Kit Preview : 1/76 Milicast Battlefield Series BB32 CMP 3 ton truck #12 pattern cabin

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

The rear wheels have been stretched. They are oval-shaped and smaller than the front wheels! The tarp is not parallel to the cab but that could probably happen in reality. There is some excess resin to be removed just forward of the rear wheel on the left side.

The top view shows a slightly misaligned cab (rear left).

The underside is not too bad for one piece model. A far cry from a standard model but it beats a solid block of resin. The front wheels are misaligned.

optional side windows, front bumper, levers, steering column and wheel, 4 rear fender flaps, windshield frame, cab roof.
The detailed interior is appreciated.

The model's wheelbase is 3mm short. Here it is compared to the scale drawing provided with the Trux CMP 3 ton model. The front axle should be moved forward to give the truck its aggressive appearance. This is something that a modeller could correct easily with the kit version of this model (reference UK58). I wish Milicast had taken more care when building the master.
The cargo bed seems a bit short compared to the profiles. The four panels are not the same size, which is a bit strange. There were many types of GS bodies so this may be OK. In any case it's solid resin so there is nothing you can do about it.

Here are some links to Milicast's catalog where more photos can be found. There are no photos for this reference, BB32.
BB31, the same truck without the tilt cover
UK58, the same truck in unbuilt kit mode
The model after basic painting. The cab is not glued in place at this stage. Before this can happen, the rear window needs to be glazed and all painting inside the cab and between the cab and the body completed.

My recommendation is that if you want an accurate model, or just prefer your trucks to have round wheels, go for the more expensive Premier range model.
Update (11/25/09): Milicast no longer offer this kit in the Battlefield range and have restored it in in the Premier range. This is a great decision.