CMP 3-TONNERS

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A notable Canadian contribution to Allied Victory in World War II was the Canadian Military Pattern series of trucks produced by both Ford and General Motors (Chevrolet).  Over 410,000 were made using standardized cabs and bodies.

The most identifiable cab was known as the No. 13 Cab.  The obvious distinguishing feature is the back-slanted windshield (an attempt to reduce the chances of sun-glare reflections that might give away its position to opposing forces).  Among the many body styles available, one of the most common was the 3-Ton GS (General Service or cargo) version, equivalent in roles to the US Army GMC 2-1/2 Ton truck.  The models shown in this post are 3-ton GS trucks with No. 13 cabs and were used by not only the Canadian Army, but also by the British and other Commonwealth armies.

I recently discovered CMP trucks in HO scale.  They are offered by the Dutch company Artitec (Artitec HO Military).  This was quite a surprise as Canadian military prototypes are rarely produced.  They also sell dump truck and wrecker (tow truck) versions in both kit and finished form as well as a large variety of other Allied, Axis, and Post-War armoured and soft-skinned vehicles.  The finished models look great with nice restrained weathering as part of the overall effect.  I wanted to try a kit, so I ordered two (why screw one up when I could really make a bigger mess of things with two).

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PHOTO FROM ARTITEC WEBSITE SHOWING CMP 3-TON TRUCK IN ASSEMBLED FORM

When they arrived, I had mixed feelings.  The resin castings are not that great; the underbody details are just blobs and the same can be said for the interior.  The castings also had to be cleaned up considerably and some voids caused by air-bubbles had to be filled-in.  One front fender broke easily due to inconsistent resin thickness, but I was able to add a piece of .015” styrene sheet to correct it.  These kits are not inexpensive – $21 US, so I expected more.  Castings-wise, they do not come close to the quality and detail as those offered by Sylvan (Sylvan Models).  However, the exteriors are quite nice and it went together reasonably well.  The tarp-covering the body is a separate piece so it can be optional as part of a build.  There is detail inside the box body if the tarp is not mounted.

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I was very impressed with the photo-etched brass parts.  These are well executed and offer fine details for the finished model like radiator guard, roof hatch hand hold, mirrors, steering wheel, and even windshield wiper blades (as part of the windshield).  The etched parts that needed to be bent for assembly did so easily.  The fit of these parts onto the resin castings was very good.  In particular, the windshield/side windows fit the cab excellently.  A small decal sheet is provided, however, there is only one WD (War Department) number (serial number) – it wouldn’t hurt to include 3 or 4 more or a number jumble so that more than one vehicle can be modelled.

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I built my CMP 3-Tonners in a condition as if they had just left the manufacturing plant to be transported, of course, on flat cars (more on this in a future post).  This means the roof hatch is closed, the tarp is on, the side windows have glass (they were removable), and the markings applied were only the WD number.  In addition, the paint scheme is a solid Khaki Drab color.  Prior to assembly, which was done with CA, all of the castings were washed in Resin Prep by Sylvan.  This cleans the resin from mold release agents so that paint will adhere well.

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For painting I had four sub-assemblies built: the cab/chassis with wheels, the roof, the spare tire carrier, and the body.  The roof was left off in order to install the glass after a mild weathering.

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The models were first airbrushed Tamiya Flat Black XF-1 overall.  In retrospect, I should have used a lighter primer like a medium grey so that missed imperfections would be spotted easier.  Then Tamiya Khaki Drab XF-51 was applied to the visible exterior surfaces, leaving the Flat Black to “hide” the lack of detail in the cab and underbody.  The seat blobs and steering wheel were brush painted Khaki Drab.  The tires were also brush painted Grimy Black.  I had considered painting them separately then gluing in place, but I wanted to flat-spot the tires.  I did this, at assembly, on 220 grit paper with the wheels mounted moving the cab/chassis back and forth.  The steel portions of the body were masked with Tamiya Tape and the tarp was sprayed with a thinned mixture of Dirt to give a variation in tone to this canvas covering.  Gloss was applied for the decals; one truck was the stock WD number, the other has some of the digits reordered.  Tamiya TS-80 Flat Clear was sprayed overall to seal-in these base colors and decals.

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The “weathering” is more like a paint-effect rather than a representation of wear/tear.  I first applied a wash of Testors enamel Flat Black overall to get into the model recesses and tone down the “newness” of the finish.  The result of this, however, gave a sheen to the paint which was corrected by another coat of TS-80.  I very, very lightly dry-brushed Testors Model Master enamel Afrika Dunkelgrau ’42 (a greyish-sand color) overall to pick out the highlights.

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A thin clear sheet is supplied with the kit for glass.  I should have made a pattern for the windshield and one for the side windows prior to bending and installing these parts so that the shapes of the glass could be cut out.  But I was able to adequately make patterns using my Vernier calliper for measuring the model and drawing it out on a piece of paper. The paper was held down onto the thin clear sheet with Scotch Tape and the shape cut through both with a sharp No 11 blade.  The glass was installed with Woodland Scenics Scenic Accent glue.  The roof is held in place also with Woodland Scenics Scenic Accent glue.

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That’s it, overall I enjoyed the build of these uncommon models that fit right into my era of interest even though not specifically for Fillmore.  Now for that flat car….

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