Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

GCLaser hails from Genoa City, Wisconsin, where they have been offering laser-cut micro-plywood railroad structures and detail kits since 2003. In August 2007, they launched an ambitious line of 1/35 scale laser-cut wooden containers, such as ammo boxes, pallets, and numerous sizes and styles of crates and cable reels you can use to fill up your deuce and a half. Other unique sets include wooden tank applique armor as seen PTO Shermans and a workman's shanty to fit in the bed of a Tamiya or Italeri cargo truck. The catalogue contains both U.S. and German items. The promotional photo below shows the initial range of the product line.

The wooden boxes are thin slices of a fine-grained wood. The thickness of the slices varies according to item portrayed, and while I don't have measurements on hand for this item, it seems to be appropriate. The product is particularly good for portraying opened boxes.

The hardware (hasps, latches, and banding) is a grey-colored paper of heavier stock called Strathmore paper. It too is laser cut. String is provided to serve as rope handles in some sets.

Each box is a mini-model. I used carpenters glue and a toothpick; GCLaser suggests using a CA glue, but I prefer using a good wood glue on wood. The items can be painted in enamel or acrylic paints, or left natural. The only downside to the natural look is that the laser burn marks on evident on the part edges. The laser burn is deep enough that trying to sand it off removes too much of the edge. You can minimize them by positioning the burned side down or touching up the parts with paint.

From the samples I received, the sets do not contain markings (beyond a "US" burned into the lid of the foot lockers). But with no decals available and the old Pre-Size dry transfers virtually impossible to find, you'll have to create your own. Neither water slide decals or dry transfers work well on wood unless it has been sealed, preferably with a gloss coat to reduce silvering. Give the decal a shot of flat finish it will help protect the marking and seal it to the surface.

35-0001 37mm (tank) 6 rnd. box (6 pack)

75mm Tank, 2 rnds. (6 pack)

35-0004 155mm Howitzer, 8 rnds. pallet (4 pack)
35-0011 203mm, Howitzer, 6 rnds. pallet (4 pack)
35-0012 U.S. Army Foot Locker (2 pack)
35-0013 .50 Cal., 220 rnds., linked (6 pack)
35-0014 75mm, Tank, 4 rnds. (6 pack)
35-0022 .30 Cal, 4-Can Linked, 1000 Rnd, Tank (6 pack)
35-0025 Tank Sides 3 Board Sherman Marine


Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter