1/35 ICM Studebaker US6

ICM kit #35511 US retail price $36.95.

While hardly seeing service with U.S. forces during the Second World War, the Studebaker US6 was widely exported to U.S. allies as part of the Lend-Lease program. Seeing heavy service with Soviet forces, it was employed as a cargo carrier, gun tug, and the basis for Katyusha rocket launchers.

ICM has presented us with a very nice kit of a much desired vehicle and it will be sure to fill a gap in the U.S. softskin area of modelling.

THE KIT

The kit consists of 213 parts on 5 sprues of grey plastic and one sprue of clear. The cabin roof and windshield frame are a seperate part and not attached to the sprues. Instructions consist of 12 pages broken down into 29 steps. A decal sheet with markings for three Soviet, one Polish, one Czechoslovakian and one USAAF truck are included.


Steps 1-3 have you build the engine and radiator . Assembly was very easy with no gaps needing to be filled. However, the placement of part A20 is a bit unclear. I had to refer to one of the below references to insure a proper fit.

Steps 4 & 5 involve the assembly of the rear and spare tires. The sidewall detail is quite nice with "Firestone" printed in raised letters. The tires, which are supposed to have a non-directional type tread pattern have it depicted incorrectly. The lugs should be staggered just like they are shown in the instructions. Instead, they line up evenly with each other . As mentioned in the PMMS review, a Tamiya GMC wheel set could probably be substituted. Or, wait for the inevitable wheels from the various aftermarket companies.

Step 6 consists of a 4 part assembly for the gas tank. Like the vast majority of the kit parts, it is free of flash.

Steps 7 & 8 cover the suspension and drive train. While I haven't completed this assembly yet, the parts involved are again free of flash. What ejector pin marks that are present will either be easy to clean up or are in places that will not show when assembled.

Steps 9-14 involve assembly of the frame. The frame consists of a pair of longitudinal beams that are held together with five cross members. Each of the cross members themselves consist of a multi-part assembly. On my example, the parts are free of flash and have very few ejector pin marks. Assembly of this section will be shown at a later date.

Steps 15 & 16 show the completed frame being joined to the completed drive train and suspension assemblies.

Steps 17-19 cover assembly of the cargo bed. The bed provided in the kit is the wooden type seen on Studebakers produced between the fall of 1942 and early spring 1944. The bed and sides have a very fine wood grain on them that will most likely disappear underneath a coat of paint . The tailgate can be positioned opened or closed. However, the tailgate itself suffers from accuracy issues as the kit part is made up of two wooden slats. However, the tailgate on the real thing is made up of three wooden slats . Photo courtesy of David Doyle. The bed has nicely done rub strips on it that will present a challenge to properly weather. The bottom of the bed had a few small pin marks that they were easily cleaned up with a #11 blade.

Steps 20-26 cover the cab assembly. The cab is well detailed with the various gear and brake levers well done. Care will be needed when removing them from the sprues as they are delicate pieces. A decal is provided for the instrument panel but mine was slightly out of register. One would probably be better off painting them or using a decal from the spares box. Part of the cab assembly includes the engine bonnet and grille. On the grille is the "Studebaker" name plate . However, a decal is not included for this. One thing you may want to take note of is that starting in the late summer of 1942, the use of name plates on the grille was discontinued. So, if you combine this with the wooden bed, you end up with a vehicle that was built during a manufacturing transition. But, it's not so bad as the name plate can be removed with some careful cutting. The grille itself is a delicate piece and mine was a little bent from the packaging process. There is some flash on each grille rib that will require clean up. I'm sure one of the aftermarket companies will have a p.e. replacement in no time flat!

Steps 27-29 have you complete the final assembly of the kit. In these steps, you also have the option of placing the tilt hoops for the cargo bed in either the stowed position or attached to the be as if they were in use.

MISCELLANEOUS

There are a couple of things about this kit that bother me but do not actually affect the build of it. The packaging leaves a bit to be desired. All of the sprues come packaged together in one bag . This resulted in several of the parts being broken off of the sprues with the radiator grille being damaged but still usable. The other, and this has been brought up in a couple of other reviews is the lack of part numbers on the sprues. I ended up taking a black felt tip pen and numbering each part. I also made a copy of the instructions showing the parts layout so I wouldn't have to keep flipping the instructions back and forth. Is it the end of the world? No. But, it is annoying.

CONCLUSION

Overall, I am quite pleased with this kit. The level of detail is very good. Clean up has so far been easy and quite painless. I think the kit will continue to be a relatively clean build. However, it is let down by the poor tires and the tailgate. Hopefully, note will be taken of these deficiencies and we'll see correct ones in the future. I'm sure it won't be long until the aftermarket guys come to the rescue regarding these items. In the meantime, I have no problem recommending this kit to any interested in it.

For more reviews and another build of this kit, please see the following:

PMMS

Missing-Lynx

and Dave O'Meara's build

REFERENCES

Doyle, David, Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles, 2nd Edition, 2003 Krause Publications; Iola, WI.

Studebaker US6 Model Detail Photo Mongraph No 17; Rossagraph; Warsaw, Poland

Various email correspondence with David Doyle


Thanks to Fedor Zhovtyak of ICM for the review sample.


HOME ALLIED PHOTO GALLERY AXIS PHOTO GALLERY

NATO PHOTO GALLERY FORMER WARSAW PACT PHOTO GALLERY NON-ALIGNED NATIONS PHOTO GALLERY REVIEWS

NAME THAT AFV QUIZ FUTURE CD RELEASES LINKS ARCHIVES COMMENTARY ABOUT ME