by: Darren Baker [ ]
Great Britain, her Commonwealth and Allies had been fighting Germany and her Allies for 3 long and bloody years; the death toll is unimaginable on both sides. Today the thought of climbing out of a trench and walking slowly towards machine guns is utter stupidity, enter into this blood bath the US Military and an injection of man power that Britain and her Allies sorely needed. The Dough Boys have arrived.
Since the Centenary of World War 1 Starting a number of companies have begun making available newly tooled vehicles of that period, but figures have been overlooked by many of those same companies. I can only think of two who have made figures available to the modeller and none has done more to cover the combatants than ICM. ICM is slowly and surely working their way through the forces of the countries that took part in the Great War, and giving us very good modern produced figures from countries some have never heard of. One of these offerings is an officer and trooper in a position to drive one of the suitable vehicles.
This figure set has now been combined with a Standard B Liberty truck. 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 model parts are supplied in a flip top cardboard tray with another card upper; the card upper has a very nice artistic representation of the figures contained within sat in the truck included. The packaging used by ICM is one of the best and strongest methods I have seen for protecting their product and making sure it reaches you in the condition intended, and this should easily cope with the rigours of any reasonable handling by the postal services of the world. Inside of the box there are two re-sealable plastic bags containing a grey sprue for the figures in one and the truck sprues in the other.
WW1 US Driver and Officer
A check over the sprues that make up this set indicates a good quality product due to a number of factors. Flash is only seen on an arm of one of the figures, with only the very lightest of seam lines to be found on the figures otherwise. The layout has been well thought through and so making life easy for the modeller. The detail is of the usual high standard that ICM has provided in their figure sets for some time now.
With this release now including the WW1 US Driver set we get an Officer and a Trooper to place inside the Lorry or for that matter any other suitable vehicle. I am detecting and little bit of flash on the arm of one of the figures. The clothing provided looks appropriate with the officer having knee length boots and the Sam Brown Belt across his chest. An interesting feature of this figure is that he seems to be wearing spurs and a particularly well cut Uniform, with very good detail provided throughout by ICM. The Trooper on the other hand has shoes and gators with a uniform that while well depicted does not have that high quality look to it, By saying this I am saying the quality of the depicted clothing is of a lesser quality than the moulding. As is usual for ICM the hands and faces have a very good quality to them to the extent that I believe the officer has a moustache. The only thing that I would suggest is missing from this ensemble is the personal weapons which I believe would be on the personnel at all times.
Standard B Liberty Truck
As is fairly common with soft skinned offerings from ICM we have been provided with a multi-part chassis. The use of a multi-part 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 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 still not supplied any rear wall for the cab, which while not technically wrong does mean that the modeller will ideally 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, but the hinge detail is provided.
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.
The truck offered in this nice offering from ICM, of an Allied WW1 soft skinned vehicle is as good as I remember on the original release and so the moulds are holding up well. I am disappointed that ICM have still 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 decals for the canvas roof. This is a nice pairing from ICM the Addition of these figures with this truck model is a nice amalgam.