ICM 1/24 G4 (1939 production)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New Tool Kit|
The G4 was a development of the G1, launched in 1926. In the first three years of production they had an 8-cylinder inline engine of 5018 cc displacement delivering 100 hp (74 kW). An unsynchronized four-speed transmission transferred the power to all four rear wheels, or optionally to all six wheels. The rear wheels were attached to two rigid axles 950 mm apart, which were suspended in joint semi-elliptic leaf springs. The front axle was rigid with semi-elliptic springs. All six wheels had hydraulic brakes with servo assistance. The top speed was only 67 km/h, limited by the type of all-terrain tyres. Only 11 of these vehicles were delivered to the Wehrmacht. The car used an elongated box-section frame that allowed for generous interior room with comfortable seating for up to 7. Seating was provided by two benches (front and rear) and one middle-placed row of seats with separate arm rests. From 1937 a more powerful engine of 5252 cc and 115 hp (84.5 kW) was used. The performance remained the same. Between 1937 and 1938 16 cars were built. From 1938 a larger motor of 5401 cc and 110 hp (81 kW) was used. Vehicles of this model were used by Adolf Hitler and his staff in parades marking the occupation of Austria and the annexation of the so-called residual Czech Republic. The last year of production was 1939. 30 cars of this model were built.
ICM has obviously had some success with this kit in 1/35 as they have chosen to do it in one of the standard car scales, 1/24. It is cool to see them turning to this scale for what is in effect a civilian vehicle, despite their quasi-military usage.
As you would expect from ICM, the level of detailing is pretty high with 255 parts for the car, which is actually about 50 fewer parts than the 1/35 offering. However, this one does not come with figures provided in the initial 1/35 boxing. This is not a simple curb-side, but comes with a full engine that simply needs some hoses and wires to really look the part. The chassis on this kit is integral with the fenders and running board, making construction a bit less fiddly, though it still has the various cross-members. The only real option with the kit is the ability to have the hood open to show the car's engine.
Wheels are vinyl/rubber with separate hubs, making painting quite easy and they can be added at the end of the build if you so wish. The historical section implies that this is six wheel drive, but that is not the case. The transaxles are only for the rear four wheels, and these constructs are very nicely detailed. Up front, there is a complete steering linkage that extends all the way to the steering wheel.
The interior is as well detailed as the rest of the kit. Individual pedals and levers are supplied and there are decals to go in the instrument panel. The seats are as plush as one would expect to find in a vehicle carrying high government mucky-mucks. Full windows and frames are supplied to be installed separately. The top can only be built in the lowered position, which may disappoint some, but it does allow for a full view of the interior and its three rows of seats.
Instructions are on a thin, but slick paper. Drawings are well done with the usual Model Master color references. Markings are for four vehicles, though none of them are identified. One is an overall gloss black while the other three are in a scheme of Light Grey (RLM 63). I would be remiss if I did not mention that this kit does include a full sprue of chrome parts, which is real help. The decal sheet includes plates, dials, flags (no swastikas) and unit markings as appropriate. The dash instruments are also part of the decal sheet.
Things like this just ooze cool. I'm quite pleased with how this one is done and very much appreciate that the chassis has been simplified as this seems to be a step forward. Though I'd not recommend this to beginners due to all the small parts, a qualified builder can make this into a real beauty. It would be great if ICM had this same upscale in mind for some of its other staff cars.
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