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In-Box Review
135
G4 (Kfz 21)
G4 (Kfz 21) WWII German Staff Car
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The G4 has been covered fairly comprehensively by ICM in both 1/24th and 1/35th scale, this latest offering and I believe possibly last offering is the military version in 1/35th scale with the roof folded back. The following text is the introduction provided by ICM on the instruction booklet.

the three axle off-road passenger car G4 (W31) was designed by Daimler Benz in 1934. This car had an 8 cylinder engine of 100 (later 110) hp and 6 passenger seats. This car was intended for the German Army, but it proved to be very expensive and too complicated for mass production. There were only72 cars produced up until 1939. Some were used as staff cars (Kfz 21) by high commanders of the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe.

Contents

The model is supplied in a cardboard tray with card lid, inside of this you will find a singe re-sealable plastic bag that contains all of the sprues. The contents breakdown as follows;
  • 5 tan sprues
  • 1 clear sprue
  • Decal sheet
  • Instruction booklet

Review

First Impressions
Upon opening the box and seeing all of that plastic in a single plastic bag, I always think warping and distortion; however in fairness to ICM, other than some sprue frame bows I have never had an issue with the actual mouldings, so when you open any ICM vehicle box donít break into a sweat, Perhaps the words ĎDonít Panicí should be printed on the bag.

The moulded parts look good, being free of shrink marks and flash, the only issue you will come up against is ejector pin marks; that said ICM is always improving this aspect of the products and this one looks very good in this respect, with what there are I believe being hidden once the model is assembled. Something you will notice on the larger mouldings are flow or cooling lines, I have yet to find one on an ICM product that has caused an issue from memory.

The Engine and Gearbox
I have said it before and I will say it again, I am a really big fan of the effort put into this area of the models that ICM produce. There is some really nice work gone into producing a very realistic looking heart of the vehicle. ICM does not at this time include photo etched parts in their products and despite this they still manage to provide some great mouldings that make photo etched parts unnecessary, parts such as the fan blades and belts are good examples of this work. The detail in this area of the model will benefit from the addition of some wiring, but is otherwise very complete with one omission, there is no radiator provided and this should ideally be scratched by the modeller. I also like the fact that ICM call out painting instructions as you work your way through assembly. While covering this area it is worth mentioning that the exhaust has some very nice detail on it, but the end of the exhaust will need to be drilled out to further improve its look.

The Chassis and Axles
The chassis is another area where ICM excel. The chassis is a multi-part affair and this approach has allowed ICM to add a lot of detail. Being a multi-part assembly does mean that a lot of care and precision is required on the part of the modeller to ensure everything is square. I prefer this method, despite the needed care to the single piece chassis offered in the 1/24th scale offerings of the vehicle. This area can again be further improved by the addition of some wiring to replicate brake pipes/cables. One thing I do appreciate is that the steering column actually attaches to the front steering mechanism and goes through a hole into the interior of the vehicle.

The rear axle assembly is a great little model in its own right. There are 30 parts in total that go together to complete the rear axle and provides a guide to the effort ICM puts into their products. Once assembled I feel this will be a great if seldom seen addition to the model. The front axle by comparison is very simple and while it is not mentioned in the instructions I believe it will be possible to finish the model with the front wheels shown turning left or right, I believe giving that option a try will increase the appeal of the finished model.

Wheels
The wheels provided for this model are all injection moulded plastic, which I know will please some and rattle others. I know that as I have progressed I have come to prefer the injection moulded tyres over vinyl, but I do not get to upset by either. The tread pattern is quite well replicated with very fine seam lines needing attention around the circumference of the tyre. The wheel hubs are nicely detailed and should look good when painted and weathered.

Vehicle Body
ICM has provided a one piece ridged floor for the model that provides a stable starting point for attaching the various body panels. Construction should be straight forward with the only downside being that the doors are not provided with the option of being finished in an open position; this is due to both doors being moulded as a single part. I particularly like that the engine side of the fire wall has been provided with a horn (That will need drilling out) and what I believe is the battery. Also in the kit is a fuel tank that is positioned under the vehicle at the rear (ICM do like the greasy areas of their models). Another area that i like is the mudguards and running boards that have really nice curves to them. The bonnet or hood has some nice detail on the outer face and ICM has placed deep recessed panel lines on the interior allowing the hood/bonnet to be shown in a open position.

Vehicle Interior
The vehicle interior despite the issue with the doors is good. The seats all have good detail imparted to them if a little virginal in appearance, then again these vehicles were not exactly an everyday drive. The doors have separate door cards which has hidden a number of ejector pin marks. All of the controls have been faithfully replicated, with the only part I question is why the steering has been supplied in two parts instead of one. The dashboard is very nicely detailed and also clearly defines where exactly the decals provided for the dials should go.

The Roof
The folding roof provided with this model looks fair with some nice detail; however if you prefer the roof being shown up, the parts are in the box and marked as unused. The mouldings have a nice cloth like look about them if a little cleanly folded; maybe a cover was used I donít know.

Lights and Screens
The clear mouldings provided by ICM have good clarity to them and good frame detail where relevant. The headlight lenses could have benefitted from some detail on the reverse face, but are otherwise very good.

Instructions and Decals
The instructions are provided in a loose leafed format and guide you through the build using black and white line drawings. Some of the parts placement could be clearer, but as long as you remember test fit thrice and glue once you will be OK. The decals consist of 2 flags, the number plates and the dials, colour is good but due to symbolism the flags are missing the vital component. I understand the issues surrounding this symbol, I do, but there are ways of providing it for those who wish to accurately represent their model rather than forcing them into the aftermarket realm. The number plates are very good, but I cannot verify if the detail is accurate for the vehicle in terms of number. The dials are also Ok, but if you are going down the aftermarket decal route for the flags I would take a look at the dials as well.

Conclusion

This is another great soft skin offering from ICM, who must be by now the suppliers of the largest range of soft skinned military models. Most of the details on this offering are of a very high standard and with ICM improving all the time, things should keep getting better. The decals are a sore point with me, due to I suspect finding more and more kits not providing the accurate decals as an option; however I cannot really blame ICM for following the guidelines. The guts of the model are exceptional for an all plastic model and I have come to really appreciate the work ICM puts into these areas. Definitely a model worth picking, up and which provides those modellers who like to depict destroyed vehicles with some fantastic display options.
SUMMARY
Highs: A very good engine, chassis, and suspension make this model a must have, and which shows ICM at their best.
Lows: The doors not having the option of being shown open is a let down.
Verdict: Another great soft skin option from ICM.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35538
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 15, 2014
  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 70ís 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 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

Beautiful detail. Yes, I would expect the doors to open.
JUL 15, 2014 - 03:32 PM
I built their previous G4-Kit, the only difference seems to be the addition of a canvas roof. The doors can be built open quite easily, simply cut them apart. They are only combined in one part for a more accurate and easy assembly. To my dissapointment this kit seems to be missing the covers for the various headlights as displayed on the box picture. I had to scratchbuild those on my previous built, which was not an easy task. The wheel profile is also oversimplified and needs to be improved. Otherwise a great, superbly detailed and well engineered kit.
JUL 15, 2014 - 11:18 PM
Hi! Agreed on all points. Here's hoping that some AM companies such as HUSSAR, DEF, VOYAGER, etc, will release wheel & tire update kits, as well as other updates such as PE etc in the near future...
JUL 19, 2014 - 06:44 AM
   

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