Movement of towed artillery pieces is a crucial part of war planning and strategy. During World War 2 on the commonwealth side the role of moving artillery was given to the Field Artillery Tractor. This vehicle was produced by many companies and in many forms. With the development of the Canadian Military Pattern frame, it was also designed to tow artillery equipment. Using the same Cab as the 15 Cwt truck, the addition of the 7B2 Body became one of the main vehicles used by the Canadian Army to tow the 25pdr field howitzer.
This latest kit from Mirror Models
represents the Chevrolet built Field Artillery Tractor featuring the Cab 13 and 7B2 Body and is the first kit to more accurately represent the vehicle used by Canadian Artillery Regiments in World War 2.
12 plastic sprues
1 clear plastic sprue
5 resin cast wheels
1 photo-etched fret
1 length of wire
1 piece of cloth material
1 small decal sheet
Coloured Paint and Marking Guide
This new kit of the CMP CGT Field Artillery Tractor builds on the previous CMP kits from Mirror Models
. Right away I can recognize the frame parts, which would be common to all CMP vehicles. It does look as if the sprue layouts from previous releases has changed a bit. As with previous releases from Mirror Models
, the kit is molded in grey plastic with no flash or sink marks. There are a few ejector marks, but they will mostly be hidden with assembly.
The molding detail is very well done, with some very small molded parts, so care will be needed. I have also noticed that the sprue gates are smaller than previous releases, but there are a couple of sprues with smaller parts that have the sprue attachment points very close as the parts are placed very compactly. Also, some of the small parts have multiple sprue gates that almost make the part hard to identify. As with previous Mirror Models
kits, I do highly recommend a good razor saw to remove parts.
As for the instructions, there has been a great improvement in these from Mirror Models
. As most previous releases were not the easiest to follow, the new instructions look more like conventional instructions. The assembly is done over 11 pages of non-numbered steps, but look relatively easy to follow and are well laid out.
Assembly of the kit starts with the engine, which is the identical sprue from previous releases which does build into a nice looking engine. New in this kit is a plastic molded transfer case, while previous releases have used a cast resin piece. The new plastic parts retain the great looking detail of the part.
Frame assembly is very much like previous releases, and is straight forward with both plastic and photo-etched parts making up a great looking frame. Newly included in the new kits is the winch assembly, reinforced rear bumper, and heavier suspension leaves mounted to the frame. As with previous kits the drive shafts are multiple parts and have to be measured and cut prior to assembly.
The mounting of the engine is also included in these steps, but I would suggest waiting until you start to get part of the body assembly started as to ensure proper alignment of the engine in the engine compartment. The mounting of the engine has been one of the weak parts in the past releases of the CMP kits. This also includes the mounting of the cross brace assembly for mounting of the transfer case. In my case, I always leave this until I have enough of the body built to ensure I can get everything lined up for proper fit.
The cast resin wheels included are very well done, they look great with good tread pattern, and will definitely add to the finished model.
With the frame done, assembly of the body can start. The kit does include interior parts to include the passenger seats. The floor mounts are cast plastic with this release, which should make assembly a little easier as the photo-etched mounts were a little finicky. A full photo-etched floor is included for the cab with good looking anti-skid pattern included.
On the exterior there are some good looking photo-etched detail parts included as well as good looking clear plastic for the windows. The clear plastic molding does include some of the body details molded on, thus will need to be masked for painting.
An interesting inclusion in the kit is a piece of cloth for the roof. This may be a little daunting looking for non-experienced modelers, but should not prove all that difficult as there is a small paragraph included on how to deal with the cloth for those who may not be familiar. Photo-etched straps are included so it can be displayed closed or rolled up to show off the interior detail.
A colour Painting and Marking guide is included, and is provided by Ammo by Mig. It includes painting and markings for two vehicles, which are not identified on the sheet. But based on the marking shown:
- 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, 5th Canadian Field Regiment
- 1st Canadian Infantry Division, 1st Field Regiment
While the second vehicle I believe is intended to be marked for 1st CID, the formation marking looks more like the 5th Canadian Armored Division as the colour is more maroon than red. With the unit sign provided, it could not be 5th CAD, thus it is my assumption of 1st CID. It should also be noted that the blue on the 2nd CID formation marking is a little dark. I would suggest researching the specific formation and unit you are looking to model and source the decals elsewhere.
This new kit from Mirror Models
looks to be a real gem as it provides a long awaited variant of the field artillery tractor and does look to be a great kit. The moldings are done well, and the new formatted instructions should make assembly easier. With the size and number of parts, it still may scare away less experienced modelers, but with patience should be build nice and produce a great looking model. The only drawback I see is the markings, as some of the colours are off on the formation signs, and it was not indicated in the marking guide as to the actual vehicle. Overall, this does look to be a winner for artillery tractor fans, and a definite must have.