Ford commercial vehicles built in Britain were manufactured under the Fordson name, and originally applied to tractors. Although not strong contenders for Military contracts in the beginning, by the warís end they had vehicles in every payload group from 8cwt to 3ton including a 6 x 4. Fordson were one of the few companies to produce 4 x 4 vehicles in the 30cwt and 3 ton class.
Fordsonís standard 4 x 2 30cwt was the WOT3 series. Although introduced as a 1 ton open lorry, the WOT3A, later versions were classified as 30cwt trucks and differed only slightly. The WOT3B & C had low sides, the WOT3D had the standard GS body whilst the WOT3E had the standard GS body and two fuel tanks to double the range from a 150 mile radius to a 300 mile radius.
The Plus Model
kit has the single fuel tank, and what I believe is the standard GS body, making it a WOT3D 30cwt 4 x 2 GS. The truck was powered by a V8 engine and was used both by the Royal Air Force and the Army. As well as the standard GS body, a number were converted to include mobile arc and welding units and workshop type bodies. A small number were also converted to be used as tractor units by the RAF. Production started in 1939/40 and around 18,000 vehicles were produced.
Plus Models are a well know brand that does a range of WWII British trucks, and this is my first venture into looking at one of their complete kits.
The kit comes packed n a sturdy cardboard box with the product and manufactures detail on the front, along with a colour image of the completed kit. The kit contains 92 resin parts and a photo etched sheet, along with a small set of decals and some clear plastic sheet for the windows.
The parts are cast in a light cream coloured resin and seemed by and large well cast with minimal clean up needed, although my rear drive shaft was warped as was one of the side panels for the GS body. The detail on the parts is very good, but one or two of the parts seem to be a bit on the thick side. To accompany the set you get an 8 page A 4 booklet of instructions.
Page 1 of the instructions contains a short introduction to the vehicle and gives the vehicle specifications. Page two shows a diagram of the parts and part numbers and page 3 illustrates the PE sheet, decal option and symbol identification data ie: when and when not to cement and suggested painting instructions. Pages 4 to 7 are given over to the build instructions and page 8 shows possible painting and finishing options.
The instructions are logically laid out, but I found them to be some of the most difficult I have ever tried to use. The diagrams are small and extremely hard to read, and being printed in Black and White put a real strain on my eyes. Separating the arrows from the parts in such miniature pictures is also something you need to figure out.
It is not that they donít contain the build information you need, it is just not always clear what goes where, and I built the kit with the aid of a magnifying reading glass which was a real pain.
The parts are really nicely done. With the exception of some being slightly on the thick side, the kit contains a large amount of detail. The chassis comes cast as a whole, with the front cab floor being attached. The detail on the chassis is good, if somewhat hard to see on cream coloured resin.
You get a nice looking V8 engine to add to the chassis, the drive shafts and front and rear axles all look pretty good, and there is some nice additional detail to add from the PE fret that will enhance the finished product. The suspension parts are nicely done but be careful fitting them as the exact way they go is not clear in the instructions.
The fuel tank, exhaust box, drive shafts axles and associated fittings all appear well represented with additional detail coming from the PE fret.
The cab is made up of 5 main parts; the front firewall, roof, doors and rear wall. There is good internal and external detail, a dashboard, pedals and gear levers are all provided. The window screen comes on the etched fret and is made up of several parts. The cab appears to be a good representation of the steel cab used on the actual vehicle. The bonnet and front side fenders are nicely done and fit together well.
You get a well detailed radiator and PE grill to add to the front of the vehicle, the side steps area is a combination of PE and resin, and you get a nice representation of the side stowage locker for the rear of the cab. The head lights are presented in clear plastic form if your masking skills are good.
The GS body has nice detail and consists of a simple bed with the rear side lockers attached. The 4 side wooden panels are nicely done with the planking and metal support straps all being present. There appears to be no wood grain on the planking so you may wish to add that with a fine scriber. You have the option to have the tail gate up or down being available, as the gate is a separate part. There are a lot of small PE fittings to add to the sides of the GS body (the tie downs) so some delicate work will be required there. To add to that you get 2 sets of jerry-cans for under-body stowage, these are secured with PE fittings so hopefully some nice detail there. Mud flaps are also contained in the PE fret.
The front, rear and spare tyres have good sharp detail and tread. The front steering arrangement may allow you to angle the front wheels but I wonít be sure about that until the build.
You get two marking options, one for the 1st Pacific Battalion, Free French Forces, Bir Hakheim area in Spring 1942 and one showing markings for a restoration vehicle , presumably used as a reference in the UK in 2002.
So not many options, but you can easily choose your own unit and finish according to your needs.
It is good to see British softskins being produced and Plus Models are building up quite an extensive range of British trucks, so good for them for filling that huge gap in the market.
My initial pleasure in the kit was dampened down a fair bit by the poor quality of the instructions, these could easily be so much better produced. No tilt bars are provided in the kit and whist this is not a major problem inclusion of some brass rod for these with a bend diagram would again just enhance the model. Overall I was very impressed with the level of detail, it is just hard to see initially on the cream coloured resin.
There are a lot of tiny PE parts to deal with and this is not really a model suitable for a beginner, but for the average to experience modeller this one should provide a challenge and produce an excellent representation of the WOT3D. The lack of decal options may be an issue for some but I tend to choose my own so not so much of an issue for me personally.
The kit should be of interest to both diorama builders and stand alone vehicle builders and offers a grand representation of the WOT3D. Normal precautions apply when working with resin.
A note on the price. These retail for about £65.00 in the UK, but I bought mine in a sale which was, in fact, what prompted the purchase.
I have enclosed some WIP pictures at the end of the review for further reference.
British Military Transport
by David E Jane
Data Book of Wheeled Vehicles 1939-1945
British Military Transport 1829 Ė 1956
by David Fletcher
A Build Log
of this kit has been started in the forums to evaluate the kit construction.