by: GrahamCobb [ ]
Originally published on:
introductionLike other box sets in this range, this one includes the parts needed to make four model infantrymen, in 1:35 scale. They depict Italian soldiers from World War One, which Italy joined in 1915, on the Allied side. One of the figures depicts an officer with a pistol in his right hand but a body turning to his left, while the other three represent private soldiers, all armed with rifles. Two are standing or moving slowly forward and one is modeled in a kneeling position and looks like he is starting to get up, which is an attractive and unusual pose. The combination means that the four figures work well together if displayed as a group but they can also be displayed as interesting and self-contained individual models.
contentsInside the ICM “full box with extra lid” packaging are two tan sprues, containing 144 parts. One sprue holds the figures, while the other is a weapons set. Moulding is good, with little flash to deal with.
reviewThe kit is marketed as representing figures from 1915 and includes appropriate equipment for that year (peaked caps, rifles, bayonets, canteens etc) as well as additional parts to depict soldiers from later in the war, equipped with steel helmets, bolt cutters and a double barreled submachine gun, complete with shield. There is no guidance offered in the instructions to help modelers adapt the ammunition pouches if one of the figure’s rifle is swapped for the submachine gun.
Standard Italian rifles were exceptionally long, which often led to problems in the confined space of trenches. Many front line and specialist troops therefore received short carbines instead of rifles and this option is included in the kit.
Most Italian battles in this period were fought in mountain regions, but the model offers nothing more than an ice axe in the way of specialist equipment, without skis, climbing ropes or other Alpine gear. This doesn’t make the kit wrong but it might frustrate some modelers who have a mountain diorama scene in mind.
The kit designers seems a little confused about the appropriate uniform colours, as the instructions include a print showing a bottle green colour and a recommendation to use “European green” paint; the main box art suggests a light neutral grey and the artwork on the box side offers a greyish green. The last would be most typical for Italian soldiers in the Great War. As an extra option, dark blue was only just being phased out from reserve units when war broke out. The uniform was similar in shape to the grey-green one, so the modeler seeking a splash of colour only needs appropriate paint and references.
The figures fit together exceptionally well and the overall level of detail is acceptable, with the weapons being particularly well done. The heads are not so good, being a little soft on facial detail. Replacing the kit parts with Hornet heads would solve this, though the problem is not really noticeable once the headgear is in place.
conclusionIt is not too difficult to produce a decent and unusual model or series of models from this set, though some basic research skills will help and depicting mountain scenes may require some ingenuity .