by: Bob Davis [ ]
These figures are provided in an open end box with the instructions and painting guide on the reverse. Like the first set the box art work does not do the figures any justice what so ever. Within you will find a fold out set of instructions and sprue lay out and 2 sprues inside a plastic bag for protection and keeping any loose parts there. The first sprue is of the four figures in the usual 1 figure per quarter corner of the sprue configuration. The second is the weapons sprue with a menagerie of assorted implements of destruction.
The figures comprise of a N.C.O. and 3 enlisted men. They are rendered in a light tan plastic. I find this a good thing as the mold lines are easier to see compared to grey. The mold lines are very thin and remove easily with a scrap of a new blade.
The uniforms are of the 1908 issue, grigio-verde, or grey green which is the uniform color. A stand collar which holds a cloth designating the reg. and rank is correctly sculpted. The buttons are covered by a fly and no pockets are on the tunic except for N.C.O.s and above rank. Above enlisted rank, pockets have a flap with a button to close them on the tunic. There are 2 vents to regulate internal temp, but are not visible. The trousers are baggy to allow movement and are tucked into naturel brown leather lace up gaiters that are integral to the boots, which are natural leather also. The N.C.O.'s boots are lace up with leather gaiters and are black. No polish is on the N.C.O. or enlisted men's boots, just grease for a preservative. The leather belts, suspenders, ammo pouch's ect. are painted grey green and the packs according to Osprey are a light tan color. Kepi caps are a grey color to match the uniforms and have a black chin strap and visor. A cloth badge with the crown and regiment number for NCO's and crown above crossed rifles for enlisted men.
The sprue breakdown is the again usual, of 1-head, 2-arms, 1-torso, 2-legs, parts for tunic bottoms, kepi hats, packs, pouch's. 2 of the figures have the separate hands for weapon placement.
The heads and hands all have nice detail. The hands have creases and even tendons that are pronounced and the N.C.O.'s splayed fingers are beautiful. The facial expressions fit the figures well and creased brows, lips, moustaches all combine to make them better than your average mold injection heads from other companies. Even the ears look better. Uniform wrinkles and creases look good but some under cutting might be desired on the web gear. There are even rank stars on the collar tabs.
The weapons sprue was a delight once again. ICM's decision to include such a large variety of weapons opens up the time period of years to date your dioramas. The detail is fantastic. As the usual (NOW) the bolts are separate allowing correct positioning. I had to reference these weapons as I had no clue as to what type the rifles were or what somethings even were. I will include a list of the major weapons to save some the hassle of referencing them all. The sprue really says the rest.
Assembly was straight forward with no fit or trim problems. No large gaps were left when assembled. NOTE! The first figure inside the instruction paper, (far right on the box art) shows in the instructions to position the hand as if holding the rifle, that is incorrect. The hand won’t hold the rifle in the finger position. As in the art work, turn it palm up so it is in the position of pulling the bolt back to eject and chamber a new round. When you glue the 2 hands, before the glue sets, use the rifle of your choice to finalize the hand position for a good fit.
These figures are in the advance, of a typical cover me bravo as alpha advances manoeuvre. The poses and facial expressions fit this scenario very well. Another set of these Italian figures advancing would be great but instead of waiting I will probably just pick up another set to Frankenstein them into other poses to enlarge the scene for a diorama.
It only took me less than an hour to cut off the parts from the sprues and glue them together. I did not remove the mold lines, just the attachment points so what you see is what you get.
Main weapons included---Mannlicher-Carcaino model 1892 6.5 m.m. rifle/Carcano Carbine with folding bayonet/Gilsente 9 m.m. model 1910 pistol/Truppe Speciali carbine model 1891/Villar Perosa m1915 9 m.m. double barrel M.G./Gilsente Chamelut=Delvigne et Schmidt model 1872 41 cal. Revolver
The Illustrated Book Of Guns by David Miller,20th Century Arms And Armor by Stephen Bull, Military Uniforms Visual Encyclopedia by Chris McNab, World War 1 by H. P. Willmott, Osprey Men at Arms/The Italian Army of World War 1 by David Nicolle and our friend Goggle.