by: Darren Baker [ ]
Originally published on:
With the release of 1/32nd scale German World War 2 aircraft models ICM has decided releasing some suitable crew figures would be a good idea. This offering provides three figures suitable for the World War 2 period ; we get a pilot figure who is being helped with his parachute by a second figure while the third provides instruction on the straps.
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 a single grey sprue. There is also an instruction sheet covering the assembly and painting guide for the figures. An examination of the sprue reveals a very well moulded offering with no obvious issues in the process. A close look at the various parts reveals that the moulding is that well done that there is little to no seam lines on the moulded parts.
All three of the figures are made up of the usual parts breakdown with separate heads provided. The assistant and instructor are provided wearing baggy one piece coveralls, shoes and side caps. As this clothing is pretty generic in nature these figures could easily represent RAF mechanic/ground crew with the minimum of work even with the side cap in a European setting. Removal of side cap would allow USAAF crew to be replicated. The crease detail in the coveralls is subtle at a level I like and well placed.
The pilot is wearing the same one piece coverall with leather flying; the colour indicated by ICM lead me to think this was a cloth flying cap but I was able to find images that depict leather caps in this colour, that said painting it as a dark leather is also perfectly acceptable. Headphones are shown as part of the cap which I like but the leads from them do not seem to have been replicated and so requiring some scratch work on your part. Goggles are also provided but these are moulded as part of the cap rather than clear parts having been provided. An interesting approach with the pilot is that the cap has been split around the bottom of the goggles and strap making it two pieces and I am a little confused why this has been done, but with that said it does make access to the face and the painting of it far easier.
The parachute has been tackled in an interesting way with the parachute itself being moulded in two parts with a nicely shaped part for attachment to the pilot. The straps on the pilot cover the cross pattern over the shoulders, around the waist and between the groin. ICM has then supplied two plastic straps to replicate the portions from behind the shoulders to the parachute pack.
The faces have been well tackled by ICM with very well replicated features; the ears are an area that is particularly well done which is good to see due to usually being shapeless. I will say that I would have liked to see some emotion in the faces of the figures as the expression present is very neutral. The hands of the figures are very nicely done in both the finger detail and palms where applicable.
This figure set should be a popular choice with aircraft modellers who like the 1/32nd scale aircraft. The stances add a nice interest element if placed in a simple diorama or display base while being easily affordable at £12. The effort put into the parachute and its harness is appreciated by this modeller. The only thing I can fault is my wish for expressions beyond the neutral one provided.