Great Britain, her Commonwealth and Allies had been fighting Germany and her Allies for 3 long and bloody years; the death toll is unimaginable today on both sides. 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 had 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
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 is a four figure set covering the US Infantry in 1917, the year they entered the meat grinder.
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 following portion of the introduction is as supplied by ICM
The US Army Liberty trucks produced at the end of the World War One were the first attempt in the world to create a standardised range of military vehicles serially produced by several firms from standardised units. The most famous were cars of category B series with the capacity of 3 tons which from the beginning of 1918 produced 15 American companies in 2 series. They were hood trucks with an open cab equipped with a four cylinder engine carden drive of the rear axle with a worm gear and cast tyres. Series two trucks had alloy wheels and acetylene headlights. Before the end of the war 9,452 Liberty trucks were assembled of which 7,600 were sent to Europe.
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 marching past 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 bag containing two grey sprues for the figures in one and the truck sprues in the other.
WW1 US Infantry
A check over the sprues that make up this set indicates a good quality product due to a number of factors. Flash is none existent, with only the very lightest of seam lines to be found on the figures. 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. The other big plus with ICM
figures from this period is that due to offering separate weapons sets they do not scrimp on the firepower available in the set.
The figures are broken down in the typical manner most of us should be familiar with, and I see no obvious issues with assembly being encountered. The uniform detail looks accurate when compared to various online reference sources, and while I am no expert it looks to replicate all aspects very well. Crease detail in the uniform is natural with nothing looking to be out of place in relation to the movement and position the figures represent. If I had to complain about one aspect of these figures it would be that the lace detail of the shoes/boots doesn’t really show up and almost appears absent in some cases.
The felt hats offered on the figure sprue are very nicely done, and I am sure many of our American members are looking forward to getting hold of these. The gators used by American troops is correctly supplied, but I was under the impression that these were buttoned up and I cannot really pick this detail out; perhaps someone can correct me if I am incorrect in that belief. The pocket detail on the jackets is a little soft for my tastes, but I belief that is just my feeling about it and you may not agree. The unusual shaped backpack of the US Forces has been well captured, I particularly like that the rear face that meets the figures has been sculpted to fit the figure, rather than leaving the modeller to work it to manage a good fit.
The facial features are good and with these troops perhaps having just arrived by train or troop ship and never seen the hell that awaits them, look relaxed. The hands are very well sculptured, some of the finger detail is better than I have seen offered on many resin figures. The splayed fingers of a waving hand and the internationally recognised ‘A OK’ gesture is exceptionally good.
The weapons sprue is a great addition to this figure set and offers a huge selection of weapons amongst other items. This is the weapons selection from kit No 35688. Rather than cover it here I have provided a link to the dedicated review by Adie Roberts on that product.
WW1 US. Weapons and equipment by Adie Roberts
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.
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.
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.
This figure set is a very good offering from a moulding stance. The figures are in a casual walking or marching pose with an officer watching on and acknowledging the troops. All told this is another great set of World War One figures and I hope ICM
continues to release figures from this period.
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
but I would have liked to see the figures to drive the truck also included; it is not a must but would have been an additional appeal for the modeller.