Kit Preview : 1/76 Matador Australian Artillery Tractor No3A, 1940 Ford 01T with winch (ref. 76Au-6)
About the manufacturer
Matador is a UK manufacturer of white metal 1/76 scale full kits and conversions. The range spans WW1 and WW2 in 1/76 plus so called airfield accessories in 1/72. I encourage you to browse the catalog for they have some very interesting subjects. Some of the kits, like Alexander's Ford Staff car are ex 4Mil Mod. Matador also took on part of SMA's range but none appear in the current catalog. The built kits shown in the pictures are not very good, to be charitable, and don't do justice to some very good kits.
About the kit
I know almost nothing about this vehicle. I was sort of hoping it had made its way to North Africa with the AIF when I bought the kit. The instructions below confirm that and give a lot more details on this vehicle that I could find on the Web.
The truck is a 1940 Ford 30cwt truck with right-hand drive. Seen from the front this truck is a close cousin of the German Ford V3000
This is an ex-4MilMod kit. It is not a simple build. There are 43 parts and the instruction sheet is short on pictures and long on text. I have numbered the parts according to the parts list. Everything seems to be there and some parts were only identified by deduction. Some serious studying is in order to get things right.
The fit is a work in progress. Moreover some parts are bent and need to be straightened, which is customary for white metal kits and not a reflection on Matador. The flat parts are quite thick. Some like the mudguard flaps are better replaced by plastic card. The mirror' stem (part 21) should also be replaced by something thinner (15thou piano wire for example). The wheels are OK but not up to current standards. This is a 4wd so you need to add another lever in addition to the missing brake.
On the positive side, you get a full engine, radiator, three hoods, two grilles so super-detailers can model the vehicle with open hood. The doors and ammo compartments can also be modeled open. The panels are on the thick side (more like a King Tiger's armor). There are infinite possibilities for diorama builders.
Overall, I look forward to having this truck in my 8th Army collection.
Here is the model completed after its first coat of sand paint. It is extremely heavy so that any manipulation rubs the paint off (because of the pressure you need to apply to lift it). I usually just CA the model to ist base but this one needed something stronger. I was afraid that just tipping the base would cause the model to fall so it was nailed to the base with steel piano wire under the four wheels reinforced with CA glue. My bases are designed for protection, they are thick enough so that you can pick up the models by the base, sparing the paint job and fiddly parts like side mirrors. Construction was challenging to say the least. Every part had to be adjusted and the suspension lowered by 5mm after multiple tries. Hurrah for CA remover.