ICM Studebaker US6 with WW2 Soviet Drivers
In 1852, Studebaker started making escort wagons for the Army. These were pulled by mules and hauled troops or supplies. In the early 20th century Studebaker switched to manufacturing trucks. Before WW2 some of these trucks were shipped to countries like France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The Germans captured some of these and used them during WW2. These were a 1 ½ ton series and were 4X2 configuration.
In 1939 -1940 the U.S. Ordinance Corps was looking into developing a 2 ½ ton truck. Plans were submitted by Studebaker, Yellow Coach (GM), and International Harvester. All three designs were accepted in 1941. Studebaker started producing trucks in 1941 along with its other company Reo. They produced 197,678 and Reo produced 22,204 in 13 different variants. One variant was the Katyusha rocket truck. During the fall of 1941, most of these trucks were shipped to Russia thru the Lend Lease program. They towed a variety of artillery, transported cargo, and troops.
The Studebaker trucks were known for their reliability and ruggedness. The engines could also run on poor fuel octane which was a common issue during the conflict. The Russians nicknamed these trucks the Studer as a shortened version of the name.
In 1943 - 1944, the Russians tested the trucks to see what they were really capable of carrying for a payload. They rated them as a 4 ton capacity up from the 2 ½ given by the manufacturer. In 1945 they reduced it to 3 ½ tons. On some better roads they were known to carry up to a 5 ton load. An open cab was designed but was short lived as the Russian climate didn’t allow that to be a successful venture. Only two wheel bases were offered for all their models. This kit depicts the US6 version.
The trucks were powered by a Hercules inline 6 cylinder engine. It produced 86 hp. They had a 5 speed transmission with a transfer case for high and low ranges. The final drive was 6.61 which work great for hauling heavy loads. The engine used in these trucks was also used in the M3 scout car, M8 Greyhound, and the M20 armored car. Studebaker also made the M29 Weasel.
The design of these trucks was also an influence for the Russians with their Zis/Zil series of trucks.
In the box:
The A sprue contains mostly engine and frame parts.
The B sprue is a lot of the cab pieces.
The C sprue has the wheels, tires, and springs. The wheel/tire is a two piece affair all molded in plastic with good detail.
The C and D sprues contain the rear bed assembly. It doesn’t have any wood grain molded onto the panels.
The last sprue is the two new Russian soldiers that have been added to the kit.
These were some floaters in the box that weren’t damaged. Apparently they got knocked off, possibly in packaging. The box was in perfect shape.
The clear parts looked good on their sprue.
The decal sheet has three versions to choose from.
The instruction sheets look very clear and easy to read.
This is the small pamphlet showing the decal choices. Two are shown.
This kit looks to be based on the 2007 newly-tooled kit (Kit # 35511) and has added the two driver figures into the box.
Most of the details look pretty crisp and have good detail. There is, however, some flash on certain parts like the grill guard that are noticeable. I also noticed a lot of mold shift lines on many of the parts. The drive shafts and running gear parts are quite noticeable at a glance.
One pretty cool assembly is the driveline. All three drive axles, drive shafts, and transfer case top are molded together as one. If one looks at the A sprue photo you’ll notice what I mean. This looks like it would take away the line up problems and figuring out which shaft goes where.
From what I can see, I will give this kit a highly recommended for all modelers.
Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders.
Thanks goes out to ICM for this review kit.
Reviewed by Merrick "Mac" Johnston
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