by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
ICM is a prolific manufacturer of injection moulded models of all types and scales; they have a very good selection of armour in 1/35th scale and 1/48th scale aircraft, but recently they have been giving a great deal of attention to 1/32nd scale aircraft releasing German and Soviet aircraft of World War 2. This month ICM released a set of three USAAF crew in 1/32nd scale and so making me think what aircraft is coming in this scale from ICM. In this review I will be looking at the figure set and assembling one to check the fit of parts.
This release from ICM is packaged in the usual manner, of a cardboard tray with flip top lid, and a separate card lid with an image of the product printed on it. Inside there is a re-sealable plastic bag containing all the parts for the model. Loose inside the box is the instruction booklets. An examination of the sprue does not cause me any concerns beyond what you would all expect to find.
The uniform consists of a leather waist length jacket that has a fur lining for warmth; bomber crews had trousers in the same style to protect them from the cold. The trousers replicated here are difficult to identify with certainty as they could also be coveralls/flying suit. Footwear in the form of shoes is accurate as boots again tended to be worn by bomber crews. The headwear covers the gambit with am officers peaked cap, a baseball cap and a side cap. No life preserver is present on any of the figures, something I believed was compulsory if flying over water, but a check on my reference reveals this not to be the case or left to the individual. The harness detail is very good for moulded plastic and should please most. Each of the figures is carrying their chute.
The hands of these figures from ICM are very good I feel, I was looking at the hand holding the chute and was impressed with the detail present of the rear of the hand and the finger detail of the other. The face detail is also of a good level with all relevant facial detail well picked out, and I was especially pleased to see expression so clearly present on two of the of faces.
Removal of the parts from the sprue went easily enough, the only part I had to be particularly careful of being the harness detail, and this was not so much an issue of avoiding breakage but getting the angle of the cutters right to avoid removing detail. I quickly cleaned the connector points and then looked at the mould seams. The mould seams are very fine and in some areas not seen, but I still performed a light scraping in all of the areas where mould seams should be seen or otherwise. I then followed this up with a light application of Tamiya extra thin cement to catch any rough areas and smooth them out. I saw this method in a book somewhere and it seem to work well providing you donít drown the parts.
The assembly stared with putting the legs together with a very pleasing joint; there is a gap in the groin area which is for part of the harness detail. I allowed the legs to fully set up before adding this harness part and found the fit so tight that some thinning of the part was required to get the fit. Because of this I strongly suggest these parts are fitted to the figures after the legs are set as it may prove problematic to get a good joint to the legs otherwise. The Torso was a very good match with the legs requiring the smallest amount of positioning to get spot on. The arms also went on very well and is an area where we all usually fight odd shoulder syndrome, but not in this case as I was very impressed with the fit. My only struggle came with the harness detail on the rear that I thought was going to be a breeze, I was wrong and I had to add a lot of pressure to get it home. I am going to remove this part again and thin out the harness detail in order to obtain a better fit. I have thrown some paint on this figure of roughly the right colour in order to make joints easier to see and judge. This paint does need to come off and the figure undercoated, but I hope this provides you with an idea of what is on offer.
ICM has done a very fine job with these figures with them having good detail overall. The faces of these figures having obvious expressions in two cases that rate these figures highly. The fit of the parts is very good in all respects except the rear harness and groin part of the harness that will benefit from a little thinning out to improve the fit. So ICM what USAAF aircraft set are you releasing in 1/32nd scale?