by: Kevin Brant [ ]
The Morris C8 Field Artillery Tractor(FAT), or Quad, was a World War 2 truck heavily used by the British and Allies . Entering service in 1939 the vehicle was used to tow 18-pounders, 25-pounders, 4.5 inch howitzers, and more. The Quad went through three main variants, the Mk.I to Mk.III, with approximately 2000 of the Mk.III's built with the newer more square design of the No.5 body and this new kit from Mirror Models represents one these later Quads.
7 Plastic sprues, including body
1 Clear plastic sprue
3 Photo-etched frets(two small)
4 Poly-vinyl tires
1 Decal Sheet
1 Paint and Marking scheme sheet(double sided)
1 Instruction Booklet
Opening the box, my first thought was it is great to see how Mirror Models has changed from my first review done on a very early kit from them. This new kit looks very much like a main stream model that you would get from most model manufacturers. Inside the box are individually bagged grey plastic sprues, a small box to protect the body, an instruction booklet, and a colored painting and marking scheme from Ammo by Mig.
A closer inspection of the plastic parts shows some good looking moldings from Mirror Models. I found no visible flash nor sink marks, and very few ejector marks. While there are some ejector marks on the interior of the roof, there are none on the inside of parts like the doors, thus modeling the vehicle with the doors opens should be less work with no ejector marks to clean up. Also, as some have commented on in the past, the sprue connections to the parts are much finer.
One item that really popped out to me was the little box with the body of the truck in it. Definitely looks like Mirror Models is using slide molding technology, as the body looks great, and should make the build easier without having to square everything up. The surface detail also looks very good, including the molded on tie down ropes for the canvas roof. While this may not appeal to everyone, it does look good.
The kit also includes some fine molded plastic parts, finer then I have seen in the past from Mirror Models. These parts, with the added photo-etched included in the kit should provide some nice details. All the moldings do look to be crisp and clean.
I remember Mirror Models first kit and the instruction sheets that showed images of the kit build in stages, well the instruction booklet in this new kit is very well laid out, clear, with individual steps to guide the builder through the assembly. The booklet is 10 pages, and while the steps are not numbered, the individual panes show easy assembly steps in a logical flow for this type of vehicle.
The only thing to really watch out for is how you are going to plan the painting of the interior. While most of the frame and body looks like it can built easily prior to paint, the interior will need to be painted prior to sealing up the kit and then the masking of clear parts prior to completing the exterior paint. It should be noted that only the crew compartment is included, the rear stowage area is not modelled, and would require some cutting to expose if wanted.
A nice looking engine is included, as well as all the trimming for a nice looking frame and drive components. One item missing from this kit that is usually found in other Mirror Models kits is bits of wire. Looking through the instructions, I did notice that there is a requirement for wire for the suspension-axle assembly. I am not sure if this is an omission from this kit or not, but it should be easily obtained. It should be noted that the winch motor assembly is included in the frame assembly, but again no wire included. Unfortunately this kit, if you wanted to show off the engine details, some cutting and scratch building will be needed.
Once the roof is installed, it may need a little sanding and maybe putty to ensure a smooth joint to represent the canvas top. There are also a couple of short pieces of wire required to mount the head lights. The photo-etched front bumper and windshield wipers should add nice detail to the overall kit appearance. Another item to note is the front windshield is molded in two parts for those who may want to show it flipped open. But with that said, the hinge detail is not included in the kit.
The tires are a poly-vinyl and do look to be well molded, with good tread definition and raised lettering, Firestone, on the side walls. While not everyone’s cup of tea, Mirror Models sister company, LZ Models does have great resin cast wheels available for those who would like replacements.
Something I am seeing more of in new kits from various companies, are the Ammo by Mig painting and marking schemes. This is no different in this new kit, a double sided full color painting and marking sheet. There are marking for 4 different vehicles:
- 50th Infantry Division, Normandy 1944
- Unknown Unit, France 1944
- 50th Infantry Division, France 1944
- Polish 1st AT Regiment, France 1944
The decals look to be well printed, nice color, and all within register.
Overall this looks to be a great new kit from Mirror Models, and a vast improvement over previous releases from them. The overall kits molding process seems to have been improved with some great looking moldings with great looking surface details and some fine parts. While there seems to be great improvement in the plastic, the kit does not contain a lot of the extra fine detail parts, photo-etched and resin, that Mirror Models was known for with some of the early kits. The kits does look like it will build into a very nice model of the British Quad from World War 2, you just need to add an artillery piece. I would highly recommend this kit.