by: Jim Starkweather [ ]
Plus Model recently produced a rare and sought after vehicle, the Morris artillery tractor CDSW 30-CWT. This British produced vehicle saw service throughout WW2 with over 12,000 of them produced from 1939-1944. With these kind of numbers and a strong interest in British utility/recovery vehicles recently this kit should definitely attract some attention on store shelves.
The Morris CDSW 30-CWT (1.5 ton) is a 6x4 truck with a 6 cylinder 'O' series engine and a 4 ton winch. It was used for both breakdown and as a Bofors gun tractor. The Morris-owned Wolseley plant began production of the truck in 1939 and continued until 1942 producing about 6,000 units. An additional Austin-owned plant produced the vehicle from 1940-1944 and made 6686 of them. A number of these vehicles were also captured by the Germans in the early war
period and put to work. There are only a few of these trucks still in one piece today and a prime example is part of the REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) museum in Arborfield, near Reading, Berkshire, UK.
This kit includes 149 resin parts, a photoetched detail sheet, and decals for two different versions of the truck. The resin is a light gray and hard in consistency. The kit is packaged in 8 separate baggies. It comes very well packed and protected for shipping any distance. The detail on some areas is truly amazing. Of course if you have never worked with resin parts before this kit would challenge a beginner. Almost all the pieces must be separated from the connected mold pieces. This can be a time consuming and delicate job, but since many resin kits are of rare and seldom seen subjects, you are rewarded at the end of the project with having something special.
I am in no way an expert on the Morris CDSW and have only perused what information is readily available on the Web, however I could find period photos of 300-CWT models that had subtle differences with some areas on this model. Since over 12,000 of these 6x4 trucks were produced during the war, and only a handful survive, there is obviously the chance that whatever resource vehicle Plus Model used for this project may have actually been different than the photo resources I have at hand. The main discrepancy I noted was the headlight mountings which on the kit are a vertically mounted set, vs. the photos show a frontal mounting or even a separation of the cross bar that goes from fender to fender. Additionally the drivers side foot step for the rear seating area is wider in at least one photo than on the kit.
The instructions are in English and Czech. 18 pages in length, they cover some brief history of the CDSW, 31 steps of the building process, and decal schemes. Overall the line drawings depicting the steps seem well conceived and detailed. There is little written language to the steps and most of it should be able to be done by the line drawings alone.
Overall this looks like a well researched and produced resin model. Certainly not for the inexperienced kit builder, this kit will require patience and skill to put together well. While being a fairly pricey ($140) resin kit will probably be a bit of a shock the average modelers wallet, however if you are into this type of vehicle and want to produce something really nice and notable, this is a good kit to consider.