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ICM 1/35 scale Unimog S 404 German military truck plastic model kit review

Excellent parts and detail build an off-road mainstay
Kit:35135 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$72.00
Excellent detail; good overall parts fit
The steering column interfered with the cab
Injection-molded plastic (gray, clear); 250 parts (5 vinyl tires), decals
The Mercedes-Benz Unimog is one of the most durable, versatile vehicles on Earth. The Unimog started production in 1948 by Boehringer and continues today under Daimler Truck, fulfilling dozens of roles. Daimler-Benz produced the Unimog 404 (also called the Unimog S or 404 S — the swapping of the letter and numbers on the kit box top is unconventional) from 1955 to 1980 and sold it under the Mercedes-Benz brand. ICM has faithfully reproduced this iconic 4x4 with amazing intricacy.

As I am more familiar with the ICM 1/24 Mercedes G4 from a few years ago, I was anticipating a shrunken version, but that is not so. This truly fantastic kit, with terrific quality and detail, contains 250 parts, of which you use all but two because of different side mirror options.

Seven sprues bear parts with finely molded details — bolts go through the other side of the individual frame rails! The windscreens, headlight lenses, and turn indicators are crystal clear. The tires wear crisp tread patterns. The minor flash on some parts can be easily cleared away.

There are 24 pages of instructions with 103 steps, split into five sections: the chassis, the main cab, finish the cab, the cargo area, and additional details. The hood and doors can be posed open. However, the kit doesn’t provide hood hinges. Closed, the doors and hood fit perfectly.

The frame builds up from separate cross members and side rails, onto which the shocks, springs, fuel-tank brackets, shock towers, and exhaust brackets are placed. The excellent engine detail includes belts, pulleys, and an alternator.

Although it’s a tight fit with the engine and radiator, the cab should fit OK. However, I had to remove the steering column completely to get the cab to sit properly on the frame. I couldn’t snake the column through the floor without damaging the build, so I left it off.

As it is a cabrio, the cab’s canvas top is only provided as a covered option. The windscreen can be positioned folded down on top of the hood. The instructions show the cargo bed sides in the closed position, but you can attach them folded down.

The kit realistically represents side mirrors and other small parts, but the sprue attachment points are a bit large, so be careful during removal and cleanup. The spare tire rack under the cab and cargo bed wouldn’t fit with the wheel on; it may be my problem, but the rack is quite tight there.

A decal sheet offers sharp, clear markings for four different versions. I built the one shown on the box top with decals for the German air force, 74th Fighter Squadron, based in Neuberg, 1970. They went down without difficulty, and even the gauge cluster for the dashboard settled beautifully over the part’s contours.

ICM’s 1/35 scale Unimog 404 kit is a busy little model, well detailed with just a couple of fit issues. Overall, it’s a fantastic kit. It is not for beginners, but builders with a few models under their belts will have no problems with this kit. ICM should be able to make more kits based on this versatile vehicle, and an early G-Wagen would certainly go well with it. Either way, this Unimog will look fantastic next to a Leopard 1A1.
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