by: Darren Baker [ ]
ICM has acquired a very good reputation when it comes to soft skinned vehicles. The latest addition to their range of soft skins is the Mercedes Typ 3000S truck, and it is my understanding that this is an all new moulding rather than an updated older kit production.
This offering from ICM is packaged to their usual high standards of protection. This takes the form of a substantial flip top cardboard tray and a separate card lid with the printing well presented on it. Inside is a single re-sealable plastic bag that contains three tan sprues and two more re-sealable plastic bags containing the vinyl tyres and clear sprue. Also inside the box is the instruction booklet with the decal sheet inside of it. I will say that I would prefer ICM to package their sprues individually, but in this case with there being only three sprues to rub together I am not as concerned.
An examination of the sprues shows that the sprues are well laid out and crisply moulded. The parts are clean and have small and a minimal number of sprue gates. On the down side you will find a number of ejector pin marks that will need to be addressed in the cab of the model, there are also a number of flow lines present on the mouldings but none appear to have caused a deformation of the moulded parts.
The build begins with the engine, and ICM have again tackled this aspect very well considering that they do not include photo etch with their models. The cooling fan may have benefited from being in photo etch, but ICM do some very good work with their mouldings and so I am happy with what is in the box in relation to this. The engine and gearbox is tackled in four steps and no of those steps are overly complicated. The instructions could benefit from being slightly clearer, but they are accurate in respect of this section. When joining the two halves of the engine make sure it is correctly aligned as it can be off. I also advise you pay special attention to adding parts (B2 and B13), (B2) could easily be incorrectly added to the model.
The next area to tackle is the chassis and the adding of the previously built engine and the exhaust. The chassis has been tackled by ICM in a multi-part method, I approve of this approach but you must take care to ensure that when assembled it is square. I found slight bows in the main chassis rails, but this bow closed up easily as I secured the cross sections from front to rear. While talking about the main chassis rails there are some ejector pin marks on the inner face, these are hidden from anyone without an inspection mirror but it is up to the modeller if they wish to tackle these difficult to get at marks.
The engine and gearbox fit very well to the model and I feel looks very good, but the addition of some wiring will lift it to a higher level. The exhaust fits well to the model and I am pleased that ICM has added a recessed area where the exhaust gases would vent, some modellers will leave this as is and others will drill deeper so the choice is yours. The wheels are nicely detailed and easily put together, but there is a ridge around the edge of the tyres that could easily be damaged while cleaning up the sprue connection point. The front bumper is very nice as it has the width indicators moulded as a single piece, they are a little on the thick side, but taken as a whole I like what I see.
The cab is the next area of the model that gets attention and is one of the areas with some issues that need addressing by the modeller. The biggest issues here all revolve around ejector pin marks, these are all inside the cab and so not a major issue. The ejector pin marks that need work are on the bottom of both doors, the rear of the cab and the roof of the cab. None of these will cause you too much difficulty to work, but I was disappointed about the ones on the bottom of the doors as they could have been placed to be hidden by the door cards. While talking about the doors I am considering showing the driversí side window rolled down with perhaps a figures arm resting there. The door card numbered as (B3) is on the sprue labelled as (B1).
The seats provided by ICM do have some crease detail present, but I would have liked to see this detail being more pronounced. The dashboard of the truck has been very nicely tackled detail wise and I like that ICM has provided individual decals for the instruments. The only issue I encountered as regards fit was the joint between the roof and the back panel, even after some fettling a small amount of filler will be required to get a satisfactory joint in my case. The hood or if you prefer bonnet has been nicely moulded, specifically where the Mercedes badge is concerned, but I do wish ICM would tackle this area to allow the hood to be open and so exposing the engine bay.
The last stage of the build is the truck bed and ICM do not disappoint in this area. The wooden sides and bed do not have any ejector pin marks anywhere to worry about, and while there is no wood grain detail there is a subtle texture to the finish that I like. Assembly is easy to follow with a very positive fit. The only down side is that if you want to show the tail down on the bed it will require a little work. The frame on the underside of the lorry is very good and again has positive locations. The rear lights and number plate are also well portrayed and I like the clear lenses. I especially like that ICM has provided painting instructions as the build progresses and looks to have covered all of the small details well. The jerry cans and their holders are well tackled for injection moulded plastic, but the holders would be better in photo etch and the handles of the jerry cans look to bulky. The mudguards and their connection to the truck bed is positive and again I like what has been done here. The fit of the truck bed to the chassis is again well tackled and pleasing to me.
You will have to forgive me for not adding parts such as the tools and all of the clear parts, but these will be added as painting progresses. I also have not attached the cab and truck bed to the chassis at this point, but I hope this build has displayed what a great offering from ICM this is. I should also point out that total build time for this model was seven hours to the point I am at and so quick progress is possible.
ICM has provided four finishing options for the model which are as follows:
Typ L3000S, Ukraine, Summer 1941
Typ L3000S, Russia, Summer 1942
Typ L3000S, North Africa, Summer 1942
Typ L3000S, Italy, Summer 1944
This is a very nice offering from ICM, providing a build that is not shake and bake but does not require years in the hobby either. There are a few areas I donít like such as there being no way to display the very nice engine bay, I would also have liked the crease detail to have been more pronounced. One the plus side you get an excellent rendition of the chassis, engine and truck bed. The build progresses in three main areas covering the chassis and mechanicals, cab and hood/bonnet and the truck bed. With the stage I am at being seven hours in and I suspect about another hour of effort to finish all build aspects, you can see that this is a quick and relatively pain free build. What I really like about this kit is that it looks good from the box, with some scratch work and maybe in the near future some aftermarket items this could end up as a stunning model.