Friday, November 19

Construction Review: WWII China Guomindang AF Pilots from ICM in 32nd scale

Today Gary Wickham looks at the new WWII China Guomindang AF Pilots from ICM in 32nd scale. He gives us a good report of not only what's in the box, but how they go together in his excellent review...
Construction Review: WWII China Guomindang AF Pilots
From ICM
1/32nd scale
Kit No #32115
Price: $21USD from Hobbylink Japan
Product link on the ICM Website
The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) was officially formed by the Kuomintang (KMT) after the establishment of the Aviation Ministry in 1920. As tensions mounted between China and Imperial Japan in the 1930s, air units from the Chinese warlords, including those from the Guangdong Provincial Air Force, and overseas Chinese aviators, became integrated into the centralized command of the ROCAF, nominally as the Nationalist Air Force of China, and coordinating with the Second United Front to counter the Imperial Japanese invasion and occupation.
The air battles between the Chinese and Japanese pilots above the sky of China from 1937 to 1941 was considered by Westerners a forgotten war. For the Japanese pilots, this was their first chance to earn experience in fighting other pilots in the air. For the Chinese pilots, these were absolutely deadly struggles for them to protect their motherland from the invaders.

ICM has released a new tooled 1:32 plastic injection moulded figure set capturing a group of Chinese pilots from the 1937-1941 period. As the boxart shows, this set is clearly inspired by ICM's boxing of their I-153 or I-16 aircraft in Chinese markings.
As it was not possible to establish mass production of their own Chinese combat aircraft, and with the outbreak of hostilities, the pilots of the Chinese Air Force fought in American, British, Soviet and Italian-made aircraft. In the air battles with the Japanese, they showed themselves to be brave fighters and despite the overwhelming superiority of the Japanese air force they managed to inflict considerable damage.
As with all the ICM figure kits, it is very simple with a single sprue containing the parts for all three figures. The body parts (legs, arms, torso and head) for each figure are conveniently grouped together on the sprue. Using the colour assembly (and painting) guide it takes virtually no time at all to cut out and glue the parts together. I found no excessive gaps or misalignment in any of the body parts.
Each figure is broken down into major body parts and like any plastic parts seam lines and sprue attachment points need to be cleaned up with a sharp knife and sandpaper.
I like to assemble any plastic parts using Tamiya Extra Thin liquid glue as this gives me plenty of time to adjust the alignment of body parts as needed. A little bit of Milliput filler has also been used to deal with small gaps and seams.
Here are a few closer shots so you can see the surface detail more clearly.

Much like all the recent ICM figure releases this new set of WW2 Chinese Pilots in 1:32 offers plenty of detail, the figures have interesting (and complimentary) poses and the subject matter represents a welcome change from mainstream US, British and German subjects.
As I've said before I highly recommend these figure sets from ICM as they represent great value for money and ease of assembly.

Gary Wickham

Many thanks to ICM plastic model kits for supplying the kit for Gary to review.
You can see more of Gary's Work on his Website & his Facebook page.