by: Darren Baker [ ]
ICM continues to be the company to look to where World War One figures are concerned. This time around it is the second release of US Infantry, but unlike the first offering these are depicted as in the fray. This is a four figure set offering, and with ICM now being one of the very best figure producers in injection moulded plastic in 1/35th scale letís see what they have presented us with here.
This offering from ICM is supplied packaged in their usual cardboard flip top box with a separate card cover with the artwork printed on it. I believe ICM supplies the best protected injection moulded kits available today. Inside of this packaging you will find two tan sprues packed in a single re-sealable plastic bag and two instruction sheets.
Starting with an examination of the sprues leaves me a happy modeller; the figures are free of flash and have very little in the way of moulding seams present. The sprue of weapons and equipment is also very good, but there are some slight moulding seams to deal with and of course the muzzle of the weapons will need to be drilled slightly to improve their appearance. The four figures offered are an officer of a rank I have been unable to see, a three striper who I believe in this period would be a sergeant (I was unable to see all three stripes on the figure, but they are present on the instructions) and no rank visible on the remaining two figures. By this period of the war the soft felt hats are gone and good old steel helmets are the order of play.
The officer of the group is identified by the leather puttees over BROWN shoes; brown leather shoes rather than black appears to be the order for all American troops during their participation in World War One. The uniform would appear to be accurate in all respects; I especially like the button and pocket detail that has been replicated. The webbing is also very good for the most part, but where the gas mask holdall strap comes from the shoulders down to the holdall you have a solid plastic triangle due to the limitations of the moulding process and where ICM has made the break in the strap. My advice is to remove this moulded detail and scratch some straps from tape or your preferred material. This issue unfortunately is present on every one of the four figures. The gas mask bags suppled on the figure sprue are poor when compared to part W30 on the weapons and equipment sprue as the ribs of the filter is clearly visible through the material as seen in period photographs.
The sergeant has again got the excellent uniform detail. The wrap around puttees are well detailed so that after painting and weathering the detail should pop. The backpacks that the enlisted figures wear are very good on the back and top, but the side details are lacking in some respects. This being the heavy pack used in long marches seems an odd choice for what is in my opinion troops in action. These large packs have also thrown out the locations of the extra equipment such as canteens, due to this I would modify the poorly detailed gas mask packs and use them as the small pack for which they are ideally suited and this will allow the better placement of the other equipment.
The helmets that are provided for the four figures are attached to the sprue via the rim of the helmet and this means great care is going to be needed when removing them from the sprue to avoid damage to the shape. The hand and facial detail is excellent for injection moulded plastic figures. The hands have very good finger detail that should please even the most demanding of modellers with the possible exception of the hand moulded holding the M1911. The faces could be improved via the use of resin, but I do not feel that the improvement will be worth the cost in this case.
The stance of the officer is of a person making a cautious advance with a 1911 drawn, but not held in a typical firing stance. The sergeant is moving forward and sighting down his rifle at an unseen enemy. The remaining two figures consist of a figure charging forward as if going to bayonet someone and the other looks to be jumping up, over or down.
Equipment and Weapons Sprue
The following is a breakdown of the sprues contents with corrections where possible.
Lewis machine gun
Chauchat CSRG Mle 1915 machine gun
Browning M1918 BAR machine gun
M1918 BAR pouches (left)
M1918 BAR pouches (right)
Springfield M1903 rifle
Springfield M1903 rifle with bayonet
M1905 bayonet with scabbard
M1905 bayonet scabbard
Springfield M1903 rifle with rifle mortar
Rifle mortar grenade
Winchester M1897 trench gun with bayonet
M1897 bayonet scabbard
Springfield pouches (3 sections)
Springfield pouches (2 sections)
Colt army M1917 revolver
Smith and Wesson army M1917 revolver
M1917 revolver in holster (left)
M1917 revolver in holster (right)
Revolver ammunition pouches
Colt 1911 pistol
Colt 1911 pistol in holster
Colt 1911 holster
Shovel in case
Pickaxe in case
Axe in case
Trench periscope (wood)
Trench periscope in case
Respirator in bag
M1917 steel helmet
This offering from ICM is another excellent addition to their range of World War One figures in 1/35th scale. The hand and facial detail is some of the best I have ever seen in injection moulded plastic. The detail present on the figures uniforms all appears to be accurate and well replicated. The strap detail for the gas masks will need some attention to make this offering top notch.