The following text is the introduction as supplied by ICM
The three axle off road passenger car G4 (W31) was designed by Daimler-Benz in 1934. The car had an 8 cylinder engine of 100hp and later 110hp and 6 passenger seats. The car was intended for the German army, but it was too expensive and too complicated for mass production. There were only 72 G4 cars produced up until 1939, and they were used mainly by the highest ranking state and military authorities of Germany.
Inside the very sturdy flip top cardboard box as opposed to the more usual tray and lid you will find;
- 5 grey sprues
- 1 black sprue
- 2 chrome sprues
- 1 clear sprue
- 8 vinyl rubber tyres
- A small decal sheet
- A painting guide
- An instruction booklet
I rarely go into the packaging of products very much as it is not exactly an exciting aspect. That said the packaging here is worthy of a special mention due to its very high quality. The box is very well presented and extremely sturdy, this means that anyone ordering this model online should receive their model in the same condition in which it left the factory short of a truck running over it.
The instructions are printed on a light weight semi-gloss paper. The instructions start with a short introduction in Russian and English; this is followed by a painting guide, but only supplies colours by name and by Model Master. There is then a list of cautions to exercise during construction; this is followed by a 2 page sprue layout guide. The construction of the model is then shown in 39 stages using black and white line drawings. There is also a separate painting guide for finishing the model; however no text is supplied to identify the four finishing options supplied.
The sprues are well laid out and unlike the 1/35th scale models released by ICM
the sprues are not all packaged in the same bag and so the risk of damage is reduced. Part number identification is clear and where possible place specific parts are in the same area on the sprues. Removal of parts has been made easier due to having gates of a reasonable size and not excessive in number, removal is also aided due to the parts not being crowded on the sprues. There are a number of flow marks in the plastic parts, however on this example there are no obvious issues or flaws having been caused by these. There are a number of ejector pin marks on the plastic moulding some of which unusually for ICM
are proud instead of recessed, these however for the most part can be ignored with the exception of those on the underside of the roof; I believe the car roof may be the only area that needs attention, but I cannot be sure until the model is built.
Engine and Gear Box
The engine supplied with this model is nicely replicated as is typical of ICM
has done a nice job of replicating detail such as bolt heads where to me it seems appropriate, even detail such as fan belts are quite good and the fan itself being supplied in plastic is nicely proportioned and detailed. There is some scratch work to be done to bring this up to the best it can be, and in this case it is the usual need for the modeller to add some wiring and lead detail which should be within the scope of most if not all of us. There is a pitfall waiting for you in the latter stages, in this case the radiator; I may be wrong but I believe there should be a radiator behind the front grill and if that is the case it has been completely omitted. The alternative is; if the radiator forms a part of the front grill then the rear of the radiator is completely missing. Regardless of which of these scenarios is correct it is a large and easily seen structure of the engine as a whole that is missing, especially on a 1/24th scale model.
The wheels for the G4 are a nice area of the model, which despite having vinyl rubber tyres should be eye catching. The reason I believe these will catch the eye is due to the very prominent tread and the chromed hub caps with the Mercedes-Benz 3 pointed star well replicated on all six road wheels. While on the subject of the tyres, I have been unable to find an exact match for the depicted tread pattern however the outer edge detail does match a number of tyres with variations depicted between these details. There is no makers name listed on the side walls of the tyres and I am unable to find suitable reference.
Chassis and Axles
The chassis on the G4 is unusual in that unlike just about all of the vehicles I have seen from ICM
this chassis is a single piece affair with the running boards attached, the level of detail is good and the flowing line from the front to the rear wheel arches via the running boards is very good. I suppose that this does ensure the model is square and that all of the parts should fit without any major issues. While looking at this area a quick word about the exhaust; I have no idea about the accuracy of the part or the route it takes from the front to the rear of the vehicle, However the only issue I can see is that the pipe will need to be drilled as a solid piece with no opening is very obvious in this scale. The front axle on the G4 is relatively basic consisting of a cross member attached to two leaf springs and of course the steering mechanism; I have no idea how accurate that is as I have never crawled around under a G4. The twin rear axles look to have great detail and while they will not really be seen once added they do look the part taking 38 parts and that is not counting the wheels.
The interior of the G4 looks fair; the door cards which are supplied as separate parts hide the ejector pin marks on the internal surfaces of the doors and of course on the door cards. Some nice detail features on the door cards is a holster on each side within easy reach to whoever is sat in the centre row of seats. The door handles and winders are supplied also as separate parts, this will look a lot better than the moulded on detail sometimes supplied. Seat detail is simple but effective with some good upholstery detail; in particular the backrest of the front seats which have a nice curve imparted. The dashboard is reasonably well laid out and with the addition of decals for the dials should look effective; I believe but need better magnification to confirm that there is a very light wood texture on the surface which lifts the finished look. The foot pedals, handbrake and gear stick are all in the kit as is a particularly nice steering wheel which tops this area off along with sun blinds which is good to see included. The firewall has a couple of detail parts added on the engine side, but I cannot help thinking it looks forlorn.
Starting with the bonnet/hood; the detail is very good and ICM
has included instructions for having the bonnet open, I would have liked to see an engraved line on the inside of the bonnet to use as a guide for cutting if you desire to have the bonnet open, but then again this is called model making. The big downside here is the lack of a radiator or at least a detail part that looks like one to fit in the rear of the front grill, it is a real shame and one to which I have not come up with a solution for as yet. The front grill does have a really nice touch in the form of the Mercedes-Benz symbol in a chromed part. The light fittings are all I believe supplied in chromed parts and so should look quite effective; I am wondering if I can wire some lights into them for some home added bling. The car body should look good with the chromed door handles; however there is a join in the panel at the centre of the windscreen that will need some careful finishing, and this may also be true at the rear to a lesser extent due to most of the join being hidden behind the boot/trunk which is supplied as a separate part. I will finish this area off by adding that items such as the fuel tank and fuel filler pipe are included which adds some really nice details for the eye to pick out.
Closed Canvas Roof
This is perhaps the only area of the model that differs from the earlier release from ICM
of the G4. Detail on the canvas is good externally, and with some extremely faint ejector pin marks to deal with on the inside. The most obvious portions of the frame work that supports the canvas roof are present, but the internal structure is not; this can be easily overcome I believe by using some fine plastic rod to replicate that detail.
This is a very fine model of the G4 which should build into a good sized model for the shelf. The model has its faults with the biggest being the missing radiator in my opinion, however I am sure I will find a way to remedy that via an aftermarket part or some creative license work by myself. If you want something big and a little different this could be the model for you, especially with all of the chromed parts in the box.