Hasegawa 1/72 GMC CCKW-353 Truck
KIT #: MB-020
PRICE: 250 yen when new
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1973 initial release

HISTORY

The GMC CCKW, also known as "Jimmy", or the G-508 by its Ordnance Supply Catalog nr, was a highly successful series of off-road capable, 2​1⁄2-ton, 6x6 trucks, built in large numbers to a standardized design (from 1941 to 1945) for the U.S. Army, that saw heavy service, predominantly as cargo trucks, in both World War II and the Korean War. The original "Deuce and a Half", it formed the backbone of the famed Red Ball Express that kept Allied armies supplied as they pushed eastward after the Normandy invasion.

The CCKW came in many variants, including open or closed cab, long wheelbase (LWB) CCKW-353 and short (SWB) CCKW-352, and over a score of specialized models, but the bulk were standard, general purpose, cargo models. A large minority were built with a front mounted winch, and one in four of the cabs had a machine-gun mounting ring above the co-driver's position.

Of the almost 2.4 million trucks that the U.S. Army bought between 1939 and December 1945, across all payload weight classes, some 812,000, or just over one third, were ​2

 
1⁄2-ton trucks. GMC's total production of the CCKW and its variants, including the 2​1⁄2-ton, 6x6, amphibian DUKW, and the 6x4, 5-ton (on-road) CCW-353, amounted to some 572,500 units almost a quarter of the total WW II U.S. truck production, and 70 percent of the total ​2
 
1⁄2-ton trucks. GMC's total of ~550,000 purely 6x6 models, including the DUKW, formed the overwhelming majority of the ~675,000 six by six ​2
 
1⁄2-ton trucks, and came in less than 100,000 shy of the almost 650,000 World War II jeeps. Additionally, GM built over 150,000 units of the CCKW's smaller brother, the ​1
 
1⁄2-ton, 4x4 Chevrolet G506, at the same factory.

The GMC CCKW began to be phased out, once the M35 series trucks were first deployed in the 1950s, but remained in active U.S. service until the mid-1960s. Eventually, the M35 series, originally developed by REO Motors, succeeded the CCKW as the U.S. Army's standard ​2 1/2 ton 6x6 cargo truck.

THE KIT

Back in the early 70s Hasegawa produced a series of 1/72 military vehicles in their Mini Box line. These were all fairly nicely done and still stand up well to more modern kits in this scale. Typically, they have a goodly number of ejector marks as these were not considered that big a deal at the time. Those who wish to remove or fill them will have some additional work ahead.

The kit does not come with any clear parts, though those who wish to add a windscreen can do so with some clear sheet. Construction starts with putting 1/2 of the wheels provided onto the three metal axles. Then the drive train is assembled and attached to the chassis, followed by the wheels.

The forward section only has a steering wheel for detail as the seats are molded in place. There is a separate cloth top which I guess you could leave off if you wish. The rear cargo area has seats you can attach to the side frames while underneath are mud flaps and a spare. Once the forward and aft body sections are attached to the chassis, the large canvas top can be added if you so wish. There are four figures included. One is a driver and three are rear passengers. Note that there are fairly large injector towers on the inside of the rear covering that you really should remove.

Instructions are quite basic with generic color information. The single set of markings is printed on a near white background so that is why I don't show the sheet. Due to their age, I'm not sure they are viable, but Archer Transfers makes a range of markings that should work fine on these trucks.  

CONCLUSIONS

This kit is pretty much a staple of Hasegawa's kit line along with their other 1/72 offerings. They sell well and so there is no reason to remove them from the catalog. The price has increased to 700 yen over the years, but they are still a very good value for the money.

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GMC_CCKW_2%C2%BD-ton_6x6_truck

January 2020

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