always respect a company that is willing to take a risk and put out a product
whose subject matter is not only unique, but opens up a whole new area of the
GI's experience in WWII. This type of kit can serve to fill a particular niche
in one's 1/35 scale motor pool, or it can become the centerpoint for a singular
diorama. Sometimes a kit can help spawn or boost an entire genre, as Italeri's
amphibians did when they became the catalyst for a horde of U.S. Marines figures
and PTO accessories and upgrade sets.
probably too much to expect that this kit will have the same effect, but Resicast
has given us a perfect opportunity with this field kitchen. Every army travels
on its stomach, and that's an aspect of modeling WWII GIs that's been largely
ignored by manufacturers. (Gripe Alert: In the 25+ years it's taken for this kit
to be realized, Tamiya has given us two versions of the same German field
kitchen set.) But now, at last,
we have a field kitchen to call our own, and it's tasty.
the heart of this kitchen was the Range, Field, M-1937, a gasoline-fueled oven
that was flexible enough for boiling, roasting, frying, and griddle cooking, depending
on which of three nooks the moveable fire unit occupied. A wood burning grate
was also available to power the range. Each range, made of aluminum, was was equipped
to feed 50 men. They were portable, and could be mounted in trucks, as in this
case, or set up in a field or dwelling.
foundation for this conversion kit is Tamiya's solid U.S.
2 ½ Ton 6x6 Cargo Truck, one of my favorites. In my book, no one needs
an excuse to build this kit. But if you want to give it a different look, Resicast
hereby gives you the means. Three ranges and a work cabinet make up the bulk of
this kit, along with a rack for food stuffs, overhead work light, six jerry cans,
and a couple of knives and ladles. You also get a portable stairway for the chefs
getting in and out of the cargo bed/kitchen. And if that wasn't enough, Resicast
throws in a few parts to adjust the truck's front axle so the tires can be positioned
as turned (these parts were missing in my review sample so I cannot comment on
large resealable plastic bag holds four separate bags and the instruction booklet.
Given the large number of parts and the fragility of some of them, I was surprised
this was not packaged in a box. But none of the pieces were damaged.
kits don't always have clear instructions, or any instructions at all. Resicast
provides assembly instructions using photographs. Resicast thoughtfully identifies
the parts by name and letters. There is some confusion over dual parts labeled
"Q," "O," and "V" but it is easily sorted out. Another
benefit of Resicast's instruction booklet is the inclusion of technical
manual illustrations provided by Michael Powell of Easy 1 Productions. These images
help demonstrate how the ovens were used. If you want to see and learn more details
about how the kitchen operated, you should pick up the excellent CD-ROM from Easy
1, TM 10-701 Field Range M-1937.
need a sharp blade in the old hobby knife to carefully remove these pieces from
their carriers; some pieces, like the three large pots, will need a saw. The parts
are crisply cast with only a whisper of flash here and there, and just two small
air bubbles in the broiler pans. There is a thin piece of brass rod included for
bending into the supports for the oven doors; instructions refer to bending the
rod according to a template, but none was provided in the sample kit).
did not assemble any of the parts beyond dry-fitting since I'm not sure what sort
of configuration I'll want for future use (Broiling? Baking? In transit?). But
plenty of diorama ideas came to mind for this set.
recommends painting the range units "polished aluminum," and that looks
right according to some of the illustrations in the kit instructions and the Easy
1 tech manual. But some of the illustrations have a dark look to them, as does
a greenish range unit in Government Issue Collectors Guide by Henri-Paul
Enjames. It's certainly possible that the ranges were painted a drab green or
non-reflective color once in the field. However, photos of the cooking utensils
in the field shows them to be aluminum with black cast metal handles. The work
cabinet would be painted OD.
looking through the illustrations the only missing items of any consequence were
the circular supports for the cook pot bases, that were used to help keep the
large pots in place. A small fret of photoetched brass would be ideal, but anyone
who is comfortable building resin conversion sets probably won't have any problem
constructing his own.
in adapting the Deuce and a Half for kitchen duty it was necessary to extend upward
the bows that supported the canvas top so the cooks could walk freely; Resicast
doesn't provide any pieces to extend the bows, but they would be easy to make
with some plastic strips. I couldn't find a measurement, but suspect the height
from the floor to the top of the bows would be at least 6 feet, perhaps more when
you take into account the light hanging over the ranges. (Another conversion tidbit:
the benches that usually ran along the inside cargo walls were hung on the outside
walls and could be extended outward to use as serving shelves.
The only other item that would "nice to have" would be small sheet of
decals with labels for the food items. That would be the perfect finishing touch
that most modelers can't easily come up with on their own.
as it is, this is a fine set for any modeler interested in sinking his teeth into
something a little bit different. I hope Resicast will follow this up with some
cooks, hungry GIs, mess kits, garbage cans, etc. That's how to build on a great
product sample was provided by Resicast.