by: Darren Baker [ ]
ICM has rereleased the lastkraftwagen 3.5 tonne AHN, but this time they have released a set of German drivers with the product. This vehicle was produced by the Renault Company, as a truck for the French army in early 1939. The truck has a 6 cylinder engine, but with rear wheel drive only. Production did not start until March 1941, under German occupation. The family of AHN trucks served throughout the War from 1941, on all European fronts.
This offering from ICM is packaged in the now usual standard, with a cardboard tray with flip top lid, and this is finished with an additional card lid, that has an artist impression of the contents printed on it. Upon opening the box, you will find a re-sealable bag containing the sprues of the model in grey plastic. Also in this bag are two further bags containing the clear parts and the vinyl rubber tyres. There is a second bag in the box, containing the sprue for the figures. There are two instruction sheets, one covering the figures only and a booklet to cover the construction of the vehicle. Lastly there is a small decal sheet, which is inside the instruction booklet for the vehicle.
Looking at the sprues for the vehicle, reveals no obvious issues regards moulding, beyond the usual ejector pin marks. I will say that I am not a big fan that all of the sprues are packaged in one bag, as while no issues have been caused with this sample, it could lead to deformation in the sprues. The figures themselves have no obvious issues that I can detect visually.
This offering from ICM has a multi part chassis, with separate side rails and a number of cross members. This approach by ICM allows for a great deal of accuracy to be included in this area of the model, but it does mean that a lot of care is required in order to make sure that the chassis is assembled squarely. A number of the cross member parts are made of separate components, and this means that even further care has to be taken to ensure that these are accurately assembled.
Typically of ICM, they have included a very good model of the engine and gearbox. While no photo etch parts are included with this model, a lot of very fine detail has been replicated in plastic, right down to a separate fan blade. A nice degree of detail is also included in the radiator.
The axles of the vehicle have been provided in a very small number of parts, and again ICM has not provided the option to allow the front wheels to be finished in a turned orientation. The leaf springs have very nice detail overall, but the moulding seams present will require care during the removal of them, to prevent damage to that detail. The drive axle is a separate part that will not test the modeller, during its installation. The fuel tank has a nice amount of detail to it, but due to the tank being in two parts, there will be a joint seam which may need to be filled. The wheels of the truck, have very nice detail on both the inner and outer face, but I know that the use of vinyl rubber tyres, will not prove popular with a section of modellers.
Moving on to the cab of the truck, we get a very nicely contoured set of mouldings to replicate the cabs unique shape. The seats are an interesting feature, as they are separate and more like rotating chairs, than a standard vehicle seat. Controls inside the vehicle have been well catered for, which should finish the interior off nicely. The engine cover inside the cab has some very nice lines to it. The doors of the cab have been provided separately, and while these are not covered in an open position, I see no reason why that could not be replicated. Fortunately, ICM has avoided ejector pins marks on the either face of the doors, as these are single skinned offerings, with the addition of handles and glazed areas. The glazed portions of the cab, have been well done, as they are thin and do not appear to be causing any distortion, when looked through. As far as I can see, the only part of the cab that suffers greatly with ejector pin marks is the roof. The external grill has a very nice rendition of the manufacturer’s emblem, which I find pleasing.
The cargo bed, is made up of a number of rails that go together to support the floor bed. The floor of the truck is I believe of a metal construction, with a number of lines running along the centre and across it. There is also what I believe to be a weld detail where it is attached to the frame below. The side panels of the cargo bed, also appear to be of a metal design with a diamond shape stamped into them, down the sides. The roof frame has been tackled as a single piece with just the addition of four rails running along its length. Both the cab and the cargo bed can be added to the model at the end of construction, which will make painting the model, in particular the chassis much easier that in might have been.
ICM has included four finishing options for this model as follows:
Lastkraftwagen 3.5 tonne AHN, Russia - Winter 1941
Lastkraftwagen 3.5 tonne AHN, Ukraine – Summer 1942
Lastkraftwagen 3.5 tonne AHN, France 1944
Lastkraftwagen 3.5 tonne AHN, Italy 1943
The figures of the four German drivers, offer some nice poses such as arms resting in a relaxed pose to the side. All four of the figures have the usual break down of separate arms, legs, torso, head etc, although the build of the figure does appear to be very slight. Facial details are of a reasonable standard, and the hands have very good finger detail. Plus of course four figures being provided here gives you the option of what figure to use and provides figures for future projects.
The combination provided here by ICM has been well thought through and I approve of the marriage. The overall detail looks very good to me in all respects. The figures have a very slight build not that it will matter here. The cab has an iconic look to it which instantly identifies it to the viewer. All told this is a very pleasing release by ICM and well worth looking out for.