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In-Box Review
GMC 353 Airfield Fuel Tank
  • CMK_Fuel_Tanker_Boxtop

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

CMK's conversion kit arrives in a very solid fold-top box and consists of:

17 x beige resin parts
10 x etched steel parts
Decals for one vehicle

The casting quality is excellent and I was unable to find any air bubbles or other problems in my kit. The basis of the kit is just six parts - an impressive hollow fuel tank and a hefty flat-bed, plus side panels and end-pieces. The flat bed "does what it says on the box" and is nice and flat, providing a solid foundation for the conversion. There are some pretty big casting blocks to remove on the main parts, but once that's done, the assembly looks extremely straightforward.

The tanker relies on the Tamiya kit for the chassis, wheels and cab, which can all be built OOB - the only modification needed being to remove the spare-wheel mount and battery box from the white-metal chassis. With simple construction and cleanly cast parts, this is an ideal first conversion kit for newcomers.

Their aren't many resin detail parts, but those that there are are equally well cast, with a nicely detailed cap for the fuel tank, a fire extinguisher, fuel controls and pipe. The rest of the details are etched and these include a rail that runs along each side of the fuel tank. I have to admit I'm not convinced by these - I think they'll look a bit 2-dimensional, so using them as templates for wire or plastic rod replacements might be a good idea.

CMK's conversion is accompanied by a clearly drawn set of instructions, broken down into six stages. The back page of the instructions have a painting diagram and decal guide for a single overall Olive Drab USAAF vehicle. Paint matches are included for Humbrol and Gunze Sangyo paints. The small decal sheet is perfectly printed - registration isn't an issue, as all the items are white. Two sets of individual numbers from 0-9 are included, I think the idea being that a range of registrations can be assembled - the only problem is that the painting guide indicates that three sets are needed... All is not lost though, because you can always turn to the decals included in Tamiya's donor kit for some extra numbers, but of course you're limited to what common combinations you can find.

This is a very neat tanker conversion for anyone looking to build a WW2 USAAF diorama or vignette, and by basing it on the Tamiya kit, CMK have not only ensured it's good quality but have made it much more affordable than a stand alone resin kit. Everything is relative and while, with the combined cost of the donor kit and conversion set, no-one could claim it's cheap, when compared with the price of some of the resin vehicle kits available it represents good value for money and deserves to do well.

CMK's GMC Fuel Tanker is available from Modelimex - specialists in Eastern European short run kits.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: A very well cast, simple conversion.
Lows: An almost, but not quite, complete set of decals
Verdict: This provides a high quality, affordable WW2 fuel bowser that has yet to appear as an injected kit in this scale.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 8028
  Suggested Retail: 17.75
  PUBLISHED: Mar 08, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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  • CMK_Fuel_Tanker_Parts_1
  • CMK_Fuel_Tanker_Parts_2
  • CMK_Fuel_Tanker_Etch
  • CMK_Fuel_Tanker_Instructions_2
  • CMK_Fuel_Tanker_Instructions_1
  • CMK_Fuel_Tanker_Decals