It’s been a while since I built an ICONX, so I thought it was about time. And so I’ve started on the ICONX Western Star 4900 Log Truck and Trailer, another model that Fascinations has been kind enough to send me to review. This model has been quite a detailed and intricate build, taking roughly 7 hours of build time to finish just the Log Truck portion. In addition, life took a little bit of a dump on me, and so those 7 hours took a long time to happen as I’ve dealt with other more pressing issues. That’s all to say that, for the sake of having something to post, I’m breaking this one up into two parts. This first part is the Log Truck, obviously, while the second part will be And Trailer. Note: the Log Truck by itself is available as a classic Metal Earth model, and I imagine it’s build quite similarly, but I haven’t confirmed this.
This model is just so amazingly detailed. I can’t even imagine trying to list out all the details to it that I appreciate, so you’ll just have to take a look at my photo gallery, and know that you’ll probably still miss some of the details, and have some good surprises waiting for you if/when you build it. It’s hard to tell from the photos, though, that there are actually seats inside the cab, and a steering wheel. I also appreciate that the color on this model is carefully used, with not a lot of mixed-color parts (generally, a part is either a single color, plain silver, or a single-color/silver mix). I find that I prefer the use of the etching / shaping to convey the details in parts, and they did that well with this one.
Be prepared to be patient and careful while building this beauty. It’s a challenging model, for sure, but that’s almost entirely due to the amount of detail to it. It’s seemingly slow progress, but it is most definitely worth it. That’s not to say that it’s without some troublesome points, just that several of them are… to be expected. And there are a couple of parts of the instructions that can be misleading, but I imagine that Fascinations will update their digital instructions to clarify them, if they have the opportunity (I know they’ve done it before with other models).
The air canisters are a beast to build, and as you can see, I failed to close them up very well. Also, they tend to take a bit of a handling-beating as you assemble the rest of the model, so you might want to hit the tabs that attach them with a bit of superglue (on the inside, after attaching them). I didn’t, but I wish I did. One is quite a bit wobbly now.
Forming the engine hood is pretty simple. I used a small drill bit to help achieve the curving and had no problems. However, I was a bit confused by the little side-flaps; they appear to have the etched banding that would imply that they are supposed to be curved, but actually, you just fold them at a right angle.
The next challenge you’ll encounter is shaping the wheel wells / fenders for the front wheels (parts 9 and 10). Joining curves at different angles to each other is always a challenge, much less when they are attached to each other. Or maybe it’s easier when they are attached to each other? I’m not sure, but the fenders were a bit confusing; I read the instructions in such a way that I thought the smallest strip is also curved. It’s not, as it is flat and vertical / perpendicular to the largest section. Also, I would suggest inserting the tabs through the slots from the outside-in as you form these parts. It’s a little harder, but pays off when you can attach parts 11 and 12 flush to wheel well when there’s no tab in the way.
Building the cab body is pretty straight forward until you reach the side-view mirrors. And building the mirrors is still easy, it’s just that the support bars feel like pure guesswork. And I completely guessed the angle they were trying to represent in the instructions incorrectly. It would be a lot easier if there were etch marks to indicate where the open-ended support bars are supposed to meet the door frame. I thought I had it right, but then I wasn’t able to get it into place with the support bar that folds down from the top part of the door parts (16 and 20). Not to mention that the instructions really looked like that support bar was supposed to fold down at 90 degrees at the point you fold it, but then later looks like it’s bent out to support the mirror. And it’s not clear where on the mirror that support is supposed to meet up. I chose to place it at the bottom inside corner of the mirror “box,” again hoping that I’m right.
After that, it was smooth sailing until I reached parts 38-40, the stowed outriggers/stabilizers. I had a lot of trouble with putting that together, and kinda wish that the thin strips you fold down to form a V on either side part 38 were just a separate part. As it was, it seemed to make it very hard for me to form the outriggers. They ended up being rather twisted / crooked, and getting the feet attached when the tabs in parts 38 and 39 were not level to each other was not easy. It’s kinda a bit mangled on my build, but it was as good as I was going to get it.
The crane goes together pretty well, with a few tight tolerances, especially when attaching to the bed/frame of the truck. Then there’s the weird cage thingy, which is also fairly easy, though it does have a few thin and lengthy folds. This is followed by your first taste of building wheels in this model, which you might as well get used to. Of course, these two wheels are so different from the rest of the wheels. The nice looking conical section of the hub is rather difficult to shape, though, as it only want to fold at the holes, rather than an even curve all the way around. Be patient, and form it deliberately and carefully is all I can say.
And now, you finally get to attach the cab to the frame! It’s not too bad, though the tabs can be a little bit touchy when it comes to alignment. But the real fun will come when you go to put the bottom part of the frame on, as it is a really tight fit. Also, you should note that there appears to be a mistake in the instructions here, as it shows that the painted/engraved side of this part (64) should be facing out (down). And it’s shaded to match, but they didn’t flip the part in the diagram. So ignore the fact that it seems to be mirrored, and just put the black-painted side facing down/out.
Next comes one of the most amazingly detailed and intricate parts of this build. The steps / storage compartments that go under the doors. There’s a lot more going on here than I expected, and I tip my hat to Metal Earth for this beautiful attention to detail. And I also suggest that you pre-fold the horizontal creases, just a little, in parts 65 and 72. It’ll make folding it into it’s final form a lot easier, later on. Just don’t fold it that much, so you’ll still be able to attach all the steps / compartments easily.
That’s followed up by a metric crap-ton of double-wheels, in two different styles. I ended up building these assembly line style, rather than completing one when in it’s entirety, followed by the next. But watch out, because there are a couple of x2 multipliers in the middle of a row of instructions, followed by an arrow, which leads to an x2 or x4 multiplier at the end of that row. In those cases, you’ll need to do the first segment twice for each instance of the final multiplier (totalling x4 and x8, respectively. It confused me a bit as I was knolling out the parts.
Then you just form two more sets of steps (so many steps!). And I’m talking about the things you step on, not the procedural steps to complete something. I just realized the ambiguity of that. Oh well. Anyways, form a couple identical sets of steps, fight to get them attached around what I believe are the fuel tanks (one of the folded tabs on the fuel tank will likely get in your way), and you’ll be ready to finish up this build by attaching all those wheels.
But, boy howdy, does it feel good to finish it! And you’ll be surprised at how small it is. You’ve gone through a lot of metal to make it, but it’s used up by all those details! And, at the least, it looks like the Trailer should be a lot easier to build… it seems like it has less than half as many parts as were used to build the truck. Below you will find the 6-part playlist covering the 7 hours of build time for this model:
To Be Continued…