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New Review: WW1 ANZAC Desert Patrol

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Review Author: 
Gino Dykstra
ICM

ICM has been going full bore on World War One ground war models for some time now, and during this process have come out with a variety of Model T variants from the period. As was the case elsewhere at the time, the Model T was pretty much ubiquitous, and served on all fronts in a remarkable range of roles. This latest offering provides no less than three variants all in one package.

Listed as "Anzac Patrol" the packaging offers a staff car, a utility truck and a scout car, all on a common chassis, the late-model 1917 variant of the Model T. Both the scout car and utility truck share the exact same sprues, with only the sprue with body parts distinguishing the scout car. Because of so much commonality among the vehicles, they can be built in an "assembly line" fashion that wouldn't have seemed out of place to Mr. Ford himself.

I began with the chassis, which are generally common to all three. These were not particularly hardy vehicles, and the assemblies are a bit fragile for that. One of the shortcomings of these kits is that the front wheels are not designed to turn. However, by VERY CAREFULLY bending the axis, they can be turned slightly to lend a more candid appearance to the vehicles. The engines are quite nicely detailed for such simple mechanisms and only require of bit of wiring to complete them if you desire to display them. However, mounting them to the chassis was a bit challenging until I discovered that the "lip" extending from the front of the oil pan was actually supposed to glue underneath the radiator.

The body panels for all three are such a good fit that no putty whatsoever was required. In fact, the only putty I used at all was for the somewhat complex seat cushions for the staff car.

The scout car and utility truck are very similar in design, and I wanted a bit more variation in their appearance. A quick glance through the internet convinced me that some scout cars removed their cabin doors and left the bottoms off the engine covers to help with cooling and access. Both of these modifications took just a few minutes.

If there was any spot where I had difficulty it was in the attachment of the steering arm. The attachment point to the steering bracket is extremely small, and getting the assembly to stay put was a bit of a trial. Other than that I can't think of a single issue I encountered. You will, of course, find yourself with a number of odd bits and pieces left on the sprues which, I suspect, are mostly used in the earlier-released ambulance version.

Painting is a simple process, as none of these vehicles were normally elaborately camouflaged. The only challenge was the medallion plate on the scout car, which is fairly elaborate. A decal is included for those who don't enjoy doing that sort of detail painting, but you can hand paint it as I did. The fun part, of course, will be adding stowage and other bits, which will bring these little machines to life. Unfortunately, no stowage is provided as part of the kit, but it's easy enough to glean from other sources.

As a matter of curiosity, I compared the scout car with a much earlier RPM scout car release, which is clearly an earlier version of the Model T as well. Both have their charms, but the ICM kit is much finer in detail, which isn't surprising. Interesting.

All in all, this is a straight-forward set of vehicles which can be assembled over the course of a couple of nights. They can be used in virtually any war setting, although the decals provided are pretty specific to the Palestinian front. I'm a bit surprised that ICM didn't choose to add either of their Anzac figure sets to the mix, as they would have added quite a bit to the fun. Even so, these are nicely detailed, highly useful models that will enhance virtually any World War One scene you can come up with. I can recommend them with no hesitations whatsoever.

I would like to thank ICM for developing this nice little compilation and to IPMS/USA for a chance to throw them together. Delightful!

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