by: Darren Baker [ ]
Prior to World War 2 Ford Motors had a global manufacturing base and this resulted the companies being taken over in Axis controlled countries as World War 2 progressed and Ford vehicles being used in those military forces. There was also a Ford presence in the UK and so Ford produced a number of trucks for the Commonwealth forces during World War 2 and the Allies generally. One of these vehicles was the W.O.T.8 (War Office Truck 8), this was a 1.5 ton vehicle in a 4x4 set up. Ford based in Dagenham produced vehicles ranging from staff cars up to 3 ton trucks. This review looks at the Ford 4x4 1.5 ton truck from ICM in 1/35th scale, a truck that remained in service after World War 2.
This offering is supplied in the now usual flip top cardboard box favoured by ICM with a second separate card lid with the artwork on it, as a modeller I do appreciate a well packaged offering and I feel ICM is one of the best in this respect. The artwork on the lid is very nicely done and will draw your eye to the box I believe. Inside the box is an instruction booklet with the decals protected between the pages. The sprues and other model elements are packed inside a single re-sealable plastic bag with further bags holding the clear and vinyl rubber parts, perhaps the biggest surprise is that ICM has included photo etched parts that I wish they would do more often.
As always I started with a look at the parts provided to make the model. All of the mouldings are cleanly produced with some flow marks present that do not look or feel to have caused issues with the finish of the parts. I have found a number of parts that have ejection pin marks present and a good number of these are in places where they will be seen, areas such as the interior of the cab and the cargo bed are the worst offenders in this respect; with that said I am pleased to see that ICM has reduced the size of these marks considerably and so making them easier to deal with.
The chassis of this offering from ICM is a multi-part affair and so requires care during the construction to ensure that it is finished square. I have heard some complaining about this approach by ICM, but I approve very strongly of it as it has enabled a great deal of detail to be built into the chassis of this model. The leaf springs have a good level of detail to them, but do require the modeller take care when removing the seam lines present on them.
As is usual with ICM they have included a very nice engine to go into the vehicle along with the gear box. The level of detail here is very nice for an injection moulded plastic offering and with care when painting should add appeal if displayed on a finished model. As usual the modeller will need to add some wiring to raise the look of the finished model, but it should meet the expectations of most. I will say that I cannot guarantee the accuracy of these aspects of the model as I was not able to find suitable reference.
ICM has not taken up the torch on my pet hate and the front wheels cannot be assembled or shown turned without the modeller tackling some surgery on the model. With that said the axles themselves have some very nicely defined detail with the differentials catching my eye in this respect. The hubs are another area of the model that has been well tackled and resulting in a pleasing look I believe.
The tyres being supplied as vinyl offerings will please some and annoy others in equal measure I suspect, but the tread pattern and wheels have excellent detail that I can say is accurate for one type of set up used in World War 2. The result of the review so far is that I believe this model could be built as a brand new, old or destroyed vehicle and offer the modeller tackling the chosen style a great starting point for any alterations they care to make.
The engine bay has been well detailed by ICM as regards the side walls and radiator details and connections. The undersides of the wheel arches have ejector pin marks that will ideally be tackled during construction. The engine sites to a degree between the cab seats and for those that do not know the instruments are mounted on the engine cover between the seats of the cab; ICM has supplied decals for the instruments dials and so should look quite nice. Looking at the top of the front wheel arches the level plate should be there and is an aspect most often seen on the W.O.T.8 trucks, but it is my understanding that this cannot be used to guarantee accurate identification.
The seats in the cab have that never been sat on look that I am not keen on, but a build feature that is being done for me by a modeller does show how this can be tackled and result in a used look. The body of the cab looks to have been very well tackled as regards shape and form with a few ejector pin marks that need to be tackled. I was especially pleased with the doors as regards moulded detail on both faces and general thinness of the moulding and good attention to the fixtures and fittings. The windows of the cab are thin enough to keep me happy and should meet most expectations. The front grills have been supplied in photo etch by ICM and I greatly approve of this effort on their part, my only concern is that the point where a bend needs to occur on both panels has not been indicated on the parts. The front of this cab does not have the air inlets present, I initially thought this was a mistake on the part of ICM, but it would appear that on most period vehicles this was not a feature and ICM has the standard look spot on.
The fuel tank and spare wheel located behind the cab have been replicated by ICM and there is a very pleasing level of detail provided on these elements, but I have not been able to find reference on the details beyond the locations of the parts.
The wooden cargo bed has been well tackled by ICM and it would appear to be accurate in all regards. The raised portion of the bed above each of the rear wheel stations is present in period photographs and as such does not cause me any concerns or alarm. There are ejector pin marks present on the inner faces of the truck bed panels, but the ones present on this sample look easy enough to tackle without damage to surrounding detail. There are two stowage boxes supplied that are located in front of the rear wheel stations; I have found images showing this both present and not, but as a rule British vehicles did have tool kits and that is where I would expect to find them (crews also borrowed (stole) tools from other vehicles).
ICM has supplied two options as regards the cargo bed and you will find a wire frame that you need to assemble and that could be left as is or you may choose to add your own canvas to that. There is a very nicely detailed canvas supplied and made up of five parts and I am very pleased with the level of detail ICM has moulded into this. I have seen pictures where the truck bed frame is not present, but I do not know if or where that was stored on the vehicle. For those modellers using online reference please note that it is said the only way you can accurately identify a W.O.T.6 from a W.O.T.8 truck image is by measuring the wheel base (let conflict commence).
The W.O.T.8 only had 2,500 vehicles produced but saw service in all main theatres of World War 2 including North Africa, as such I was disappointed to find only two finishing options provided by ICM. The two finishing options are:
1st Czech Armoured Brigade, Germany, Spring 1945
France, Summer 1944
I am left believing that ICM has some other release options and so restricted the provided finishes.
I like what ICM has provided here and would like to show this as a captured vehicle in North Africa. This is mainly due to me not being a fan of ‘paint it green’. I find it hard to fault this release and I am only really left with my old favourite of not being able to show the front wheels turned and limited finish options. I would have like to see a bend point on the photo etched grills, but I am still very pleased to it included in this release.