"Always the First" - Air Assault Troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Published on
January 28, 2024
Review Author(s)
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Company: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: ICM - Website: Visit Site
ICM Always First Air Assault Troops

Reference from the ICM website:

The Air Assault Forces of Ukraine were created in 2017 on the basis of the existing Highly Mobile Landing Troops, which at that time already had its own separate command. According to their purpose, the units and subunits of the Air Assault Forces are divided into airborne and air assault troops; to enhance their strike potential, tank units were added to their composition; in 2022, a separate Jaeger brigade was added. The airborne assault troops are characterized by a high level of combat readiness, mobility, the ability to perform tasks independently in difficult conditions, high motivation, and morale. A special feature of their everyday and ceremonial uniforms is a maroon-colored beret. Since 2014, this army branch has been actively involved in combat operations, first in the southwest, and with the outbreak of full-scale hostilities – in other regions of Ukraine.

ICM continues to announce new models despite the ongoing Russian-initiated war in Ukraine. While most subjects released by ICM are welcomed, the current conflict subjects are even more relevant and timely. This Ukrainian Air Assault figure set does not disappoint.

This fantastic ICM kit begs to be opened. Inside The box art is colorful. Inside of the typical ICM box, there is a reinforced white inner box that does a good job of protecting the single sprue containing the four Air Assault figures. There are two of the same weapons sprues (also included in the “Quietly came, quietly went” Special Operations Soldiers Kit No. 35752), along with an advertisement folder for ICM acrylic paints.

There are four modern Ukrainian Air Assault soldiers in dynamic poses (from the box art, left to right):

  • Air Assault Troop throwing a hand grenade
  • Air Assault Troop loading/working the action of his rifle
  • Air Assault Troop taking aim
  • Air Assault Troop shooting underbarrel grenade launcher

All the soldiers are wearing body armor, ballistic helmets, headsets (night vision goggles (NVGs) mounts and optics are enclosed but not referenced on the box art nor instructions), modular pouches for magazines, grenades, etc. The uniforms are Ukrainian pixel camouflage. While the instructions call out where the various pieces are applied, you can mix and match as you like, as soldiers in most militaries do. ICM has weapon slings molded onto the figure, so attachment points are obvious, but there is nothing hard about scraping them away and adding slings to fit your style. There is a nice collection of rifles, MGs, knives and sidearms on the two duplicate weapons sprues.

The figures build up quickly and easily with only a little filler required (but the few gaps could be a result of my skillset). There are only a few changes I would incorporate in the instructions. First, multiple views (or at least front and back) of each figure would be beneficial. Second, a callout for the equipment would be helpful; while the gear is detailed and interchangeable, it would be nice to know the nomenclature. I spent hours trying to narrow down the types of rifles and weapons in the kit. I believe the weapons are from the AK family, the IPI Mulyuk (or Fort-221/224) bullpups, UKM-2000, GP-25 Kostyor grenade launcher, shoulder launched ATGMs (believe to either a Shtur-B or Barrier-V) and indeterminate holstered sidearms and sheathed knives.

Assembly does not take long, and once complete, there were 14 parts remaining on Sprue A that were not called out in the instructions. As far as I could determine, the parts belonged to the following figures, based on their sprue location:

  • Air Assault Troop throwing a hand grenade: Parts Nos. 1 (radio with folded antenna), 3 (pouch), 9 (pouch)
  • Air Assault Troop loading/working the action of his rifle: Parts Nos. 41 (large pouch), 42 (pouch), 49 (dual AK magazine pouch), 50 (small triple compartment pouch)
  • Air Assault Troop taking aim: Parts Nos. 26 (large pouch), 29 (radio with folded antenna), 31 (pouch), 32 (single pouch), 33 (dual pouch)
  • ir Assault Troop shooting underbarrel grenade launcher: Parts Nos. 23 (radio with folded antenna), 24 (dual magazine pouch)

The weapons on the duplicate W Sprues are not all called out. Missing call outs are the headphones (Part Nos. 12 and 13) for the four figures and handguns in holsters (Part Nos. 16). Part No. 22 (NVG arm) is a spare for Part No. 5. As for the weapons, two styles of handguns in holsters are provided, as are knives in sheaths, and two folding stock AK variants (one with a Gp-24 Kostyor grenade launcher), two bullpup variants (one with a suppressor), an AK squad automatic rifle with suppressor, a machine gun (with options for a folded or deployed bipod), and shoulder launched AT rocket.

I built the figures straight out of the box and primed them as displayed on the box art (with the addition of the wine bottle foil for the slings for the shoulder launched AT weapons on the standing figures and hollowing out the barrels on the suppressors). The intent is to show the fit and overall appearance, and not to highlight my lack of figure painting skills. As the bodies are multi-piece affairs, with separate arms, legs, head and headgear, these figures really stand out.

These figures look the part and can easily be mixed/interchanged/incorporated with both of ICMs previous Ukrainian soldiers series (Kit No. 35752 Special Operations Forces https://reviews.ipmsusa.org/review/quietly-came-quietly-went-special-op…), or Kit No. 35753 Sappers (https://reviews.ipmsusa.org/review/sappers-armed-forces-ukraine)). They can be put together with a vehicle, vignette, or diorama for the current Ukrainian War, or another Eastern European military environment. The only real shortcomings are the lack of a small decal sheet for the shoulder patch of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ukrainian flag (both of which can be easily rendered with homemade decals as they are simple. The two weapons sprues really allow for a large choice of weapons for the figures.

This is another highly detailed Ukrainian figure kit and I had a lot of fun building this gem from ICM. The possibilities are only limited by imagination and the poses, gear, and weapons makes this a very diverse set.

Slava Ukraini!

Profuse thanks to ICM and IPMS/USA for providing the review sample.


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