by: Kevin Brant [ ]
While a lot of the Canadian Military Pattern trucks were built by Chevrolet, another majority of the trucks were built by the Ford Motor Company. The Ford trucks were designated with the letter F and included a 239 cubic inch V-8 engine. With alot of equipment lost by the British Army, the Canadian- built trucks were relied on as both Ford and Chevrolet were able to ramp up production quick to supply the British Army. The latest kit from Mirror Models represents an early Ford-built F15A with the early Cab 11.
Inside the box you will find:
13 plastic sprues
1 clear plastic sprue
4 poly rubber tires
1 fret of photo-etched details
2 lengths of wire
1 sheet of decals
1 set of instructions
The new kit from Mirror Models continues the fine moldings which they are known for. The kit is molded in grey plastic with little or no flash but unfortunately there are some sink marks which are mostly on the cargo bed parts. There are some ejector marks on the inside of the cab parts and under the fenders that will need to have a little filler applied and sanding done to rectify. Also, there are a lot of small fine pieces that will need care to deal with. It should be noted that a lot of the sprue gates are thick so I would suggest a good razor saw to remove them.
Construction begins with some of the sub-assemblies like the wheels, steering gear box, bumpers, and fuel tanks. The tires are molded of poly rubber-like material but are a little weak on detail compared to some previous offerings from Mirror Models. This is demonstrated by the sidewall detail and there is also a large seam around the circumference of the tire.
As the sub-assemblies continue, it should be noted the kit includes the Ford V-8 motor that differs from the straight-six that was included in the previous Chevrolet CMP kits. The engine detail looks good, and with a little extra detail, could be built into a nice part of the model to show off.
The instruction flow now moves to the cargo bed. Exterior detail of the parts is well done but there are some ejector marks and sink marks that will need to be filled and sanded. Also, some of the ejector marks are located in areas that may make dealing with them a little difficult.
Construction then moves to the front hood and cab assembly. Again, there are some ejector marks that will need to be filled and sanded, especially if you want to leave the interior showing with open doors. The clear parts for the windshield and rear window are very well molded and the inclusion of photo-etched details for the front grill are very nice. The kit does include a decal to represent the instrument panel which is a nice touch.
From review of the instructions, the frame looks to be new parts from Mirror Models that does not include the photo-etched details of the previous releases, but should be easier to assemble nonetheless. That said, a lot of the detail is maintained and should build into a great looking frame. The axle assembly does still include the use of wire bits to detail the mounting of the axles onto the suspension that results in great looking extra detail. The kit does include well-detailed drive shaft components and steering linkages.
With the frame complete, final construction starts with the mounting of the sub-assemblies like the cargo bed, bumpers, cab, etc.
I did find with this release from Mirror Models ,the instruction sheet and steps are laid out much better which makes the assembly much easier to accomplish. The instructions are printed over 8 pages and should be much easier to follow than previous releases. The instructions and decal sheet provide options for three vehicles. These are Canadian, British, and German. The decals look to be very well printed and should compliment the completed build based on the option you choose.
Overall this is another nice looking kit from Mirror Models with some great looking details and a great subject. Unfortunately, some of the quality seen in previous kits is not present here. This is exemplified by the ejector and sink marks present in the plastic moldings. With a little filling and sanding, and the inclusion of easier instructions, the kit should build into the great subject it is, and looks to improve on the smooth assembly seen in some of the previous releases from Mirror Models. For early war Commonwealth fans, I would recommend this kit.