by: GrahamCobb [ ]
introductionANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and the Corps was founded to bring men from these countries to join British forces in the Great War. ANZACs were initially sent to Egypt, then took an active part in the Gallipoli campaign in 1915, before fighting on the Western Front from 1916-18. Although it was on the Western Front that the Australians and New Zealanders did their most effective fighting, it was the Gallipoli campaign that helped to forge national identities for Australia and New Zealand. That may be why ICM chose to market their figures as coming from 1915 and two of them are modeled in shirt sleeves and shorts. Casual dress like this was typical of the Gallipoli campaign but it was also known in hot weather in Europe, meaning the figures can be used to depict scenes from the Western Front, as well as Gallipoli or Egypt.
contentsUnder a typical box lid lurks a sturdy enclosed box with lid and end flap. There are two sprues of tan plastic, amounting to 121 pieces, which have only a little flash to clean up. One sprue holds the parts for the figures, while the other is a general British weapons selection.
reviewThe parts in ICM’s kit go together to make four separate figures and if you build them as depicted on the box art, you will have four models with realistic proportions and believable poses. The only exception is the outsized peaked service cap for one figure, but there are plenty of other options for headgear. One soldier will be modeled running; two standing and one as an officer using a trench periscope. No trench wall is included but you really need something like this to display the officer convincingly. The standing figures could be easily combined to make a small diorama. It would be easy to hack them about to produce entirely new poses, as the plastic is easy to carve.
The figures go together with only the tiniest of gaps between the assembled parts. The quality of moulding is fair and you won’t need much more than careful assembly to produce a very acceptable model. The soft plastic however means that crisp detail is lacking on some facial details, which means a show-stopping model may require some skilled painting or replacement by a different head.
A wide range of miniature military equipment is included in the box. This is excellent and would be just as accurate for many British or Canadian troops as for ANZAC soldiers. It includes miniature rifles and bayonets, two patterns of ammunition belts, entrenching tools, wire cutters, a periscope, a rattle, a Mills bomb, a Lewis Gun and several different types of head-gear. You will only need a small fraction of it for four figures, leaving a good selection to enhance other models.
However, you need to do some research on what equipment could be used with what. If you are trying to depict soldiers from 1914 or 1915 then the Mills bomb, the steel helmets, probably the rattle (normally used to give warning of gas attacks) and possibly the Lewis Gun will be out of place. On the other hand, if you are modeling soldiers from 1916-18, all of the above equipment will be appropriate but the figures should really have gas masks and these are not in the kit. Also, the slouch hats worn by New Zealand and Australian forces were different and only the Australian version is provided in the box.
conclusionAll in all, the ICM kit will benefit from a little work to get the historical detail right and the models looking their best. On the other hand, the kit provides an excellent basis for a small diorama, for supplementing an appropriate vehicle kit or for modeling individual figures of ANZAC or other British Dominion soldiers.