u m m a r y
Media, Contents and Price:
||Academy 1/72 Scale Kit No. 13402; WWII Ground Vehicle Set
No. 2 – U.S. 2 ½ Ton 6 x 6 Cargo Truck and Accessories
|Media and Contents:
||129 parts (125 in olive drab
styrene, 4 in clear styrene)
||recommended price $19.00
||Nice, crisp new kit of useful
subject for both armor and aircraft modelers; nicely handled parts
breakdown makes assembly relatively easy; inclusion of details and cargo
||Price somewhat high compared to
similar kits; some problems with ejection pin marks; does not come with
any USAAF markings!
||Highly Recommended for all WWII and
Korean War period US armor and aircraft modelers
Dragon's 1/35 scale Tiger II will
be available online from Squadron.com
I have always been a fan of 2 ½ ton cargo trucks, probably because I drove one
in Vietnam. We had three M35A1 cargo trucks in my unit which we used as "trick
trucks" to carry shifts out to the site where we worked signals intelligence
operations. Even though none of them was over four years old, they were all in
sad shape after four years in Vietnam. We dubbed them "This Piece of #$%&" "That
Piece of #$%&", and "The Other Piece of #$%&" but even so we did like the fact
they were fairly faithful.
When I got back from Vietnam I compared notes with my father, who agreed they
were good trucks even in WWII with the GMC CCKW series. But we did have a bit of
a difference, as most of us of the Vietnam era knew them as the "Deuce and a
Half" from its cross-country weight classification (5000 lbs cargo) whereas my
father swore up and down all they ever called them was the "Six By" (from the 6
x 6 powertrain layout). I hear that mostly from WWII vets, so it would appear
that this was the more popular nickname (other than "Jimmy" the common nickname
for any GMC product.)
One of the major problems faced by small scale modelers has been the general
lack of good models of these trucks in either 1/76 or 1/72. Hasegawa put out
several GMC CCKW truck kits 32 years ago, and while these are still re-released
every now and again they were awful and toylike when they came out, and they
remain so today. Last year Airfix/Heller released one that was nominally in 1/72
(most reviews I have seen said it was more like 1/76, the old Airfix scale) of
the soft-cab version of the cargo truck.
Academy has now released the second in its series of "WWII Ground Vehicles" (the
first one being a Kuebelwagen, a Jeep and other small details that could be used
with either 1/72 armor or aircraft dioramas). This is a straight-up version of
the GMC CCKW long-bodied cargo truck, with or without winch, and hardtop cab
with or without the M32 ring mount. It also comes with a sprue of detail parts
for use with the truck, as cargo, or in dioramas. The price does seem high,
however, when most other new-mold 1/72 armor kits are going for around $9-13.
The kit is a new mold and apparently other than its subject shares nothing with
the ancient Hasegawa kits, starting with a lack of steel axles. The kit is
neatly molded and provides a number of options for the modeler; a working tail
gate, a basic engine of three parts and a fixed oil pan in the chassis, and a
sealed cab with scored cutout for the M49 mount operator. Based on parts
breakdown, a "softcab" version may follow later on. Note that while the engine
is provided, there are no scoring marks on either the hood or its side panels,
nor are the doors designed to be optionally positioned.
The chassis is quite impressive, and many of the bugaboos of larger scale kits
have been removed in this scale. The ENTIRE drive line comes as one part – J36 –
and includes all drive shafts, universal joints, differentials, axles, and
transfer case in one shot. This should work well with assembly, as all the
modeler has to do is trap this assembly between the four spring assemblies and
the chassis. The handbrake lever (J20) and the forward differential (J14) are
separate parts. The only parts that seemingly are missing from the chassis are
the steering linkage and the shock absorbers, but in Academy's defense they are
very hard to see once the tires are in place.
The cab is fairly complete as it comes with a shifter (J18) and range/transfer
case levers (J19) but no winch controls. The seat is one piece, however. This
kit does provide windows for the front, side and rear openings, all of which are
nicely done clear parts if a bit thick. One oddity is that the two "jerry cans"
for the truck proper (parts K9) are single-handle types, generally only seen in
modern plastic cans; yet the ones on the detail sprue have a separate top
section with the more common triple handles. (The directions recommend you
ignore them, so somebody seems to have been thinking!)
The cargo body is very nicely done, but the folding seat braces have been
simplified into two brackets (parts K2). In this scale I doubt most modelers
will worry, as they make assembly far easier that way, and if made as a "cargo
carrier" it is totally irrelevant. The OVM or "pioneer" tools are molded in one
piece, and the shovel appears to be missing as well. Five top bows are provided
in the "stowed" position.
The kit comes with the correct M32 ring mount, a fairly good looking .50 cal
M2HB, and two heavy brackets for mounting directly to the cargo body. Unlike the
later models, this one nearly touches the roof so take care when installing it.
The accessory sprue provides a number of nice little details for this kit: two
M1919A4 machine guns, one open and one closed tripod for them, two M2HB machine
guns, also with one open and one closed tripod; six small and six large crates;
three 55 gallon drums with horizontal ground mounts for them; and three US and
three German "jerry" cans.
Markings are provided for a generic "Six By" from the 369th Field Artillery
(Service Battery) 98th Infantry Division and for one of the "Red Ball Express"
cargo trucks. Both are apparently correct, but the former is an odd choice. The
98th Infantry was a "garritrooper" division in Hawaii that only moved to Japan
during the occupation. (At least they are not made up like the infamous Peerless
Max markings of 30 years ago!)
Overall, this is a nice kit and will set off either US armored vehicles or
aircraft in any WWII or Korean war setting. Hats off to Academy!
Thanks to Bob Lewen of Academy for the review sample.
Review Text Copyright © 2005 by Cookie
Page Created 07 February, 2005
Last updated 07 February, 2005
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