by: Charles Reading [ ]
The 15 cwt CS8 Morris-Commercial was first developed in 1934. Great Britain's War Department had the need for a general purpose vehicle. Using the specs outlined by the War Department, the Morris Car Company designed a truck using many of the components from their 1933 civilian ‘C series’ range.
The newly designed truck was designated CS8, (S denoting 6 cylinder and 8 denoting an approximate 8’ wheel base) it had a short stubby appearance with a high ground clearance. It became the workhorse of the British Army.
The original design CS8 evolved into three Series, the Mark I, II & III. The CS8 continued development and production through 1942, being produced under contract by various British manufacturers. The CS8 was replaced in 1942 by a 4 cylinder variant designated the C4.
The early CS8 has a small windscreen and canvas doors. These were replaced by a full windscreen and metal skinned half doors in 1941. The CS8 was powered by a 6 cylinder 25 HP side valve engine.
The CS8 was adapted to many different uses during it’s life. Examples include a water tanker, petrol hauler, compressor truck, office truck and wireless truck. There was even a production of 100 armored cars designated CS9 based on the lengthened chassis of the CS8.
The model is packaged in a typically sturdy Plus Model box measuring 7.5”X 10”X 2.5” (19.1cmX 25.4cmX 6.4cm). Inside the box are nine small bags containing the various kit parts broken into subsections such as chassis parts, wheels etc., and an instruction booklet. The small bags are shipped within a larger bubble wrap bag which in turn is wrapped in a sheet of bubble wrap plastic before being put into the box. Everything was intact with no broken pieces.
There is one bag with the ‘canvas hood’ or top, vacu-formed out of clear plastic. This is a nice touch as the rear window can be masked easily, inside and out and the stretch marks and folds in the canvas are faithfully represented.
There is another bag with one fret of photo-etch, the decal sheet and a 1.5”X 2.5” (6.4cmX 3.8cm) sheet of clear acetate for the aircraft style windscreens.
The model is molded in a grey resin which appears to be flawless in terms of short-shots or bubbles. There is minimal flash where you would expect to see it. The flash is very thin and easily removed with a sharp #11 blade. The mold lugs are well placed so to minimize difficulty when removing the parts. There are some very small, delicate parts that will require care when cutting them from the lug but that is typical with most resin kits.
The first small bag with resin parts consists of the front suspension pieces, the exhaust system, firewall components, the cab interior pieces, rolled up canvas doors, a shovel and two headlights molded out of clear resin.
The second bag I’ll look at contains the rear suspension pieces, fuel tanks, battery boxes and the engine block.
Bag 3 is tires/wheels, fenders, radiator, bonnet/hood and dashboard.
Bag 4 has the chassis rails and floorboards (one piece) and a separate bag with two lengths of copper wire, each of different thickness.
Bag 5 has numerous smaller pieces including engine detail pieces and smaller suspension components.
Bag 6 again, has small suspension shackles, the passenger seat cushion, fire extinguisher and three Enfield rifles.
Bag 7 has parts for the cargo body of the truck. All these are nicely molded with wood grain/rivet/ support strapping detail on both sides.
Bags 8 & 9 were discussed above containing the PE, Decals and vacu-formed piece.
The instructions are printed in booklet form 8.5” X 6” (21.6cm X 15.2cm) and details 23 construction steps. All steps are self explanatory with close study, with the parts clearly marked and easily identified. The modeler will have to supply several pieces of various diameter brass wire to complete several of the steps.
Included are three camouflage paint/decal guides. The first for a British Army vehicle in North Africa. There are no cross reference for any brand paints, the guide simply specifying “Slate Grey” and similar written descriptions of colors.
The second color/decal guide is a mono-color vehicle identified as “British Army”.
The third is again, a mono-colored vehicle, but this time for a captured Wehrmacht vehicle, 1940.
The model matches up closely with reference photos and drawings I was able to find on the internet.