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Mirror Models 1/35 scale CMP C15TA armored car

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When the United States stopped producing the M3 scout car, General Motors of Canada produced the C15TA armored car as its replacement. This is the first release from Mirror Models Ltd.

Truly a multimedia affair, the kit comprises 359 resin, photoetched-metal, wire, styrene-rod, and injection-molded parts. Several resin parts in my kit were damaged, and there were a lot of knockout marks in plain view that needed fixing.

If photoetched metal makes you squeamish, this is not the kit for you; more than half of the parts are held in three sheets of photoetched metal, each sheet a different thickness to give you a choice of scale appearance. 

Directions are on a CD showing pictures of the build along with close-ups of specific areas of restored vehicles. If you print the directions, though, the red callouts do not show up well in black-and-white.

The frame is in six styrene parts. Cross member B1 should be B3 instead. Ensure the frame is square or your vehicle will not sit level. Directions call for eight parts of PE30, but only four are found on the sheet. Four others are found on the smaller photoetched-metal sheet, not numbered.

The engine comprises seven resin, photoetched-metal, and wire parts. The directions show wire being used as a fan belt, but I found pinstriping tape looked better.

The axles are held with wire loops. For greater strength, I drilled the hole in B8 deeper. The directions caution about the direction of the tire tread, but photos show the tread running in both directions. Directions for the drive axles show them being cut so they meet in the middle. Instead, I drilled the end of D14 so that D12 slid into the hole to provide flexibility. I used brass rod for the tie rod because I could not get the kit-supplied wire straight enough. 

Assemble the body according to directions; do not glue Part A3 to the body before the windows. I glued the windows shut because the detail around it is lacking (it’s sold separately, along with other interior items).

The floor’s storage-bin covers were bowed, so I fortified them with scrap styrene. Latches for the side-bin covers, parts PE5, were missing from my sheet. To ease assembling the gearshifts, drill out the holes in the gear knobs and gearshift boots before removing them. I used brass rod here for strength.

Hinging the doors and hatches is complex. In fact, the directions promise to rectify this problem in future kits. 

There are markings for the 5th Canadian Armoured as well as for a Czech vehicle and two other vehicles not shown. I painted the car S.C.C. No. 2 with a mixture of Tamiya paints: 5 parts NATO brown (XF-68); 4 parts yellow (XF-3); and 1 part black (XF-1). I added medium gray (XF-20) for highlights. Mig washes and dry-brushing provided the weathering; I used Vallejo paints for details. 

The Canadian maple leaf is for a postwar vehicle, and there are markings missing in the Czech profile. The decals for the gauges are just black disks with all the gauges printed on one large sheet of carrier film. I used only the speedometer and painted the rest of the gauges black. 

This is a complex build best suited to modelers experienced with photoetched metal. The 30 hours I spent seemed long for only 359 parts.

Army Wheels in Detail: GM C15TA Armoured Truck (Gosling and Brojo; Capricorn, ISBN 978-80-903945-8-2) was a valuable reference. The model is shorter than what the plans show, but the height and width are correct.

It wasn’t easy, but completing this model gave me a great sense of accomplishment. 

Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2013 FineScale Modeler.

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