Mercedes Benz G4 Title

Model Details

Kit:
ICM 1935 Mercedes Benz G4, 1/24th scale.

Detailing Items:
"Out Of Box"

Paint:
Tamiya, Mr Hobby and Revell paints.

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1935 Mercedes Benz G4
This is the 1/24th scale release of ICM's Mercedes Benz G4 that they had previously released in 1/35th scale mainly for the military modellers. But ICM in their wisdom, made the decision to enlarge a selection their 1/35th scale automotive kits in 1/24th scale. This has started to fill a gap of European cars from the 1930's, which has been dominated by American manufacturers . I was given this kit for a magazine review build by Scale Military Modelling International which was in the November 2013 issue of said magazine. The Mercedes Benz G4's were built from 1935 until 1939 of which there were only 72 examples ever built and these were mainly used by the higher ranking members of the German government and military. Adolf Hitler was said to have eight of these cars with various styles of bodies on them.
Building the model was an experience as I had only built one ICM kit which was the 1/72nd scale MiG-31 Foxhound and there was a few issues with the plastic not matching what was shown on the instruction sheet. So I started fearing the worst that this would be as bad as the Foxhound. Construction started with the 8 cylinder engine which consisted of the main engine block in two halves and the gearbox that was also in two halves. ICM did not overboard on the detail on the engine, but all of the main components are there and there is plenty of scope to add extra detail to the engine. The chassis, fenders and running boards all come as a single piece moulding to which you add a couple of extra cross members to and a few other items as the steering box, etc. I left the steering column off to be added once the body was fitted to the chassis. The suspension that comes with this kit is very detailed and fiddly in this scale, I dread to this what it would be like in the smaller 1/35th scale version of this kit. A couple of words of warning if you are planning to get this kit. When you build the rear suspension assembly, parts D7 and D8 are the wrong way around on the instructions. Also part C7 on the rear suspension cross brass is too short as well and will need to be extended with some thin plasticard on each end. The front and rear suspension assemblies were glued in place onto the chassis assembly and this was put aside for painting.
The body consists of two halves that have the interior door panel are glued to the insides of these halves. Next you assemble the body halves together with the floor section and bulkhead panel, but take your time with this as are no location pins or tabs to help you here. To finish the body off we add the dashboard and the engine bay details I left the window sections off here to add them after the model was painted. The seats, bonnet, wheel rims and luggage box were all assembled and then everything was test fitted together to see how it looked assembled. This is the point when you realise just how big this car really was and in 1/24th scale it is a large model compared to other cars in this scale, even the large Yanks from the 60's and 70's!
The kit comes in two colour options, all over black or grey body with black chassis, running boards and fenders. There is also four set of decals for the cars to. I chose to do the car in the all over black finish as this does look great especially with all of the chrome trim on the car. The car interior first had the floor painted in grey, then masked off to paint the rest of the interior with Tamiya's semi-gloss black For the body panels,running boards and fenders, I used Tamiya's TS-14 Gloss Black finished with Tamiya's TS-13 Gloss Clear and then left it for a few days to cure and harden. The main chassis frames, suspension and engine received a coat of semi-gloss black followed by any detail painting on the engine. The seats all were painted with semi-gloss black to with the handrails finished with chrome silver. Next comes the tedious part of the build, covering all of the moulded trim on the body with Bare Metal Foil. This took me several hours spread over a few days to complete, but the end result was well worth the time and effort it took to do.
Once all of the painting and foiling was completed, it was time to assemble the G4. The first stage was to assemble the whole chassis with the engine, exhaust, prop shaft and the boxes that were mounted to the chassis. The exhaust took several attempts to get it right for the chromed down pipes to sit correctly between the manifold and exhaust. Once this was done, the chassis and engine received a bit of weathering and grime. Next the body was glued to the chassis then I put the bonnet in place for positioning the chromed radiator. On the underside of the body floor, there are a couple of parts that have to be glued in place and this can only be done once the body is on the chassis. The luggage box and fuel tank were next fitted to the rear panel of the body and then to finish off, another pass over with the weather and grime colours on the underside of the body.The interior was finished off by gluing the seats into there pos
ition and adding the remaining levers, pedals and door handles. To finish the exterior off, all of the windows had the edges trimmed with some Bare Metal Foil and then glued into place. The windscreen was added next to get the correct angle that it sits from the now fitted side windows. To complete the car, all of the wheels were assembled and glued onto the axles and all of the remaining exterior parts, i.e., lights, door handles, trim, pendant poles and spare wheels, etc, were fitted to finish the build off. The only decals that have to go on the model were the dash board dial faces and the number plate on the from and rear of the car. A pendant flag is supplied on the decal sheet, but only a single flag, so I printed off two new flags for the model and used them instead of the decal.
In all, the G4 is a great looking model to have on the shelf alongside any other cars in this scale. The potential is there for detailing up the model, if I ever get one of these kit again, that will be my plan for it. But a little while after the model was built and it had been on the shelf, I noticed that the front wheel had started to camber in at the tops. The front plastic axle is not strong enough to take the weight of the model and the axle started to bend. There is a couple of possible solutions to solve this issue, first try and strengthen the front axle with some steel rod/wire, or add some weight in the luggage box to take to act as a counter balance. But the best will be to either cast up a white metal replacement axle yourself or hope that someone produces an aftermarket one. But aside from these little problems, it is a great kit to build and add to your automotive model collection.

© Copyright Michael Lomax
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