ICM continues to crank out some lovely combo kits these days, especially around World War 1 subjects. This kit, which includes both their previously released Type B Cargo Truck, as well as US drivers, is an example of this.
The Standard Type B Liberty Truck was the first standardized vehicle ever produced by the U.S. armed forces and was essentially an attempt to reduce the enormous inventory parts problems then associated with logistical support as well as come up with something that had all the best features of trucks of the time. It was produced by some fifteen firms to rigid specifications and served overseas starting around fall of 1918, so they were in service for little over a month before the end of the war. A large number of these were sold off to private companies and some served with postwar armies around Europe. All told almost 10,000 were produced - a prodigious number of one vehicle for those times.
ICM's kit is a virtually trouble-free assembly, as is evidenced by the fact that I needed no filler for either the truck itself or the figures. The truck comes with a couple of options, most notably the closed or open cargo cover. It also has an odd choice of extra hub for one of the front wheels, although for the life of me I could not determine why. In any case, I went with the standard hubs all around. The tailgate, surprisingly, cannot be mounted in the down position per assembly, although it would take only a modicum of scratch building to convert this. Nonetheless, it does limit diorama possibilities as it stands.
The figures are an easy assembly with a minimum number of parts, although I find myself debating the uniform choice. By late 1918 I rather doubt that the average American GI was still wearing the "Smokey" hat, so I switched out the driver's chapeau for a more likely tin helmet from ICM's US Equipment set. I figured officers would be more likely to retain their original headgear longer, so left it in place for the passenger.
As I chose a machine used by the Marines, I painted the driver in a more field green outfit to suit the branch. The officer would have had more ready access to the latest uniform offering, so I put him in standard army brown. The figures painted up well enough and fit into the cab with no difficulty whatsoever. I show the figures in the cab without the rain canopy, as they're not particularly easy to see with it on.
All in all, this is a lovely set with no problems encountered during assembly. Since so many of these found themselves in civilian service after the war, the diorama possibilities are definitely there. Obviously, I'm going to put a load on my truck before it goes into my collection, but wanted to exhibit it with what actually comes with the kit. I can't fault this model on any level, and definitely can recommend it for any aficionado of World War One equipment without hesitation. Fun indeed!
As always, my thanks to ICM for their continued dedication to this important period in history, as well as to IPMS/USA for a chance to add this lovely piece to my collection. Stay safe, everyone, and happy modeling!
MATTHEW TEEVAN IS AN artist who shows his work on Art Station, an online centre for the illustration community.Read more »
G'day Benchers! Dave, Ian and Julian are back with another (still in lockdown) episode.
Will Pattison joins us again with part 2 of talking about tools and this time we focus on eye loops, power tools and other electronic items to make your modelling life easy. We also have our mailbag as well as whats new in the modelling world.
Don’t forget for our On The Bench listeners the Scale Modellers Supply is offering a 10% discount on all orders from their website…..tune in to find out about this fantastic offer!
This book covers the development of aircraft powerplants as they relate to the airline industry, going back to the beginnings of air transportation in the twenties. The author is especially well qualified to write in this area because (1) his father was an engineer who worked on jet engine development in Germany during World War II, and later France and the United States, and (2) the author grew up with this background, and competed a Doctorate in Aeronautical Engineering at MIT, after which he worked for AVCO-Everett Research Laboratory and the Boeing Corporation, later pursuing a career teaching and doing research at the University of Washington in Seattle.
The book begins with a discussion on how powerplants were developed for aircraft, and how the decisions were made by company and airline operators on which types of aircraft and engines to incorporate in their designs. The early designs by Boeing, Ford, Fokker, Stinson, and later Douglas and Lockheed, are covered, and the military influences are also discussed. Why, for example, did the Douglas DC-3/C-47 series become so successful, whereas, the Curtiss C-46, which was larger and of slightly later design, did not do well with scheduled airlines after the war. A lot of non-scheduled and cargo carriers used them, however.
The author goes into extensive detail on the development of jet engines before and during World War II in the U.S., England, and Germany, , and how German technology was obtained by the victorious Allies in their postwar developments in aeronautical engineering. After World War II, the airline industry was closely related to military developments, as the Cold War was soon going strong, and both sides required jet engines for bombers that were increasingly efficient and more powerful. Another factor covered is the reduction of required maintenance that accompanied the development of more efficient jet engines, and the various innovations that made jet propulsion replace the outmoded internal combustion engine as the major airline power source.
Towards the end of the book, the subject of modern jet airliners is discussed in detail, including the various types and how their engines affected their commercial success. In addition, there were some very interesting people involved in the business, notably Howard Hughes, and the author gives some very interesting perspectives on how the top management of the aircraft producers and the airline companies maneuvered to get the best airplanes delivered to their favorite lines while trying to put competing airlines at a disadvantage.
The book is very well illustrated, although quite a few airplanes are mentioned but not really illustrated well, so a reader unfamiliar with earlier airline types will have to look elsewhere to find pictures of these aircraft. However, the photographs are by and large of excellent quality, and serve to illustrate the major types of aircraft in airline service.
The average modeler should find this book excellent reading, and a good source of basic information. It is written from an engineering viewpoint, and the explanations are highly technical but certainly understandable to anyone well acquainted with commercial and/or military aviation. I found it a thoroughly enjoyable read, and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.
Thanks to Phil Peterson and Pen and sword Books for the review copy. I shall treasure it.
ICM has certainly put its Ford Model T molds to good use, making no less than four different variants of this ubiquitous little vehicle previously, all variants which served with distinction in World War One. Now a fifth variant has been added - a little-known armored version used by the Royal Naval Air Service along the Russian Front. Really more of a weapons carrier than an armored car, only nine of these were ever made. I rather suspect that it was seriously underpowered for the additional weight of the armor, which would have made this a strictly hard-surface weapon of war.
Like the vehicle itself, the kit is a relatively simply build. It also comes with a separate sprue containing the parts for their newly released Vickers Machine Gun, which is a fine little kit in and of itself. There are three moderately-sized sprues with lots of parts you won't need, a clear sprue for the lamps and a small decal sheet and that's about it for complexity.
I began with the chassis and the nicely detailed engine. My observation on the engine build is - do not waste a lot of time on it, as there is literally no way to show it once completed. However, you will at least know it's there, if that's any comfort.
The body came next, including the odd little armored driver's cab. This threw me a bit, as they went to the trouble of detailing it out, including individual foot pedals, then neglected to include a driver's seat or a way to display the interior. Suffering from an inability to Leave Well Enough Alone, I looked things over and noticed that the build as offered shows no location for a fuel tank. Logic dictated that it must have been located under the driver's seat, so I used the extra parts in the kit to install this and scratched a simple seat resting on top. The next part was a little more complex.
I wanted to have the side-hinging door open to display this little compartment, so modified the door to open, only to discover that its action was blocked by the side of the cargo bed. Examination showed that this ALSO had a side-opening hatch and that the only easy way for the driver to squeeze into his compartment would have been to have both doors open at once. So I did a little scratch work to show this interestingly awkward feature. Obviously, it's not a difficult conversion and in my eyes, at least, makes for a more interesting model.
The last portion to finish was the armored engine shroud, and this is the only place on the build where I encountered any obstacles. The long hood piece is not a terrific fit to begin with, and simply will not close over the radiator. I found that you need to cut the filler cap off the radiator to get it to fit, and even then, it's a bit of a struggle, so patience is suggested here.
Final assembly was the Vickers gun and associated equipment, and all of this fit beautifully together. It comes with both standard and prone tripods as well as ribbed and non-ribbed shrouds, but all the pictures I could find of this vehicle showed this weapon to be in a full upright position with the smooth gun shroud.
Painting was quite straight-forward, although there appears to be some argument over the color of the add-on camouflage. The box top shows this to be brown, whereas all the other drawings show this green. I chose the box top version as I thought this was more distinctive. Add the few decals, finish the lamps, and that's about it. Like I said, it is not a complex kit.
Comparing it to pictures I found on the net, this appears to be a fully loaded version of this tiny machine, as some did not carry the spare tire on the roof. There is not a lot of room anywhere on it for much additional equipment, so I can only assume it was mostly used for short-range patrols at best. In any case, the model does an excellent job of capturing this little vehicle, and it is the most distinctive version of the Model T I currently have in my collection. It only took about a day to build it completely, including the modifications, and only another day to completely paint it, so it's a wonderful and enjoyable short-term project for those getting otherwise buried under more complex endeavors.
My thanks to ICM for adding this interesting little warrior to my collection, and to IPMS/USA for letting me take a shot at it. Highly recommended!
As an avid figure modeler, I was given the opportunity to examine this new paint set by Ammo, which replicates the rather fiddly camouflage pattern often seen on modern Russian infantry. As an avowed enamel/oil paint aficionado, I thought it would be interesting to examine this acrylic set from my own jaundiced perspective.
To try out these paints, I elected to use a rather crude figure from my collection, the argument being it's easy to make a good figure look good, but somewhat more challenging to get the same results from a poor figure. The uniform is not exactly right, but I was more interested in giving these paints a good test than in creating something to add to my collection.
To give the overlay paints some "tooth" I airbrushed a coat of light grey lacquer primer onto the figure first. This primer coat was allowed to dry for several days.
The Ammo paint set consists of four 17ml bottles (roughly half an ounce), the colors being the underlay green followed by a darker overlay green and a red-brown, as well as a black paint to use for outlining. I wanted to get more of a range than that, so I used some tube acrylics obtained from an art store for lighter shades. The Ammo paint mixed exceedingly well with these tube paints, so I had no problem doing a bit of light shading of the underlay green.
On figures with complex camouflage, my typical approach is to figure out what the underlay color is, and fully shade the figure as if that is the only uniform color. Then I use thinned overlay colors so that the shading beneath is still visible. I decided to use this approach on this figure.
The Ammo paint proved to be less opaque than I am accustomed to, which was most noticeable during my initial application. However, mixing it with the art acrylics seemed to rectify this issue. The base coat dried to a slight eggshell finish but looked quite acceptable. As I tend to apply a flat coat to my figures on completion, I did not consider this a problem.
It was on the application of the overlay green and red-brown where the somewhat translucent nature of the paint turned out to be an advantage, permitting the underlying shading to show through without the usual paint thinning I do with enamels. For this camouflage pattern, the overlay consists mostly of small irregular speckles liberally applied. This worked out quite well. The black which I had previously employed to outline pockets, and such also showed effectively through this overlay.
As a final touch (and this is just me) I used a bit of light tan acrylic from a tube to do some highlighting of edges, as I found the straight black outlining to be a bit harsh. The result was quite satisfactory for such a crude figure, and the paint did the trick better than I'd initially expected.
All in all, I am still not an avid fan of acrylics, though I have certainly seen some spectacular results with this medium. The Ammo paints did as advertised and replicated the pictures of Russian soldiers I've seen on the internet well, limited only by my own painting skills. There is not any reason a good figure modeler cannot get outstanding results from this figure paint set. If this is representative of Ammo's line of figure paints, they really seem to be good value for the money. I heartily recommend them.
My thanks to Mig Jimenez for a chance to test out these paints, and to IPMS/USA for trusting me to do them justice.
Miniart have released some slight detail on their second release in their Austin Armoured Car series. This time it is the Austin Armoured Car 1918 Pattern. British Service with markings for the Western Front in WWI. We have some pictures of the real thing and the kit in our preview...Read on... »