The Cleaver-Brooks WTCT 6A Amphibious Cargo Trailer was one of three concepts that entered production during WW II. Approximately 300 examples were built for the Army and Marine Corps in 1944 and 1945. The WTCT reportedly was not well liked by Amtrac or DUKW crews. The amphibious trailer was ungainly and unsuited for rough water or rough terrain – threatening to swamp the towing vehicle in all but the calmest of seas and hard to handle on uneven terrain.
A preeminent boiler making company, Cleaver-Brooks produced portable stills to purify water for US troops in the 1940’s. Later as a part of the larger Aqua-Chem Corporation, they produced the US Army’s ROWPU reverse osmosis water purification trailer-mounted system in the 1980’s. In the 1990’s, Aqua-Chem produced the US Army’s TWPS (Tactical Water Purification System) equipment. Cleaver-Brooks has a long history of working with the US military forces.
Quite an unusual subject choice in 1:35 scale, Trakz’s latest release will certainly add diversity to any armor modeler’s collection. Like the Ford GPA Amphibian, this trailer was sometimes dubbed “Ugly Duckling” or just plain “Duckling”. The trailer’s intended purpose was to transport all manner of supplies from sea to shore. Towing Amtrac’s or DUKW’s dropped them off at beachhead. The trailers could be towed by other trucks inland. These trailers saw most use transporting small arms, ammunition, and artillery shells.
This release by Trakz is the upgraded version of the original amphibious trailer. The earlier WTCT 6 did not have the wooden bumpers all-around, and sported a different bow shape with two hemisphere-shaped footwell cutouts above the wheelhouse. The final version was intended to address concerns from the field about the performance of the amphibious trailer. It still was not totally successful.
The Cleaver-Brooks WTCT Amphibious Trailer is not widely covered in historical annals – but that should not cause the interested modeler to look away. This is a natural to hitch up to your Italeri Amtrac or DUKW. A Skybow WC-62 or 63, or even a Marine Corps Sherman would look marvelous with this Trakz product in tow.
quality versus value
The Trakz Amphibious Trailer is very well packaged and presented. No damage or lost parts in this review example. No air bubbles, short-castings, heavy flashing or serious warpage present. This is an all-resin kit, made up of finely detailed pieces, broken down in a logical manner. A beginner with resin kits would not have difficulty constructing this kit – factored in my estimated ease of use.
The Wheels are cast blemish free and are not warped. I don’t anticipate problems separating them from their pour gates. The positive lock cast into the rims to join the dual wheels together is a bonus. Another plus in the Trakz kit is the inclusion of Sprue Number 19. Not shown on the instruction sheet, this sprue gives the modeler Flanges, Wing-nuts, and Tie-Down Loops to make the numerous Latch assemblies on the upper surface of the Trailer. The extra modeling effort called for is kept to a minimum, and a novice can make the Wire Loop for the Hitch and Grab Handles/Hooks out of their favorite medium.
it is all good
The Instruction Sheet suffers a bit from the quality of photocopying. Notable: Part Number 14 is shown how it should look after removing the pour gate. This may be a bit tricky for the novice resin modeler. This was the only part in this kit example that was warped.
The Trailer interior is nicely cast hollow, inviting some cargo placement by an intrepid modeler. However, the upper deck is cast in the closed position – calling for the modeler to cut this open. The wooden bumpers along the perimeter of the Trailer body have finely cast grain detail on them. The pour gates on the Trailer underside and Bow backside are generous but do not appear difficult to cut away.
To hitch the Trakz WTCT 6A Amphibious Trailer to either a DUKW or Amtrac will call for a little modification to the Hitch and Lunette. From first glance to examining the parts, the Trakz Amphibious Trailer is a very well done subject. It matches up to the historical photos of the real thing and is an eye-catching subject all alone. As an accessory for your favorite amphibious landing diorama – it can’t be beat. It is as big as a Stuart Light Tank. The real Trailer has no suspension or even electrical lighting. It is as simple as can be and I do not anticipate any major problems during construction. The hardest part of modeling the Trakz Amphibious Trailer will be deciding what miniature vehicle to hitch it to for the Build Review.
More information can be found about the WTCT 6 and 6A Amphibious Trailers at HardCorpsModels.com
This review example was graciously provided by VLS Corporation to Armorama.