It is almost exactly 100 years since the end of World War 1 and ICM has released another of their great figure offerings covering this period of history. This time around it is the French that are the subject of interest in the form three French infantry at the start of this conflict along with a civilian driver. At the start of World War 1 the French used civilian taxis to get to the front and this set replicates figures to reproduce just such a scene.
This offering from ICM is packaged in the usual way of a flip top cardboard tray and an additional card lid with all of the artwork on it; this approach means that the model has a very good chance of reaching you in the condition it was meant to regardless of how it is sent. Inside of the box you will find a re-sealable plastic bag containing two tan sprues, there is also two sheets of paper covering assembly of the product.
One of the sprues is from the WW1 French weapons and equipment set released back in 2014 and I have to say that the moulds are holding up very well judging from the quality of this sprue. If you take a look at the list below you will see that you have a huge number of options available to you as a modeller in both weapons and equipment. The contents break down as follows:
- 1 x Hotchkiss Mle 1909 machine guns
- 1 x Chauchat CSRG Mle 1915 machine guns
- 1 x Chauchat magazines
- 1 x Chauchat magazine pouch (right)
- 1 x Chauchat magazine pouch (left)
- 3 x Lebel-Berthier Mle 1916 rifle OF-15 grenade
- 3 x Label Mle 1886/93 rifle with bayonet
- 9 x Lebel ammunition pouch
- 1 x Ruby pistol holster
- 1 x Ruby pistol
- 3 x F-1 grenade
- 3 x Lebel rifle bayonets in scabbard
- 3 x Lebel bayonet scabbards
- 1 x axe in case
- 1 x sickle in case
- 1 x wire cutters in case
- 1 x wire cutters
- 3 x small shovel in case
- 3 x ARS respirator canister
- 3 x M2 respirator canister
- 1 x mess tin (big)
- 1 x basin
- 3 x mess tin small
- 1 x coffee mill
- 3 x mug
- 1 x canteens
- 3 x canteens
- 1 x binocular
- 1 x binocular cases
- 4 x Adrian M1915 steel helmets
- 15 x equipment fastening small strap
Moving onto the figures and an aspect of models that ICM excels at being one of the best injection moulded plastic figure producers in the market at this time. The mouldings are clean with very little work required as regards clean up, you have to look very hard to even see the seam lines. I also like that the parts for each of the figures is in its own area of the sprue.
The uniform of the three French soldiers has been well replicated and being red trousers with blue jackets is accurate for the start of World War 1. The boots are well done on the upper surfaces, but no tread detail is present. The soft peaked cap is provided for the figures, but these could be replaced if preferred with the steel helmets included in the equipment set.
The faces have been very nicely done with the moustache on each face being very well done; those modellers who are particularly good and painting faces will be pleased with the detail present. The hands of the figures are also well done and I particularly like the figure provided holding a flag. I would consider removing the flag portion and replacing it with foil in order to improve its scale look.
The civilian driver is appropriately dressed for the period and I understand has been designed to fit a taxi released by ICM, with that said civilian drivers in this scale are hard to find and so will be useful in other settings. The clothing used here would I feel make the figure of use for the turn of the century into the 1940ís which is a big plus.
Another nice set of figures from ICM in 1/35th scale covering World War 1. I like the stances of two of the soldiers and the driver, but one of the soldiers is depicted laying on the roof of a vehicle, thats fine but cars of the period were usually soft topped and so more consideration will be required as regards display in my opinion.