by: Darren Baker [ ]
ICM have acquired a mantel for releasing figure offerings that most of us never thought would exist, let alone from a main stream manufacturer in injection moulded plastic. ICM has continued this habit with the release of a set of World War 2 Gurkha’s. This set offers three Gurkha soldiers and an officer taking orders in the field. The Nepalese Hillman have served with the British Army for just over 200 years and have provided distinguished service during that time in many of the conflicts the British Army has served in. The Gurkha’s have a record of being friendly, loyal and undertake great hardship in order to serve in the British Army without complaint. The Gurkha’s are also a feared opponent as they have a record of being fierce warriors in battle and have more than earned their place in service to the crown.
This offering consists of a single tan sprue packed inside a re-sealable plastic bag. This is also packed in a rigid cardboard box with a flip top lid that has a separate card lid with the box artwork printed on it. Also included is a single glossy sheet of paper that covers both construction and painting of the figures.
This four figure set from ICM is well moulded and laid out in a manner that will make the finding of parts for each figure easy to locate. Some of the gates between the sprues and the model parts will make clean up a little difficult in some areas, in particular the points where the felt hats are connected, on the plus side the gates are of a reasonable size.
One concern that was raised when news of this figure set was announced by ICM was the height of these figures, none of the figures in this set are stood upright and so exact dimensions are not easy to provide, I have thus compared these against similar posed figure and they are I believe about 4mm shorter than usual, that makes this figures about 5.5 inches shorter than usual offerings in 1 to 1 scale.
The uniform consisting of a tropical uniform such as issued in North Africa looks a very good match for reference. The puttees around the long socks could do with being better defined, but it is there and can be picked out during painting. ICM has provided 2 felt hats and four tin helmets, both of these options are applicable during World War 2. The felt hats are very nicely replicated and I would have liked to see four of these offered instead of two, the band around the felt hat has been replicated.
ICM looks to have tried very hard to give three of these figures Nepalese facial features and on the unpainted figures it looks as if they have managed mixed results, this could of course prove to be a different when the features are picked out. The hands or should I say finger detail is very good for injection moulded plastic and greatly improves these figures.
The weapons supplied with these figures are of a reasonable quality, but you will need to drill the weapons to improve their appearance. The two SMLE rifles both have bayonets fitted and have what looks to me to be good profiles. The Thompson machine gun with separate drum magazine also has good general detail for a plastic offering. The officer is equipped with a holstered side arm. All four of the figures are provided with a kukri knife and these have further been provided as four in scabbards and four kukris out of the scabbard, with both options available I like this touch.
I really like this figure set as a stand alone offering, but I would also like to see further sets of Gurkha soldiers perhaps fighting with the Japanese, a task they did so well. Detail wise these figures are good and my only complaint is the lack of felt hats for all of the figures offered.