by: Darren Baker [ ]
When the United States entered World War One their troops were greatly appreciated by the forces already fighting. One thing the US military did that was a first was to have a series of vehicles designed to get troops and equipment to the front lines. One of the best vehicle series was a 3 ton truck called the Standard B and which became known as Liberty trucks.
The following portion of the introduction is as supplied by ICM:
The US Army Liberty trucks produced at the end of the World War One were the first attempt in the world to create a standardised range of military vehicles serially produced by several firms from standardised units. The most famous were cars of category B series with the capacity of 3 tons which from the beginning of 1918 produced 15 American companies in 2 series. They were hood trucks with an open cab equipped with a four cylinder engine carden drive of the rear axle with a worm gear and cast tyres. Series two trucks had alloy wheels and acetylene headlights. Before the end of the war 9,452 Liberty trucks were assembled of which 7,600 were sent to Europe.
This offering from ICM is packaged in the usual manner of as flip top cardboard box and additional separate lid with the artwork on it. Inside is a re-sealable plastic bag containing the sprues, I am not a fan of putting all of the contents in a single bag as it can cause parts to become deformed, and fortunately that has not occurred in this case. The instruction booklet is loose inside the box with the decals for the model inside of the booklet. An examination of the sprues reveals little of concern beyond some ejector pin marks.
As is fairly common with soft skinned offerings from ICM we have been provided with a multipart chassis. The use of a multipart chassis allows for better detail in the area, but it does mean that the modeller needs to take care during assembly as a twisted chassis will make the rest of the build all but impossible. One aspect I do not like in this area is that the leaf springs have been supplied in two halves and so a joint line will be present and in need of remedial work.
As is typical of ICM, they provide an engine with interior detail which cannot be easily seen, as the model is not designed to display these areas. ICM have supplied a very nice radiator, with good detail all round and the 4 cylinder engine, that while requiring the addition of some wiring is a very nice detailed area of the model that is hidden. The axels of the vehicle are fairly simplistic, but the detail provided is good. The steering mechanism is locked in a dead ahead position, I would like to see ICM start to provide the modeller with the ability to turn either left or right, by this I do not mean workable steering geometry, just the ability to have the wheels turned, which I find visually is more appealing. The wheels of the vehicle have some very nice detail present, that will lift the areas once washed.
The truck cab of the vehicle has some nice features in the form of a textured floor. Unfortunately ICM has again not supplied any rear wall for the cab, which while not is technically wrong does mean that the modeller cannot add this feature which is present in a number of photographs, with that said I do like the effort put into replicating the controls in the cab. While the engine cowlings have been supplied in two halves, there should be another fold just above the louvers which is not present.
The wooden bed of the truck is another area where ICM has put in a lot of effort, and I am pleased to say that this has rewarded the modeller with no ejector pin marks on either face of the truck bed parts. The wood texture is very subtle here but does a good job of putting the impression across.
ICM has provided the modeller with two options when it comes to covering the truck bed. They have provided the curved hoops for a canvas roof, which means a canvas could be applied by the modeller using their chosen method be that full or partial. Optionally five parts have been provided to make a canvas roof, but these parts do have ejector pin marks on the inner faces that will need to be remedied.
ICM have provided some nice decals for the truck, including areas such as registration and identification, but I particularly like the stencilling type decals for the canvas roof.
This is another nice offering from ICM, of an Allied WW1 soft skinned vehicle. I am disappointed that they have again not supplied a rear for the cab area, as seen in a number of period photographs. On the positive I appreciated the effort put into the cab area, the truck bed and the canvas roof decals.