by: Darren Baker [ ]
One of the most recent figure releases by ICM in 1/35th scale is a set of early World War Two vehicle crew figures. The figures are a nice mix of work, rest and play and so will make for some interesting possibilities. What I do like about this offering is their ability to allow the portrayal of what I often hear; War is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of terror, the quiet is nicely represented here.
This offering from ICM is packaged in the usual manner they have adopted of a sturdy cardboard tray with a flip top lid; this is further enhanced with a separate card lid with all of the images printed on it. It should be said that ICM offers possibly the best packaging option currently in use by the majors. Inside of the box is a single tan sprue packaged inside a re-sealable plastic bag. there is also an instruction leaflet covering assembly and painting.
A look over the contents of this offering do not cause me any concerns at this time. The mouldings are all very clean, even the seam lines are all but invisible to the naked eye. The four crew figures supplied are for the most part very relaxed, but one of them drew the short straw and got the job of lugging round a jerry can, perhaps to top up an armoured car.
All of the figures are broken down in the usual manner of injection moulded figures; a torso with separate arms and legs, the figures in this set also all have separate heads. Each of the figures has also been provided with a holster for a side arm, this is nice to see included as it seems all too often to be forgotten.
ICM has listed these figures as early war period of 1941 – 1942, but I fail to see what ties them to this early war period. The side caps worn by the figures offered here were worn right through to the end of the war. The uniform was also worn for the duration of the war as far as I can see and so this set can be used for most settings during World War 2.
The crease detail present on the uniforms looks very natural for injection moulded plastic figures. The detail will be difficult to bring out during the painting process due to the dark monotone colour of the uniform, but with careful modulation of the colours these figures have a lot of promise. The facial details of these figures are again very good for injection moulded plastic, and while resin heads can be utilised it is not completely necessary. The hands are also worthy of praise, but it looks as if one of the figures stood upright with one hand on the other may have a cigarette in the hidden hand.
The stances presented to us by ICM with this offering hold a lot of appeal. The standing figure has perhaps the least appeal to me, but it does have uses. The figure carrying the jerry can is a nice inclusion even if it is not a unique pose. The figure depicted sitting in an open hatch will always be a popular offering due to the mix of possible uses. It is however the last figure that makes this set one to seek out; this is a seated figure leaning forward and playing with a cat, this is a fantastic figure for a story centre piece.
The set is well packaged and very nicely moulded. The poses all have their uses and one of them is a great offering. I would like to see the likes of ICM start to include decals with their figures as they already have the ability to provide this possibility. The moulded on details as regards badges and the like would I feel be better if decals were provided.