Kit Preview : 1/76 Milicast Battlefield Series BB123 CMP 15 cwt truck #13 pattern cab
About the manufacturer
Milicast is the premier resin model manufacturer in 1/76. Their range is wide, the level of detail is showcase model-level as opposed to wargame model. Their kits are all resin and include a lot of small parts. The quality and level of detail have also vastly improved in the last few years with models having full interiors and sometimes detailed engines. Their latest guns, which I have only seen on the web site also seem to bring the hobby to a new level.
On the minus side, I do question the use of resin for everything as it is more difficult to straighten or unwarp than white metal. Resin parts can be corrected in a hot water bath, but not always perfectly, and the slightest bend in a gun is very conspicuous on a tank!
The Battlefield series are casts of built-up models, with a reduced number of parts and the same level of quality. The downside, as I found out, is that any misalignments are very difficult to correct where they could have been avoided with a little care during construction!
About the vehicle
The Canadian branches of the three US auto giants produced 410,000 Canadian Military Pattern trucks during WW2, combining American mass production techniques and British designs. CMP trucks ranged from 8cwt (approx. 400kg) to 3ton with a wide range of wheelbases and bodies. The cabs remained the same for all sizes but tire sizes differed. 3-ton trucks carried 10.50x20 tires, 30cwt trucks 10.50x16 tires, 15cwt trucks 9.00x16 tires, which altered their appearance somewhat. 3 types of cab were used in succession, #11, #12 with a modified hood, and #13 with the distinctive reverse slope windshield and the large integrated headlights. #13 trucks were in service from mid-1942 to thre end of the war and were the most numerous. CMP trucks were used by Commonwealth forces on all fronts, the French and the Soviets. They were also very popular with the Germans in North Africa.
More details on CMP trucks here.
About the kit
Here are some photos of the kit after some quality time under boiling water. The model was warped in a complex way. The cargo body was twisted to the right but the cab was twisted to the left. The cargo bed and cab are now quite straight. As can be seen from the front view, the cab rear wall is not straight. This is not due to warpage, one side is higher than the other. I also straightened the chassis as it was also twisted in the vertical plane. This was apparent in a side view as the truck sagged in the middle between the cab and cargo body. The resin used by Milicast becomes very soft when heated and it must be handled very carefully all while applying pressure where needed (but not too much!).
That being said, the model is very well detailed, with a full interior and a reasonable chassis for a quick-build kit. The front wheels are set too high. The CMP trucks have a huge gap above the front wheels, which is visible on any photo. The wheels are oversize for a 15cwt. They should be 9.00-16 tires and are.
Here is a link to Milicast's catalog page for this model where more photos can be found.