by: Darren Baker [ ]
With the 100 year anniversary of World War One just passing and the living history of that conflict slipping from living memory it is good to see ICM release another set of WW1 figures. Over the last few tears we have seen a number of figure sets and soft skinned vehicles from ICM plus armour from a number of other companies and we now get a British Tank crew from ICM to add some life to the very first tanks that changed combat so much.
The model is packaged inside a substantial cardboard tray with a flip top lid, and that has a card lid with all of the artwork and model information. ICM are one of the few companies where I feel I can reasonably post one of their products without further protection. Inside the box is a single re-sealable plastic bag containing the sprues. There is also a single sheet of instructions covering both assembly and painting. The figures look to have been presented as being in a field briefing with two NCO’s and two officers; I would think of it as three crew (Steel Helmets) and an officer talking to his men but not part of the crew.
An examination of the sprue leaves me content with what is offered due to fine mould seams being the only obvious modelling issue to tackle. I have to say that ICM is getting better every time where their figure set offerings are concerned as I very rarely find anything to make me swear. I am not telling you they are perfect as everyone makes mistakes, and when they do it gives us something to whine about.
The uniform provided with these figures initially had me concerned as I have been lead to believe that crews wore khaki drill coveralls; however a search for period photographs reveals that both infantry uniform and coveralls is correct. This set offers the crouched male with coveralls, an NCO with standard infantry uniform and two officers; I am a tad confused that one officer has no neither boots nor puttees in the field, but a search does show the rare occasion when this occurred.
The two NCO’s are both wearing their gas mask bags on their chests and I am really pleased to see that ICM made them different looking rather than taking the lazy route. I was rather pleased to see that both of the officers have well defined sam brown’s, and one has a prodding stick that is so commonly seen in images of officers from that period. I also like the natural look to the creases in the uniform and how they have been naturally placed.
Moving onto the faces of these figures and I am pleased to see good variation in the facial details so that we have people rather than clones. One aspect that is often weak on injection moulded figures are the ears, well that is not the case here with very well defined ears that also look right from behind which is rare to see. The hand detail is also of a very high standard having good finger detail and the rear of the hand.
I partially assembled one of the figures and did a little clean up of the mould seams. I did note that I did a poor job on the back of one of the legs in the photographs. I put the legs, torso and arms together only and have not used any techniques or products to fill gaps. I have then given it a very quick coat of paint using a colour from the Life Color WW1 paint set; I think you will agree that the main parts of this figure have gone together very well and requires very little in the way of remedial work.
This is a very nice figure set from ICM that I feel will please most modellers regardless of skill level. One of the beauties of this product from ICM is that it is a natural setting and it gives the tanks of the period a sense of scale while telling a story. I do not see anything amiss with this ICM offering even if it is unusual to see an officer without boots or puttees. Judging from the figure I assembled this set will not require much effort from the modeller as regards building.