Journalists in War
No one can argue that being a war correspondent is anything but dangerous work. Journalists who choose this branch of their profession face death, kidnapping, torture and more on a regular basis, as well as dealing with the repercussions this activity can have on their family lives back home. All of this is especially true in this age, where the “Press” label affords far less protection than it has in the past.
ICM is no stranger to controversial or challenging subjects, and this package offers a selection of figures that can be utilized in a wide variety of contemporary settings, not just the Ukrainian conflict. This set includes a camerawoman, a video cameraman, an interviewer with microphone and a standing Ukrainian soldier. I believe the journalists are supposed to represent international correspondents (rather than Ukrainian) as the PRESS markings are in English on both their helmets and vests.
Assembly of these figures is fairly straight-forward, although care needs to be taken aligning the camera and video camera with their respective hands, which can be a bit tricky. Also, adjusting the soldier’s arms around his AK-47 takes some consideration as well. There is very little other equipment to add to these figures, so assembly is generally fairly quick and straightforward.
As three of these are civilians, there is a bit of leeway in painting the correspondent figures. Typically, you may notice there are subtle differences between the box art and the kit figures themselves. I didn’t notice until the painting stage that the interviewer’s foot wear was actually meant to represent sneakers, which permitted me to add a bit more color to the set. The soldier, of course, is wearing the rather complex camouflage typical of Ukrainian troops, and a bit of patience is called for in replicating this. In my case, I didn’t try to actually duplicate this pattern, instead opting to represent it more generally with appropriate dabs of color. Even so, I think it turned out well. As to the correspondents, my brushwork isn’t fine enough to actually print “PRESS” on their outfits, so again I opted for dabs of color to represent these. It would have been nice if ICM had elected to include a small decal sheet with these items, but it would probably have made the set prohibitively expensive.
In any case, as stated before, what you eventually find yourself with is a set of figures which can be applied to virtually any modern conflict setting with just a little adjustment. The standing Ukrainian soldier is also useful as a single figure posing with some modern equipment, so nothing is wasted even if you choose to break the set up instead of using them all together. I really like the poses and outfits presented, and personally will probably be making a couple of different dioramas incorporating them.
I can highly recommend this set to any modeler interested in modern conflicts. My thanks to ICM for breaking the hobby ground yet again, and to IPMS/USA for a chance to add these lovely figures to my collection. Stay safe, everyone, and happy modeling!