|KIT:||ICM 1/72 BM-13-16 'Katiusha' MLRS|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Paraphrasing from the Instructions,
"During the WWII years, the multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) was recognized as the most impressive part of Soviet artillery power.
The first attempt to improve the WWII Katiusha system post war was the installation of a rear mounted system on the new Soviet ZIL 157 truck, a capable cross country vehicle.
The artillery portion of this system was formed by 8 rail-type bilateral launch guides. This equipment, elevating and transversing was all hand operated. The system was capable of handling 16 M-13 132mm or M-82 82 mm fragmentation rockets within 7-10 seconds.
The tactical role of this system was to destroy enemy forces in the field, including tanks and fortifications. This particular system served with Soviet, Warsaw Pact and friendly armies throughout the world."
Once the small box is opened, one finds an even smaller bag of sprues containing the kit. The bits are in either white or black and there are a number of loose parts; mainly wheels, cab and the payload. Molding is rather well done and though there are a few sink marks in some of the thicker parts, none should be difficult to hide or fill. The chassis parts are all the same as have been found in several other recently previewed ICM kits. I doubt that these are original ICM molds, but I could be mistaken. Because the chassis bits have had the molds used a great deal more, there are some concerns with flash and heavy mold seams to be considered.
You get a relatively well appointed interior with steering wheel and shift levers. It really doesn't make a lot of difference that the detail is sparse as you won't see much of it through the rather thick transparencies. Actually, a lot of models in this scale don't have transparencies at all so that is a plus. This is a curbside so no full engine detail. The MLRS section comes on several sprues and is properly complicated looking, though it should provide no problem when construction time arrives. I did find the wheels to be poorly molded on the inside, but these can either be hidden or won't be seen in the final build. The tires are handed in terms of tread so that has to be considered during construction.
Instructions are a single sheet with a history in English and Russian, a parts chart and six nicely drawn construction steps. A color chart in Humbrol and generic references is also given. Basically this thing is Olive Drab with a Black chassis. A full color painting and decal chart in on the back of the box. The decal sheet is somewhat generic as I've seen this with several other vehicles like this. ICM decals are not the easiest to use as they silver rather easily. Best advice is to use very hot water or to apply them in a pool of clear acrylic.
A rather unusual subject for most of us, but one that will provide some interest and be a change from the norm for most of us. It certainly doesn't look difficult to build and is, as they say, "popularly priced".
Thanks to and DLV Company for the review kit. You can find ICM kits at your favorite hobby shop.
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