by: Darren Baker [ ]
Marine units across the world perform similar roles; one of those roles is as official guards to people such as politicians on state visits. The dress uniforms of all Marines have a lot in common; just take a look at the dress uniform of the US Marine and Royal Marines to see how close they are in appearance. ICM has released a US Marine in full dress uniform in 1/16th scale. Anyone who has seen a US Marine in full dress uniform will tell you how impressive their presence is.
As is now usual for ICM the model is provided in a substantial cardboard tray and flip top lid, there is also a card lid with the artwork on it. Inside is a single re-sealable plastic bag containing the model sprues. The contents break down as follows:
2 grey sprues
2 black sprues
An instruction and painting guide
A copy of the box artwork
Starting with a look at the sprues leaves me with a positive impression due to the lack of any obvious issues. The moulding quality is crisp where it needs to be and all details look to be well replicated. Despite having some very thick mouldings ICM has avoided shrink marks that I expected to find when I first looked at the model. There are some flow marks on the base, but as these have been present on previous offerings and caused no issues I am not concerned on this occasion. The sprue gates are minimal and of a reasonable size, something I like to see.
The figure has surprisingly few parts and so assembly should go quickly. The arms and legs have been moulded as single solid parts and in 1/16th scale are of a thickness where I was expecting to find deformities in the form of sink marks, but as I said earlier the detail is good and no imperfections were noted. One aspect of the trousers which I thought was wrong are the blood strips running down the sides of the leg for the red piping, the space looks far too wide, but further checks would indicate that this is correct. The moulding seams on the trousers have been used to indicate the crease detail that should be present, but I feel these need to be softened a little. The boots look fine to me, but I was surprised at how hard it is to find good images of the footwear.
The tunic has been moulded in two halves above the belt with the hem of the tunic provided in three parts providing a nice undercut appearance. Pockets, rank insignia, buttons and medals are well represented on the model. Close ups of the buttons, cap badge, belt buckle and scabbard are provided in the instructions. Particularly pleasing is the detail provided for painting the medal ribbons, it is not made clear what they are, but I believe they represent the following:
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal
National Defence Service Medal
Global War on Terrorism Medal
I strongly urge you check the ribbon colours in order to get the correct tone to the colours. A check of the uniform detail under high magnification shows good globe and anchor detail on the cap, collar and belt buckle, but I could not see any detail on the uniform buttons.
The peaked cap has been well represented and supplied as two pieces. Detail is present where required and meets my expectations. The hands are wearing gloves and these are again very well represented, even the three ribs on the back portion of the hand are present. The fingers are supplied separately for the right hand to enable a good representation of the hand holding the rifle. The head is supplied in two pieces with the join line running down behind the ears and then down the neck, this joint seam will require some work as there is no chin strap present which is normally used to hide this seam. Facial detail is excellent having a neutral expression and nicely defined ears, the ears being an area that is commonly weak in figures.
The figure is provided with an M1 Garand rifle that is supplied in five pieces. The rifle itself looks good judged against online reference, and if carefully painted should be very pleasing. I am a little bemused as to why ICM has moulded the front wooden portion of the rifle in two separate parts as I see no logical reason for it. Also separate is the rear sight which again baffles me. The muzzle of the rifle will need to be drilled to improve its appearance. The final part of the rifle is a separate sling which is a very nicely done part.
The building of this offering from ICM is the easiest of the large scale figures I have seen thus far. The arms and legs are very impressive due to the lack of shrink marks on such a thick moulding. Overall detail of the finer embellishments makes this a very nice figure to work on. The details on the rifle are impressive especially in areas such as the sling, but it would have been nice to see the muzzle hollowed out a little even as just a guide for a drill bit. Detail that has been provided on the medals is also a very nice inclusion.