Poland, 1939 WH 609084 1941 The Crew This is an inclusion of the set ICM offered on its own earlier. On the sprue are four figures, including a driver figure and two radio operators, one adjusting his set whilst listening in on headphones, the other with his headphones round his neck writing on a pad that is resting on his left knee. The officer of course is wearing his rank appropriate cap, binoculars and riding breeches, and is resting his right arm on the lip of the vehicle's walls and his corresponding foot propped up on a box within the vehicle. His other hand is looped through his belt/over his holster and he is leaning forward as if he is interested in what's going on. The accessories are fairly sparse due to the duties of the crew, and consist of bands for headphones, binoculars, pistol holster and notepad, while the figures themselves are broken down into separate legs, arms, torso, head with moulded in caps, or separate cap for the officer. The driver figure has his arms split at the elbow to obtain a more realistic position while maintaining detail on the hands etc., and to give a little adjustment when fitting his hands onto the steering wheel. Conclusion We liked the kit when we have seen it before, and like it still, especially with the addition of the figures, it makes it a more complete package. Highly recommended. Available in the UK from Hannants and other model shops Review sample courtesy of
  10. S.W.A.T Team ICM 1:24 DS2401 With the current world situation armed Police officers and SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Officers are seen all too frequently on the news. ICM have now brought us a series of 1/24 scale SWAT Figures, now they have released these as a set. The figure are well sculpted and comes in a traditional format to build up. Each figure comes with one sprue for the figure and a common sprue with all of the equipment such as helmets and weapons, plus a small common clear spure. Common Sprue #1 Standing Figure The main torso is on two parts with a join seam at the side, this should be covered in the build by added on equipment pouches. The left and right legs are one part each and are added to the torso. There is a mould seam on both sides of the leg to clean up. The arms are added and again these have mould seam to clean up. The head is then fitted and a choice of three tactical helmets is offered for the top. Goggles are provided for the helmet with a separate clear part. Additional tactical equipment pouches are provided as are a selection of weapons. #2 Standing with Shield The main torso is on two parts with a join seam at the side, this should be covered in the build by added on equipment pouches. The left and right legs are one part each and are added to the torso. There is a mould seam on both sides of the leg to clean up. The arms are added and again these have mould seam to clean up, the shield then attached to one arm. The head is then fitted and a choice of three tactical helmets is offered for the top. Goggles are provided for the helmet with a separate clear part. Additional tactical equipment pouches are provided as are a selection of weapons. #3 Standing figure - moving The main torso is on two parts with a join seam at the side, this should be covered in the build by added on equipment pouches. The left and right legs are one part each and are added to the torso. There is a mould seam on both sides of the leg to clean up. The arms are added and again these have mould seam to clean up.. The head is then fitted and a choice of three tactical helmets is offered for the top. Goggles are provided for the helmet with a separate clear part. Additional tactical equipment pouches are provided as are a selection of weapons. #4 Kneeling Figure The main torso is on two parts with a join seam at the side, this should be covered in the build by added on equipment pouches. The left and right legs are one part each and are added to the torso. There is a mould seam on both sides of the leg to clean up. The arms are added and again these have mould seam to clean up. The head is then fitted and a choice of three tactical helmets is offered for the top. Goggles are provided for the helmet with a separate clear part. Additional tactical equipment pouches are provided as are a selection of weapons. For all figures the instructions only show one type of assault rifle used by the figure, but a sub-machine gun is also on the sprure. Different types of pistol (holstered and drawn) are provided, along with a bullet proof shield. If these are not shown as being used for the figure it does provide many different possibilities for the modeller to use these if they wish to alter the figure in some way Conclusion This is a new kit of a modern law enforcement figure in a large enough scale for the detail to pop out. This boxing with all figures allows for many possibilities Review sample courtesy of
  11. 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
  12. Looking over the stash for the next project, I came across the ICM Tupolev SB. This was a definite temporary pash I experienced earlier this year, and went as far as buying the ICM kit and assembling some picture references. The SB belonged to that period of the war where things were particularly desperate on the Russian side. I have a fondness for underdogs, and the SB certainly fits into this category. Neither modern or effective by 1941 standards, it composed 94% of the VVS bomber force at the start of the conflict, so it had to do. The operational history of the SB with the VVS took in a huge degree of destruction in the air and particularly on the ground as the Germans advanced, and the aeroplane is bound up with a great deal of bitter human experience. But this is no fault of the SB - it was a plucky performer, and the fastest bomber in the sky in its day. Of course, it was quickly superceded by more modern and effective types such as the Pe-2 and Tu-2 as the war progressed. By 1945, records show there were a mere 5 operational SBs still on the VVS' books. It seems these were flown to Moscow in August 1945, to take part in a military flypast. In the end, it was cancelled due to foul weather - but I think this signifies a nod of respect to the venerable old SB, which was the thin end of the wedge at a desperate time. Embarking on this, I knew I wanted to build a GPW Russian example with flat fronted engines (the ones with tunnel inlets look dangerously modern). I like the idea of looking back wistfully on the SB a few years on. And whilst I would love to model one of the 'last SBs' described above, it would be pure fantasy as I don't have any pictures. So for my subject I am going to build a rare late war SB based on photos of a machine apparently used for weather reconnaissance by the Lyetno Issledovatelskiy Institut (Flight Research Institute) based at Rameskoye (now Zhukovsky). It seems this was a base for Pe-8s and Il-4s, with the SB supporting operations. The 2 photos and accompanying detail, courtesy of the excellent "Tupolev SB - Soviet High Speed Bomber" by Mikhail Maslov, aren't great, but show a flat engined example in uncharacteristic (for an SB) two tone camouflage, and most tellingly, late war white-outlined stars. Hardly a complex paint job - but it hints at a story. The photo is captioned as an SB 2M-100, rather than an 2M-100A, and I'd love to know what gives the author that kind of confidence. The only real distinguishing feature of the M-100A as far as I am aware is the cartridge chute at the base of the nose, and frankly it’s impossible to tell on these pictures. Still, I'm going build it as an 2M-100, making it a particularly poignant survivor as an early production SB still flying in 1944. I may even give it the 2-bladed propellers to drive the message home! Harry
  13. ICM have more great model kits to add to their exciting & varied range, including a 1/48 US B-26B-50 Invader Korean War Era Bomber Kit, a 1/24 Scale 4 Figure SWAT Team Set and many more.
  14. A glimpse into the ICM projects for 2020 dixit a "reliable" source from retailer arma-models.ru. To be followed. Source: https://vk.com/armatamodels?w=wall-114983756_110242 For the aircraft side 1/32nd - Fiat CR.42 Falco - Boeing Stearman PT-17 Kaydet 1/48th - Cessna Skymaster 2 - Heinkel He-111Z Zwilling 1/72nd - Polikarpov U-2/Po-2 (100% new moulds) - MiG-25PD "Foxbat-E" V.P.
  15. In the framework of the recent toy tradefair Mir Detstva 2017, held at Moscow, ICM is reported having announced a new tool 1/72nd MiG-25RB/RBT "Foxbat-B" kit for 2018. To be followed. Source AlexGRD: http://master194.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=100171&sid=b7252e4ad3d849de8e26c4c009281a81 V.P.
  16. 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
  17. A usually reliable russian source announces ICM is to release in 2017 a 1/32nd Polikarpov I-16 kit. To be followed. Source: http://scalemodels.ru/news/10678-anons-ICM-1-48-He-111H3.html For the record a 1/48th I-16 type 24 kit is expected by ICM in December 2016 (link). V.P.
  18. 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
  19. ZIL-131 KShM with Soviet Drivers ICM 1:35 The ZIL-131 is a general purpose utility truck 6x6, one of the mainstays of the many Eastern Block armies along with the Ural-375. The basic model is a general utility tuck powered by both petrol and diesel engines. Like most armies the chassis for a general truck has been used for a multitude of different versions from a fuel truck to in the case of the ZIL a base for the BM-21 rocket launcher. The Kit The kit is a reboxing of ICM's 2014 new tool ZIL-131. This kit comes with the standard command body. Construction starts with the chassis. Please note the chassis rails for this kit are the ones on the sprues for the command[ body, not the ones on the spure with the rest of the chassis parts. Air tanks are added to both sides and they are then joined by 5 cross members. The mounts for the front and rear suspension units are moulded into the chassis rails.The main gear box is then added. The side mounted fuel tanks are then made up and added. Next at the front of the truck the engine and its drive shaft are made up, this drive shaft then mounts to the gearbox. The engine intake filter and exhaust are then added as well, finished off by the radiator. Next up are the main rear wheels and associated parts. The two axles are built up and their leaf springs added, the tyres are fitted to the hubs and then onto the axles. The drive shaft assembly for the main wheels is then built up and added linking to the main gearbox. These are then added to the chassis and the rest of the main suspension parts added. The front axle is then built up, its tyres added along with its drive shaft which links to the main gear box. Once the axle is mounted to the built in leaf springs the dampers can also be added. This now completes the chassis. Construction now moves to the drivers cab. This is built from quite a number of parts and care will be needed to align them correctly. The lower sides are added to the floor along with the are in front of the dash. The dash can then be added along with the steering wheel and other driver controls. The drivers seat and passenger seats are then built up and added. The rear of the cab can then be fixed in, followed by the roof. Once the cab is then together the doors can be built up and added. The front wheel arches with their light cluster added can then be added to the chassis and the cab placed on top of them. The front grill is added then along with the bonnet. Finishing touches are three lights on top of the cab , the rear view mirrors and front light guards. Now that the cab is finished construction moves onto the rear mounted body The body is fairly bare giving the modeller the opportunity to do whatever they wish with the interior. The sides, front & back bulkheads and the roof are added to make the box. Windows are added to the side panels before these are attached to the floor and the front/rear. The on the underside the mounting rails to the chassis are added. These are followed by mud guards and rear under mounted storage lockers. A great deal of external equipment, mounts etc are then added to the rear body along with a spare wheel carrier, and full length roof rails with a walkway area. Once complete the body can be added to the chassis. The exhaust can now be added under the rear. Equipment and the top rack for the body is added. Decals The small decal sheet provides markings for 3 Soviet/Russian, one GDR, one Polish, and one Ukrainian Army vehicle. Any colour you want as long as its Russian Army Green! Figures The kit comes with ICM figure set 35641 "Soviet Drivers". There are two figures in the box, one sitting on a higher type seat and one on a lower type. They are well sculpted. Conclusion It is good to see many more of these support vehicles being produced. As well as making a a good looking stand alone kit, there are many diorama possibilities available. The inclusion of the figures makes it a much better package. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. I-16 Type 17 WWII Soviet Fighter (32005) ICM 1:32 Design work on the I-16 began during the summer of 1932 at the Central Aero and Hydrodynamic Institute. At this juncture Polikarpov was in the kind of straits that could only happen in the Soviet Union. His career which had entailed a swift ascent to the top post of the OSS (the department for experimental land plane construction), had taken a sudden downward plunge upon the occasion of his arrest during the 1929 purge. Instead of a firing squad or a gulag, however, Polikarpov and his design team were sentenced to an "internal prison," there to continue their work under the close scrutiny of the state. Evidently, his prosecutors judged him too vital to the future of Soviet military prowess to inflict a harsher punishment. When the tiny I-16 flew for the first time in December 1933, it was far ahead of any other fighter design in the world, featuring retractable landing gear, a cantilever wing and variable pitch propeller. At this point the I-16 might well have faded into obscurity, if not for the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July 1936. This war drew support from all over the world. The Nationalists, supported mainly by German and Italian forces, were the better equipped. Britain, France, the United States, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and Turkey all sent an assortment of aircraft to the Republican forces, directly or indirectly. But by far the major supporter of the Republicans was the Soviet Union, which supplied 1,409 of the 1947 aircraft contributed by other countries. 475 of these aircraft were Polikarpov I-16s. They first entered combat in Spain in November 1936. Flown in many cases by Soviet pilots, they proved more than a match for German He 51 fighters and Arado Ar68, but met their equals in the Italian C.R.32 biplanes and were overpowered by Messerschmidt Bf 109s. From March 1937, all remaining I-16s were concentrated into Fighter Group 31, and this was by far the most successful of all Soviet-equipped units. Meanwhile, I-16s were fighting also in China, and in 1939 were operated against the Japanese in Mongolia. Their final fling came during the early part of the Second World War, but by then they were overshadowed by more advanced foreign types. Suffering the brunt of the German invasion, those remaining were replaced by more modern fighters in 1942-1943. The outstanding manoeuvrability, firepower and rate of climb, surprised the enemy leading to the opposition nickname of Rata (Rat) and the friendly name Mosca (Fly). Equipped with the Soviet 20 mm cannon it was the most powerful aircraft weapon in front line service with any nation on the eve of World War II. Another batch of I-16s was purchased by China to fight the Japanese, again surprising the other side with excellent performance. When it first appeared, the I-16 Ishak (Little Donkey) was powered by a radial engine which developed a modest 450 hp. Even with this it achieved a creditable 376 km/h (234 mph) and, as the world's first single-seat fighter to have low monoplane wings, an enclosed cockpit (on some versions) and a retractable undercarriage. It was immediately put into mass production alongside the Polikarpov I-15 biplane fighter. Development led eventually to one version of the I-16 reaching over 520km/h (325 mph), with an engine of about two-and-a-half times the original power. The Model This is the latest kit from ICM of this diminutive fighter. This is the standard I-16 Type 24 Kit with additional sprues for the fuselage and wings of the Type 17 so you could build a type 24 or 10 from this if you wanted. All the parts are superbly moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few noticeable moulding pips. Since the aircraft was mostly wood there are very few panel lines, where fabric was used in the construction, the kit shows the underlying structure, but in a nicely restrained way. There are a fair number of unused parts in this boxing due to the way ICM has moulded the parts for maximum use from all the variants. This boxing comes with an additional sprue for the Ski landing gear used during winter. Construction begins with the wings and the two upper sections being attached to the single piece lower section, after which the port and starboard clear navigation lights are attached. Each aileron is moulded in top and bottom halves, which, once joined together are fitted in the desired poses, along with the lower underside of the nose. The cockpit is assembled next, and is a very nicely detailed area. The rear bulkhead is fitted with the seat backrest and support, while the two piece rudder pedals are assembled. The pedals are fitted to the cockpit floor, along with the rear mounted battery box. The front and rear bulkheads are then glued into the left hand fuselage section along with some sidewall detail. The floor is then slide in through the front bulkhead opening and glued to the rear bulkhead. The two piece throttle is assembled and glued into position, and then the instrument panel, which is moulded in clear plastic is fitted with the instrument decal. The rest of the cockpit is then detailed with the oxygen bottle instrument panel, joystick, a couple of handles, and seat. On the opposite side wall the undercarriage handle and a couple of instrument clusters are attached. The firewall is fitted with the two piece oil tank and two gun troughs, before being fitted to one half of the fuselage. The two piece rudder and three piece elevators are then assembled, as is the two piece upper nose section. The fuselage halves are then joined, and the rudder, horizontal tailplanes and upper nose section attached, as are the two door panels. The fuselage and wing assembly are then glued together. The engine bearers and attached to the engine mounting ring, followed by gearbox case and intake manifold, the two halves that make up the cylinders, each with exquisite fin detail, are joined together, then fitted with the piston rods and individual exhaust pipes, before the gearbox assembly is fitted to the rear. The completed engine is then attached to the fuselage. The engine is cowled with three optionally fitted panels, plus the three piece nose cowl, with optionally positioned vents. The two machine guns fitted to the upper nose are then slid into their associated troughs, followed by the gunsight and windscreen. The build is finished off with the assembly of the two main undercarriage units. Each unit is made up of a two piece wheel, single piece main leg, complete with actuator, two outer doors, with separate hinged lower section, there is a second support rod fitted with another door which is glued to the leg and rear mounting point in the wing. If wanted the ski under carriage can be fitted instead of the wheels. The tail wheel is then attached, as is the tail cone and rear light, wing gun muzzles, side mounted venturi style pitot and what looks like an aerial unit, aft of the cockpit. Decals The decal sheet is printed by ICM themselves. The decals are quite glossy, well printed, in register and nicely opaque, particularly useful for the large white numbers. There are for decal options, 3 in the standard green of blue camouflage, and one in the green & Black over blue scheme. The four aircraft are:- I-16 Type 17 of the 22nd Fighter Regiment, winter 1939, 40 I-16 Type 17 of the 5th Baltic Fleet Regiments, winter 1939, 40 I-16 Type 17 of the 191st Fighter Regiment, 7th Fighter Corps Leningrad Air Defense, 1941 I-16 Type 17 of the 4th Baltic Fleet Fighter Regiment, Spring 1942. Conclusion There’s something about the old I-16, no matter which type. Whether it’s the cute little plane, or the plucky little fighter going up against the odds, with only the skills of the Soviet pilots keeping the aircraft, which was quite difficult to fly and fight with, in the air. Available from their UK importers, H G Hannants Ltd. Review sample courtesy of
  21. 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
  22. After the 1/72nd kit ( http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234967600-172-polikarpov-i-153-chaika-by-icm-released) ICM is to release in 2015 a 1/48th Polikarpov I-153 Chaika Soviet biplane fighter kit - ref.ICM48095 Sources: http://www.hannants.co.uk/product/ICM48095 and https://www.scalemates.com/products/product.php?id=101557 V.P.
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. MiG-25 RBF Soviet Reconnaissance Plane 1:72 ICM In the early part of the Cold War, the strategic bomber was seen as the obvious means by which to deliver a nuclear payload. The interceptor - large, heavy and fast - was seen as the equally obvious countermeasure. The MiG-25 Foxbat was, in many ways, the ultimate embodiment of the latter. It wasn't particularly groundbreaking and nor was it particularly sophisticated, but it was capable of incredible speed and could carry four large missiles to high altitudes very quickly indeed. The MiG-25's shortcomings as a combat aircraft were largely addressed through the MiG-31 Foxhound, but the type achieved considerable longevity as a reconnaissance platform. The RBF was an ELINT variant, converted from the RBK but fitted with updated Shar-25 equipment in place of the old Kub-3K system. Despite the changes, it retained the NATO Foxbat D codename. This kit is the third iteration of ICM's new 1/72 MiG-25 family, following on from the RB and RBT variants. A fourth iteration, in the shape of the MiG-25BM SEAD version, is also planned. The model is pretty much a scaled down version of their 1:48 kit, which is a jolly good thing indeed. Inside the very sturdy top-opening box are seven frames of light grey plastic and one of clear plastic. The kit is almost identical to the previous version, but includes a different sprue for the revised parts for the nose. The airframe is covered in crisp, recessed panel lines which look very good indeed, and the mouldings are crisp and clean. The instructions are an A4 stapled booklet which has been printed in colour and the decal sheet is clear and well printed. The overall impression is of a well-executed, modern kit which looks like it should be thoroughly enjoyable to build. Construction begins with the cockpit and nose gear bay. Some detail is moulded in place on the sidewalls of the cockpit, with extra parts provided to represent additional details. Before the main structure of the cockpit can be completed, however, you have to add the bulkhead that forms the front wall of the cockpit and the rear wall of the nose gear bay. The instructions have you installing the nose gear leg at this stage, but I can't see any logical reason as to why this can't be done at the end. This would, of course, save you from breaking the leg part way through the build. The cockpit itself is nicely detailed, with the ejector seat alone made up of no fewer than five parts. An instrument panel and control column completes this section of the build. Once the forward fuselage halves have been joined together, the whole sub-assembly fits onto a spart that holds the huge engine air intakes. I've noticed that kit manufacturers are moving increasingly toward this style of construction, where certain parts are provided for purely structural purposes instead of the older slot and tab style of construction. I guess the main advantage, other than strength, is that everything can be positioned at exactly the right angle - a helpful feature for kits that feature quit a complex breakdown of parts, such as this one. Each engine intake is full-length, with engine compressor faces provided. What results is a complete forward section of the aircraft up to the wing roots, with the internal structure of the air intakes protruding from the rear. The lower face of the main fuselage can be joined to this structure once the main landing gear bays have been added. ICM suggest that you add the main landing gear legs at this stage. Again, I can't see any reason why they couldn't be fettled into place after the main construction has been completed. Once the lower face of the main fuselage is in place, another structural bulkhead can be added, after which the slab-sides of the fuselage, including the outer faces of the air intakes, can be added. The dustbin-like jet exhausts are added at this stage, and very nicely detailed they are too. Once in place, the upper face of the fuselage can be added. Some modellers have noticed that the central spine has a flattened profile instead of a rounded shape. This is true, but I imagine most modellers will choose to live with this minor flaw. All that remains now is to add the nosecone, flying surfaces and finishing details. Each vertical tail is split vertically, with a seperate rudder. The outer face is moulded with part of the rear fuselage in place, so presumably it will be impossible to fit these parts at the wrong angle. Somewhat surprisingly, the upper wings are not moulded in one part with the upper fuselage. Instead, they are split into separate port and starboard halves, with two seperate flaperons and upper wing fences and fittings for bomb shackles below. The nosecone is simply split vertically, with a separate part for the camera pack and clear parts for the camera lenses. The canopy is nice and clear and can be finished in either open or closed position. Other than that, and a few aerials, lumps and bumps, the huge aircraft is now finished. Three options are provided for on the decal sheet: MiG-25RBF, 47th GRAP, Shatalovo Air Base, Russia, August 2001. This aircraft is finished in a disruptive green/brown/tan scheme; MiG-25RBF, 931st OGRAP, Werneuchen Air Base, Germany, 1991. This aircraft is also finished in a green/tan/brown scheme; and MiG-25RBF, 47th GRAP, Shatalovo Air Base, Russia, 2001. This aircraft is finished in the more commonly seen overall grey scheme. The decals look nicely printed and a full set of stencils is included. Conclusion We've waited a while for a new, more more modern kit of the Foxbat in this scale. ICM's new effort is excellent, with high quality mouldings and plenty of the detail. The surface structures are fine and crisp. Overall this is a well executed and carefully designed kit which is very appealing indeed. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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