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Modeling Canadian Military Pattern Vehicles

Canada produced a half million CMPs — here are a half dozen models of them
Prior to World War II, Canada had produced few military vehicles of any sort. But by the end of the war, Canadian factories had turned out more than 850,000 military vehicles, including 500,000 Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) trucks.

There were five classes of CMPs: 8-cwt (hundredweight, 1/2 ton), 15-cwt (3/4 ton), 30-cwt (1 1/2 ton), 60-cwt (3-ton), and the Field Artillery Tractor (FAT). All could be fitted with general service (cargo) bodies, but many were specialized, such as breakdown tractors (wreckers) or anti-aircraft gun tractors. Ford also built a 60-cwt 6 x 4 (F60H) vehicle to carry longer technical or workshop bodies. Because they were expected to be used in the UK, all these vehicles had right-hand drive.

As you might imagine, the modeling options are many and varied. Here is a small sampling of what you can build.

Be sure to see the October 2018 FineScale Modeler for more on CMPs

Labeled “British Quad Gun Tractor” by Tamiya, this was the first injection-molded 1/35 scale Canadian Military Pattern vehicle ever produced. It’s a Ford Gun Tractor (FGT) with No. 12 cab, sold alone or boxed with the firm’s 25-pounder field gun. First released in the early 1970s, the kit is still around but is showing its age with some inaccurate dimensions around the front-end sheet metal.

It’s looking a little battered and tattered now, but I built this CMP F15A on the Tamiya Quad chassis, scratchbuilding the No.13 cab with its distinctive forward sloping windscreen and general service (GS) body in 1975. The grille is window screening, the canvas top is facial tissue, and the camouflage net is medical gauze with bathroom-tissue scrim material

In 1976, Peerless Max brought out a kit of the Chevrolet C15A 15-cwt GS truck. A very nice kit that has been rereleased several times by Airfix, Italeri and others, it is worth picking up. The C15A chassis carried several different bodies during WWII, for wireless, 20mm anti-aircraft, and a 200-gallon water tanker.

The 6-pounder “portee and fire” was an attempt to give more mobility to the 6-pounder anti-tank gun than its towed version. Peerless Max and Italeri produced the British Bedford QL version, and I used parts from the Italeri 15-cwt and Tamiya Quad to produce the Canadian-made version. I stretched the 15-cwt chassis, added the Quad wheels, cut down the 15-cwt cab, and scratchbuilt the bodywork, windscreen, and blast shield. The gun came with the 15-cwt kit.

The British launched the anti-tank portee concept using the 2-pounder gun on a number of different chassis, including the CMP C60L 3-tonner. Along with the Chev 15-cwt, Italeri also produced a CMP Chevrolet Gun Tractor for the 25-pounder. I lengthened the chassis from this kit, corrected the front-end sheet metal of the Tamiya Quad, and scratchbuilt the open cab and portee bodywork. The 2-pounder is a Sovereign resin kit, but it’s also available as a plastic kit from Vulcan.

Chevrolet C60L GS by Mirror Models: The kit suffers from a number of outline and detail flaws, but with work and aftermarket parts it can be made into a fine model. The past few years have seen an onslaught of Canadian Military Pattern trucks from manufacturers like IBG and Mirror Models.

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