by: Darren Baker [ ]
In this review I get to take a look at the German Tank Riders 1942-45 set from ICM. The set consists of four figures, with 2 in seated positions, one kneeling and the other stood upright.
The product is packaged in a cardboard tray with card lid. The single tan sprue is packaged inside a re-sealable plastic bag. The only other thing in the box is an instruction sheet.
First impressions are good, with the mouldings having only small seam lines present. These seam lines are easily cleaned up with a light scraping with a sharp blade. The parts are free of moulding deformities such as flash and sink marks. The figures follow the typical breakdown of torso, legs and arms. The heads are all separate and have excellent facial detail for injection moulded plastic figures. The hand detail is also of a high standard, with some of the hands being separate parts which is a plus.
The uniforms are typical of the period and well replicated. Two of the figures have smocks on which I am especially impressed with, the reason I am impressed is the tie down detail on the front of the smock. The crease detail is good where it matters, but this does make it that little harder to remove the moulding seams without damaging the crease detail. Another aspect of these figures that I like is that the body parts are recessed where needed for the application of equipment; a good example of this is that one of the figures has a stick grenade tucked into its belt, a portion of the belt and the stick grenade has been moulded separately and so fits into the torso in a more realistic manner.
The weapons included in this set consist of an MG42, a Kar 98 and two MP40ís. The weapons are not slide moulded and so the barrels will need to be drilled out to improve the look of the finished items. The MG42 has an ammunition box, folded bipod and breach, the ammunition box also has a separate handle. Also provided with MG gunner is an accurate representation of the tool pouch. Each of the figures is equipped with a gas mask, canteen and bread bag, the bread bags have a recess for placement of the canteen and ICM have not duplicated 4 identical bread bags as each is slightly different. Each of the figures is equipped with the correct ammunition pouches for the weapon assigned to it. Three of the figures are supplied with helmets which are hollow as ICM has not moulded the figures with flat top heads.
I cleaned and assembled two of the figures to check the fit of the arms, legs and torso. Clean up of the seam lines took about 5 minutes per figure and yes you could take longer and remove the straps if you plan on replacing them with photo etch or Tamiya tape that has become a popular approach of late. The fit of parts, as indicated by the pictures, is very good; I myself being especially impressed with the fit of the legs and torso. The fit of the arms is good, but will benefit from a little attention with a sharp knife to trim them in small areas. As ICM has supplied separate hands in some cases and I would have liked to see a portion of the lower arm and a recess in the jacket arms, this would have provided a more positive connection and allowed undercuts to be present in the figures with the loose cuffs of the figures wearing standard uniform.
I am very impressed with these figures from ICM, more than I thought I would be from the box art image. I like the poses of three of the four figure, only the upright figure being to my mind a poor stance for a tank rider, that said it would be at home on the ground. Despite me not being a fan of the upright figure, it is a very well moulded offering. I like the fact that the figures and some of the equipment has recessed areas for attachment of parts which results in a realistic fit and lay of the parts.