by: Darren Baker [ ]
ICM has been at the large scale figures again and this time it is the Italian Carabinieri that come in for attention in 1/16th scale. The Italian Carabinieri can trace their ancestry back to 1814 and today can be considered as both civilian and military police after officially becoming a part of the military in 2000. The Italian Carabinieri have taken part in many military conflicts; recently they have performed peacekeeping missions, including Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In 2003 while performing the peacekeeping role in Iraq 12 members of the Carabinieri were killed by a suicide bomber.
It is always worth mentioning that when it comes to packaging ICM take the award for best protected product in my book, the combination of a stiff cardboard flip top box and an additional card top provides very robust packaging. Inside of the box you will find 3 re-sealable plastic bags containing:
2 grey sprues
1 black sprue
An Instruction booklet
An artwork poster
Beginning the review section with an examination of the sprues results in a very pleased modeller. The parts are very cleanly moulded with no obvious moulding faults that I can see. There are no ejector pin marks or other deformities affecting the finish of the plastic moulding, even mould seams that are present due to the moulding process are very minimal in size and in many cases not there. All told I am very pleased with the effort that ICM has made and the quality of the mouldings.
Starting with the pedestal that is so far a common feature of these products from ICM. I like that the area where the figure is mounted has been provided as four options. I cannot say that the four options provided are specific to certain areas, but I feel that the options provided will make for an attractive base on which to display the model itself. The shape and form of the base/pedestal is very pleasing to me at least.
The facial detail is very good for an injection moulded plastic offering. The head has been provided in three pieces; the face is a piece on its own and so free of any moulding or joint seams, the join is at the helmet strap and so hidden at a natural point. The rear half of the head has been moulded in two parts and so a joint is present down the back of the head, the portion in the hair should be easy to hide, and the neck portion may require a little filler.
The hands are shown in gloves and resting on the hilt of the sword. The right hand is split at the knuckles for an unknown reason and then the left hand rests on top of that. A disappointment to me here is that the cuffs of the jacket have been moulded as a part of the hands and so an excellent chance to provide a more realistic scale appearance to the cuffs has been missed.
The uniform depicted is the ceremonial offering, and so far as I have been able to ascertain very accurately depicted. The stance is very formal and so there is very little in the way of crease detail present, that said what is present is correctly depicted. The chance to depict a nice line between the trousers and the jacket has not been missed and so I am pleased at this aspect.
Looking at the tunic in detail resulted in my finding of only one area of concern and that is that the shoulder strap as it goes from the front of the torso to the separate piece that is provided, the strap detail becomes very light as it goes around the right side. I do accept that most of this if not all will be hidden by the right arm. In all other respects detail wise of the tunic I am very happy with what has been provided.
The trousers are not the most detailed items of the uniform as is the case in reality. The red piping down the side of the legs has been indicated in the moulded part and positioned to hide the seam between the front and rear halves of the trousers. The shoes have a good level of detail present on them. There is a mould seam present that will need to be remedied running down the side of the lace detail and over the toe portion. While looking at the shoes the lace, detailing and instep have been very nicely reproduced.
The distinctive bicorn ceremonial hat has been very well replicated by ICM in four pieces. The front and rear halves of the hat has the relevant detail well replicated and this should aid the painting process. The dome of the hat is another separate part; it is parts such as this that I feel help the realism of the part as a whole. Lastly there is the hackle or plume of the bicorn hat, this being a feather portion of the hat makes it extremely difficult to replicate and I feel that ICM has done a fair job of tackling this area.
The instructions covering assembly take a little studying, but are easy enough considering the subject matter and minimal parts count. The painting instruction aspect has been covered very well, ICM has gone to a lot of trouble to help the modeller get the details right.
I find this offering from ICM worthy of attention by figure painters and it is another nice addition to the range. The details that identify the figure have been well replicated and while I accept that a resin offering would provide crisper detail, I feel that this is an affordable alternative to a resin figure.