"Cross your Bridges"
1/35 U.S. 2 1/2Ton 6x6 Cargo Truck

Tamiya Kit No. 35218
Diorama and Kit Review by Terry Ashley

The Kit:
The kit represents the open cab wood bodied version of the GMC, the most widely produced variant.
On opening the box, the initial impressions are very good. The quality of the moulding and detail is all we have come to expect from Tamiya today. Consisting of 179 parts on 5 sprues in olive drab plastic, four parts in clear for the windscreen and headlights, plus poly caps for the wheels and a length of string for the front winch cable.
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This begins with the chassis, drive train and wheels, a logical place to start with a truck. The chassis is moulded in one piece as is the drive train, initially this looks over simplified but makes assembly very easy and precise. Everything fitted perfectly and by following the instructions alignment of axles and springs is no problem at all, as it can be with other truck kits where you build up the chassis from numerous pieces.
A complete engine block is provided, which is very detailed and an excellent basis for extra detailing, I added a couple of the larger pieces of plumbing , but you could go to town if you wanted. I found it easier to finish the engine completely, painting and all before fitting it to the chassis along with your choice of front winch or standard bumper bar.
The wheels are well detailed with separate brake drums which trap the poly caps used to attach the wheels, this actually works very well allowing the wheels to be left off until all painting is finished. I detailed the wheels by adding air valves from thin wire.
gmc engine Also separate brake drum assemblies are provided for the rear axles if you choose to show the truck undergoing maintenance, a nice touch. You must make a choice of wheels or brake drums as these are permanently attached, unlike the wheels.
The cabin interior is next and is well detailed with all gear levers provided, a well detailed dash is finished off with fine painting and stencil decals provided. The seats have good texture moulded in and come up well with a little drybrushing. The only additions in the cabin were foot pedals added from thin sprue and card.
The rest of the front cab is then added around this assembly (it's best to finish painting the interior before proceeding). The two side panels trap the dash and radiator between them, again everything fitted brilliantly.
The fenders are then attached as well as the head lights and bonnet top, again no fit problems.
I did spend some time on the front grill, firstly thinning down the grill bars using a sharp X-Acto knife to carefully reduce them in thickness. The guards in front of the headlights were replaced with thin sprue for a more realistic appearance.
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I left the grill off until painting was finished to allow masking of the radiator and headlight lenses.
The side panels can be left off the engine compartment to allow the engine to be seen, many drivers did leave these of for better engine cooling during hot weather.
Lastly the windscreen is added, I again left the clear parts off until painting was completed, the open cab made it easy to fit these afterwards.
Assembly of the rear cargo area was so precise that it literally fell together. The rear gate is trapped between the two side panels and can be lowered or raised. The design of the hinges is very well done and is virtually unnoticeable.
I added small attachment points along the sides with thin wire and thinned down the mud guards quite a bit by sanding with wet and dry paper on a flat surface, and finally added the retaining strap between the side panels at the rear from masking tape.
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This strap is fitted to all trucks and is most noticeable when the top cover is not fitted, it is also removable, so may not be on all vehicles.
The five bows for supporting the canvas cover can be fitted either stowed or in place, the choose is up to you.
The completed rear cargo tray and front cab assembly are then fitted to the chassis, although I left the front cab off until all painting was finished for ease of handling and to allow the engine to be masked while airbrushing.
The fit of both these assemblies to the chassis is like the rest of the kit, excellent. In fact the top of my filler tube remained firmly attached during the whole building process such is the excellent fit of this kit.
Also in the kit is a nice driver figure with good animation to his face (a change from the bland figures usually provided) although I have not used the figure here.
After masking off the engine and cab interior the whole vehicle was airbrushed using the new Humbrol Super Enamel Olive Drab (155), which gave an excellent smooth finish. The markings are a combination of kit decals for the serial and unit markings and rub-on stars.
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When dry I gave it an overall coat of clear Matt. (I use Wattyl Estapol Matt, this is designed for flooring and to be walked on, give it at least two days to dry and it's rock hard). Next I added a wash using black artist oils thinned with Humbrol thinner and when dry, finished off by dry brushing with various earth colours for the desired effect. The finished kit was photographed on an old diorama base for a more realistic appearence.
The kit was a joy to build and as mentioned fitted together like a dream (as we have come to expect from Tamiya). I would recommend this kit to anyone who wants something different from the standard tank kit or just to build it for what it is, a model of a very important vehicle from WWII and beyond. It should now be available from all good hobby shops.

The three figures in the cab are Warrior's #35178 "U.S.2 1/2 Ton GMC Crew". These are excellent figures, well detailed and posed, they fit snugly into the seats. Care should be taken with the angle of the arms on the fender rider as it will effect the fit. The passenger figures are from Tamiya kit #35080 "U.S.Combat Group" , this set is no longer available. The figures are fairly basic, but are useful in that there aren't many seated figures around. With carefull painting they can be made respectable. All figures were painted with Oils for the skin tones and Humbrol Enamels for the uniforms. The equipment and gear in the truck is from various Verlinden and Tamiya kits.

The base is a piece of board with Verlinden's Trophy Series #T20046 "Bridge System" added (being slightly modified to fit). It is painted with Humbrol Enamels, finished with various washes and drybrushing. The water is airbrushed with a number of coats of gloss varnish over the top to give the effect of dirty water.


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