by: Darren Baker [ ]
ICM is well known for covering a broad spectrum of each vehcle covered where their kits are concerned and that is a plus for us as modellers; it means that ICM keeps the prices down by getting maximum use out of their moulds and the modeller can usually get the exact version they want at a good price. The latest offering from ICM in the Model T line is a ‘Model T 1917 Touring Great War Australian Army Staff Car’ in 1/35th scale.
This offering from ICM is supplied packaged in the now usual manner of a robust flip top cardboard tray and an additional card lid with the artist impression of the model that this kit is intended to build into. The injection moulded parts are packed in a single re-sealable plastic bag along with the clear parts in another bag within all of the other parts. The instruction booklet is loose inside the box with the decals inside the front cover for protection.
Taking a close look at the contents I have found very little to be concerned about. As is usual for ICM all of the parts are in one bag and I always have concerns about breakage and or distortion, I am pleased to say that in this case that no issues are present due to this packing. Looking closely at the parts on the sprues does find a small number of ejector pin marks, but my search would indicate that all of these marks will be hidden on the finished model and so of no real concern. I am sure many of you will not be surprised to learn that there are a number of spare parts included with this offering, a couple of spare shovels among them are always of use.
The model as is usual for ICM has an engine included with the kit that despite is small size is nicely detailed and has a good level of accuracy. With that said I have noted that the upper manifold on the right hand side is missing. I do like the effort that ICM has put in here in areas such as the fan blade and interior detail of the radiator. While I have identified a missing element on the engine it is not a deal breaker as ICM has not provided parts to allow or enable a view of it from above. The exhaust of the model ideally needs a recess put in it to improve its appearance as a pipe rather than a bar.
The chassis of this offering has the main rails moulded as part of the cars lower body; this approach takes away any concerns about a twisted chasses making life difficult later in the build. The prop shaft and axles are simplistic but then they were on the real vehicle and so no issues there. The rails that make up the chassis from the rear axles to the main body are separate parts and have been well tackled by ICM. The front axle is very well detailed including the steering rack, but I still wish ICM would provided the ability to show the front wheels turned. The wheels and tyres will please many modellers as they are no longer plastic and vinyl being moulded as a single piece and so no concerns about vinyl breaking down and weathering issues.
Moving onto the body of the vehicle and it can be considered a tub as ICM has you assemble the panels and then add them to the model. I do not know if this will prove problematic and I am unsure as to why ICM does not direct you to assemble the panels on the model itself. One disappointment here is that the doors are all moulded as part of the side frame and this will take some care to cut them free and show any of them open if desired. I am very pleased to see the fuel tank and battery included as separate parts meaning they have good definition as they are seen; the fuel tank from below.
The seats for the vehicle have a very luxurious look about them and I suspect that the seats were a common inclusion for the vehicle range. They would not look out of place in the living room as a leather sofa. The cover plate for the battery is included and should give this area a functional look. The cloth roof has been provided as folded back and tied down. The bonnet is moulded in two halves and so could be lifted off to show the engine bay if desired, but that would not be an accurate depiction. The windscreen has been well moulded and I like the clarity offered in this part. The headlights and carriage lights have been provided with clear lenses I am pleased to see. A couple of nice finishing touches in the form of a spare tyre on the right footplate and two fuel cans in a carrier on the left footplate. One of these contains water rather than fuel.
ICM has supplied two finishing options for this release which both represent Model T 1917 Touring cars in Palestine in 1918. Of note here is that the drawings showing the finishing options both show the front wheels flared out at the top; I have looked for reference here and finding images of a Ford Model T head on is not as common as I expected, but from what I have seen they does not show this flaring as being present.
It is good to see the Commonwealth nations being covered in model form as they are often overlooked. The Australian contribution in both World Wars as part of the ANZAC Forces is an important one and should be remembered due to most only thinking of the Gallipoli Landing. This offering offers something specific to the Australian Armed Forces and should make a nice if small element in a display cabinet. I do not see anything that would trip the modeller up with this offering and there is scope for a modeller to make this a unique model.