US Helicopter Pilots (1960s-1970s)

Published on
December 3, 2023
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/35
MSRP
$23.99
Product / Stock #
53101
Company: ICM - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Stevens International - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

ICM has produced some stellar helicopter kits, but the thing for me is finally we have good Vietnam era figures for helicopters. This is their first set of 1/35th scale, having made the change from 1/32nd to a more common 1/35th scale helicopters.

Packaged in a sturdy cardboard side opening box with a card stock covering, this set includes two sprues of light grey plastic that show no signs of flash or mis-molding. There are 41 parts molded with good detail. Four figures are included, along with four flight helmets. The instruction sheet is full color and shows you what the figure should look like when finished. It also has references to ICM paints. I did paint the figures mostly with the ICM paints which performed well, but I didn’t have all the colors needed in the set.

These figures are supposed to compliment ICM’s CH-54, but they can be used on any Vietnam era helicopter. Two pilots are in one-piece flight suits and two are in jungle fatiques. All the figures have the 1st Infantry Division patch molded into their arms. I removed those since I love my 1st Cav Division. I used some old Verlinden decals for that. All figures have soft caps on with rank and wings attached.

Each figure is built up from parts designed specifically for that figure. The fit of each figure was flawless. I didn’t need to use any filler anywhere. I did clean up the mold lines, but they were minimal and sometimes even hard to see. So, clean up and construction was done remarkably fast, less than an hour for me.

The first figure has a leg up to get into the CH-54. It is quite a dynamic and unique pose. It will need to be tacked down to the base or leaning on the model to support the figure. The figure has a one-piece flight suit.

The next figure is another dynamic piece, a walking soldier with fatigues. Again, he will have to be attached to the base, but his stance looks natural and will add to a flightline view. I added a helmet to his arm as if he was walking to the helicopter.

The third figure is another one-piece flight suit figure. He is standing with a helmet in his hand and his other hand is holding onto the shoulder holster.

The final figure is my favorite one. He is standing with his hands behind his back in a natural pose, similar to a very relaxed parade rest, watching the proceedings. I just loved the look of the figure when done.

I built the helmets up separately. You get two SPH-4 and APH-5s. I spent more time adding the cable connectors to them than I did in building the figures. You can display the helmets on the figure like I did or you can place them inside your helicopter model.

I painted my figures up in acrylics and enamels that I thought looked good, then just painted them up with artist oils. I haven’t mastered the acrylic layered look yet.

The excellent fit and the wonderful poses made these figures a joy to build. I enjoyed them so much that I’ve ordered the 53102 US Army Maintenance Personnel. This is the third set of ICM figures I’ve built, and I have to say that they are impressive. Impressive in look, finesse, and detail. I think they rival some resin or 3D printed figures and at a great price too. If you haven’t built a figure before these are great starting points. If you have some figures under your belt, you will enjoy these. They will add to any helicopter kit you have.

Highly recommended

Thanks to ICM and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain yours in the US from Stevens International or your local hobby shop or online retailer.

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