Darren Baker takes a look at an ICM release in 1/32nd scale titled US Helicopter Pilots (Vietnam War).


The helicopter as both a taxi plus offensive and defensive weapon of war really came into its own during the Vietnam War. Depending on the type of helicopter they were used to drop off and pick up troops, rescue the injured and downed pilots plus as an effective weapons platform in the ground to air attack role. One of the latest releases from ICM  features three figures to add some life to the line of 1/32nd scale helicopters being released and it is my belief that due to the artwork depicting an Iroquois Helicopter a line of these may be heading our way from them.


This offering from ICM is packed in the usual way of a robust cardboard tray with a flip top lid and an additional card lid with the nice artwork provided of the offering. Inside is a single plastic bag with three sprues inside with two being duplicated. A fold out paper sheet covers both assembly and painting. Moulding quality is good as is access to the parts for removal. Sprue gates are minimal in number and of a reasonable size making cleanup easier. No flash is present in this offering which is as I would expect for a new release, plus the moulding seam lines are very minimal.

Looking at the figures starting with the crewman as indicated on the box art and kneeling down, breakdown of the figure elements is typical with a flat top head with a field cap provided separately. Crease detail appears natural to me and nicely replicated on the trousers and shirt; some work to create an undercut on the shirt would pay dividends in the look of the figure where it bows out. The boots have nice tread detail replicated which is often missed out.

The pilot figures are both stood upright with one in coveralls and the other shirt and trousers. The figure in with the shirt has been provided with nice undercut detail due to the legs fitting into a socket joint. The figure wearing coveralls is a little light on texture in my opinion. Both of the figures have the material loose around the boots unlike the crewman who has them secured, something I am more familiar with. The figures both have flat top heads and I recall some concerns about cavalry hats being worn; well ICM has taken care of that with the cavalry hats being option alongside field caps if you prefer. ICM has not finished there as two styles of pilot helmet are provided along with separate microphone booms and ear inserts should they be depicted unworn.

Looking at the faces and hands of these figures leaves me pleased with what is provided for the most part. The hands and forearms in two cases are well done with the fingers being well defined and not really needing any extra work on the part of the modeller. I am pleased that ICM has remembered to have wrist watches present where they can be seen. The faces of the figures are very nicely done with good levels of detail for the figure painters to make the most of. An area that will benefit from some attention are the ears as while present look a tad featureless as provided. Not indicated on the box art is that one of the pilots is Tom Cruise with his shades on, only kidding but it gives a different look.


This figure offering will make a great addition for any helicopter model in 1/32nd scale. The offering scores well in all areas and being cheaper than resin figures makes them an easily affordable addition for a model. Moulding quality is high with none of the obvious issues modellers encounter. The stances depicted make them useable with the kneeling figure being visually appealing to me as regards having motion. I like the number of options provided as regards headwear for the pilot figures.



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