Build & Review : Academy #13402 : 1/72 US Army 1 1/2 ton Truck with Accessories

The Kit

The US army’s 1 1/2 ton truck is an iconic vehicle. Used to transport millions of tons of arm, ammunition, medical supplies, troops and whatever else it took to keep the allies moving throughout WW2.

Perhaps their lasting memory is the Red Ball Express. A almost non-stop convoy of vehicles used to supply the allies in France until the previously bombed out french rail network was repaired.

This kit from Academy (another in their excellent WW2 Ground Vehicle Set series) is a great example of the workhorse of the US Army.

Weighing in around 90 pieces, it’s a quickly assmebled kit that results in a tidy little model. It comes with a bunch of accessories to fill out the back, and the seats can be modelled open or stowed.

There’s also an option to mount a large machine gun through a hatch in the roof. As I was modelling the alternative Red Ball Express transporter this was left out of my build.

The Build.

I’ve somehow managed to loose the shots of the build process >.<

No mind – the build was textbook with no dramas. The build order is logical and straightforward with no fit issues and no flash to speak of. There’s a few delicate parts to remove from the frames but take your time, use a sharp knife and you’ll be fine.

It didn’t take long to have everything assembled into sub assemblies (Cab Roof, Cab, Trailer, Frame & Wheels) mounted ready for  undercoating.

I lightly glued the stowage to plastic strips ready for painting.

The Paint

I undercoated the whole lot with poundland car primer. I’ve been using the UMP primer for a while but I had a few cans of the poundland stuff left so I thought I might as well use it.

Once the primer was dry, I preshaded with Tamiya matt black (XF-1), hitting the corners and places where shadows would occur.

The same went for the stowage:

I let the preshade dry, then hit the lower parts with Tamiya Khaki Drag (XF-51) and the upper parts with Tamiya Olive Drab (XF-62).

I mixed a little Tamiya Desert Yellow (XF-59) with the Olive Drab and used it the highlight the upper parts, focusing on the center of panels and raised areas.

Next, I turned my attention to the engine. It’s completely hidden when the cab is in place, but as the cab roof can be removed and the engine is visible, I spent a little time prettying it up. I hit the edges with a drybrush of gun metal first.

While that was drying, I gave the seats a base coat of Vallejo Leather brown, and drybrushed Gun Metal on the guns in the stowage.

I gave a very light drybrush of desert yellow to the dashboard to pick out the details.

Next, I daubed Tamiya smoke over the engine and axles as a pin wash. It looks way too shiney right up to the end when you give it a matt varnish. You just have to be patient…

I also smoked the weaponry.

I drybrushed wear onto the seats and painted the steering wheel and levers.

A quick test fit to make sure everything is still lining up…

With the truck pretty much base painted, I turned my attention to the wooden crates. I used LifeColor’s Weathered Wood set, starting with the darkest shade as an undercoat.

I then dry brushed progressively lighter shades trying to keep in the direction of the grain.

Once dry, I gave the whole model a coat of Vallejo Gloss varnish.

Now it’s on to the decals. And a disaster. No fault of the decals, this was user error.

Things started well with the large stars. The most obvious decals on the kit and thankfully, these went down without any issues.

I gave them a dose of solvaset to help them conform, it also helps merge the edges of the decal transfer film.

Next up came the decals for the front bumber. The first couple went on fine, then, to my horror, I realised the decal sheet had got splashed, and the majority of the rest of the decals had floated off and become tangled with each other :’-(

Never mind, the stars were on and that’s what everyone identifies with!

I let the decals dry and then made a thick oil wash using burned umber and lamp black. I liberally applied this over the whole model and left it to dry.

The stowage got the same treatment:

Once the oil paint had dried enough to be gingerly picked up, I dry assembled the model to check everything was looking right.

While I had it assembled, I used a cotton bud and thinners to remove the majority of the wash from the flat panels, leaving it in the recesses.

I left the oil paints to dry overnight and then sealed the whole model with Vallejo Matt varnish. I then glued the wheels on and the kit was done.

It’s been raining all day here in Sheffield, but I did manage to sneak out between showers to take a few daylight shots.

I have a dio in mind for this, plus a few other US vehicles in my stash. Stay tuned for more…

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