Italeri 1/35 US 2 1/2 Ton Truck (WWII)
KIT #: 6271
PRICE: $25.00 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Ryan Koschatzky
NOTES: Limited Reissue


The one thing that is crucial to the winning of any conflict is the ability to supply the army in the field. A super tank is no good without fuel. Soldiers also need to be fed and supplied with ammunition and so on. When the US entered the war against Germany, it developed several tactical cargo vehicles of varying load carrying capabilities. The 2.5 ton truck in its various versions represents the typical and most widely used vehicle of its type. Thanks to its robust and simple construction, it became the standard truck of the Allies during the latter part of WWII.


For a look at what comes in the box, please visit the preview

By using part 8 , 58 and 59, you can build a hard Cab CCKW 353 A1, split axles, cargo body (w/o winch), or a CCKW 353 B1, split axles, cargo body (w/winch).

What I built was the CCKW 353 A1, split axles, cargo body (w/o winch).


As with my SU-122 review, let me start by saying I think of myself as a beginner modeler. I have started lots of kits but very few make it to completion for one reason or another (operator error mostly). Since my background mainly consists of building tanks, I broke the kit down into 4 stages: tires (track), chassis/frame (lower hull), cab (upper hull), and bed (turret).

Tires: my kit had them all off the sprue already (I don't think it originally came that way). I cleaned up the attachment points and shot them with a coat of Olive Drab (FS 34087) from an enamel rattle can. I assembled the two halves, sanded them and hand painted them Polly ScaleNATO Black. All eleven of them.
(Yippee!). I set them aside to attach and weather later.

Chassis/frame: I cut all pieces off the sprue, and cleaned them up a little bit. I put the bumpers (parts 12 and 13) on second to last and part 14 was the last to go on in step 2. In step 3, I put parts 37 and 38 in first, but forgot about 35 and 36, so I had to trim them to fit right. Now this where I ran into trouble without even knowing it. I did look over the parts and they seemed straight and looked ok when assembled , but when you look at the right side, you can see it is higher off the deck. I thought it was because of the transmission case, but once I put the tires on the front right was even higher. I believe that the frame is causing this problem by warping the axle slightly and I didn't see it until the wheels were on. This is just not a warping in the front, but I believe it led to problems in attaching the bed. I haven't been  able to put my finger on the exact reason for the misalignment. To get around this, attach the truck to a base and you should be able to contour the ground in your favor.

Exterior chassis/fender area: I painted the radiator and grill OD first, and then painted the inside area of the radiatorNATO Black. None of this is visible in the finished model, but I get satisfaction from knowing it is there. For the left headlight (3 holed side), the square for the headlight is correct, but it's at an angle, so I glued it in at the angle and I gently rotated it to look right. The headlights were painted silver inside before I attached the clear pieces.

Exterior: I glued the doors on to the cab top first, followed by the bottom rear portion, then the engine walls. I had to glue this a few times before it finally set the way I liked it. I had a sink mark on the right side hood area to fill in. I left off the windows by choice and left the sink marks onthe inside of the door. When closed you can't see it anyway, except for the two (four total) by the window. Oh well it, isn't contest material anyway.

Interior: It went together with out a hitch, or so I thought. More later on that. You want to use the curved dash board, as the flat dash board is for the canvas top cab. I painted the gaugesNATO Black. You can't really see itwhen built up, either. I didn't install part 91, which looks like half of a sun visor as it didn't look like the drawing, which shows a full visor. This could be because of the hole cut for the turret, but I am not 100% sure. Just like having double numbering of jerseys is bad in college football, so is it in the modeling world. With part 86, the steering column, you get two different parts. Very little difference between the two. I have used both. I test fit the exterior/interior section together and both made it seem like the steering wheel would poke through the windshield. After numerous tests, the end result was made to insure that part 88 is parallel to the deck. I had planned to have the windshield open to avoid the problem, but when the cab was finally complete it was a non-issue. The Twilight Zone, I guess. I did have an issue with attaching the windshield to the frame with the glue, as I was using a toothpick and somehow glue leaked onto the windshield. I have not used sanding sticks on clear plastic before so I left it alone. The one side mirror is molded backwards, so I cut it at the bottom. Of course l lost the bottom part to the carpet monster, so I threw down some glue and attached the mirror at a "good" angle. I painted the mirror silver to make it shiny.

Bed: I shot the parts with one coat of Olive Drab while still on the sprue. I built the four walls first, and then added the benches and turret assembly. One point of concern is the mud guards. Make sure to keep track of what parts go where as I think Italeri got them wrong. The mud guards with the reflectors (raised circles on them) go in the rear of the bed, not in the front as shown in the instructions. After assembly I sanded and filled the side wall and turret brace ejector pin marks. It's not perfect but it looks better now than before (it's something I try to make better on each and ever model I build -- like I said I am a beginner).


I had tried to rush the finish one Sunday morning for the club meeting, which is never a good idea. I had to reglue the bed multiple times as it never seemed to sit right. Even now it leans a little too much to the drivers side. I had the stars on before I attached the cab to the chassis, and I need filler at the engine/fender area. I repainted the area with Olive Drab from a spray can. I taped over the stars first but used too big a piece of tape so the star up to the window is faded differently. The wash hides the driver side, but not the passenger side. When attaching the bed to the chassis, I couldn't get the exhaust pipe (part 41) to fit forward of the mud guards so I trimmed about an 1/4 inch off the pipe at the muffler. It seemed to work better. I attached the tires and .50 cal and started the weathering. I used oils first, then chalk pastels to weather it a bit. Next time after the wash I am going to dry brush some to get a better effect before the pastels go on. Once done with it all, I glued on the windshield. I bent the tabs on top to make it look good. I left off the brackets (part 96) because they looked too big in scale and it is too hard to get your hands to place it correctly. I painted the wipers NATO Black and attached them.


I used Olive Drab (FS 34087) all over. Polly Scale NATO Black was used for all black parts and Polly Scale red for the reflectors. Polly Scale gun metal was used for the .50 cal. I used Archer dry transfers for the stars, just because I like using them. I  left off the rear  star due to me forgetting about it till after the wash. Oops -- too late to add it.


I am happy I built the kit and it was not as bad as I thought. I tried new techniques for weathering using a wash and the results were good enough for me. I would recommend this kit to anybody that has built a few kits with unassembled chassis, because if you don't get the chassis right on the first go-round, it makes completion a lot harder. I have to say, though, that only the need to write this review got me to finish this kit. Sometimes a commitment and a deadline makes for determination to finish, no matter what problems are encountered.

I would to thank Scott for the kit and Lee Kolosna for the pictures. Also Norm Samuelson for letting me bend his ear about the 2.5 ton truck and  Archer Dry Transfer. The guys at the club (IPMS Eagle Squadron) -- Tracy,  Spanky and others for helping me with weathering and asking the same questions over and over again.

Ryan Koschatzky

February 2006

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