by: Rick Cooper [ ]
Modern war moves on wheels, and to meet that requirement during the Second World War the British War Office turned to Fordson, Ford Motor Company’s Tractor division. A number of models of varying size and capabilities were developed, among them the general purpose WOT-2 (War Office Truck) which went into production in late 1939 with something in the neighborhood of 60,000 units put into service. The little truck would prove extremely versatile with a number of different versions created for a variety of uses; general cargo, AA, fire fighting, staff command and more.
Plus Model has recently released an example of the Fordson WOT-2C version of the WOT family of vehicles. Plus Models has already released a number of British War Office design trucks so this kit will fit right into their growing stable (garage?) of trucks. This particular kit is a 2C which indicates that the model has individual windscreens for the driver and the passenger’s seat, features a wooden cab, a canvas roof, and doors no more substantial than a flap of canvas to add to your comfort.
The kit, according to the box top, contains 98 resin parts, a photo-etched sheet, and a decal sheet for two different units. The box is well packed with the resin parts divided up into several smaller bags and they are well packaged in bubble wrap to reduce the possibility of breakage.
Besides the afore-mentioned items from the box top, you also have a rather nifty clear plastic vacu-formed piece for the canvas cab roof. What this does for the modeler is allow you to mask of the clear plastic rear window and paint the canvas; remove your masking and you have a perfectly done rear window. You just have to make sure that you are careful about the masking; you were careful weren’t you? Also, a small sheet of a clear acetate type material for the two windscreens, a pair of clear headlight lenses, (you can ditch these and go with the included blackout lights if you wish, a couple of lengths of copper wire, and a 16 page set of instructions.
The instructions are fairly standard Plus Model style instructions, if you have ever built one of their kits you will know what I mean. If not, they are a very well done hand drawn, exploded view type, that often feature long looping arrows with ‘stick this piece in this general vicinity’ type of coaching. All this is to say that I didn’t see any obvious errors in the instructions, but take your time, check and double check, gather as much reference material as you can, then check again before you actually glue anything in place. Think of this kit kind of like a good rib eye steak, take your time and enjoy the build, I don’t think this one was designed to be built up in a weekend if you catch my meaning.
The resin parts are very well done; I gave every part the twice over and only found one tiny pin hole on one of the seats. I couldn’t even find any pin holes in the casting blocks, which incidentally are kept to a minimum which will help with the resin dust that kits of this type can sometimes generate. Particularly noteworthy for their excellent molding are the engine, seats, and cargo bay. Sadly, the engine (one of the nicest I have ever seen in resin or plastic) will be virtually invisible beneath the closed bonnet (that’s ‘hood’ to us Yanks!). The seats clearly show the outline of the strapping ribs under the fabric of the seat back, very cool indeed. My favorite is the cargo bay which features fine wood grain and hardware detail on both sides, even the cargo bay floor is completely detailed top and bottom.
You will note that the kit provides a generous sheet of photo-etched material, I rejoiced that none of the pieces required the full power version of my Opti-visor to be seen let alone actually used! Do be careful however as several of the photo-etched pieces require funky twists or precise bends in order to appear correct. Some of the pieces, especially those that make up part of the undercarriage arrangements, may benefit from a good piece of reference material.
The one section of the construction that may provide the most headaches for us mere modeling mortals is how the framework for the canvas roof is handled. Plus Model provides two lengths of copper wire which are supposed to be formed and shaped to provide the upright and the forward support for the canvas. It looks a bit tricky but one of those third hand gizmos may make it an easier task than it appears at first blush. The copper wire is malleable enough that you may be able to form it in situ inside the clear vacu-formed canvas roof piece; I’m planning a build review of this kit in February and that is the path I think I will take.
The two sets of markings in my sample are both perfectly in register and look great. The carrier film appears to be nice and thin and I expect that the decals should behave well with just a bit of setting solution. The two units provided for are a pair of 1941 vehicles; a Desert Rats (7th Armoured Division) supply HQ unit in North Africa and a Czech Artillery Regiment vehicle stationed in England.
This looks to be a popular kit; the subject matter provides a versatile platform for lots of conversions, as well as a satisfying modeling experience right out of the box. The resin casting is truly first rate, state of the art quality, that is practically without any flaw. The photo-etched material is well done, and makes sense without becoming so minutely detailed that it becomes virtually unusable to the average modeler. Everything appears to point toward a very well received kit.