by: Jim Rae [ ]
Surprisingly, the Ford Motor Company was one of the largest supplier of vehicles to the Third Reich. Coincidentally, it was also one of the largest manufacturers of trucks in Stalin's Soviet Union. The V3000 series of 3 ton trucks were produced by Ford-Werke (Germany), Société Anonyme Française, (Ford of France) as well as various subsidiaries in Belgium and Holland. All for the Geman military and all under the supervision of Ford-Werke. So, the strange situation existed with a U.S. owned (52% of its shares) company producing military vehicles for the Nazi regime whilst changing its civilian production in the States to military.
So, the subject of this kit should, correctly be defined as a Ford V3000S - or 'Ford-Werke'.
35411 - V3000S (1941 Production) German Army Truck is a NEW release by the Ukrainian manufacturer ICM Holding of this often-seen 3 Ton truck. The model comes inside a relatively flimsy box with some very nice artwork of the truck in a typical Mid/Late-war paint scheme. The Model which comtains 190 parts comes on three dark-sand colored styrene sprues. A clear sprue contains parts for the windscreen, side & rear windows and the headlamps.
A small decal sheet provides markings for four vehicles - principally tac signs and number plates. Three Wermacht subjects and the fourth a nice change with markings for a Fallschirmjager vehicle in Italy (as featured on the Box-Art).
The instructions are the usual style from the company - clear and uncomplicated with construction in 16 stages.
In More detail
With the launching of their Studebaker a year or two ago, it was obvious that ICM were becoming much more sophisticated in both design and execution of their releases. With every subsequent release this has become much more apparent. The quailty of the styrene has also improved impressively. Whereas the (first) Studebaker model was moulded in a pretty soft, almost gritty strene, the plastic in the V3000S is infinitely better. It really is of a quality which is more akin to that of Bronco or DML.
The attachment points for the parts on the sprue are also much more delicately done than some of their earlier releases - once again, making life a LOT easier and minimizing the possibility of damaging delicate parts.
The largest part, that for the cargo bed suffers NO warping or deformity.
This was a problem that many found on the Studebaker (myself included) and it WASN'T an easy fix. Nor have they overdone the detail on the 'wooden' parts. There is a hint of grain but it's underplayed rather than looking as if the rear body was constructed our of freshly-cut logs. It'll vanish after the first coat of paint anyway so, for many it's simply not necessary.
Construction is pretty straightforward. The 'fiddliest' bits (like all trucks) is the sub-frame but the impression from the instructions is that this should cause few problems with a bit of patience.
The wheels consist of three parts - the tires are moulded in one piece and you add 2 pieces for the hubs. From what i've seen (SO FAR), the tread is correct on the tires and are very nicely detailed.
All the detail is there in the cab and, once again, delicately executed. The crew seat looks a bit bare and the super-detailer may want to work on the texture of the seats a little.
The rear Cargo-Compartment might look better with ALL the hoops for the canvas tilt. Simply using the forward one as a template, it should be easy enough to add them. In addition, the attachment points were pretty prominent, and it would be a simple matter to add them with suitably-sized Evergreen. No tilt is provided but is no doubt being considered by one of the AM specialists.
So, a quick run-through the model. In the next sections i'll do a summary of the quality and, importantly, the MANY possibilities which exist.
THe Quality & the subject
This is a VERY well-done model. Technically it is excellent and with a delicacy of touch that normally is only to be found amongst the 'Majors'.
Quality of the moulding is first rate with no warping, no deformed parts and no flash. I don't however, get a good feeling about the decals - once again a small issue as many manufacturers produce excellent and appropriate replacement sets.
The Subject. This was an extraordinarily prolific vehicle. Considering the many thousands produced, it makes me wonder wjy it was never done before in styrene. At a time when we get 4 manufacturers rushing to produce the same model of a 'Paper-Panzer' which existed on the back of an envelope and was encountered after closing time in a BrauHaus in Upper Bavaria by a drunken intelligence officer (write your OWN scenario where these vehicles REALLY came from!), it's a pity that more of the less-secier vehicles haven't found their way into model form. ICM should als be congratulated for NOT producing another Opel Blitz. The decision to produce THIS vehicle was 100% correct and not just in this version.
The Potential. After just a few hours of surfing, I came across a Maultier version (Half-Track) various specialized bodies such as ambulances, Comms vans and even a fire-engine. Of course it doesn't even have to be German. Add a split-windscreen and you've got a U.S: vehicle, add a few more modifications and you've got Post-War French etc. etc. I've got little doubt that ICM were looking at the FUTURE possibilities of this model. Don't be surprised to see several more variants from the company!
ICM have, in my opinion gone right into the ranks of the Major-Leaguers with this release. They do though have to maintain the momentum. Releasing an original subject is good but not enough in itself. The model-buying public have to be persuaded to try something like thais rather than (yet) another of those adrenalin-popping Tigers or Panthers.
Buy LOTS of these and you'll encourage more releases of this type!
My thanks to ICM Holding for the Review Sample.