The DUKW's crew and cargo compartments could be covered by canvas stretched over metal bows. Almost every picture of wartime DUKWs shows a bow in place just behind the driver's compartment. Italeri didn't provide bows, but they could be added with some carefully bent wire.
With the basic hull assembled, I sprayed the model with Polly Scale olive drab. Large OD vehicles are boring, so I decided to try for a well-faded look. I highlighted each main panel with Tamiya's desert yellow, heavier in the center and fading out to the edges. Then I applied the decals over a brush coat of Future floor polish. They reacted well to Micro Set and Sol. A coat of Polly Scale flat over the entire model blended the decals into the paint.
Next, I added the smaller details. The headlights have clear lenses, and if you paint the backsides silver, they'll look just right. The breakwater plate on the nose of the vehicle can be positioned up or down. I applied a wash of burnt umber and black oils to the entire vehicle, then dry-brushed with olive drab lightened with yellow ochre and white.
The net and rope bumpers were important fixtures on the DUKW and it is rare to see a picture of one without them. Italeri did pretty well molding them in plastic. After removing the mold seams, I painted mine with Tamiya's buff. The forward bumpers fit well, but the rear ones barely reached the tie-downs. After they were installed I washed them with Mars brown oils, then dry-brushed with buff lightened with white. Finally the clear parts were installed in their frames using Future as an adhesive.
I was happy with the way the finished model turned out. It matches the dimensions in Squadron/Signal's DUKW in Action.
An excellent source of detail photos can be found on the web at: www.kmk-scale world.be/walkAround/DUKW
The model was an easy build, taking me only 14 hours. Any modeler with a little experience should be able to handle this kit. Built straight out of the box, the kit is accurate and well detailed, but there's room for advanced modelers to add detail and figures. John Plzak