Thursday, July 4

Preview: ICM's 1/35th scale Leopard 2A6 with crew - Armed Forces of Ukraine (+ several other neat kits due next month)

ICM has just sent out the list f their new releases for next month, with several great kits included (& paint). We look at them (with the limited info we have), with special attention to the new Leopard 2A6 in 1/35th scale Leopard 2A6 with crew from the armed forces of Ukraine in our preview...

Preview: ICM's 1/35th scale Leopard 2A6 with crew - Armed Forces of Ukraine (+ several other neat kits)

Leopard 2A6 with crew - Armed Forces of Ukraine 
From ICM
1/35th scale
Model #35013
291 parts
The kit includes the 1/35th scale Leopard 2A6 kit & four figures and their pooch!
The subject - Leopard 2A6 in Ukranian service...
According to Forbes, Ukraine has received a total of twenty-one Leopard 2A6s. Three were donated by Portugal, with the rest coming straight from Germany, where the tank was designed and manufactured.
The Leopard 2A6's capabilities are on par with, or even surpass, that of the American M1 Abrams family of tanks (in some people's opinions) for certain tasks and types of battlefield scenarios. Technological advancements and the changing landscape of warfare prompted the development of an upgraded Leopard tank in the 1970s. In 1979, the Leopard 2 entered service with West Germany as well as a host of other European nations. Early Leopard 2 tanks—up to 2A4–differ from their contemporary counterparts. These used a more vertical, squared off turret compared to the asymmetric, arrow-shaped turret of the 2A5 and later variants. The Leopard 2A6 is currently used by nations around the world and boasts impressive vehicle statistics.
For the 2A6 model, the German Defense Company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) upgraded the armor, armament, and communications. For the armor, the 2A6 uses a combination of composite, modular, and traditional steel. This gives the tank the best protection without compromising performance due to excessive weight. In a world where IEDs, mines, and RPGs are a tanks biggest threat, this armor gives the crew the protection they need in the urban battlefield. Compared to the 2A5, the addition of the Rheinmetal 120mm/L55 smoothbore barrel is the most noticeable difference. This gun is one meter longer than the gun on its predecessor. This greatly improves the tank’s lethality with better range and accuracy. Built-in stabilizers help as the tank moves along rough terrain, while the fire-control system is one of the most advanced, and compares to other tanks in its class, such as the M1A2 Abrams and Challenger II tanks. These advancements include panoramic viewing and thermal imaging to aid in target identification and acquisition. The tank carries forty-two total rounds, with fifteen of them at the ready, as well as two 7.62mm machine guns. One mounted coaxially in the turret, while the other resides on the roof. The tank utilizes a crew of four—commander, driver, gunner, loader—and maintains the same engine as its predecessor. The MTU MB-873 Ka-501 turbocharged diesel engine pushes an impressive 1,500hp, giving the tank excellent speed and range—roughly 42mph and 310 miles.
Eighteen countries are currently employing the Leaopard 2A6, with 3,500 total units built and delivered. The Leopard 2A6 has recently entered news headlines due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The Ukrainians believe a reinvigorated Russian offensive is looming and the need for heavier armor is warranted. In the spring of 2023, tanks of the Leopard 2A6 modification appeared in units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They take an active part in the battles in the east and northeast of Ukraine. Like most other Ukrainian military equipment, in combat conditions, these tanks are marked with crosses of various types. Leopard 2A6 is an effective tool in the fight against enemy tanks, in particular, recorded the case of his successful confrontation with two tanks T-80BVM

The kit: ICM's 1/35th scale Leopard 2A6 and crew set...
This new kit from ICM first emerged in their catalogue for 2024 release information. This set is in final development phase with only the box art being released to the public so far. What we do know it that the kit uses the Revell model as a base, with 291 peices on 12 sprues in grey plastic that includes the figures. The kit comes with four crew (also available seperately this month) and the pooch they are talking to. That is all we know about this kit so far...

Due in next month, you can find out about ICM's other releases on the ICM plastic model kits website

Also for sale from ICM in July (22nd) are these new kits...

-1/35 Leopard crew of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Combat units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine operate different types of tanks. Until recently, most of them were tanks of Soviet design (T-64, T-72, T-80 and their modifications). Starting in 2023, Western-made combat vehicles began to enter the tank forces of Ukraine. One of these most modern models are Leopard 2 tanks of various modifications. The crew of this tank has four men - tank commander, driver, gunner and loader. Mechanics-drivers note the excellent maneuverability and speed of the Leopard 2 tanks, and the gunners - very good optics that allow you to see targets at a distance of 4-5 kilometers. Much depends on the level of training of crews, their coherence and ability to act as a single mechanism, so tankers are constantly improving their skills, undergoing training and analyzing the acquired combat experience. 

- #3073 – Acrylic paint set for Leopard tanks 

- #3064 – Acrylic paint set for WWII Imperial Japanese Navy 

-1/35 Studebaker US6-U5 item no #35492
The Studebaker US6 (G630) was a series of 2½-ton 6×6 and 5-ton 6×4 trucks manufactured by the Studebaker Corporation and REO Motor Car Company during World War II. These trucks were designed to transport cargo loads over any type of terrain and in any weather conditions1. Here are some key details about the Studebaker US6: In 1939–1940, the US Army Ordnance Corps sought tactical 6×6 trucks capable of off-road operation. Studebaker, Yellow Coach (a GM company), and International Harvester submitted designs that were accepted and put into production in 1941. A total of 219,882 2½-ton 6×6 trucks and similar 5-ton 6×4 versions in 13 variations were built. Studebaker was the primary manufacturer, producing 197,678 units at its South Bend, Indiana plant. REO produced 22,204 more under a sub-contract at its Lansing, Michigan plant from 1944. All production by both manufacturers ceased in 1945. Service and Lend-Lease:The Studebaker US6 was primarily manufactured for export under Lend-Lease. The Soviet Union became the largest foreign operator. The Red Army conducted tests on eleven US6 trucks between July 1942 and May 1943. Based on the results, the payload capacity was enlarged from 2,300 kg to 3,600 kg (4 short tons). On improved roads, they could carry up to 4,500 kg (5 short tons). Large numbers of Studebaker US6 trucks were supplied to the Soviet Union via the Persian Corridor in Iran under the US’s Lend-Lease program.

-1/35 Kfz.70 with MG 34 kit no #35502
The infantry transporter Kfz.70 was one variant of the army vehicle Horch 108 Typ 40. This heavy off- road vehicle was produced by Horch and the German branch of Ford until 1942. Serving as a multifunctional military transport for the Wehrmacht, the vehicle performed a wide range of tasks across various theaters of combat, from France to Stalingrad and from North Africa to Scandinavia. Some of these vehicles could be equipped with different types of armaments, including anti-aircraft guns, Zwillingssockel 36 twin-mount anti-aircraft machine gun installations, or MG 34 machine guns. Vehicles equipped in such a manner were used for anti-aircraft defense, providing fire support, patrolling, and escorting transport convoys.

-1/35 Infantry weapons and chevrons kit no 35749
The main burden of the full-scale war that began in February 2022 fell on the Ground Forces of Ukraine. These include mechanized, motorized infantry, mountain, tank, and artillery brigades. However, the most active participation in combat operations is seen from the Air Assault and Marine Infantry brigades, which often carry out missions in the most challenging areas. The Ukrainian defense forces have demonstrated their ability to fulfill necessary tasks with dignity and have become arguably the most combat-ready army in Europe with extensive combat experience. Small arms and anti-tank weapons play a significant role in the armament system of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Infantry units currently deployed in combat heavily utilize domestically and Soviet-manufactured weapons. Among Ukrainian-made weapons, notable examples include the "Stugna" line of anti-tank missile complexes and the widely used "Fort" series pistols. Special forces employ the "Maluk" (also known as "Vulkan") assault rifle. Additionally, there is increasing use of weapons acquired  through international material and technical assistance. 

-1/48th scale Nakhon Phanom Air Base Kit #DS4804
In the spring of 1966, to counter the offensive of Ho Chi Minh's troops, the American command decided to deploy B-26K strike aircraft in Southeast Asia. They were stationed in northeastern Thailand, as geographically it was close to likely combat areas. They were based at the Thai Nakhon Phanom airfield. In order to stay in Thailand, B-26K Counter Invader aircraft were designated as A26A.
attack aircraft, because this country did not officially allow the deployment of bombers on its territory. Included aircraft in the 609th special operations squadron. Most Counter Invader combat missions took place in the dark, the reason for this was Vietnamese air defense, which posed a serious threat to piston aircraft with a relatively low speed. Together with B-26K, in Nakhon Phanom were based and light piston aircraft O-2 Skymaster. They were also involved in special tasks, and some of them had black fuselage painting for night sorties.