by: Darren Baker [ ]
ICM has released their latest 1/16th scale figures in the form of a S.W.A.T. Team Leader, and on this occasion it is also the first of their large figures that is not a guard of some sort. A S.W.A.T. team member is an interesting choice for ICM to switch too and I wonder if this is a sign of a switch to special forces from guards units. Of course another possibility is that this is the first of a whole S.W.A.T. team.
This offering from ICM is in their now usual very high quality packaging that does an excellent job of protection, even in the postal system. Taking a look at the mouldings reveals a pleasing level of detail with no serious issues to overcome, there are some moulding seams but these are light and so easy to deal with. The points where the sprues attach to the moulded parts have been well chosen and so again easy to deal with.
Areas that I am particularly pleased with cover things such as the tread detail on the sole of the boots that have been supplied as separate parts. The M4 rifle has been supplied the barrel grip in two halves, and this has enabled good replication of the cooling holes. The top mounted sight and torch are supplied as additional parts which I like, my only complaint here is that I would have liked to see the torch and sight lenses replaced with clear parts.
I should say right here that I was not best pleased with the instructions that are supplied due to it being a simple front and back drawing of the assembled figure. I know this is not a complicated model, but a more in depth instruction sheet would have made things easier to follow instead of being a hunting exercise.
I started with the lower half of the body; the knees to the waist are supplied as a front and back half. The fit of these two halves as a dry fit was not the best, but after I applied adhesive to both halves to soften them slightly the fit was good. You will be left with light seams to fix but nothing overly difficult. The lower halves of the legs are supplied as solid castings and I am very impressed that ICM managed this without having any sink marks present. The fit of these is very good as is the tread portions of the boots.
Moving onto the upper body and the torso is supplied as front and back halves, again they fit together best if both sides of the join are softened with adhesive. The detail present is good in my opinion for injection moulded plastic, but the more advanced figure modellers will likely sharpen the edges of some details. The arms have been moulded as solid parts and again ICM has managed to avoid shrink marks in what are thick pieces of plastic. One of the hands has been supplied as a separate part and the other has three separate fingers. The fit of the arms at the shoulders is not perfect and some filling will be required, but the way the hands hold the rifle is very good in my opinion. The back of the figure has SWAT clearly marked out and is a nice touch over a decal.
The head is an easy assembly to work on, and due to the face consisting of the bridge of the nose to the forehead should prove an easy to paint aspect of the model. The limited amount of the face that is visible has been well sculpted. ICM has provided two helmet choices: one with goggles and the other is what I think of as a military assault style helmet.
The pose of the figure is pleasing to me having what I feel is a cautious action pose about it. The moulding is good throughout with only the shoulder joints looking to need any remedial action as regards filling. Final painting as suggested by ICM is not my favourite with a search of online images providing more pleasing colour options to my mind. I am torn between this offering and the previously released US Marine figure when it comes to picking which I like the most. The assembly that I have done was very easy going and paints ICM in a very good light.