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3Oct/170

Rubicon Models GMC CCKW-353 2,5t Truck

Rubicon released with the CCKW-353 US 2,5 ton 6x6 Cargo Truck an allied counterpart to the amazing Opel Blitz kit (and the accessoires like Maultier available for it). It is one of the lighter vehicles by Rubicon and will be covered in this review.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck


The US Army developed between 1939 and 1940 a 2,5 ton 6x6 tactical truck that could be used in unfavourable terrain and in all weather.  It received the nick name "Deuce and a Half" by its tonnage and was build to a total of more than 550,000 units in all variants, only outmatched by the numbers of the Jeep.

The name CCKW derived from GMC model nomenclature, "C" for designed in 1941, "C" for conventional cab, "K" for all-wheel drive and "W" for dual rear axles. It was build in short and long wheelbase, with the short version intended as a artillery prime mover and the long wheelbase as a base for all other purposes. The standard version could carry 12 men, but there were a whole lot of variations including tank or radio trucks.

Even when the 6x6 M35 began to replace the CCKW in 1950, it still remained in active service until the mid 1960s. Many other nations after the second world war and could sometimes even be seen into the 1990s. Other allied forces, like the USSR used the Studebaker US6 2,5 ton truck.

Rubicon delivers in this 28mm / 1:56 kit the CCKW-353 variant of the truck, with an optional gun ring with HMG, a canvas top, as well as flat bed and canvas canopy.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck

This kit covers all the parts needed in two sprues, along with the lower driver cabin and canvas canopy as individual, single casted parts. The later are secured with a card board sheet. In addition there is a multipage instruction leaflet along with a decal sheet.

The CCKW is casted in dark grey ABS plastic. Please take care prior to assembly, that you give the sprues a proper wash in luke warm soap water and use the right glue (ABS cement is recommended by Rubicon Models). The sprues are well used and give you optional parts for the either open or close rear tarpulin, a bit of extra stowage, an optional two man crew (gunner and driver), gun ring with HMG, and winch.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck

In this review I'll build a truck that will be used in the Ardennes, as part of the Brandenburgers / Unternehmen Greif troops, so the closed drive cabin canvas top felt more suitable compared to the gun ring. As the truck would support troops in winter gear, I did not use the optional truck driver.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck

In the next step, the long wheelbase chassis is assembled. The double wheeled, double axles in the back are well detailled and Rubicon went with the extra mile and flattened the tires on the underside to show the pressure by the vehicle's weight. A spare wheel is mounted in the mid section of the chassis.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck

The prior step is more or less the biggest step in the assembly. Next up is the lower part of the driver cabin added to the chassis. Here you have the option to choose between the regular front bumper and the one with winch. As the truck is now basicly complete, we can assume that the CCKW might receive further accessoires, like the Opel Blitz did with the Maultier or box body. Beside that, it would be a great base for conversions of all kind, way beyond the world war 2 setting at this stage.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck

What ever variant for the loading area you chose, at first you have to add the parts B03 and B18 as the flat bed base. You could use the CCKW as a weapon carrier, for example with a 40mm Bofors or Quad .50 caliber gun.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck

As mentioned earlier, this will be used as a winter transporter, so the closed canvas canopy was the best fit from my point of view. I went with the closed rear tarpulin. Optional you could field the trucks flat bed with the wooden sides, open or closed tailgate and optional benches.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck

A short comparison with the Opel Blitz and a Sherman tank. The dimensions of the trucks are pretty similar. And in the last picture next to a Matchbox Model of Yesteryear truck.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck

And of course a few shows from different angles to sum the review up.

Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck Rubicon Models - CCKW-353 Truck

Conclusion
If you're not familiar with the world war 2 transports, the CCKW being the US one and the Studebaker being the russian lend&lease one, might be irritating. Rubicon went broad here, with two very similar trucks and even adding the famous Katyusha variant to the Studebaker. Rubicon is currently the only one, offering an allied / american plastic truck, and at roughly 25 Euros this kit is roughly the same price as Warlords resin kit (21 GBP). But most will prefer a plastic kit, as they are usually easier and more pleasant to build, compared to a resin kit.

As with the other products by Rubicon, the casting is well done and there were no issues with the fit. The GMC might look a bit boring, but with the different options for the flat bed and cabin, you should get enough variation for all the transports of your 28mm army. If you shouldn't be satisfied by that, I recommend the Allied Stowage kit, as it covers a lot of additional parts to give more realistic, livelike feel to the kit.

After the Germans, Americans and Russians being supplied with transports, the next ones will be the British with the CMP 15 cwt truck and sometime after that the Russians again with some GAZ trucks.

Link: Rubicon Models

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