The CCKW series of 6x6, 2 ½ ton trucks reached well over half a million units produced, and there were numerous special configurations in addition to the standard cargo/troop body. Some time ago your humble narrator had the good fortune to review the Tankograd book on GMC dump trucks
. Now we have a similar volume on air compressor trucks, mess trucks, radio trucks, and rocket launcher trucks.
Inside this A4-size (210x297mm) book are 48 pages jam-packed with monochrome photos and line drawings of the subject trucks and their special features, mostly two or three to a page. The paper is high quality glossy stock, so image reproduction is very sharp, and the photos are all well-balanced to eliminate the “inky blob” effect sometimes seen in other books. The actual photos are a mix of posed shots, tech manual shots, and in-service shots that really cover every angle from inside and out. All are lavishly captioned entirely in English.
The first subject is the air compressor truck, essentially a mobile air-tool shop with jack-hammers, chainsaws, and other goodies in storage panniers around a central compressor and hose-reel. There is enough detail here to inspire a skilled scratch-builder, or to aid those who buy resin conversion sets.
Next comes the mess truck, something I never really thought about before. Again we have all the necessary detail to model one, as well as some explanation of how they functioned. Pity the poor cooks who had to work while in transit, hanging on as the truck swayed and jolted and trying to avoid becoming part of the meal!
Third up is the radio truck – a nifty design of container that drops into the bed of a standard truck. We get measured side and end drawings to help scratch-builders, as well as extensive diagrams and photos of the interior equipment. There is even a diagram of external mast set-ups to offer inspiration for dioramas. The cabin was also used on DUKWs, in case the standard truck doesn’t appeal.
Finally we get the rocket truck. There are several types of launcher, but the detail on the 4.5” tubes will be of great benefit for anyone detailing a Sherman Calliope. And of course if you have leftover launch tubes and a GMC truck kit…
The only thing to point out is that the “Tech Manual” series title is a bit misleading – some images do come from said manuals, but these are strictly picture books. If you really want maintenance instructions for your restored truck, try looking at the original tech manuals thoughtfully listed at the back.
Once again the folks at Tankograd have given us a whole raft of new modelling projects! There is a lot in this book for the modeller and researcher alike, and I’d recommend it to either group.