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Bilek 1/35 Dodge M6 truck with 37mm Anti-tank Gun

 

By Juho Ala-Jaaski

 

 

 

History

The Dodge M6 was based on the 3/4 ton, four-wheel drive design, a standard light truck in the US ARMY. Several special version were made including these anti-tank gun trucks equipped with the 37mm cannon also used in the M8 'Greyhound'. This truck saw service in WW2 from late 1943 onward. It had light armor which made it extremely mobile. This made it ideal of ambushing enemy tanks, vehicle, infantry, etc. The M6 had a Dodge 6 cylinder engine with 80hp.

The kit

The kit is a reissue of the ITALERI kit which is a reissue of some Japanese firm I can't recall at the moment. It's VERY well molded with excellent detail. In fact, the only detail additions I made was drilling out the exhaust pipe, replacing the weight indicator disk on the grill with a Tamiya item, drilling out the lightening holes on the cannon recoil protection plate and making an undercut for the handle on the storage box on the co-driver's side step.

The only drawbacks are the figure which won't fit on the driver's seat, and the exhaust pipe which is molded out of register with very prominent mold lines. The kit lets you choose between a spare tyre and an empty driver's side step, and between a bumper mounted winch or just the plain bumber. I used the winch but left out the spare tyre. Also, I wasn't sure whether the windscreen wipers should be on the top of the windscreen or the bottom as the instructions indicated the bottom, the painting diagram the top and the finished model the top. I put them on the bottom, but just in case they're incorrect, the whole windscreen is covered by a canvas cover!! :-)

Step 1







This step involves attaching the fuel tank, the rear bumper, the gear box and the differential, and the exhaust pipe. Everything fit well, although I opted to attach the exhaust pipe only after painting all of the chassis. Everything was painted olive green here! The rear lights were painted silver and red according to the instructions.

Step 2

Here you attach the winch bumper. If you choose to leave it off, then just attach the regular bumper. All the winch parts fit well, but no wire was provided for the winch so I used string for that and a small piece of scale chain in the end, and a scratchbuilt towhook. Everything again was painted olive green except for the wire which was painted metallic black, with a dark olive green chain.

Step 3

Here you attach the winch drive train, and again, if you didn't use the winch, then just leave it off. The leaf springs are also attached now. Be careful to align them correctly! Once again, everything was painted olive green

Step 4

In this step you attach the axles. Everything else fit well except for the differential case protection bar holders. First I attached them the wrong way on the front axle and I had to take it apart... Be extremely careful here, there are holes for them on the axles, but they're on both sides and only the top axle protection bar holders have the tabs to fit into these holes!! The drive shafts are a bit too short so be careful here too.

Step 5

In this step you build the hood. Everything fit great, but there are several ejector marks on the grille that need to be cleaned and sink marks on the headlights that need filling.

I painted everything olive green, with chrome silver lights.

Step 6

This step involves the interior. Be careful to paint the bottom of the interior tub so that no plastic can be seen from the bottom of the vehicle. All detail fit well, and seats were painted brown with a black wash and brown pastels. The instruments were painted black and the pedals silver. The steering wheel was painted OD.

All other parts were painted: surprise, surprise, Olive green!

Be careful attaching the sides of the interior, they're a bit too long to fit properly on the cargo bed.

Step 7

In this step you install the tyres, and the side steps for the driver and co-driver. You get to choose whether to install the spare tyre or not. If you install it, then use the step with the half-round groove for the tyre. I recommend attaching the tyres only after the cargo bed has been installed and painted.

I painted the tyres flat black with brown pastels, and everything else olive green.

Step 8

Involves the cargo bed. There are several ejector pin marks on the bottom of the fenders, so either sand them out or fill with the filler of your choice. I chose to sand them out. Be careful to use the correct backplate for the cargo bed as the wrong one is too narrow. The correct one is part #72. I painted everything olive green again except for the shells in the open ammo storagebox (there are two of them to choose from that are missing a few shells, and two full ones. Both can be opened). Those were painted brass. The tail-lights and the side reflectors were painted red.

Step 9

This step only involves attaching the cargo bed to the chassis. It fit well.

Step 10

OK. Listen carefully now. Here you attach basically all the rest of the details. I chose to open the ammo storagebox with four shells missing. Also, be careful here, as only the correct parts with the correct numbers fit on top of the storageboxes. The sides of the cargo bed fit well, but I scribed some fine lines on the 'fence-like' extra sides to represent wood grain.

The tool holder fits so that it is like a box with low sides. There are no holes or anything for the tools so you're just gonna eyeball their location. I painted the tool handels with light brown with some darker drybrushing and the metal parts black with silver drybrushing. I used the Jerry cans from a Tamiya set as they're far more accurate than the ones in the kit. I also used the vehicle weight indicator plate from a Tamiya set.

I accidentally glued the windscreen on the wrong way so I covered it with a canvas cover, and glued it in the down position. Just apply the star decal on the hood before you do this. The rifles had no locating tabs either so those need to be eyeballed too. I painted the holders OD with brown butts.

Step 11

Now you attach the gun mount. It fit pretty poorly, so dryfit it before you install it. I put two used shells on the floor with the end drilled out and two unused ones on top of the open ammo box.. The small rolls of canvas were cemented on the box on top of the co-driver's step. These were about the only accessories I used from the kit.

I also put a lantern in one of the cargo bed corners, and two canteens beside it. I also added two waterpouches on one of the cargo bed "fences" and the canvas cover already mentioned on top of the winscreen. Oh, I did use the bucket from the kit, and cemented it on top of the other front fender.

Step 12

Involves the cannon. I glued everything together before painting, and drilled out the lightening holes on the recoil protection plate. The cannon was painted with khaki drab and the breech lock was painted silver. I also drilled out the barrel.

Step 13

Now you install the gun. It fit on loosely, so let it dry for at least four hours if you're using model cement. I put the cannon pointing to the right when looked from above.

I also added a field telephone to the cargobed. I made the cord for that by curling fine brass wire around some thick steel wire. The telephone was painted khaki drab with grey knobs, cord, and handle. I also added the mirror now and the tow cable. The mirror had a sink mark on the face so I filled that with CA glue. The tow cable was painted metallic black with khaki drab chain and tow hook.

Painting and weathering

As you have noticed already, the entire vehicle was painted with olive green, with khaki drab for the 37mm cannon and black for the tyres, and rust for the exhaust pipe.

The decals silvered some, even after applying future to the model, and setting solution. The whole model was coated with clear flat and brown pastels were applied to make it appear dusty.

Thanks to Ray Mehlberger/Internet Modeler for the review kit!




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