Prior to World War II, Ford motors had a global motoring base, and this resulted in the Companies production facilities being under the control of both Allied and Axis forces. Ford plants under Allied control produced a number of vehicles for the War Office, with a plant in Dagenham producing vehicles from staff cars to three tonne trucks. The W.O.T. 8 (War Office Truck 8) was a 1.5 tonne vehicle in a 4x4 set up. These Ford trucks were supplied to Russia, under the lend/lease agreement. The offering covered here is the second release of BM-13-16 following on very quickly from the first and now offers a four figure Soviet infantry set with this rocket launcher.
The packaging in this offering is what has become the standard from ICM, a substantial cardboard tray and integrated lid, plus an additional card lid with the artwork on it. This is I feel up to the rigours ofthe postal system and something that ICM deserve recognition for. The sprues are packaged in a re-sealable plastic bag, which also contains a clear sprue inside its own plastic bag. The figures are supplied in a bag of their own. An examination of the contents reveals some very cleanly moulded parts. Access to the parts for removal from the sprue is good, and that will be appreciated for the finer mouldings. The mouldings included in this offering, suffer from only one affliction which is ejector pins marks, there are some flow lines present ,but these do not appear to have cause any damage to the finish of the parts. The worse place for ejector pin marks on the model is the interior of the cab. Something that did impress me in this model, is that it is one of those rare beasts where ICM has provided some photo etch.
The chassis of this offering from ICM is a multi part affair and so requires care during the construction so that it is finished square rather than askew. I have heard some complaining about this approach by ICM, but I approve very strongly about it, as it has enabled them to provided a great deal of detail to the vehicle, which in this case can been seen to a good degree. The leaf springs have a good level of detail to them, but do require the modeller to take care when removing the seam lines that are present on them.
As is usual with ICM, they have provided a very nice rendition of the engine, along with the gear box. The level of detail here is very nice for an injection moulded plastic offering, which with care and careful painting provides the possibility of a stunning result, the modeller only needing to add some wire detail to have a show piece.
ICM has again provided a model that does not enable the front wheels to be shown in the turned position. Anybody who has read my reviews knows that this is a pet hate of mine. While not the easiest task inthe world, with some surgery I believe it would be possible to replicate turned wheels, but I do not believe it to be an easy task.
The tyres in this offering from ICM are vinyl, which I know will not please everyone. On the plus side the tread pattern on the tyre is an accurate pattern for one used in World War II and afterwards. The connection point on the tyre will require the modeller to take a little time in the clean up, to get a good finish. A search on-line indicate that one of my favourite resin company (FC Model Trend) do produce weighted tyres for this vehicle, and while produced for an earlier offering, I see no issues with using them on this kit.
The engine bay has been well detailed by ICM as regards the side walls and radiator detail, plus connections. The underside of the wheel arches have ejector pins marks that should be tackled by the modeller, to get a good finish. The engine sits between the two cab seats, for those who are not aware the instruments are mounted on the engine cover in this location, despite being small details, ICM have provided decals for the instrument panels, which is a nice touch that I tend to look for. Looking at the top of the front wheel arch, a level plate should be present, and is an aspect most commonly seen on W.O.T. 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 onlook, that I am not keen on, but a modeller has shown me that the addition of some PVA wetted tissue paper does enable the seats to gain that lived in look. The body of the cab looks to have been very well tackled as regards shape and form, but there are again a few ejector pins marks that will need to be tackled on the interior of the panels. I was pleased with the doors where moulding detail is concerned, as the detail is good on both faces, has a good thinness of the moulding, plus good replication of the fixtures and fittings. The windows of the cab, are thin enough to keep me happy, and will I believe will meet the expectations of most modellers.
The front grilles have been supplied as photo etch and appreciate this effort from ICM. I do have a concern, and that is that the grilles need to be bent but no bending point is indicated on the photo etch itself. 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 vehicles of this era this is the case and ICM have provided the standard look, which is accurate. To the rear of the cab there is a correctly located spare wheel and fuel tank, I however, am not sure how happy I would be about a fuel tank placed between me and unguided rockets. The detail however on both aspects is very good.
The rocket launching rails are made of three main parts which adds a very good degree of accuracy, and these are attached to three bars that go through all seven rails. When it comes to placement of the rails on the bars, there are two parts provided in the model to enable accurate placement. Do not make the mistake of gluing these parts to the rails. The launching frame looks good to me, having a nice tubular structure to it, and is provided with the option of showing the launching rails, raised ready to fire, or lowered for transportation. Two ground plates are mounted at the rear of the trucks, which should be lowered if the model is being finished in the firing position.
The rockets themselves have been moulded in one piece, which the exception of the opposing fins which I like. There are some minor moulding seams that will need addressing, but for the most part I am very happy with what has been provided. The final addition to the model is deployable armour for the front windows, which should be shown deployed if finished in a firing position.
The infantry added to this set, consists of four Soviet rocket loading troops previously released as set 35648. The figures are cleanly moulded, and have good detail for Summer uniform troops. Footwear is a mix of shoes with gaiters and boots. Crease detail on the uniform, looks good and is appropriate in all respects. Unusually insignia and awards are shown on the front of the uniforms, which while a nice touch is not something that I believe was common, at least within the Soviet Army. There are the usual mould seams that will need to be cleaned up, but I am otherwise very happy with what is being offered. I am very pleased to see these troops supplied with a mix of weaponry, both rifles and machine guns, and that the appropriate ammunition pouches have been provided. Water bottles and a nap sack is the only other equipment provided and detail is good in all respects, but some work will be needed on the part of the modeller wear straps are concerned. Hand and facial detail is very good, with my only complaint being that facial hair is indicated on the instruction sheet, but not replicated on the figure. Interestingly one of the figures is shown with a cigarette between his fingers but this has not been covered in the instruction sheet.
This offering from ICM in 1/35th scale, makes for me a very appealing model. The detail provided is of a very high standard, and the finished product is visually interesting. The only complaints I would make, are that an all green vehicle is the only finishing option indicated, no decals are provided, or identification of the vehicle is made, except Russia 1942. The last issue, are the ejector pin marks that need to be remedied. The very big positive of this model, is that the effort put into the chassis of the kit, is exposed to a good degree, which with careful work will result in a lot of eye catching detail. This model I feel shows off the effort put into the structural and oily parts better than any other release I have seen from ICM. The figures are a nice inclusion when it comes to display, but while I like them releasing the main element so close together may upset some who purchased the previous release.