ICM 1:16 British Grenadier Queen's Guards

This is my first complete build for a while. An old recurring shoulder injury and a work-related project have conspired to make me put my model making and painting into a much lower gear since just before Christmas, but now I hope to slowly get back into the swing of things. I have some 1:35 figures to finish off, but when I saw this new kit from ICM being advertised on their site about a week ago I began to salivate and knew I would have to buy it, as it would make an excellent addition to my collection of larger scale figures. I've long been a fan of the MiniArt 1:16 kits, but these seem to have become a little boring just lately (sorry MiniArt, you know I'm very fond of you, but I just can't get all that interested in World War One German airmen) so I'm glad to see that ICM have decided to put out a 1:16 series of figures as well. And the first one is a Brit...hooray! I had been considering buying the 1:16 MiniArt French Imperial Guardsman, but when I saw this new figure I patriotically decided to put the Frenchie on hold for a time and order this British Grenadier Guardsman instead.
I bought the kit online from Hannants, a very good supplier that I have used on several occasions in the past and who rarely make you wait more than a couple of days before the model arrives. Sure enough, it did arrive in a couple of days - namely today - and on getting in from work I cracked it open immediately for a look.  
The kit comes in a rather big but neat box with a good colourful picture of a Grenadier Guardsman on the front and inside has a trio of of sprues in grey and black carrying 29 pieces, plus a separate black stand. The main figure comes on a single large sprue of its own, the various parts modelled in grey plastic. This comprises the tunic + belt, collar details and medals all nice and sharply moulded, trousers, boots and of course the imposing black bearskin, all of them very clean and fresh from the new moulds with no flash to speak of. Alone on a separate sprue is a one-piece model of the Guardsman's principal weapon the SA80 rifle in its weatherproof covers and with its bayonet fixed. The final sprue offers a selection of paved surfaces to place on top of the stand, on which to base your figure – tarmac, cobbles (straight or curved) and setts - which I quite liked; it's always good to be given a choice. Also in the box is a large photographic image of the Guardsman from the cover art, plus the assembly instructions, though I have not referred to these at all as it is a pretty straightforward build.
Immediately after I'd had a meal and downed some tea I became anti-social, retreated upstairs, got the kit out and set to work and after quickly clipping the sections from the sprue I began to assemble it. The legs and tunic are simple two piece affairs while the head and bearskin come in three separate parts. The latter two went together very easily with barely a join to be seen, the face of the head slotting neatly into a recess behind the moulded chinstrap, while the numerous folds on the bearskin also hide the seams on that quite effectively. I like it.
The tunic and especially the legs gave me a little more trouble, but only a slight amount as it was difficult at first to get the parts to stay together. The legs see-sawed back between being joined at the hip and coming apart at the legs, or vice versa, but by tightly binding each part with elastic bands the problem was soon overcome. With the tunic the minor difficulty was getting the edges of the coat skirt to stay together and not pop apart under pressure. This was cured though by clamping them with clothes pegs on either side and another on the neck to hold the rest of the figure in a rigid state as I found the two sides had a tendancy to slide sideways away from each other. Otherwise, though, all is hunky dory. I'll let them all set dry overnight and clean them up thoroughly tomorrow.

The last part I dealt with today was the stand. I had previously cut away the cross sprue in the centre and glued the base in place and before packing up for the evening I gave the base a coat of panzer grey enamel paint. Again, I'll let it dry overnight and coat it with black acrylic tomorrow. As yet I'm still undecided on what paving to use.
So far so good, it is a nice easy kit but one that holds a lot of promise. I'll check tomorrow to see if there are any parts that need filling, though things seem okay in that respect.