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Built Review
135
Army Group Centre Summer 1941
Army Group Centre Summer 1941
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

ICM has a long history of combining previous releases and then offering these as a single purchase that brings a new dimension to the release. These combined releases usually involve matching a figure set with a vehicle or an aircraft model with ground personnel; this time ICM has gone a step further and provided two vehicles along with drivers’ for the them and a suitable infantry set based on Germany’s opening gambit against the Soviets. The set provides a truck in the form of a Mercedes L3000S and a car which is a Le.Gl. Einheits-Pkw (Kfz.1); we are then provided with four figures too choose from to show as drivers. Lastly is a set of four early German infantry, which technically have been provided with half of the German infantry weapons set; So this could be argued as supplying five sets in one box.

Review

This release from ICM is packaged in the usual manner, of a cardboard tray with flip top lid, and a separate card lid with an image of the product printed on it. Inside there are four re-sealable plastic bag containing all the parts for the models, including another bag with the vehicle tyres inside the bags containing the vehicles. Loose inside the box are the instruction booklets, with the decals nestled inside for protection where relevant. An examination of the sprues does not cause me any concerns beyond what you would all expect to find.

Mercedes L3000S Truck

I have previously provided a build review of this element and so I am going to provide a link to that build review here.
Typ L3000S WWII German Truck

leichter geländegängiger Personenkraftwagen Kfz 1

The chassis of this model has been provided as a single piece for the most part with a nice level of detail present and so there are no concerns about keeping the chassis square. The springs of the suspension are moulded solidly but do have good surface detail present. The suspension arms also have a very nice level of detail that if you work on the underside the detail could be made to stand out well when painted. The axles cause me some concern as while they have nicely detailed differentials the axles themselves are not straight and while they have square connectors it will take some care to get them correctly orientated. Lastly in this area of the model is a very nice engine and gearbox, again the addition of some wires to the area will add nice eye catching detail. The drive axle looks good but will I feel be a difficult part to install.

The wheels and tyres of the model have been tackled in a way that does away with seam line issues. The tread detail looks good and will please those who detest vinyl tyres on vehicles. The wheel bolt detail has been nicely replicated which will come out well with careful painting. My only issue is that ICM keeps adding all this really nice detail and they have yet to provide the option of showing the wheels turned which I feel is much more visually pleasing. It has to be considered that functional steering usually impacts on accuracy, but the option of parts to set the wheels in a straight or turned orientation could easily be managed by ICM.

Moving onto the external structure of the vehicle and I am for the most part very happy with what I find. The external elements all look to be very good as regards accuracy. The doors of the vehicle can be left open if wished I believe despite not being covered in the instructions. The hood of the vehicle has been done in a way that it could be left open if desired with a little scratch work. The lower portions each side will need to be cut away and the metal latches will need to be scratched. I also feel that the panels will need quite a lot of thinning to improve the accuracy of the look if this task is tackled. I do think that the detail hidden under that bonnet is worth the effort in order to display it.

The internal detail of the vehicle is fairly bland as it should be in vehicles of this period. I would have liked to see some wear and tear where the seat surfaces are concerned, but this aspect could be tackled with some sanding, grinding and filler. I am pleased to see that ICM has provided personal weapons for the un-included crew and made a reasonable effort on the clamps for a company that does not use photo etched parts. Dial decals are supplied but I cannot see application of these covered in the instructions.

The decals included in the offering are a little thicker than I would have liked as I am able to feel them on the carrier paper. ICM has provided a choice of four finishing options for the model which are:
le.gl.Pkw Kfz.1, 16 Pz Div, Don area, June 1942
le.gl.Pkw Kfz.1, 11 Pz Div, Ukraine, July 1941
le.gl.Pkw Kfz.1, Panzergruppe 1 Kleist, Ukraine, July 1941
le.gl.Pkw Kfz.1, 1/JG 51, Stary Bykhov (Belorussia), July 1941

German Driver 1939 - 1945

This particular part of the offering from ICM covers the drivers for the vehicles. I am a big fan of this element as they are of great use being universal in nature for a World War 2 vehicle. The headwear provided indicates that these figures represent one officer and three infantry soldiers. There are no weapons provided as part of the original release but you could always issue them with weapons from the infantry set.

The figures are split into the usual parts of torso, arms, separate legs, head and separate hat. The uniform looks good in all respects, especially the pocket detail on the jackets. The crease detail on the trousers is especially natural in appearance due to the effect that sitting has on trousers. While looking at the figures one of the figures is very petite for want of a better word where the torso is concerned and the other elements do look to match. One of the figures is wearing a combat smock and this is especially well detailed’ it is also a great addition for troops indicated as being in Russia.

The hands are very well detailed and should not require any help from the modeller that I can see, my only concern here is will the hands match up with the steering wheels of the vehicles. The faces also have a fair to good level of detail, which while not as good as resin they are fair for injection moulded plastic and should meet the needs of most modellers.

German Infantry 1939 - 1942

Starting with an examination of the sprues leaves me with a positive outlook. There is a little flash present on some of the moulding seams, but otherwise everything looks good. Access to the parts looks to have been given consideration and no tight spots are obvious to me, I also like that ICM has placed the parts of the various figures in the same area of the sprue making parts easy to find.

Taking a closer look at the figures still leaves me feeling positive. The figures follow the usual configuration as regards part breakdown and one figure is also supplied with alternate heads, but this is not mentioned in the instructions. The stances are as indicated with two figures walking, a junior officer doing the pointing and an officer hiding behind a piece of paper. The build of the figures looks a little on the light/slender side, but I am not concerned about this aspect as every manufacturer seems to have their own ideas concerning physical proportions and as long as the weapons and equipment are the same scale it is all good.

The uniform detail looks to be accurate to me. The tunic has the correct four pockets with buttoned downed shaped flaps; the detail on the lower tunic pockets is a little soft, but it is there and just needs a little improvement. The trousers and boots look good, the officer having the bulged thigh area that most of us of a certain age think of where World War 2 German officers are concerned. The only part I have come across that I am not keen on is the sprue gate connection point on the officer’s cap that will make clean up troublesome; there is also my pet hate of a sprue gate connection point on the elbow of the arms. A nice part about the uniforms is that the front flap on the tunics has been provided as a separate part and so a nice natural undercut is replicated.

The heads and hands of these figures are very good, ICM in my opinion produce the most detailed fingers of any company when it comes to injection moulded plastic figures. The faces are also very good for this material and I am particular pleased with the detail present in the ears, that may sound odd or unusual, but I have started to note that many manufacturers struggle with this particular detail. Three of the heads are flat top offerings with suitable steel helmets provided, plus of course the officers cap. The other two heads provides one full head and one with a field cap in place.

Equipment wise ICM has provided the usual assortment of items such as:
Water Canteens
Gas Mask containers
Entrenchment Tool
Bayonet in Scabbard
Food containers
Binoculars
The weapons front is restricted as regards choice, but that is not really a problem as most have plenty of spares. This product provides:
An MG 34
An MP 40
A KAR 98 a further 6 rifles are on the vehicle sprues.
3 holstered side arms
The required ammunition pouches

While looking over the weapons it is good to see that ICM has started to use slide moulding in their products, on this occasion it has been utilised to provide hollowed out helmets, the muzzle of the MG 34, the shoulder rest for the MP 40 and the ammunition boxes. The last nice touch is that there are two ammunition belts provided for the MG 34, these are nicely detailed and with gentle coaxing should take any shape the user requires.

Conclusion

This is an incredible selection of items that go together very well for the intended purpose of replicating the German forces during the initial invasion of the Soviet Union during World War 2. The detail of the all plastic kits covering soft skins that ICM produces is really nice and can always be dressed up further by adding photo etch and the like from aftermarket producers. ICM is in my opinion one of the top plastic figure producers in the market today and the items offered here meet my expectations of them. The weapons sprue included is another great addition for both this offering and others.
SUMMARY
Darren Baker takes a look at a new release from ICM that is a stunning offering of two vehicles and two figure sets in one offering all in 1/35th scale and titled 'Army Group Centre Summer 1941'.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: D3502
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 23, 2019
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.66%

Our Thanks to ICM Holding!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Hi, Bill! I wouldn't be a bit afraid of investing in this new ICM combo set, if I were you. I DO like early-WWII German subject matter, and this new set definitely has gained my interest! It's on my "To Buy" list for the near future. I WOULD "Buy Now", but I just "dropped a bundle" for the new MINIART M3 Lee w/Interior and the appropriate WWII US Tankers, yesterday... Let's see... What am I going to need in "after-market"..?
JUN 24, 2019 - 10:29 PM
Thank you, Dennis, for the endorsement. I have a long-term project around a Russian Steppes scenario, so this would fit right in.
JUN 25, 2019 - 01:35 AM
Bill: I would consider looking into some photo etch to dress the vehicles and weapons up.
JUN 25, 2019 - 02:02 AM
Thanks, Darren, that's always my default inclination, unfortunately. Does anyone know if the Lion Roar PE for the Italeri kit would work with the ICM? Pit Road sells a set for $46 that looks like the LR one "note-for-note."
JUN 25, 2019 - 02:58 AM
You're Very Welcome, of course!
JUN 26, 2019 - 08:27 AM
Show me a set of destructions and I will take a good guess.
JUN 26, 2019 - 09:54 AM
https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-1-35-WWII-GA-Mercedes-L3000-Truck-PHOTO-ETCHED-PARTS-PIT-ROAD-Japan-F-S/233198392734?hash=item364bb5159e:g:6B8AAOSwTmpctB1J [/quote] Bill from what I see there everything could be used with the single biggest improvement being the side engine cowlings. The support frame will need the detail removed from the plastic, but I suspect that is also a requirement of the intended model as well. in the belief that the other model is good scale wise I do not expect you to hit an issue with the set. The pennant holder is quite nice. I don't know if it does $46 worth of improvements.
JUN 26, 2019 - 10:10 AM
Thank you, Darren, This Lion Roar set is the one the Pit Road is based on and sells for 1/4 the price.
JUN 27, 2019 - 03:42 AM
   

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