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Built Review
135
Standard B Liberty
Standard B Liberty WW1 US Army Truck
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by: Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]

Introduction

During World War 1, the United States Quartermaster Corp developed a requirement for a truck, and with the assistance of the Society of Automotive Engineers the Class-B Standardized Military Truck was developed. The truck was also known as the Liberty Truck and began production in January 1918, with the first trucks starting to arrive at French ports a month prior to the end of the war. Several trucks did serve with the US military into the late 1920’s.

A new kit from ICM provides an example of this early truck in 1/35 scale.
Contents

4 Plastic Sprues
1 Clear Plastic Sprue
Decal Sheet
Instruction Booklet

Review

The kit of the Standard B Liberty truck from ICM arrived in a nice sturdy box, and I was excited to get it open. I was pleasantly surprised when I did get it open, the kit is molded in light grey plastic, and an initial inspection showed some nice moldings and details for the kit. I found no flash or sink marks in my example but did notice there are some ejector marks and seams that will need a little filling.

The item that really caught my eyes first was the detail on the canvas cover, it is molded in 5 parts, top, sides, and ends. What I really liked was the realistic looking “rolls and creases”, probably one of the best plastic molded canvas covers I have seen. Parts are also included to leave the cover off for those who wish.

Back to the rest of the kit, there is nice details elsewhere too. The parts for the engine, frame and cab also look to be very well done. In most, the parts are very well molded, with nice surface details. I did notice that some seam lines are a little bigger then normal, but nothing a sanding stick or file won’t solve.

The kit from ICM looks to have a decently detailed engine, frame, and running gear. The kit does not provide the option of leaving the bonnet open to show off the engine without some extra cutting. But with a little work, some “plumbing” in the engine compartment with some wire bits would provide a nice-looking display. As for the cab, it is sparsely populated, just like a vehicle from that time. The small instrument panel is well molded but does lack a decal in the kit for the single dial. The rest of the details looks to be well done, and with an open cab should show nice.

What I did find a little disappointing was the lack of molded wood grain on the truck bed. Also the tie downs are molded solid on the bed and there is no rope details for the canvas cover. There are also no ties down for the cab cover. The kit would have benefited from a little photo-etched parts in places. But I must say the front grill does look nice molded in plastic.

The instructions are well laid out and should lead to easy assembly of the kit from ICM. The decals look to be well printed with markings included for two vehicles:

  • US Army, 1919
  • US Army, USQMC, France, 1918

Build

A quick build on the kit, proved to be fun, with some great fit. As mentioned some of the seam lines needed some care, but easily resolved. The frame goes together very well, with an impressive engine, some details could have been added, but as I planned for a closed bonnet I build it as is.

I built the cab and cargo box separately for ease of painting, and again no fit issues as they went together very well. This includes the multiple parts for the canvas cover, which I did apply a little putty on the outside to cover the seam. Unfortunately, there is no internal bracing details on the inside of the cover. As part of the cover, I did drill some holes in the cover and remove the molded tie downs to add the rope tie down details. The ties downs were replaced with small bit of wire.
For the missing cab cover details, I shaved off the molded on tie downs and replaced them with photo-etched parts from my spares bin. The strap detail was added with thin tape. I also added a decal to the instrument panel from the spare bin.

The kit was painted with Ammo by Mig Olive Drab (not sure if that was the right color) and weathered with Vallejo and Ammo by Mig products.
Summary

With the Standard B Liberty truck, ICM has delivered a nice kit. The moldings are crisp, with some nice looking details. While some of the details, like the canvas cover tie downs, they can be added easily. Overall I was impressed with the look of the canvas cover, one of the best molded covers I have seen, and with the build, I found no major issues and the fit was very good. I would definitely recommend this kit.
SUMMARY
Highs: Nice moldings, canvas cover very well done, great fit for build
Lows: Missing tie down details for canvas covers, and could use a little photo-etch
Verdict: Great kit with great fit, highly recommended.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35650
  PUBLISHED: Nov 12, 2018
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.35%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.66%

Our Thanks to ICM Holding!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Kevin Brant (SgtRam)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA

I am an IT Consultant and father, with a passion for plastic models. I mostly prefer 1/35 Armor and 1/48 Aircraft. My main interests are anything Canadian, as well as WW2 German and British Armor and Aircraft. I have been building models since I was a young kid, got away from it for awhile, but r...

Copyright ©2019 text by Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

A related post with additional information on the Liberty Truck from ICM can be found at: LINK (With lots of cool Frenchy supplied original reference photos.)
NOV 12, 2018 - 06:25 AM
Totally agree with Kevin's review! Outstanding kit, great fit and detail. One note: Distributor and magneto are strangely missing from the engine. I tip my hat to the amazing job Kevin Brant has done on the canvas tie downs of the loadbox but especially to those delicate tie down leather belts he added to the canvas cloth cab top. (What I might otherwise call the bonnet if not to possibly cause confusion amongst our British friends.)
NOV 12, 2018 - 06:28 AM
A series 1 (having electric lights) Liberty B Standard Truck - Series 2 vehicles (which came later) returned again to oil and carbide gas lamps as the troops were far more familiar with the operation of these. In this photo the engine starting crank has come loose from its retainer. When not in use for starting, the crank should be stowed up against the chassis, not hanging loose as seen here.
NOV 13, 2018 - 05:02 PM
Kevin, would you mind speaking briefly on how you made the retainer footman's loops and hold down belts on the cab's cloth top? Very jealous of your work there!
NOV 13, 2018 - 05:45 PM
To start with, I scraped off the molded on ties downs, and replaced them with PE tie downs from my spares bin. I also added a tie down to the front bar on the cover. I then used 1 mm masking tape, threading it through the new ties downs. I then used a small piece of wire for the buckle.
NOV 14, 2018 - 01:10 AM
Thank you sir. The footman's loops I figured were spares box inductees but the tape for the belts - now that's the secret! Much appreciated!
NOV 14, 2018 - 03:57 AM
   

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