by: Darren Baker [ ]
The German army of World War Two was not as mechanised as it may at first be thought. Large numbers of troops were moved on foot or maybe horse drawn transports, the lucky ones would be moved by lorries across Europe as the advanced. This review looks at one such lorry.
The following introduction is as provided by ICM;
The main part of the German Wehrmacht transports during World War Two was formed of 3 ton cargo trucks. One of the most numerous of them was the KHD S3000, which was produced from 1940 in Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz (before1938 and after 1945 – Magirus) plant in Ulm. This truck was equipped with a 4 cylinder Deutz diesel engine and had rear wheel drive only.
KHD S3000 trucks were widely used in all German arms of service up to the end of the war everywhere; in Russia, Germany, North Africa, Italy and France. In off road conditions vehicles that did not have all wheel drive displayed low cross-country capabilities, so a large number of KHD S3000’s were produced as Maultier half-track vehicles. There were 10684 KHD KHD S3000 trucks produced in total between 1940 and 1944.
This model from ICM is packaged in what is now the standard way of a cardboard box with a flap top lid, on top of this is a card lid with all of the artwork. This approach has resulted in a well-protected model that should hold up to all reasonable postage handling. Inside the box you will find;
4 tan sprues
1 clear sprue
8 vinyl rubber tyres
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
First impressions of this offering from ICM are fair, but there are a few things that caught my eye. There is flash present on some areas of the sprues, it is fairly minor in the case of this example, but I know that when flash starts to appear on sprues it rarely gets better only worse. Clean up of the moulding seams on some smaller parts will have to be tackled carefully, but a better model will be the result of taking your time in relation to these areas of the model. Otherwise everything looks good at this point.
One of the things I really appreciate about ICM is the effort that they put into the hidden areas of their models, in the case of trucks this means the chassis and engine. The engine is nicely detailed, especially so when you consider that ICM does not provide photo etched parts with their models. The modeller only needs to add some wiring detail to this element to lift the engine and bay to a high standard. The chassis of the model is a multi-part affair, and this approach allows ICM to mould in a good level of detail for this area. The only downside to this approach is that great care must be taken by the modeller to insure that the chassis is square when finished; if you fail in this regard you will have a bad time of it as the build progresses.
One aspect I wish that ICM would build into this model is the ability to finish the model with the front wheels orientated as the modeller should wish; unfortunately this offering from ICM is the same as most other kits in that the wheels can only be shown facing forward unless you want to tackle some surgery. The wheels themselves are a mix of good and bad. The wheels hubs are very nicely detailed, but the vinyl rubber tyres are lacking in the clarity of the tread detail; I am unsure if this is a problem with this sample or a general issue, I suppose they could represent heavily worn tyres.
The cab of the model is quite good both inside and out. The interior is of course not dripping in luxury, but what need to there is present. The dials in the cab are replicated via the use of a decal. The steering column is a nice touch as it is complete from where it joins the steering wheel to where it connects to the steering rack. The doors of the cab have separate interior and exterior parts which avoids the issues of the ejector pin marks. While on the subject of ejector pin marks, I am pleased to say that ICM seems to have got a grip on this issue and only very minor ones are present in this sample. The bonnet or hood if preferred is split into two halves and so I believe that the engine could be displayed on the finished model, but I am unable to confirm if the lower side sections should be folded, left as is or cut free and glued to the chassis. One other thing the modeller should consider doing here is to make the seat cushioning looked lived in as it looks new from the box.
The wooden cargo bed has been very well tackled by ICM; there are no ejector pin marks of note present, the board detail is good even though no wood grain is present and the finer details are present. While talking of woodgrain I will admit to liking this to be present, but in all honestly the grain detail would not be seen. The loops for a canvas roof are supplied and being separate could be placed in a stored position if preferred; you could also make your own canvas for the model of wished, be that a full or half canvas.
I am becoming a big fan of ICM products as every new model I look at is that little bit better than the previous offering. I made a negative comment about the boxes that ICM packaged their models in and they very quickly changed to much better packaging. Now I believe that ICM actually takes the time to read reviews of their products and acts on issues that they can also see as an issue. The model is a very well done model with the tyre detail being my only real disappointment with it. I do feel that everyone who purchases this model will be pleased with it. If you want to lift it further just add some wire details to the engine, and if you want to go further still, resin tyres and some photo etched parts could be purchased.