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Tamiya 1/48 US 2½ Ton 6x6 Cargo Truck Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review June 2007 Manufacturer Tamiya
Subject US 2½ Ton 6x6 Cargo Truck Scale 1/48
Kit Number 32548 Primary Media Styrene, metal
Pros Very nicely detailed, die-cast chassis Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $29.95

First Look


One of the unsung heroes of the Second World War (and every other war for that matter) is the logistics pipeline. An army fights with rifles and cannons, but it won't go far without food and ammunition. During WWII, huge convoys of ships carried weapons and supplies from the US to every theater of operation, but the job of getting those supplies from the beach or port to the soldier was the good old fashioned cargo truck.

One of the principal workhorses was the General Motors Corporation (GMC) 2.5 ton truck (AKA CCKW-352, AKA "Deuce and a Half"). This vehicle was powered on all three axles because the designers knew that there wouldn't be many usable roads where these things were heading. One unique variant of the GMC CCKW-352 was the DUKW-352, the amphibian that was essentially a GMC truck chassis with a boat hull for a body.

With over 810,000 examples built, this GMC truck was service in a wide variety of configurations and was provided to a wide variety of countries during and after the war. In addition to cargo truck, this vehicle also was adapted into a dump truck, fuel truck, water truck, and even gun truck.

Much to my surprise, the market for 1/48 scale armor has literally exploded in recent years. Tamiya has dedicated much of its energies on this new market and with the wide variety of engineering data they've developed for their huge 1/35 armor catalog, jumping into 1/48 made perfect sense. While I prefer 1/35th scale for armor modeling, I couldn't help notice this kit when it was first announced.

You see, most of my modeling is aircraft in 1/48 scale, with the occasional 1/32 or 1/24 project. Finding good diorama material for these 1/48 scale projects is not easy and we've had to avail ourselves of resin vehicles until recently. We looked at Hasegawa's beautiful release of the 1/48 Jeep (look here) configured for airfield duties. With this kit, the possibilities mount!

This kit is molded in olive green styrene and presented on four parts trees, plus a clear styrene windshield. Interestingly enough, the chassis is die-cast metal.

This release provides a staked bed truck with a soft-top cab. You can leave this as-is or modify the wood rails into a different configuration so you can pose this beauty shuttling bomber crews across the airfield or making rounds with 50 caliber ammunition for the ground maintainers who are refueling and rearming their aircraft. You could even back one of these up to the cargo doors of the Monogram 1/48 C-47 and move some cargo. The possibilities are endless!

The kit features a detailed drive train, nice crew cab, one optional driver figure, optional soft top, and even the stowed rails for the cargo bed's canvas cover (not provided). If you're going to use this truck as a crew transport, you will need to scratchbuild some bench seats on either side of the cargo bed, but that is just a quick job with some Evergreen styrene strips.

Markings are given for two different schemes:

  1. 37th Truck Company, 3549th Transportation Corps, 1st Army, Normandy, July 1944
  2. 49th Truck Company, 3886th Transportation Corps, ASCZ, Red Ball Express

While Tamiya has produced a nice array of combat vehicles in 1/48 to date, I am really happy to see this Deuce and a Half released. I hope that Tamiya will consider the hard-top cab and even a fuel/water tanker version of truck as we have some thirsty aircraft to service as well.

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!