2.5 Ton CCKW Cargo Truck
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

Both Academy and Heller have produced very nice 1/72 scale 2.5 ton CCKW carge trucks. The former offers the hard top cab with the wood side walls for the cargo bed (kit #13402) similarl to Itlaeri's 1/35 scale kit. Heller gives us the rag top version with the steel walls (kit #79996), similar to Tamiya's 1/35 kit. I built these minis for a future diorama.

The Academy truck is well molded with good detailing and simple construction steps. The hard top roof can be opened up to mount a .50 cal machine gun, and an optional winch is included. I added a few details such as supports for the mud flaps. The truck is accompanied by a sprue full of equipment, including .30 cal machine guns with tripods, fuel drums, jerry cans, and several types of wooden boxes.

I built a second version of the Academy truck as it might have looked if it had been hit by gunfire and the gas tank exploded. Deconstructing a kit in this manner takes some planning. I found an image of a destroyed Russian Studebaker to help serve as inspiration. I wanted to have the hood opened, as though an explosion popped it up, and the door blown off. That meant carefully cutting out sections of the parts. The engine is nicely detailed on the left side with the exhaust manifold. Locating holes are evident on the opposite side for the distributor and other parts, but curiously they are not supplied. I found refernces online to help fill the void and add other detials to the firewall. The cargo bed and side rails were diced up and I had to slice several of the roof supports from the solid pieces, over which I drapped some heavy paper tissue soaked in white glue.




Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © Timothy S. Streeter