The Studebaker 6 x 6 wheeled truck, was built by Studebaker. These vehicles were built with the intention of exporting them to America’s allies during WWII, with many of them being exported to Russia. In some ways the US6 can be considered an export version of the Deuce and a half. The Russians were very fond of this truck, and nicknamed them Studers. The vehicle proved to be reliable and robust in the field and with the Russians utilising them heavily as logistics vehicles for the transport of both men and materials. This offering from ICM is not a new offering, but it has been offered on this occasion with figures.
This offering from ICM, arrives in a flip top cardboard tray, with the addition of a card lid that has the artwork for the model on it. Inside the parts for the truck are provided in a re-sealable bag, with the figures being supplied in a second re-sealable plastic bag. I do have concerns about all sprues being packaged inside a single bag, as parts can be broken free from the sprues, with the subsequent potential for damage. On this occasion three pieces broke loose during transit, luckily no damage has occurred to the parts involved.
Engine, Oily and chassis
This offering from ICM, provides a good replication of the engine and gearbox that powered the vehicle. Despite that ICM have used no photo etch, the details provided are very well done. The modeller who wishes to lift their model, need only add some wire to replicate fuel, brake and electrical wiring. The chassis of the model is a multi parts affair, which does leave the modeller, with the potential for assembly of a chassis that is not square. To overcome these potential issues, I suggest that the chassis is built on a cutting mat with a grid pattern present. ICM in tackling the chassis in this manner, have provided a chassis with a very high level of detail, that in some respects would make a nice model presented as a skeleton. The drive shafts and axels are provided as a single moulding, which I find quite novel, it only requires the addition of the rear suspension leaf springs, the steering rack, and some further minor details. By tackling this aspect in this manner, it does pretty much guarantee that all six wheels, will sit on a level surface. The wheels and tyres themselves, including the spare, are injection moulded, which I know will please many of those who detest vinyl rubber.
Truck Cargo Bed
The cargo bed of this vehicle was basically wooden planking with some metal fittings, and the level of detail here is very nice with the exception that there are a number of ejector pins marks, that will need to be filled and detail added again afterwards. Inside the bed you are presented with two full length benches, which can be assembled either deployed or folded for cargo carrying. The canvas roof members are provided with the option of being installed or stowed. No canvas is provided in the model, but I am sure that the modeller that wishes to add a canvas would usually tackle this themselves, as plastic moulded ones do not have the finesse of those made from tissue paper. The rails for mounting the cargo bed to the vehicle have been provided separately and have reasonable detail as do the mud guards in that area.
This being a military vehicle from WWII, the interior of the cab is basic but functional. One of my pet hates is present, in that the seat cushions are featureless, and need some work to give them life. The instruments are provided with via use of decals, which have good registration. The modeller can obviously improve the interior of the cab, by adding the personal touches, such as personal weapons for the crew, or perhaps some souvenirs, even a piece of uniform that the modeller produces could be added, and of course as mentioned give the seats some life. The doors of this offering, appear to be a little long below the windows to the floor and so look visually wrong to me, but I am more than happy for someone to correct me in this belief. On the plus side, ICM has provided nice detail both inside and out in the form of door furniture that is separately provided, wing mirrors, and reasonable glazing.
While on the subject of glazing, ICM has done a good job of the windscreen, and has even provided separate wiper arms, although obviously they would be better scale wise if they were photo etch. The front guard protecting the lights and radiator, has been well moulded, and is a nice feature of this kit. The bonnet has been provided as separate parts that with some work could be assembled to show off the engine area of the model where ICM has even included a battery which is added late in the assembly. One complaint in this area of the model is that there are quite a few large ejector pin marks that will need to be tackled.
ICM with this release has provided six finishing options, covering a nice selection of countries using it. The decals have very good colour and registration, and can only just be felt on the carrier film.
Studebaker US6/U3, 3rd Byelorussian Front, Lublin, Summer 1944,
Studebaker US6/U3, 2nd Ukarian Front, Praga, May1945,
Studebaker US6/U3, 2nd Ukranian Front, Praga, May1945, alternative version,
Studebaker US6/U3, 1st Polish Army. Germany, May1945,
Studebaker US6/U3, 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, Czech May 1945,
Studebaker US6/U3, 8th Air Force, USAAF, England,1944
With this release ICM has provided the option of two Eastern European drivers, one of the drivers is best suited to Summer setting, due to wearing the standard long shirt/jacket, the standard thin trousers, mid-calf boots and a side forage cap. Some details are present, such as shoulder boards and while a little flash is present the figure is quite pleasing. The second driver option appears to be an older person, who is wearing the quilted jacket, better suited to the cold weather of Eastern Europe. The standard trousers are present, and I am pleased to report that the re-enforcing patches that go on the knees are present in both cases, and again the mid-calf boots are being worn. The second figure, is wearing the Ushanka which again identifies it as a winter setting. Obviously if you are building an USAAF version the figures are not suitable, but it is a nice inclusion none the less.
Despite this model being an older release from ICM, that is being given a new lease of life, what is provided is very pleasing, and despite the issues with the ejector pin marks, the mouldings a fairly clean in all other respects, if a little heavier than what we have become accustomed to. The mix of finishing options is pleasing with the decals being up to ICM’s current standard. The figures provided do have a little flash present, but the detail is fair to good and I personally find that figure in the winter clothing particularly pleasing.