The C15TA was designed and built at the request of the British, who due to high demand, were unable to acquire sufficient numbers of the White M3A1 Scout Car. General Motors came through with a design based on the CMP(Canadian Military Pattern) chassis using an armored hull. The C15TA was assembled in the GMC plant in Oshawa, Ontario with the armor body built by the Hamilton Bridge Company in Hamilton, Ontario. Production starting in August 1943, but due to labor unrest, full production did not start until January 1944. By D-Day, 596 C15TA’s were delivered with the first 250 going to the British, and in September 1944 the Canadian First Army began issuing the vehicles to units. By June 1945 GMC Oshawa delivered 3,961 C15TA’s to both British and Canadian units.
Enter the Mirror Models
C15TA, a multi-media kit featuring plastic, resin, PE, and wire. When the kit arrived, I was a little surprised at the size of the box, small. But the box is packed, containing 5 sprues of differing gray colored plastic, two bags of small resin parts, 5 resin tires, 3 frets of photo-etch, bits of wire of different gauges, decals, and a CD with instructions. I will state up front that this kit is a true craftsman kit, not designed for beginners.
The parts are not packed in, what we think is normal sealed bags, but zip-lock bags. Looking over the plastic parts, they are well molded, with good detail. I did notice there are plenty of ejector marks, with quite a few that will need to be filled and/or sanded during construction, as they will be visible upon completion. I found the plastic to feel a little soft, but this may be due to the thickness, or should I say thinness of the plastic, which looks to be scale thickness.
The kit contains numerous resin parts, a lot adding the detail to the plastic frame and body. The resin parts are well cast with great looking detail, but a lot of pieces have some flash that will need to be cleaned up. The detail on the resin parts is well pronounced and very well done. The parts are loosely packed, and the instructions will have to be referred to identify part numbers.
Three fret of photo-etched parts are included, containing large and small detail. Some of the large detail includes the anti-skid pattern floors and cargo boxes. Smaller details include grab irons, mount points, and etc. The PE is well done, with great looking face detail. The kit also includes a few lengths of silver and copper wire, as well as a couple of pieces of plastic rod.
The decals are well printed in color, with markings for 3 vehicles. While most look to be crisp and in register one of the vehicle war numbers has the bottom part of the ‘8’ filled in, based on a reference diagram I have seen of this vehicle, this is incorrect. Also see below about accuracy.
This is a first for me, the instructions are a 37 page PDF document delivered on a CD. Builders will need access to a computer with Adobe Viewer to read the instructions. The instructions are in full color, with pictures of the model building process as opposed to build diagrams. The instructions do not necessarily show a step by step construction, but they provide a picture of the finished subassemblies, which some may find a little different.
A nice addition is pictures of the real vehicle are included as reference during the building process. There is plenty of description to go along with the pictures to assist the builder along the way. As mentioned this may not be a kit for beginners, some knowledge of model building will be needed.
From first glance at this kit, it seems to be a very fine kit, a great replication of the C15TA. The overall quality of the parts look great, as I have not built the kit, I cannot comment of fit. But from look of the instructions and parts, it does not look like fit will be an issue. As for the accuracy of the kit, and review of many reference images, the model seems to be an accurate reproduction of the actual vehicle. Also noted are the rear passenger seats are not included, but have recently been released by L.Z. Models as an add-on that will have to be purchased separately.
The big issue is the decals are incorrect, being the Canadian markings are not really useable. First off the Formation sign for the 5th Armored Division should not be as red as it is, should be more of a reddish-brown. As for the markings for the non-referenced vehicle, I am not sure what unit they should be, noting the Formation sign could be 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, but the Unit sign would be wrong , as it should be a green over blue background and should be a ‘41’ not ‘43’, being the 8th Reconnaissance Regiment(14th Canadian Hussars). As for the British marking, I am unsure.
Overall, the model itself is a great looking model, well detailed, and well-engineered. This kit will build into a great looking representation of the actual C15TA. Other than having to replace the decals, the Mirror Models kit of the C15TA is a great kit, and I highly recommend it.
Note about the decals, I have contacted the Mirror Models, and they are aware of error with the decals, and they are working to fix this issue in subsequent releases. There was no word if they will replace decals for kits already shipped.
As for a good reference for the vehicle, a while back I reviewed “The C15TA in Canadian Service” from Service Publications, this is a great starting point to learn more about this great looking vehicle.
Service Publications C15TA review
Kevin has started a Build Log
on the forums to see how this kit goes together.