The following introduction is as provided by ICM:
The Laffly V15T four wheel drive vehicle was created by Laffly as a light artillery tractor for French motorised infantry units. It’s main purpose was to tow the Hotchkiss 25mm anti-tank gun. Like other Laffly developments, the car was equipped with an unusual chassis - it had a small auxiliary wheel in the nose and under the centre of the body. These wheels were intended to improve the tractors cross country ability on the battlefield. Laffly has produced only 100 vehicles. Further, its production was carried out by the company La Licome, which produced these tractors at the automobile plant in Courbevoie. In addition to the French army, the Laffly V15T was actively used by parts of the Wehrmacht, who used it for both transporting personal and as a radio communication vehicle.
This offering from ICM arrives in the usual robust packaging of a flip top carboard box, and an additional card lid with the artwork on it. Inside the plastic parts are packaged in a single resealable plastic bag, and this bag contains two other bags containing the tyres and the clear parts of the model. The instruction booklet are loose inside the box, with the decal sheet protected inside. An examination of the parts, reveals no obvious issues but with everything packed in the one bag there is always the chance of something breaking loose, or parts becoming distorted - that does not appear to have occurred on this occasion.
This offering from ICM all centres around the chassis which has been moulded as a single piece. This does mean, that a careful examination must be carried out to see if any remedial work, such as ejector pins marks needing to be filled, or mould seams needing to be rubbed down. As is typical for ICM when it comes to soft skinned vehicles, an engine, gearbox and drive shafts are all replicated. I could not find an engine from this vehicle, and so cannot speak about its accuracy. By passing that aspect, there will be some wire and things needed to give the engine a more realistic appearance. The drive shafts have a good level of detail moulded into them, however, by pet hate is present again, the front wheels cannot be shown turned. The water cooling system has been nicely done, and while ICM does not provide photo etched parts, the drive bands and engine fan look good.
The interior of the vehicle is simplistic, with the seats being very much of the type used in the American Jeep, with a tubular frame and cloth backrest. The way ICM has tackled the internal panels that are required, will give this area a robust finish. There is some detail on the firewall between the crew compartment and engine bay. The steering column protrudes all the way through to meet up with the steering rack. The instruments provided have been replicated on a plastic parts, and then decals supplied to finish off the area.
Moving to the exterior of the vehicle, you have been provided with cloth doors that are in the open position and with the addition of a cigarette paper - you could depict these in place. The bonnet assembly has not been constructed in a way to enable an accurately depicted open bonnet. This is due to the bonnet opening from a central column from the mid-windscreen point, and then where it drops down the side there is another hinged area below which you have the vents for additional engine cooling. Some maybe thinking that they can just cut the plastic, however in my opinion it is a little on the thick side to get away with. The wheels have all been provided in two halves, with vinyl tyres for the four main wheels. Detail on these is quite good, but I know they are an unpopular aspect. I know that F C Modeltrend do have a set of resin wheels for this vehicle. The windscreen has a main plastic frame, with clear glazing to be dropped in making painting an easier task.
The Hotchkiss machine gun which is a new part to this release, requires a hole be drilled into the floor of the crew compartment for the installation for the machine gun mount. Unfortunately no drill size has been provided in the instruction booklet. No slide moulding has been utilised and so the machine gun muzzle will also need to be drilled to improve its appearance. So far as I can see, the rest of the details on the machine gun are accurate and you get a substantial straight magazine for the weapon. What I believe in ammunition storage is provided in a case form next to the fuel filling cap. However no straps have been provided or replicated for securing the ammunition.
With this being I believe the third release of the model, all be it in a slightly different format I would have liked to have seen figures or such added to give it that extra little something. That said I see no major issues that will be difficult to overcome, requiring just general model skills that should result in another fine model of this unusual vehicle.