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  1. 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
  2. I have finally finished the pair of Pfalzen. The first, an ICM E.IV was built a few years ago and got damaged during my relocation. I decided that the restoration would be more interesting if I took the AZ Models E.I out of the stash and built that alongside it, so that's what I did. They are both 1:72 scale, and both heavily modified from the basic kit. The E.I has scratchbuilt wings and tail surfaces, while the E.IV's are heavily modified kit parts, and both have scratchbuilt undercarriage. Part PE was used for the E.IV guns and the E.I has a MiniWorld gun. Here's the build log for anyone interested. Before the war, Pfalz had obtained a licence to built Morane-Saulniers, and that's what they continued to do after the war broke out. (It is said they made good on every penny they owed M-S after the war!). So all the early Pfalz aircraft were basically Moranes, and that is what they were called by the German pilots who flew them. They were also called "flying death notices", due not just to their black outlined wings and fuselages, but also because they were regarded as "difficult" and the early models suffered quite a few tailplane structural failures, many with fatal consequences. The E.I had an 80hp Oberursel U.0 rotary engine and the various models following that basically had bigger engines and wings, to the E.IV which had a 160hp Oberursel U.III engine. There were a few E.Vs with in line engines but that was basically it as Pfalz had not put any effort into designing their own aircraft and by mid 1916 the old M-S design was well outdated. The company continued on building aircraft under licence from other manufacturers (Roland for example) but they did not build their own aircraft again until the D.III came into service in 1917. The E.I depicted here served in Vilna (Vilnius, Lithuania). The serial number on the fuselage is correct as per photos, at least on the port side. I'm not sure if the way I have shown it on the right side is correct as I had to move the cross forward slightly. It would make more sense to have the "/15" in front of the cross, but who knows whether it was or not. The E.IV depicts an aircraft flown by Rudolf Bertholt whilst with Kampfeinsitzer (literally battle single-seater) Kommando, Vaux, based in Vaux, on the Somme, France in April 1916. He suffered serious injuries when the Pfalz reputation caught up with him and he spun it in from 100 metres. He survived that, and quite a few other injuries received during the war, only to be killed in political street fighting in Hamburg in 1920. He was so badly beaten he couldn't be identified physically. I guess that's what you get when the civilians you're shooting at catch you! Anyway, here they are... They look quite comfortable next to each other in the cabinet! I hope you like them! Ian
  3. I-153 WWII China Guomindang AF Fighter ICM 1:48 (48099) The Polikarpov I-153 was the last of Nikolai Polikarpov's biplane fighter aircraft to enter service and despite being the most advanced entry in the series was already obsolete when it first entered service in 1939. The I-153 was developed as a result of a misreading of the results of the aerial combat during the Spanish Civil War. In July 1937 a meeting chaired by Stalin concluded that the Fiat CR.32 biplane was superior to the Polikarpov I-16 monoplane. The nimble Fiat fighter had achieved impressive results against the Soviet fighter, but partly because the I-16 pilots had attempted to dogfight rather than use their superior speed to break off combat. The successful introduction of the Bf 109 was ignored, and instead of focusing on producing a superior monoplane the Soviet authorities decided to work on an improved biplane. The new aircraft needed to maintain the manoeuvrability of the I-15 and I-152 while also increasing in speed. Work on the I-153 was officially approved on 11 October 1937. Polikarpov's main aim was to reduce drag and weight in an attempt to compensate for the weight of a heavier engine. He did this in two main ways - first by introducing a retractable undercarriage, and second by returning to the 'gull wing' configuration of the I-15, in which the upper wing was linked to the fuselage, eliminating its central section. This had worked on the I-15, but had been unpopular with some pilots and higher authorities, and had been removed from the I-152. As a result that aircraft had been less manoeuvrable than its predecessor. The 'gull wing' on the I-152 was an improved version of that on the I-15, with a bigger gap between the wing roots, which improved the pilot's forward view when landing and taking off. The fuselage and wings of the I-153 were similar to those of the I-15 and I-152, with a steel tube framework, covered by metal at the front of the fuselage and fabric elsewhere. The manually operated retractable undercarriage rotated through 90 degrees before folding backwards into the fuselage. The first prototype was powered by a 750hp M-25V engine. Its maiden flight is variously reported as having taken place in May or August 1938. Tests that began on 27 September are variously described as state acceptance or factory trials. These tests weren't entirely satisfactory and production was delayed while some of the problems were solved. In June-August 1939 state acceptance trials were conducted using an I-153 powered by the new Shvetsov M-62 engine, a version of the M-25V with a two-stage supercharger. These trials were not officially concluded until January 1941, long after the type had been superseded. Next in line was a version powered by the 900hp M-63, and this version passed its trials on 30 September 1939. Only a handful of aircraft were produced with the M-25 engine. The 800hp M-62 was used in the largest number of aircraft, around 3,018 in total. The 1,100hp (at take-off) M-63 was used in 409 aircraft. A total of 3,437 I-153s were produced, beginning in 1938. 1,011 aircraft had been completed by the end of 1939, and a massive 2,362 were built in 1940, at a time when the Soviet Union desperately needed more modern monoplanes. Production came to an end early in 1941 and only 64 aircraft were completed that year. The standard I-153 was armed with four ShKAS machine guns. The four under wing bomb racks could carry up to 441lb of bombs. In 1940 93 of these aircraft were delivered to the Chinese nationalists for their fight against the Japanese. They served until 1943. The Model This is a new boxing of the original kit from 2015, with decals for the Chinese Nationalist Forces and a small extra sprue with a new cowling. 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, as fabric was used in the construction, the kit shows the underlying structure, but in a nicely restrained way. Both the upper and lower wings are single parts so the thickness looks correct and there is no worrying join lines. Construction begins with the cockpit, the tubular frame is built up, the controls are added into this then it is attached to the cockpit floor and the seat is added. The complete section is then added onto the lower wing. Additional controls and other parts are then added to the inside of the fuselage halves. These can then be closed up and added to the lower wing. A template is provided for the front to drill the mounting holes for the engine. The upper wing and the interplane struts can then be added, followed by the tail planes. Moving on the the front of the aircraft the radial engine is built up. This has separate parts for the control rods, cylinders and exhausts this should build up into a convincing replica of the real thing. The cowling and propeller are then added and the engine mounted into the holes drilled earlier. The three part outer cowling (top & 2 sides) can be fixed or left off as needed. The Small clear canopy is then added. Moving to the underside the landing gear and door are made up and added. If required a number of light bombs can be built up and added. Rigging of the aircraft is fairly simple and an enclosed diagram shows how this can be done. 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 four different options for unknown aircraft from the Chinese Nationalist Air Force. Conclusion As with the I-16, this is a very cute and recognisable little aeroplane. The biplane design, whilst out of date, makes this aircraft look a nicer design then the I-16. It’s certainly great that ICM are catering to those aircraft. Available from Importers H G Hannants Ltd. In the UK Review sample courtesy of
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Hi! Here are the photos of my latest work. It`s the ICM kit,which despite having received a lot of "flack" builds up into a beautifull model. It has several issues, mainly with the cockpit, but, after the glass work was installed, this modeller can live very well with it. paints utilised: Vallejo Model Air e acrílicos Mig. detailing sets: Eduard interior and exterior set If you have interest, you can find in my blog around 90 fotos with all the building and painting process explained. http://josepiresmodelismo.blogspot.pt/ This model was part of Airfix Model World mag, December 2017 issue.
  9. Afghan Motorcade (1979-1989) 1:72 ICM The Soviet-Afghan War was a conflict fought over a nine-year period from December 1979 to February 1989. The origins of the conflict were rooted in a coup in which the Afghan Communist Party seized power and, supported by the USSR, began a series of deeply unpopular modernisation reforms. They were opposed, and eventually defeated, by a coalition of insurgents known as the mujahideen, supported by the CIA through Operation Cyclone. Casualties were heavy on both sides, but the mujahideen prevailed and the Soviet forces withdrew. The defeat was an important component in the fall of the Soviet Union, creating a division between the military and the Communist Party and sowing the seeds of religious fundamentalism in South-Central Asia. Geo-politics aside, the conflict presents an opportunity to build models of some serious cool Soviet hardware. This new set from ICM includes four vehicles. Three are based on the Ural-375 platform, which was the standard Soviet truck during the conflict in Afghanistan, while the fourth is a BTR-60 armoured car. All of the kits have been released by ICM before, although I believe the Trucks are based on moulds originally designed by Omega-K in the 1990s. The BTR-60 is an original ICM model from the mid-2000s. The kits are packaged into a relatively compact box which is fairly packed with plastic, although a number of sprues are repeated due to three of the vehicles being based on the same basic chassis. Ural-375D Truck, -375A Command Vehicle and -375 ATZ-5 Fuel Bowser The Ural-375 vehicles all share the same chassis, cab and wheels, albeit with some minor differences. The ladder chassis includes plenty of detail, with parts for the drive shafts, differentials, solid axles, leaf springs and exhausts. The tyres are moulded from hard black plastic rather than the vinyl-like material often used in these types of kits. Wheels are split down the middle, so there will be an awful lot of clean up and careful painting involved in getting all of them ready for all three trucks. Turning to the upper parts of the trucks, each can is slide moulded and has clear plastic windows, which I find easier to work with than plastic sheet. The interiors are decent, with seats, a dashboard and a steering wheel. The -375D truck includes a basic wooden load area, as well as a spare wheel. The sides of the load area are nicely moulded, although it would have been nice to have something to put in there. There are plenty of aftermarket items to make up for that, though. The -375A command truck includes the command compartment, an aerial and other details, as well as another spare wheel. There is no interior detail and the doors cannot be opened. The fuel bowser, which could also be used for an aircraft diorama, has a fuel storage tank which is split vertically and some nice touches such as a separately moulded aperture on the top. BTR-60PB The BTP-60 is a monocoque design, so the suspension units and wheels fit directly onto the lower part of the hull. That's not to say there aren't some nice details though, particularly the propellor for amphibious use. The crew area is nicely detailed too, with even the fighting compartment having some basic interior detail. Overall you can tell that this is a slightly more modern tooling when compared to the trucks. Most of the hatches are moulded separately, which improves the diorama potential immeasurably. Even the grab handles and pioneer tools are moulded as separate parts which is really impressive for the scale. The colour schemes referred to in the instructions are all pretty basic/standard schemes for the subject and period. The small decal sheet is fairly generic and includes markings that are not appropriate for this boxing, such as UN and DDR. Conclusion While none of the kits included are going to set the world on fire on their own, the opportunity to acquire all four as part of a set like this certainly boosts their appeal. That's not to say they are bad kits - far from it - but with a street price of less than twenty smackaroonies they are much more appealing than they would otherwise be. Stick them alongside a Su-25 or a Mil-24 and you'll definitely have a winning combination. Review sample courtesy of
  10. In the framework of the recent toy tradefair Mir Detstva 2017, held at Moscow, ICM is reported having announced a 1/32nd Bücker Bu.131 (.181 ?) kit for 2018. To be followed. Source AlexGRD: http://master194.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=100171&sid=b7252e4ad3d849de8e26c4c009281a81 V.P.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. In the framework of the recent toy tradefair Mir Detstva 2017, held at Moscow, ICM is reported having announced a 1/32nd Polikarpov I-153 Chaika kit for 2018. To be followed. Source AlexGRD: http://master194.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=100171&sid=b7252e4ad3d849de8e26c4c009281a81 V.P.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. I-16 Type 10 WWII Soviet Fighter (32004) 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 10 so you could build a type 24 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. 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. 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, in the standard green of blue camouflage. The four aircraft are:- I-16 Type 10 of the 70th Fighter Regiment, Khalhin Gol, July 1939 (Pilot LT VG Rakhov. I-16 Type 10 of the 70th Fighter Regiment, Khalhin Gol, July 1939. I-16 Type 10 of the 122nd Fighter Regiment, Weston Front, Summer 1941. I-16 Type 10 of the 145th Fighter Regiment, Mrmansk Region, Summer 1941, Pilot Cpt LA Galchenko. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. MiG-25 RBT Photo Etch and Masks for ICM Kit 1:72 Eduard Fans of Soviet military hardware appear to be living through a golden age at present. When I returned to the hobby almost 20 years ago, kits of Soviet subjects were far less common than they are now, and those that were available were almost all either old, inaccurate tools from the west, or limited runs kits of a 'challenging' nature from the east. These days we are far better served by a range of new, state-of-the-art tools from the likes of Eduard, ICM, Trumpeter and Zvezda to name but four. In most cases, Eduard have eagerly supported each new release with a set of photo etched details and masks. This month, ICM's new MiG-25RBT receives the Eduard treatment. MiG-25RBT In the usual Eduard style, this set comprises two frets of parts. The first fret contains pre-painted parts for detailing the cockpit and includes harnesses, cushions, pull handles and other details for the pilot's seat, as well as details for the instrument panels and side consoles. Also included are parts for the rudder pedals. Many of the parts require their plastic equivalent to be scraped away. The second fret is unpainted and contains parts for detailing the landing gear bays and landing gear itself, the canopy and various surface details, particularly relating to the reconnaissance equipment in the nose. Also included are details for the huge jet exhausts such as detailed afterburner flame holders. MiG-25RBT Zoom If you are more concerned about the cockpit than the rest of the airframe, then you can save some shekels by plumping for the Zoom set. If you do, the only other parts that you will be missing out on are some of the extra details for the canopy (although you still get the rear view mirrors, which in my view make a big difference. MiG-25RBT Masks This set provides pre-cut paint masks for the canopy and all of the wheels. If you've used Eduard's pre-cut masks before, you'll know that they are a real time saver. Conclusion These sets are a handy upgrade for the new ICM kit. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. Delta Force Fighter (Mogadishu 1993) ICM 1:16 (16103) ICM continue their releases of 1:16 figures that don’t fit in with their World of Guards series, is this figure is of a US Army Delta Force Fighter from Operation Gothic Serpent in 1993 which was the US Attempt to Capture faction leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid during the Somalia Civil War. This became known as the Battle for Mogadishu, or The Day Of the Rangers. These events were later to lead to the Film "Black Hawk Down". This figure represents a Delta Force Fighter from this era. As with the other kits in this series the instructions are not very clear. They consist of a colour drawing of the completed and painted model, with the parts numbered and arrowed. A full A4 Colour picture of the boxart is also included. Seeing that the kit is fairly straightforward it probably won’t worry the seasoned figure builder, but it might put off the beginner. The two legs are glued together at the waist, followed by the separately moulded boot soles, and then the two part torso is glued together and attached to the legs. The separate arms, three piece head, and four piece helmet are the glued into place. A clear set of goggles is provided or the helmet. Then there is the myriad of equipment pouches attached to the chest, back and sides of the torso, while the separate shotgun is carried on the back. A CAR-15 type assault rifle is included for the figure. The kit comes with a nicely moulded pedestal, large enough for both figures with just single option of top. Alternatively the figure can be presented on a plain flat base. Conclusion If you’re a figure modeller then this will be a great way to pass the time. The painting, although not as difficult as some of ICM’s figures will still require a great deal patience to get right, particularly the shading, and the dog even more so. This is really nicely made though and although quite small, (you will need an optivisor to paint the finer details), and it will look really nice in the display cabinet. Review sample courtesy of
  24. I-16 Type 10 Spanish Air Force (after 1939) ICM 1:32 (D3203) ICM have been doing many versions of the I-16 in 1.32 scale now they are bringing us a decal sheet for those used by The Spanish Air Force after the Civil war when ex Republican examples were now in the Spanish Air Force. This sheet follows the one for Civil War machines we reviewed here. The sheet provides markings for 6 aircraft used post Civil War; Conclusion This is a great addition from ICM to an already great kit. Highly recommended. 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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