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2Jun/180

Rubicon Models British CMP 15cwt Truck

In addition to the Northern Africa campaign week in November, I want to cover the British CMP 15cwt Truck by Rubicon Models in a review today.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

The CMP stands for canadian military pattern. This truck was build in Canada and used by armies of the British Commonwealth and even sent to the Soviet Union after Operation Barbarossa. Due to this, it saw action on theatres of war all over the world, from the North African Campaign, Italy, Burma and even after the second World War in Indonesia, Indochina and portuguese colonies in Africa. In Australian service (almost always with the No. 13 cab as supplied with this kit), the CMP was known as "Chev Blitz" or "Ford Blitz".

More than 800,000 units of the 15cwt CMP were built, over half a million of them in Canada. The number of CMP built exceeded the total number of military trucks build by the Third Reich. The 15cwt stands for the tonnage, of 15 hundredweight, around 0,8t. Build in Canada, but following British convention, this vehicle has right hand drive, instead of the left hand drive that is used in North America.

Rubicon offers these kit made from ABS hard plastic in the 28mm / 1:56 scale, at a price of around 23 EUR.

But let's see what is in the box. The 15cwt CMP Truck is spread across two sprues and comes with seperate cabin and tarpaulin, mounted on a card board for safety. In addition there is an instruction leaflet and a decal sheet included with the kit.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

The cast is very crisp and they use now lighter grey ABS plastic, that makes it easier to see the details on the parts. The details are well designed and the lifelike, just look at the tarpaulin cover.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck
Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

The assembly begins with the drivers cabin, for this the gear levers and hood are added. Please note that Rubicon uses ABS plastic, which should be handled with the appropiate glue. I use Tamiya ABS Cement for this. As I find the applier a bit to big, I use an old brush to apply the glue to the parts. Just look at the fine detail of the front grill.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

Now the fenders and the console are added to the cabin. You have the option to add the steering wheel now, if you don't want to use the included driver. Otherwise that part is included with the pair of arms later on.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

As the drivers cabin is almost complete, the cargo bay is now assembled. You have the option to field either an open cargo bay or closed one with the tarpaulin. I went with the closed one, as I plan to use this CMP truck as a tow for my 8th Army Desert Rats. You can choose between an open or closed tarpaulin cover on the back as well.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

Next up the chassis. This is pretty straight forward. You add the cabin to the front, the spare wheel holder in the middle and the cargo bay in the back.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

That Rubicon Models has their roots and focus on the scale models can be seen from the amount of details that wouldn't be seen during regular gaming. A lot of detailed parts are added to the underside of the truck, as well as the fact that this is not just a platform but properly sculpted with struts and axles. There are a couple of boxes and containers in the first step.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

And the front axle, along with mud flaps and the front fender.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

Now the four road wheel and the spare wheel are added. Please not that the wheel hub is different on the front and rear wheel. I love the attention to detail, that the wheels are a bit flat on the underside to show the weight of the truck pressing down on them.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

Closing the drivers cabin with the roof and a hatch. The hatch can be open or closed, you can put the gunner manning a Bren gun there.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

The kit includes a driver and a MG gunner. They have two sets of arm with rolled down and rolled up sleeves, matching the different theatres of war. As well as three head options. I went with rolled up sleeves to match the desert heat, but replaced the heads with some from the Perry plastic kit to make them fit better to my existing army project.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

The 15cwt CMP was a compact vehicle, to maximize the use and benefit in logistic supply. Some of them were broken down after assembly and re-assembled after shipping, like the Jeep were. As you can see it is a bit shorter than the GMC or Opel Maultier. And for comparison with some of the other tanks and armoured vehicles, that saw action beside it. A Crusader cruiser tank and M3 Stuart in the middle picture, as well as the AEC Dorchester and Bren Carrier in the third.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

Of course, no review is complete with the last set of pictures of the build kit from different angles.

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck Rubicon Models - British CMP 15cwt Truck

Conclusion
The 15cwt CMP Truck is a very nicely done kit. Quite a compact model, but with a very high level of detail. To be honest, I didn't had this one on the clock and thought it was a kind of variant of the AEC Matador (it shares some similar design elements with the rather flat front, high radiator cowling and square windows). But as this was so widely in use, it is very versatile. You can use it in any Commonwealth army on nearly every battlefield of the second world war and even for some settings post-war in the Far East and Africa. As many vehicles this one got captured as well or received field conversions, this leaves room for a lot of interesting conversions. If you take a look at this extensive post by Panzerserra you see among others captured 15cwt CMP used by Italian or German armies with AA / flak guns on the cargo bay.

The rules for Bolt Action of the 15cwt CMP Truck can be found on pg. 59 of the Armies of Great Britain supplement, and it can be used as a tow or transport in many theatre selectors. I'll use this as a tow for my 6 pdr. But I can see it as a very vivid vignette or army piece with a BL 5,5 or 25 pdr, with the open cargo bay variant and the crew on the vehicle, along with some bits from the Allied Stowage Set. As Rubicon is currently adding resin and metal add ons for their vehicle kits to their range, it is likely that there will be additional matching infantry available in the future, as well as maybe some British / Allied AT gun to go along.

The casting is convincing and plastic beats resin by far. Much easier and more pleasant to work with. This kit is hard competition for some of the Morris resin kits out there, and I can see why. I'm thinking about getting another one and using it with my chindits or as captured vehicle for my DAK.

Link: Rubicon Models

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

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