by: Darren Baker [ ]
The following introduction is as supplied by ICM;
The Daimler-Benz company designed a four wheel drive chassis L1500A of 1.5 ton capacity at the end of 1941. Most of these chassis received open bodies for transportation of 7 men (Kfz.70). In total there were 4900 L1500A vehicles produced. These vehicles were extremely durable and reliable. The L1500A personnel cars were used by all German arms of service in the Soviet/German front, North Africa, Italy and France up until the end of the war.
This model from ICM is packaged in what is now the standard way, this consists of a cardboard box with a flap top lid, on top of this is a card lid with all of the artwork. This approach has resulted in a well-protected model that should hold up to all reasonable postage handling. Inside the box you will find;
4 tan sprues
1 clear sprue
An acetate sheet
A decal sheet
An instruction booklet
An inspection of the parts that make up this model, leave me with a positive impression for the most part. The parts have been cleanly moulded in the case of this sample, with no flash seen. There are some ejector pin marks that will need to be addressed, most notably on the inside of the soft top. There are some flow lines present on the larger mouldings, but none of these look or should I say feel to have created or left any deformations that will need correcting. There are of course light mould seams present that will need to be dealt with, but these are all but impossible to avoid in the moulding process. As such I am happy with the model at this point.
As is usual for ICM, they do an excellent job of recreating an accurate and detailed engine and chassis. The multi-part chassis allows ICM to replicate detail to a level that would not be possible otherwise. This approach by ICM does mean that the modeller must take their time with the clean-up and assembly of the parts to insure it is square when assembled, if that is not managed you will suffer pain later and a lot of fettling will be needed; so take your time and get it right. If you do take care, this element will allow for some interesting display options of the model, including a rolled or destroyed vehicle.
The engine and gearbox has also been provided to a high standard and that is despite that ICM does not provide any photo etched parts with their models. The cooling fan has been very nicely moulded, and while photo etch may be thinner, this offering is very good for plastic. To improve the engine all that is really required is the addition of some wiring, and I believe that should not be beyond modellers of any skill level. The exhaust will ideally need to be drilled to improve its appearance; otherwise I am still a happy modeller.
Moving onto the wheels and axles of the model, I am now a very happy modeller. ICM has taken on board something I have been wanting for a long time; the ability to show the front wheels turned into any orientation desired by the modeller. Now it should be said that the instructions do not indicate that the wheels can be turned, but from what I am looking at all it will take is for parts (C21 and C22) to be cemented at the desired angle and the steering rack to be adjusted accordingly. The leaf spring suspension units have good detail, but will require careful clean-up of the moulding seams to avoid destroying that detail. The wheels are well detailed, having good bolt detail. ICM has opted to provide injection moulded tyres with this offering, rather than the vinyl rubber they usually offer; I have to say that in this case I think it is a good choice as the detail is good. Being able to orientate the steering means I am a very happy modeller at this point.
Now we get to the cab of the model. The body of the model is a multi-part offering with separate doors, this provides the modeller with display options again as the doors can be opened or closed and any preferred combination. The driving console is well detailed and is even supplied with separate foot pedals. The dials on the dashboard have been supplied as decals and placement is added by pinnacle circles moulded on the dashboard. The floor of the vehicle has nice diamond plate detail moulded in place; ICM has also added the receivers for the stock of the riderís rifles, but no rifles have been included. The glass in the doors has been approached in an interesting way via the use of acetate sheet rather than clear plastic parts. The acetate sheet is clearly marked for cutting out and will result in a nicely scaled look.
The seats of the model are too pristine for my liking and will benefit from some reworking to give them a lived in look. The underside of the floor is also detailed, but there are a number of ejector pin marks that will need to be addressed if the underside will be on show in any way. The finer parts used in this area are very well done by ICM and will add some nice details for the eye to pick out and that includes the spares wheels stored internally. The bonnet or if preferred hood of the model can be finished open or closed and so the engine bay can be displayed depending on what the modeller wants displayed in the finished model. The plastic is obviously too thick to be accurate, but if the edges are sanded at a shallow angle the eye of a viewer could be fooled.
The soft top hood is the only area of this model that bothers me, and that is due to the ejector pin marks on the inside face. These marks will be difficult to get to for clean-up and so will make life more difficult for the modeller; now some will argue that they cannot easily be seen, but I disagree. The rest of the details for the soft top roof are very good and will look the part on the finished model.
One aspect of this model that does bother me and that is the finishing options. ICM has provided four finishing options which are;
L1500A Grossdeutchland Division, Ukraine, Summer 1942
L1500A Grossdeutchland Division,, Kharkov, Summer 1942
L1500A North Africa, Summer 1942
L1500A Italy, Summer 1942
My problem is that the number plate decals provided are for Wehrmacht Heer units and Luftwaffe units, and so the first two options cannot be accurately finished. That said I do like the mix of finishing options and after-market decals can easily be sourced.
I have been corrected ref my concern over the decals and withdraw that concern.
The model itself is a very good offering, all of the major details look to have been covered well in my opinion. The main let down here are the decals and I cannot think why ICM made this mistake. The finished model should look very good depending on the ability of the modeller who builds and finishes it.