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Book Review
U.S. GMC 2.5-TON CARGO TRUCKS
U.S. WW II GMC CCKW-352 & 353 2.5-TON 6X6 CARGO TRUCKS
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by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

Introduction

The absolute 'Work-Horse' of the U.S. Armed Forces (and their Allies) during WWII and for many years afterwards, the 'Jimmy' can be seen in archive images in every conceivable theater and with every imaginable variation of cargo-body. However, the function of this book is to look at the two 'basic' vehicles - the CCKW-352 & 353. A future volume has been promised to look at other uses - tanker trucks, workshop vehicles etc.


The Basics

6015 - U.S. WW II GMC CCKW-352 & 353 2.5-Ton 6X6 Cargo Trucks is published in Tankograd Publishing's Technical Manuals (Series 6000) range of books, this follows the usual format with 64 pages and around 200 photos. The book is edited by Michael Franz. The photos fall into three categories - Archive Photos of the vehicle in-service, Reproductions of parts of the wartime Technical Manual(s) and the final category - Modern (color) photos of vehicles in private ownership.The book is COMPLETELY Bi-Lingual (English/German) - you won't find ANY summaries. Everything is 100% 100%


In Detail

As is customary with the other books in this series, the book begins with a short written introduction. As usual this briefly deals with the development history of the CCKW-352 & 353 and includes dimensions along with production figures.

The first section, by way of putting the truck in context presents 8 pages of photos of the vehicle in its usual (Wartime) environment. These photos are of a VERY high standard and (unlike other publishers) keep the images to only 2 per page - allowing for good-sized and detailed images.

Following the 'orientation' sections of the previous two chapters, the real business of the book begins. However, before I begin, some words about the offical 'Owner's Manuals'. I own quite a number of the U.S. Technical Manuals - the majority in PDF format. For specific vehicles (along with good photo-references of the vehicles in theater) there is literally nothing better. Herein lies the problem. Many of the manuals consist of 300 pages and cover areas that even the most determined super-detailer could never use - particularly areas such as electical wiring of a vehicle. Therefore, some way to condense the information is desirable - step in Tankograd's 6000 Series books. The company have published quite a few and brought data in from a number of sources so, in theory, you get what you need. This book is no exception.

The 'Manual' part of the book covers the following areas:

1) Cab Interior : Controls & Instruments
2) Engine, Power-Train & Suspension
3) Cab, Body & Equipment
4) MG Truck Mounts
5) Deep Water Fording Equipment
6) Radio Installation


Some words of explanation are perhaps unnecessary but there is a lot of depth within these sections. Principally, the images used, are reproductions of those in the manual. However, the Editor has gone further by using archive images to demonstrate variations and how the part looks on the vehicle in service. It would have been easy to simply reproduce sections of the manuals but adding these other images increases the utility of the book. From the point of view of the modeler and, in particular the 'super-detailer', areas which stand out are details of the engine, teh wheels and the construction of both the cargo body and the two cabs (soft-top & complete shell). Also of use are sidebars which include the tracks which were fitted to the rear wheels. One omission is the snow-chains which have been widely documented in archive images. As there are two reasonable-excellent models of the GMC CCKW-352 & 353 in 1/35th (one with soft-top and the other hard-top) along with a soft-top in 1/48th and several in 1/72nd scale, there are a lot of areas which could be improved - the detail in THIS book will be very useful. The editing of the data is exemplary - there isn't a single area which couldn't be dealt with in 1/35th scale and a number which could be applied in 1/48th.

The final two sections consist of a page of drawings showing where markings would be applied to a U.S. vehicle with the final section giving a complete bibliography.


Conclusions

Sensibly, the author has concentrated on the 'Plain-Vanilla' Deuce and a Half. With the inevitable restrictions of the 64-page format, it IS better to have left the (many) variants of bodies and specialized vehicle types to ANOTHER volume. Quality of images is superb - as always, Tankograd, have, in my opinion set the bar on image quality - this book is no exception. Mixing the TM images with 'In-Theater' ones is the best way to go. Nothing illustrates a point better than two photos of the same subject in the manual and in the field. Good though the existing models ARE, there is still room for improvement. This, IMO, is the real value of the book. Whether you want to improve the engine, accurize the suspension or improve detail in the cab, this book will give you a LOT of ideas.

Good though the book is, it wouldn't have been possible, or half as interesting without those anonymous technical authors of 60 years ago. They've left us an extraordinary legacy!

VERY Highly Recommended
SUMMARY
Highs: Superbly edited throughout with a quality of images which is superlative.
Lows: Great book but it leaves you wanting more on the many variants which were built.
Verdict: For anyone building a 'Jimmy' you won't get much better than this at the price.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 6015
  Suggested Retail: 9.90 Euro
  Related Link: Item on Company Website
  PUBLISHED: Nov 25, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.06%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.19%

Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)
FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2019 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.



   

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