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Battle of Kursk, 1943

ICM 1/35 Battle of Kursk, 1943 Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review February 2008 Manufacturer ICM
Subject Battle of Kursk, 1943 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35151 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Neat set of German figures at rest Cons Parts trees still soaked with mold release oil. Sinks in helmets, canteens and mess kits
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Approx $21.00 overseas

First Look

Battle of Kursk, 1943
Battle of Kursk, 1943

The 2nd SS Division “Das Reich” was one of the 38 divisions fielded by the Waffen-SS during WWII. It is one of the most well-known and researched of all the SS divisions. “Das Reich” was composed of some of the most well-trained and battle-hardened troops in the world at the time.

It served from the invasion of France and took part in several major battles on the Eastern Front. One of these was Operation Typhoon, Kursk 1943 (subject of this kit of figures). They also fought in Barbarossa (the invasion of Russia) in 1941 and at the Battle of Normandy in 1944. Lastly, it fought in the desperate fighting in Hungary and Austria. But, perhaps, the division is most infamous for the massacre of 642 French civilians in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, on 10 June 1944.

The symbol for the “Das Reich” division was the wolf’s hook or Wolfsangel rune. 2nd SS was raised in 1939 and surrendered in 1945. It was an armor branch and a panzer division. It was created as SS Division Verfugungstruppe in 1939, restructured as SS Division “Reich” in 1940, redesigned as 2nd SS-Panzergrenadier Division “Das Reich” in 1942, and finally as 2nd SS Panzer-Division “Das Reich” in 1943. It’s most notable commander was Oberstgruppenfuhrer Paul Hausser.

ICM is a model company based in the Ukraine.

This kit of figures comes in a end-opening type box. The box art shows 7 of the 8 figures that you get in the box on a grassy field at what I presume is Kursk. There is a Pz.Kpfw. IV in the background and 2 captured Soviet T-34 tanks. (these vehicles not in the kit) Also in the background is a row of telephone poles with wires hanging from them. Except for one infantryman and the officer, the rest of the figures shown are all bare headed. They all are wearing field uniforms with their pants tucked into Jack boots. The officer has jodhpur pants on and a light gray blouse jacket. The rest wear darker gray uniforms.

One of the figures is an officer, who is holding a map. There is an NCO confering with him and pointing at something off in the distance. One infantryman is carrying a land mine. Another infantryman is carrying a shovel over his right shoulder. One figure is looking to his left and has a cigarette in his mouth. Another figure is carrying a MG42 machine-gun, behind him is figure carrying an ammo case on his shoulder (probably ammo for the MG). This guy is wearing a steel helmet. The lst figure shown is taking a step and has a MP40 sub-machine gun slung at his side. The figures are all in leisurely poses and look completely at rest, during a lull in battle.

The back of the box has color illustrations of each of the 8 figures provided in the kit and each is labeled with numbers of the kit parts needed and alphabet letters for the colors to use.

Inside the box are 2 very dark green trees of parts in a sealed cello bag and a single sheet of instructions that is 7 ½” x 10” format, printed on both sides.

The face side of this sheet begins with parts tree drawings, followed by 2 international assembly symbols for optional parts and parts that need to be scratchbuilt. (the scratch-built item being the fabrication of the map to put into the officer’s hand). The bottom of the page has an illustration of how field equipment is carried on the back of German infantrymen and the colors each item should be painted. Next to this, are illustrations of the steel helmet, a cuff title with the image of a tank on it, the officer’s peaked hat, collar, shoulder and sleeve insignias and the iron cross ribbon. All are marked with what colors they should be. There are no decals in the kit. It would have been nice to have them for the insignias. However, Archer Fine Transfers makes sets of SS insignia and these should really be used on these figures.

The reverse side of the sheet begins with cautions, about the kit, in four languages including English. This is followed by a listing of no less that 25 paint colors by either Testors or Humbrol, all designated alphabetically A to Z (with none for letter O). The bottom of the page has ICM’s street address, e-mail address and web site in Russian and English.

Letter A parts tree holds: 4 of the figures (one is the officer and one is the NCO). All are divided into separate torso, arms, legs, and heads. The officer has his hat molded to his head. There are 3 mess kits (with sinks on both sides of them), 3 canteens, 3 gas mask canisters, 1 98K rifle with 2 ammo pouches for it, one shovel with a long handle (that the one figure has slung over his shoulder), 2 folding-shovels in carrying cases, 2 potato masher type grenades, 1 land mine, 2 back packs, 3 steel helmets (one with a nasty sink on top of it), 2 bread bags, 2 pairs of binoculars, 2 pistols in holsters, one MP40 sub-machine gun with ammo cases, one MG42 machine gun with separate folded ground bipod, 1 map case,  Except for the officer on this tree, the rest are bare-headed. (61 parts here)

Letter B parts tree holds: 4 more figures (all infantrymen-there bodies divided the same as the figures on A tree), 2 more 98K rifles with ammo pouches, 2 more MP40 sub-machine guns with ammo cases, 4 more back packs, another land mine, 4 more steel helmets (all with sinks in the top…groan), 4 more folding shovels in carrying pouches, 4 more gas mask canisters and 3 more mess kits (with sinks on both sides) (66 parts here).

Both trees are literally “dripping” with mold release oil and should be washed in mild detergent to remove this residue before painting.

The noticeable omission of a piece of normal field equipment is that there are no bayonets provided. These are usually carried by German infantrymen.