US 2 1/2 Ton 6x6 Airfield Fuel Truck
Tamiya, 1/48 scale
The GMC CCKW is a 2.5 ton 6X6 U.S. Army cargo truck that saw service in World War II and the Korean War, often referred to as a "Deuce and a Half" or "Jimmy". The CCKW came in many variants, based on the open or closed cab, and Long Wheel Base (LWB 353) or Short Wheel Base (SWB 352).
Initially all versions were of closed cab design, having a metal roof and doors, with all steel cargo beds. However, as the war progressed an open cab version was designed that had fixed 'half doors' and a canvas top/sides and the steel bed was replaced by a wooden one to conserve steel.
The wood bed proved unsatisfactory and a 'composite' bed with steel sides and framing, but with wooden slats for the bed, was developed.
Later on the 'wood/steel' composite bed was replaced by an all steel composite bed.*
Tamiya released a 1/48 scale GMC 2 1/2 ton truck in 2007. This represented a later version with the soft-top cab. The kit was typical of Tamiya's 1/48 scale kits of the time, featuring a good level of detail, excellent fit and a metal chassis.
Fast-forward seven years and Tamiya's latest 1/48 scale release is a GMC 6x6 Airfield Fuel Truck.
The new kit differs from the original release in a number of important respects, apart from the obvious big fuel tank. Firstly, it represents an early hard-top version with metal roof and doors. I cannot see any reason why the cabs from this kit and the earlier cargo truck could not be swapped, offering some welcome cross-kitting opportunities.
The second difference is that the metal chassis has been replaced with a plastic part. This will be easier to work with.
Tamiya's new US 2 1/2 Ton 6x6 Airfield Fuel Truck comprises 145 parts in dar green plastic, six parts in clear, a length of flexible vinyl hose, a length of metal wire and markings for two vehicles.
Detail underside of the plastic chassis is built up via four leaf spring units, a nice one-piece axle and driveshaft unit, and some smaller separate details.
The cab interior looks good (no pedals again though), with the instrument dials being provided as decals.
The cab roof and top of the bonnet are moulded as one part, and the split windscreen is a single clear moulding.
Clear side windows are also provided if you wish to depict them rolled up. The doors are separate, and may be posed open or closed.
The fuel tank is broken down logically. A rolled flexible hose is a nice touch. A length of enamelled wire is inserted into vinyl tube to allow it to hold its shape as it is rolled around a drum. This unit may be displayed thanks to the separate doors on the cabinet.
Indeed, Tamiya supplies two standing figures including a refuelling guy who can hold the end of the hose. The second standing figure is an infantryman leaning against the vehicle. The poses are natural and sculpting is good.
A third seated driver figure is also included, although he appears to be a leftover from the cargo truck and is not mentioned in the instructions.
The decals are typical of Tamiya – semi-gloss in finish and in good register. Although they sometimes look a bit thick on the backing paper, I have always had good results with Tamiya decals.
They sit down nicely and the carrier film disappears under a coat of varnish.
Tamiya has delivered a terrific crossover subject with appeal to both military and aircraft modellers.
This new 1/48 scale US 2 1/2 Ton 6x6 Airfield Fuel Truck is well detailed, offers useful options including poseable cab doors and hose, and with the inclusion of the two standing figures it is almost a "vignette in a box". Of course, it will be transformed into a full-blown diorama with an aircraft by its side.
The cross kitting opportunities between this early hard cab version and the soft-top cargo truck are quite exciting too.
This is another great release in Tamiya's 1/48 scale range that will be welcomed by a wide range of modellers.
Text and Images by Brett Green