by: Darren Baker [ ]
When ICM announced news of a 172nd scale G4 snap fit model I was not completely sure what to expect. Yes there were CAD images which showed a product that being all new had potential; well this model is now available and in my grubby little hands. So just what has ICM presented us with here as a ‘Snap Kit’.
This offering from ICM is packaged in their now usual flip top cardboard tray with a separate card lid, at the risk of repeating myself I will say that this packaging should survive all reasonable handling by postal services. Inside the packaging you will find the following;
2 grey sprues
1 clear sprue
Vinyl rubber tyres
3 metal pins
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
I will confess that with this offering being classed as a snap fit kit, and with it being a braille scale offering, I was not expecting anything earth shattering from this model and indeed I was thinking clunky and aimed at the youngster. So what exactly are we presented with here? Firstly the moulding quality is the usual high standard we have become accustomed to from ICM. There are some ejection marks present on parts, but these are very shallow and small, I also believe that while I have not built this model, most if not all of these marks will not be seen on the finished model.
Being a snap fit kit, I was not expecting anything special from this model, but boy was I in for having my eyes opened. The detail on this model is beautiful to look at in this small scale, it is so good I have had no option but to reassess my initial thoughts about this being for the young modeller coming into the hobby, this offering will appeal to the serious braille scale fan as it is one of the nicest kits in this scale I can remember seeing.
ICM has provided a very nice rendering of the chassis of the vehicle and has also included a nice engine with good drive shaft detail. The axles have also been nicely presented as have the suspension units. ICM has provided metal bars for the wheels to attach to and this means the wheels will rotate, I feel this is acceptable even though it is an aspect aimed at the youngster. The tyres for this model do have tread detail present, but I have always seen the chunky tread detail used and the detail here is not as distinct as I would hope. I suspect that some will want to replace these with resin wheels and I hope that someone offers them soon as this kit is worth the effort.
The cab interior has been well designed and has a very good level of detail throughout. The seats have ribbing detail present, rather than just being a flat seat and back. The dashboard and steering wheel have good detail present as well. ICM has even taken the effort to include door card detail on the interior of the body mouldings. If there was one part that shows to me how much effort ICM has put into this model offering it would be the inclusion of a separate moulding of the interior mirror.
The exterior bodywork of this model is also very good; there is very nice detail present. The sweeping front wheel arches are nicely replicated and are an aspect of vehicles from this period I really like. You are offered two finishing options with this model with the option of having side windows present or not. I like the effort put into the front light cluster and radiator grill.
I am very impressed with the result that ICM has achieved with this model release in 1/72nd scale. I personally would disregard the snap together statement on the packaging and approach this model as a very good quality 1/72nd scale offering of a G4 WW2 German Staff Car.