by: Darren Baker [ ]
The American Civil War that took place from 1861-65 is a dark period in the history of the United States of America. However, it was this war that eventually made America what it is today. The modeller has not exactly been inundated when it comes to replicating figures and equipment from this period in history. However, it is a period that deserves to be covered, and ICM has started down that road. ICM has released a four figure set, of Confederate troops that I believe covers three riflemen and an officer.
This offering from ICM in 1/35th scale, is provided in a flip top cardboard box, with an additional card lid depicting the artwork of the figures inside. Inside there is a re-sealable plastic bag containing the sprues. This style of packaging does a very good job of getting the contents to the modeller in the condition intended. An examination of the sprues reveals clean moulding and no obvious issues of which I am aware.
The figures in the set depict a kneeling rifleman in the process of discharging his weapon, a relaxed rifleman, a rifleman in the process of reloading his weapon, and an officer in the process of discharging his revolver. The figures representing the officer and the figure reloading his weapon, are shown in the Confederate uniform that most think of from this period. The American Civil War was put into motion when the Southern States seceded from the Northern ones and formed their own governments in 1861. One of their first moves was to organise an army. The men that made up this army were initially volunteers, and due to limitations of equipment, the uniform could vary greatly. The uniform should consist of a short jacket, with standing collars, a single row of buttons, plain trousers and a peaked forage cap.
Officers as a general rule of thumb wore frock coats. The colour of this uniform was a dark grey, with brass detail. As the war progressed it was not unusual to see various types of hat worn by the troops, a military style jacket and trousers of various types and colour. The condition of the uniform in use during the war was also often poor. These aspects have been replicated with the acceptation of the wear and tear in this ICM offering. Two of the figures are shown wearing blankets tied over the left shoulder to the right waist, in order that the right shoulder is free for aiming a rifle. The blankets are tan with black stripes. Finger and facial detail of these figures is very well done, and I see no reason that any modeller would look to change them.
This offering really excels when it comes to the weapons and equipment provided. The weapons provided in this set, are a good mix, but I should say from the start that it is not an area that I excel at, and if I get identification wrong I apologise now:
M1842 US musket
M1861 US Rifled musket
M1853 Enfield Rifled musket
These are provided both with and without bayonets fitted.
Mass arms Co Greene Carbine
Spencer or Sharps carbine
Revolver wise, we have a Colt revolver and Remington Revolver. We have one sword (out of its scabbard), one sword in its scabbard, tassels detail is included, but I think these would be better replicated with cotton or some such. Equipment wise, you are provided with drinking flasks, gun powder flasks, a leather pouch for carrying ammunition, and interestingly cups.
This offering from ICM has exceptionally high quality moulding, which does mean that the figures scream out to be built. This is by far one of the best moulding efforts I have seen from ICM, or anyone else for that matter where figures are concerned, and I would strongly recommend it to anybody with a interest in this period of history. And yes Bill I am thinking of you when I say that. The amount of detail in this set marks it out to be exceptional from ICM or anybody else for that matter.