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G-518 US 1T Cargo Trailer ‘Ben Hur’ (35436) 1:35


Mike

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G-518 US 1T Cargo Trailer ‘Ben Hur’ (35436)

1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd

 

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During WWII, the US used two small two-wheeled trailers for transporting additional equipment and other essential stores around the battlefield, towed by trucks and other vehicles that had at least a ¾ ton payload carried internally.  There were two major variants, one for carrying many types of equipment and designated as G-518, the other a specialist water carrier that was given the catalogue designation G-527.  The main contractor was Ben-Hur Manufacturing Co., which garnered it the nickname ‘Ben-Hur Trailer’, and its 1-ton load capacity in 3.2m3 volume meant that it saw a lot of action, mostly ignored by war historians and modellers alike, as it was a transport and not as interesting as the things that went bang.  Nevertheless, there were over a quarter of a million built, and many of them spent their days dutifully following a Chevrolet truck around the roads and tracks of Europe and the Far East.

 

 

The Kit

This is a new tooling from MiniArt, launched just after the G-527 Water Buffalo we reviewed recently here, this kit is ripe for filling with useful gear that a squad may find helpful on the battlefield, or to make themselves comfortable before or after action.  The kit arrives in a small top-opening box with a painting of the subject matter on the front by the prolific Volodymyr Booth, and inside are six sprues of grey styrene, a card envelope that contains a small Photo-Etch (PE) fret and a length of chain, adding a small sheet of decals and the glossy instruction booklet to complete the package, the latter having painting and decaling profiles on the rearmost pages.  Detail is excellent as usual with MiniArt, including a full chassis, well-rendered chunky treaded tyres, and even a set of slat extensions to the sides of the structure with moulded-in wooden texture.

 

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Construction begins with the bodywork, starting with the two sides that have leaf springs moulded-in, which have the axle retention bolts added to both sides, PE tie-down loops down the sides, and the light cluster that is fitted on a PE bracket next to the rear suspension mount.  A choice of external framework to the sides with or without the extension slats is glued to the sides, including small PE brackets at both ends of the slatted sections.  The wheels are built from two parts, the larger having the outer hub, tyre carcass and the tread moulded as one, the smaller having the opposite sidewall details moulded-in.  They are then put to one side while you build up the rest of the load area.  The two sides are mated with the floor part, adding brake actuators underneath and on the side, and bringing in the ends to create the load box, with more PE brackets and foot stirrups to aid entry.

 

While the chassis is upside down, the two-part inner hubs are fitted to the ends of the axles, adding a short length of 0.5mm wire to each one, and another length to a bracket under the floor.  The towing frame is made from two converging lengths, which are fixed under the front of the floor on a pair of U-bolts, while a pair of mudguards are mounted on the chassis sides on pegs, inserting the wheels into their wells.  The front and rear slat sections are glued to brackets on the sides, then four curved roof supports are fixed to the sides that are used when a tilt is fitted during poor weather.  The tailgate is completed by adding the PE retaining pins on chains at floor level, then the two-part towing eye is mounted atop the front of the A-frame, and a jockey-wheel is built from two halves plus a yoke and pivot, with an alternate all-steel wheel if you prefer.  This can be fitted under the hitch in either horizontal position for travel, or vertically for a parked trailer, locking it in place between two halves of the pivot.  Another longer length of wire is fitted under the left chassis rail and hitch frame, dangling the end down over the hitch, adding a plug for the electronics, which has a hole moulded-in for the wire.  The safety chains are cut to length, and are each trapped between two halves of their bracket, adding the hook on the loose end after drilling a hole in the part first.

 

 

Markings

There are four decal options on the sheet, with a choice of camouflage that dictates the fitment of slatted sides and/or steel jockey wheel, so take care during construction if you have a particular scheme in mind.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • 1st Army Corps (7th Army), US Army, Italy, Autumn, 1943
  • US Army, Europe, 1944-45
  • 2nd Australian Corps., Bougainville Island, January 1945
  • US Navy, 1940s

 

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

 

 

Conclusion

A trailer might not be one of the most charismatic of military vehicles, but its importance from a strategic point of view can’t be underestimated, as an army without supplies isn’t going very far, as has often been illustrated in extended campaigns throughout history.  MiniArt have done a great job tooling this kit, and it will make an interesting addition behind your next softskin project, or as part of a diorama.

 

This version has been so popular that Creative Models are currently out of stock, even though we’ve only had our sample a few days.  Keep checking back though, as I’m certain they’ll be getting a restock just as soon as they can.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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