There are very few British/Commonwealth trucks available in 1/35 plastic injection form. Over the years we have had 3 x gun tractors (Tamiya/Italeri), 2 x 15cwts, (Airfix/Italeri) 2 x Bedford QL (Airfix/Italeri) and the 2 x DUWK (Airfix/Italeri). A total of 6 vehicles to choose from, some of which are the same vehicle and some of which are now OOP. Not really a lot of choice if this is a subject youíre interested in or wish to model.
Plus Models' has 3 conversion sets I am aware of to try and help broaden that range, the PLU 055 Chevrolet C8A HUW set, the PLU 098 Bedford QLR Ė No 3 Body set and the PLU 008 Chevrolet C8A HUP conversion set.
Plus Model, Accurate Armour and Resicast all do resin cabs for the Bedford QL. If there are any other manufacturers I have missed out I apologise for that omission.
The Plus Models (PLU055) 1/35 Chevrolet C8A HUW (Heavy Utility Wireless) conversion set is for the Italeri 15cwt Chevrolet Truck (No 6233).
The set comes packaged in a sealed thin cardboard box. The box top and box ends have good pictures of the finished model for reference, the remainder being taken up with advertising and contact details. The parts were contained in 3 sealed plastic bags padded out with a small amount of bubble wrap. The box also contains an A4 double sided sheet of instructions. On one side are the written instructions in English and Czech and on the other side are the build instructions. You get a total of 15 resin parts, a small fret of PE, some clear plastic sheet for the windows, a small set of decals, and a small piece of red backing card.
The kit arrived from my supplier in a further sturdy box, well padded out but I was alarmed when I picked it up and heard it rattle, never a good sign. The rattle wasnít caused by the suppliers packaging, but the packing within the kit box, which IMHO was insufficient to stop movement and breakage. This proved to be the case when I opened the kit and found a small piece of the rear RHS panel broken off.
The larger of the plastic bags contained the 6 main pieces that go to make up the rear body of the truck; replacement roof, side panels, rear floor and mud guards, rear door and the front cab separation unit. These are cast in a light cream resin; all of the main parts seem free of any air bubbles. The parts are quite thickly cast so will produce a good strong vehicle but in truth I was disappointed in the quality of some of the detail, for instance the side door hinges just look like square blocks. More disappointing still was the fact that both the side and rear doors are cast into their respective parts and the total lack of any kind of interior detail other than the recesses for the windows. In truth I felt these parts to be way too thick to give an accurate representation of the rear cabin. Each part has a pour stub that will need to be carefully removed.
The second plastic bag I opened contained the replacement fuel tanks, again one small part had broken off, and an equipment bin for the top of the vehicle, shovel and pick head, antenna mounts and some small replacement fittings for the front and rear the truck. Again these have small pour stubs and blocks that will require careful removal. The detail on the fuel tanks seemed quite soft.
The final plastic bag contained the small fret of PE to help add some external detail to the kit and a small clear sheet of plastic for the new windows. The decals were also in this bag, and contained one large recognition star and 2 smaller stars, vehicle WD Number Prefix CZ, a bridge weight symbol and 2 very small decals relating to tyre pressure, plus a white number 68.
The written instructions are in quite small text and will take careful reading as the translation is not always scribed how we might write it.
Modellers are reminded that care should be taken when working with resin to avoid inhaling the dust and a warning is given in the build instructions.
There are sufficient parts in this small set to build a decent closed representation of the C8A HUW and I have seen some excellent builds with this conversion set. On the down side, the moulded in doors were a real disappointment, as was the lack of any internal fittings or detail whatsoever. Also the detail isnít always as sharp as it might be. With a UK cost of £32.39 I felt this set falls way below the standard modellers have come to expect for their hard earned money and does not represent good value for the money. While itís good to have a kit that will add other alternatives to the very limited range of 1/35 British and Commonwealth plastic trucks currently available, the cost of this set and the quality of the product lead me to feel that one would be better trying to get a set of plans and having a go at scratch building this vehicle.
A Build Log
featuring this conversion set is also available via the Forums.