The C30 was the Chevrolet 30cwt Canadian Military Pattern truck with a 134” wheelbase, all four wheels powered by a 6 cylinder 3.5 litre petrol engine. IBG already kitted this subject in 1/35 scale a couple of years ago, and have now released it in 1/72 scale. The C30 adds to their 1/72 CMP collection, following up on the armoured C15TA, and a number of C15 trucks, all of which share the main sprue. This C30 kit represents the early no.11 type cab, and IBG have taken further advantage of the commonality between this series of vehicles in also being able to re-use the cab sprue from their C15 no.11 kits – very sensible, providing modellers with lots of variants.
I did most of this review while on holiday, so please excuse the quality of the photos, most of which were taken in natural light, and I also had to endure some cement that was past its best.
Atmospheric snowy art work tops a big tray type box containing the following:
- Sprue with no letter: all of the chassis details and wheels.
- Sprue with no letter: cab.
- Sprue A: the long chassis frame plus a drive shaft.
- Sprue E x 2: roof supports.
- Sprue G: the General Service bodywork including tarpaulin.
- Clear sheet for windows.
The parts are cleanly moulded, although the bigger of the “sprue with no letters” is quite densely packed with many fairly heavy sprue gates, while other sprues, for example G, with the cargo bodywork and canvas cover, are a bit more delicate in terms of wider spacing and fewer, thinner attachment points, which should make removing parts without breakage easier. As with some other IBG kits, the plastic used is fairly soft with a slight tendency to fluff up when abraded, although this just means taking extra care not to over file or sand it.
The colour finishing guides are for pre-D-Day Olive Drab vehicles with alternative decals for the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, or 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, both stationed in England, 1942. Note that the truck can be finished either with the canvas cover in place, or with just the supports.
We start with the rudimentary engine that includes fan, generator and manifold, and which cannot be made visible other than by turning the finished model upside down; but it is a good inclusion. (Photo 1, 2). Take care not to remove too much of the exhaust connection when cutting from the sprue.
The cab builds from the floor plate and mudguards, to which are added the bonnet and radiator unit (photo 3, 4), then the windscreen frame, dashboard and steering wheel (photo 5). The three levers between the seats are thick, but could easily be replaced by thin rod if desired, made easier by there being no location holes on the floor that may be oversized for any replacement. The seats are also chunky looking, but acceptable (photo 6). Note that I thinned down the top edge of the doors a little, then added the rear of the cab, leaving the roof to one side for now to facilitate painting the interior (7). The wing mirrors cement to the side of the doors, with no real location point, and again are a little heavy in appearance as would be expected in this scale. The headlamps are also to be added at this stage, but the backs had deep sink holes (photo 8) which needed to be filled, so they were set aside.
The busiest stage is the chassis frame which starts with the brackets for the leaf springs which have to be added rather than being moulded in place (9). Some care is required to make sure they are good and straight in order to take the springs, bearing in mind that the axles and then the wheels will also be relying on them (10). It is probably worth assembling the axles first then using them as a guide to get the positioning of the leaf springs exactly right. There’s also the fuel tanks, steps, tow bar, front fender and steering mechanism to be added, followed by the engine (11). Note the quite small fuel tank filler spouts have been added here, using the sprue attachment as a temporary handle; there’s no location point for them on the tanks so I drilled one using the knife point (no drills in the holiday tool kit).
The chassis is turned over for the fitting of the exhaust system, front and rear drive shafts, central differential case and the transmission shaft (12). Exactly as with IBG’s C15TA, I found that the transmission shaft and the front drive shaft don’t quite reach the central differential, and had to add small fillets of sprue (arrowed). This small fix is quite easy and doesn’t have to be done too carefully, and overall I think the appearance of the shafts, brakes, axles and exhaust is very good.
With the chassis set the wheels were cemented in place (13). Although photos show this type of truck with either an alternating horizontal bar tread, or a chevron pattern tread, the horizontal bars represented in the kit are too thick, perhaps a more modern tyre fitted to a restored vehicle has been copied. Despite that, these not necessarily correct tyres look pretty good and clean up easily for assembly.
Now for the cargo platform, and the choice of building the tarpaulin in place, or building it without, but with the supports. Building with the tarpaulin up is much simpler, and being in a holiday mood that’s what I went for: the construction is very quick, with just five parts being added to the platform (14). The fit is perfect, but note that I dry fitted the tarpaulin top, then cemented the rear side plates and let them set first (15) before then adding the central tailgate (16). This ensures all is correctly aligned and that the authentic small gaps around the tailgate are kept free of cement. The tarpaulin top then fits perfectly in place, but left loose for painting (17, 18).
If you were to choose the “without tarpaulin” option, then a considerable amount of work would be needed to clean up the 11 separate support bars. My experience with the C15TA kit (with only four bars) was that this was not too easy to do without breaking them and I replaced them with wire; in this kit the bars look if anything more delicate. My suggestion would be to use the items provided in the kit as templates to guide you in the cutting of your own supports from either plastic rod or wire.
Going back to the cab, the lower parts of the mudguards are cemented in place (19), a slightly awkward assembly in that we don’t want there to be any visible join here, so careful positioning and then some sanding and reshaping seems inevitable. A circular identification plate is provided, though this is certainly optional; the part has a scale thickness of a couple of inches, so if used it should be drastically thinned down, and that will also help it tuck in behind the front fender (20). The headlamps were cemented in place, the location holes being slightly over bored to avoid any wobbling around, the sink holes having been filled with a combination of cemented in scrap and filler.
Back indoors in the “studio” the cab and cargo platform were dry fitted to the chassis for the final photos. The mating surfaces of the base of the cab and the chassis needed a little fettling in order to get the cab to sit flat, and it will be even flatter when cemented in place; the cargo bed fitted perfectly on the chassis with no fuss. All that would be left to do, probably after painting, is to cut out and add the supplied glazing sheets to the windscreen.
Another impressive looking truck from IBG, with a nice amount of well thought out detail and an easy and pleasurable build. Inevitably there are a few areas that could be improved if the modeller wishes to, with some of the detailing around the cab looking a little heavy, such as the wing mirrors, headlamps, windscreen frame, mudguards and the step brackets. Although not textured, the tarpaulin is quite nicely rendered, with the tie-downs having a fine appearance. Lots of scope for additional details to be added in the cargo area, including the possibility of adding seated figures to the side benches.