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1.5t 4x4 G506 Cargo Truck (38064) 1:35


Mike

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1.5t 4x4 G506 Cargo Truck (38064)

1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd

 

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The Chevrolet G506 truck formed the basis of a range of 4x4 load-carrying vehicles that could carry up to 1.5 tonnes of cargo, men or equipment.  They were initially made under the 4100 code, then were renamed as the 7100 series, and usually had a standard enclosed cab, with a 3.9L straight-6 engine under the bonnet, and a four-speed “crash” (non-synchromesh) gearbox putting out a little over 80hp through all four wheels.  It rapidly became the Allies’ standard light truck, and served in substantial quantities on the Western Front, with the Soviets on the Eastern Front, and the forces fighting Japan in the Far East.  There were plenty of variants, some in US Army service, others in USAAF service, with almost 50,000 of two specific types, the G7107 and G7117 sent over to the Soviets in large numbers under the Lend/Lease program.

 

Following the end of WWII, many were mothballed, or sold off into civilian service, where they went on to give good service over an extended period.  Those equipped with a load bed was a workhorse in America and other countries after WWII, when money was tight, so second hand or former military equipment was just the ticket for the cash-strapped hauliers and long-distance transport companies.  As time went by, they gradually wore out, repair became more expensive, and newer more effective vehicles came to market that permitted the carrying of larger loads over greater distances for less.  Some still survive of course, and can be seen at historic vehicle rallies and get-togethers of like-minded enthusiasts.

 

 

The Kit

This is a new boxing of a recent tooling from MiniArt, and is one of an expanding range that is to be found in your favourite model shop.  It’s a full interior kit, with engine, cab and load area all included along with some appealing moulding and detail, particularly in the cab and those chunky tyres.  It arrives in one of MiniArt’s medium-sized top-opening boxes, and inside are twenty-two modular sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, Photo-Etch (PE) sheet in a card envelope, a short length of shiny metal chain, decal sheet and glossy instruction booklet with colour profiles on the front and rear pages.

 

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Construction begins with the ladder chassis, which has leaf-springs fore and aft, cross-braces and rear towing eye fitted to create the structure, then has the fuel tank, PE rear bumper irons folded around a styrene jig, and axles installed on leaf springs, before the brake drums/hubs, battery and external brackets are added to the chassis rails.  The transfer box and drive-shaft join the two axles together, and a steering linkage and box are inserted into the front of the chassis, then the engine is built up based on the straight six-cylinder block, with carburettor, dynamo and transmission added, plus the serpentine pulleys and fan at the front.  The engine and substantial front bumper iron are fitted to the chassis, and at the rear a short additional chassis rail is attached to the frame at the rear behind the fuel tank, with a stowage area that had an open rear and top at this stage.  The exhaust and its manifold slip into the underside of the chassis from below later, with linkages and axle brackets fitted to the rails.  A spare tyre mounts on a large bracket on the left outer of the chassis, with the inner face a separate part to achieve correct thickness and detail.  A set of additional chassis straps trap the additional rails to the lower rail, the real ones cinched up by long threaded coach-bolts.

 

The crew cab is next, beginning with the firewall and forward sidewalls.  The roof and windscreen frame are moulded as one, with a headliner insert and rear-view mirror that are inserted within, and the three-part radiator housing is made to be used later.  The firewall and roof are joined with some of the dash pots fixed to the forward side of the firewall, while the doors and their interior cards are assembled with their handles and window winders, plus the clear window glass that can be posed open or closed at your whim.  The dashboard inserts into the front bulkhead with seven decals for the instruments and stencils on the glove box, plus two more on the headliner by the rear-view mirror.  The diagonal kick panel is joined with the firewall and fitted out with three foot pedals, a button and the steering wheel on a long column that slides through a hole between two of the pedals. The driver and co-driver share a bench seat that is made up on the floor from back, cushion and a C-shaped two-layer rear wall that fits round the rear of the floor, with small ovalised window and optional PE mesh grille fitted later, adding four levers in front of the seats at the same time.  The roof and firewall assembly are fitted to the floor, while the doors are installed within the frame in the open or closed position.  The windscreen comprises two clear panes in a styrene frame fitted to the front of the cab open or closed, and below it on the scuttle is a ventilator panel that can be posed open or closed as you prefer.  A pair of wing mirrors are glued onto the cab in front of the doors at handle-height.  The cab and radiator are both placed on the chassis with spacer rods applied, and a choice of engine cowling side panels fit between them with front wing/fender included that incorporates the running boards under the doors.  The windscreen has a pair of PE brackets and styrene wingnuts that are installed either vertically for closed, or at an angle for open, with a scrap diagram showing the correct orientation of the various parts.

 

The front of the vehicle has its headlights with clear lenses plus sidelights fitted to the wings, and PE windscreen wiper blades are hung from the top of the frame on styrene arms, then the front grille is built.  You may have noticed that this appears on the sprues too for a simpler build process, but a more detailed and realistic grille can be fabricated from the PE parts on the fret.  It is constructed completely from PE, and two styrene jigs are included on the sprues to assist with obtaining the correct shape.  The lower rail, light cages and curved side panels are made up on one jig from a single piece of PE, while the centre panel is folded up on another, then they’re joined together ready to be attached to the front of the engine bay.  There are two PE brackets stretched across the front of the radiator, and another small curved section is added to the left of the grille as it is glued in place with the help of some CA.  If you elected to use the styrene grille, this process is condensed down to nipping the part from the sprue, cleaning the sprue gates, and gluing it to the front of your truck.  The hood/bonnet can be fitted open or closed with two clasps and in the open option a PE stay is provided, attaching the clasps upside down.

 

The load bed floor is a single moulding with a planked texture on the underside, a slim rear section with moulded-in reflectors, and separate rear lights mounted to the chassis.  The shallow sides and taller header board are separate frames with some PE furniture applied along the way, while the underside is strengthened by four cross-braces.  The load bed sides are extended by a set of verticals with twin planked top panels, and these too have PE furniture installed, many of which will require some simple folding.  The rear rail has a pair of towel-rail hinges and PE brackets fixed to it during the assembly of the bed, and underneath is the door to the stowage area built earlier, which gets a PE shackle and padlock to keep it secure.  A run of planked bench seats is fitted along each side of the load bed for passenger transport, and these can either be built deployed on diagonal brackets, or stowed away with the brackets and seats stored vertically against the side wall to maximise load area.  The rear gate has a pair of PE stirrups, hinges, and a couple of hooks, and their latches have their pins linked to the vehicle by lengths of chain so that it doesn’t get lost by careless loaders or drivers.  A scrap diagram shows exactly where it should be mounted.  The tailgate can be posed open or closed, and the latches fitted accordingly.  The completed bed is joined to the chassis along with a pair of mudguards and their braces, and a strip of PE rolled around the pipe links the exhaust to the back of the mudflap, sliding over the exhaust with the position shown in a scrap diagram.  There are two locations for each PE number plate holder, as shown in the last diagrams.

 

The wheels are made up along the way in the instructions, with singles at the front, each made from two parts each, and with twin wheels at the rear, again with separate outer sidewalls.  Each wheel slips over its respective axle, with the hub projecting through the central hole.

 

 

Markings

There are five markings options on the decal sheet from the 40s, in various regions where the type was operating.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • Czechoslovakia, Late 1940s
  • Poland, Late 1940s
  • Kyiv Region, Ukraine, Late 1940s
  • Latvia, Late 1940s
  • Germany, Soviet Occupation Zone, Late 1940s

 

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Decals have been screen printed by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin satin carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

 

Conclusion

We seem to be blessed with new kits of the Chevrolet G506/G7107 truck in 1:35 recently, which was ubiquitous during WWII and beyond, perfectly at home lugging goods of all types around the world, or as this boxing portrays, around Eruope.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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