The kit represents the enclosed metal cab version with the cut-out for the machine gun ring which while not the most common configuration offers a nice alternative to only other GMC kit available today, being the open cab version from Tamiya.
The kit consist of about 180 parts in olive drab plastic and another 7 in clear plastic for the headlights and windows plus a small decal sheet and of course the instruction sheet.
Moulding quality is very good overall with the ejector marks in places that are not seen after assembly where possible but those that are visible are fairly shallow and should be easy to deal with. The parts are remarkable free of flash given the age of the kit with good detail on the many larger and smaller parts.
The lower chassis is made up of all separate parts with the long side beams and chassis cross members, there is also the choice of winch or no winch and you have to make this decision early to make the appropriate alterations to the side beams for the winch version. When assembling the chassis you have to ensure it is completely square and level as this will determine the sit of the completed model but all the chassis cross members have precise locating notches which help in aligning the parts.
The drive train is again very well detailed with all the leaf spring units, axle/differentials, drive shafts and steering rods as all separate parts as well as the winch power takeoff shaft if the winch is fitted.
Again you have to ensure the suspension units are assembled squarely but if the chassis is square the suspension will sort off fall into place. The ten wheels are in plastic with each wheel/tyre split in two halves with very good rim and tyre detail but ensure you line up the tread pattern correctly when joining the two wheel halves together.
Added to the chassis are the fuel tank, storage boxes and front fenders as well as the exhaust pipe and at the front is a separate radiator to fit behind the open grill frames. These are a little thick and could do with being thinned down quite a bit which is quite easy to do with a sharp knife blade.
This all builds into a very well detailed chassis and suspension with excellent detail definition that extends to a short length of moulded plastic chain for the winch when fitted.
Moving to the cab interior there is a basic front bench seat plus all the driver's levers and steering wheel but no foot pedals and a separate instrument panel (with small decal for the dials) and roof consol. Both the doors are separate parts with clear window inserts as is the separate windscreen frame which can be shown open if you wish with the small side supports to add to the screen frame. There are a few small pin marks on the inside of the doors to be removed and also a driver figure included but the less said about this the better as it will give you nightmares.
The top of the cab and engine hood are in one piece with a separate lower rear cab wall and separate ring for the roof cut-out while the engine bay side panels have nicely defined cooling vents although solid. The fit of the assembled cab to the chassis is very good and to finish off there are separate windscreen wipers and driver's rear view mirror as well as separate headlights with clear lenses plus separate smaller lights and bumper bar tow hooks.
The rear cargo tray is also made up of a separate floor panel with separate front, side and rear panels which have nicely detailed metal sections and very clean wood grain effect on the upper side panel and separate troop seats. The wood grain is totally free of pin marks to mar the finish with the few small pin marks present are on the outer metal ribs which make them easier to eliminate than if they were on the inside detail.
The rear gate if fixed in the up position with separate grab handles and there are separate mud flaps for the underside which are a little on the thick side as are the supports and there is the US style pioneer tool rack for the front of the tray. This is moulded with the tools in place and is rather basic in appearance compared to some of the other well defined details in the kit.The large machine gun ring and supports are provided for the front of the tray with a very basic looking .50cal machine gun and the fit of the assembled tray is very good to the chassis providing you took care to ensure the chassis and tray assemblies were perfectly square.
The decals are nicely printed with markings for one US Army Truck of the 34 th Infantry Division, 1944 and one for the French Army 101e Infantry Regiment both being in overall olive drab finish.
The instructions are the usual exploded view drawings which are very easy to follow and there shouldn't be any problems during assembly.
Yes, I like this kit as it has a nicely detailed chassis and running gear with an equally detailed rear tray with the wood grain effect being noteworthy and the metal cab offers a nice alternative to Tamiya's open cab.
Although over 20 years old the kit more than holds it own today and should be a very welcome return for allied fans but note it is marked as “Limited Edition” so if you want to pick one or two up, do it soon.
We can only hope that Italeri re-release their other GMC kit, the Water Tank Truck (original kit No.201) which comes with a full metal cab to offer this alternative also.
Page Created September 10, 2005