Eighth Air Force Pilot
Looking at a Mk. IX spitfire kit from ICM, never built one before and needed to know how good they were, accurate?
Do you mean that you've never built an ICM kit before, or this particular kit? I can't speak to this specific kit, but if you've never built an ICM kit before, I'll offer my impression.
I've got their 1/48 P-51B on the bench right now; it's a copy of Tamiya's kit, so, details are as good as on the original, and the boxing I picked up had an extra fret of ground crew and a standing pilot, which I believe are original to ICM. Plastic is a little softer than with Tamiya or Hasegawa, so sanding and scribing take more care than usual.
There was also an extra instrument panel and some other parts for variants of the exhausts, prop spinner, blades, and cockpit seat, which was also nice, always good to feed the spares box.
There are two main problems with the kit, which may or may not be indicative of ICM's quality as a whole.
One is that the instructions are very poor, consisting of exploded drawings, but no real notations. You can follow along, but the instructions were unclear on the exact fit of the the flight deck, that is, the piece that makes up the cockpit floor, the radio deck, and ends with that piece of the fuselage immediately aft of the radiator vent.
That is the second problem with the kit--the flight deck did not fit properly, so the end of the piece did not fit, and I have a large rectangular hole aft of the vent and in front of the tail wheel compartment. In this photo, you see it just above the vent door, filled with tissue for painting:
I have not yet built the Tamiya kit, so I've never had to fit these parts. I have it in my stash now, and as soon as I opened it, I realized that the flight deck has to be fitted in such a way that the end of the piece forms the outer skin of the fuselage. In this photo, it's the panel above the vent door, with the little aerodynamic antenna mounted on it:
There are ribs in the fuselage to align the deck, and on the ICM kit, they're misaligned, and the piece doesn't fit.
Now, it's not enough to keep me from ever buying this kit again, since I know what to look for and how to address it (cut that section off the flight deck piece and install it separately). So, that is my ICM story--came across a problem, had to do some research, and figured out how to resolve it. But the amount of detail, for the price (the kit was $10 on sale at Squadron), means that I'd still buy it. But I'd also be alert with other ICM kits, that there could be minor issues.
Hope that helps!