KIT: Heller 1/35 GMC CCKW "Pompier" truck
KIT #: 81119
PRICE: $20.95 MSRP
DECALS: One options
REVIEWER: Bill Michaels
NOTES: US Army 2 ˝ ton truck in French Firefighter service. 


Built by GMC, the US Army’s CCKW 2.5 ton truck was one of the logistical linchpins in the Allied war effort in WW2.  This truck was another of those unheralded, key contributors— such as the C-47, the Liberty Ship, the DUWK, and the Jeep.

 The CCKW truck was  considered a 6x6 truck, with all six wheels powered.  The truck was powered by a 4.4 litre, 6 cylinder inline gas engine, putting out 104 hp.   What puzzles me a little is the fact that the rear wheels are actually doubled up, so there are four per side.  Somehow, the army still considered this a 6 wheel truck, and not a 10 wheel truck….?

 Nicknamed the “Deuce and a half”, the CCKW truck was produced in both a short and long-wheelbase version, in great quantities.  It is not clear which version of the truck the kit represents.



I believe this kit was based on the Heller kit of a standard US Army 2.5 ton truck.

The kit is molded in two colors- light gray for the chassis, and bright red for the rest of the vehicle!   (I really dislike painting over red plastic.)  

 The kit consists of about 180 parts.    This is definitely a builders’ kit—everything is built up.  For example the frame, instead of being molded as one ladder-like piece, is made of a number of longitudinals and cross braces.  There is a full engine and transmission.  Eight pieces make up the suspension for the rear wheels on each side.  The front end sheet metal has the sides, front, and hood, all molded individually.

 If the fit is good, the kit will offer a great variety of ways to build or modify it.  The advantage of all the individual parts means it would be easy to modify or replace parts for different versions- or to pose the truck with engine panels, doors, etc. open.   (If the fit isn’t so good, it could be an alignment and putty nightmare!)

 Some more details:  The back of the truck can be open or covered with the standard canvas top. The wheels are molded in plastic as well- four pieces for each tire/wheel.  Even the driver figure is in multiple pieces—torso front, torso back, left leg, right leg, left arm, right arm, head, and helmet! (The figure looks like a WW2 US GI, not a French fireman.)

 The kit includes decals and painting instructions to do one vehicle.  The instructions say that it is from the “Sapeurs Pompiers”, from Province Cote d’Azur in 1995.  The decal sheet includes some small marking s for the truck, plus a large crest for the hood.   The decals look like they’re pretty thin, and are printed in register.  The color scheme for the truck has a grey chassis with red body- which explains why the model was molded in these colors.  


 Recommended.  I bought the kit because it looked a little off-beat, a way to build a military vehicle that isn’t military.  I was surprised to see that there was so much to the kit- all those parts means more detail than I had expected.  One of the things I like about this truck is that it will allow me to build something a little different from the stuff I usually do.  I’m always looking for interesting kits to allow me to enter classes at the local contest that I wouldn’t normally be in.   (I believe in entering as many models as I can, to help support the host club.  A contest with more models entered is always better than one with fewer…)  

I have no interest in building a commercial truck kit- with all the chrome that you find on the cab of your typical 18 wheeler.  Likewise, a glossy red and chrome fire truck doesn’t really appeal to me either.  This kit allows me to build a vehicle that I can weather and enter in a heavy truck or emergency vehicle class, as appropriate.  I was thinking that this truck would look nice with olive drab showing through places where the red paint has been worn away.

 I’ve posted on some of the armor discussion forums for feedback on these Heller 2.5 ton truck kits—the feedback I’ve gotten is that the kit is OK- provided you are careful with the alignment of the chassis.  Word seems to be that if you are careful with the alignment of the frame parts, the body will go together without much trouble.

March 2005


 A quick web search didn‘t turn up much on the truck- all I was able to confirm is that Pompier is French for Fireman.  There is, however, a lot of information available about the standard US Army version of the truck. 

 Review kit courtesy of my wallet.

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