Piggy back

 

Photos can be an inspiration to us mere modellers. When I was researching my Gloster Gladiator book I was sent some photos by a gentleman whose father was a member of 51 Repair and Salvage Unit, based in North Africa during WWII. These photos show the unit moving part of 6 Squadron from Wadi Suerer to Wadi Halfa sometime between September and October 1941. One photo shows the unit spread out over the desert. Along with the Gladiators some of the trucks were carrying other trucks as well. It could be these were all unserviceable aircraft and vehicles that were being sent for repair. The photos that show the trucks on the ferry are very striking and I always thought it would make for a great diorama.

 

A little digging found that the trucks were American Mack NR-2s. Further digging found that Milicast make a 1/76 resin kit. Well what can I say, that’s all I needed to know. I bought a truck at the Glasgow Modelfest 2016 and built it up over the Christmas period. For my first resin kit it went together very well with no major problems. The truck was built and weathered in my usual way. The Gladiator is the new tooled Airfix MkII Gladiator kit. It goes together ok, although I had problems with the cowling. I wish they would make a one piece cowling on these. The aircraft depicted is N5681 and can be seen in one of the photos. One of the other Gladiators is N5821, while the third is unknown, although it could be N5820.

 

The mod to the truck was to make the tail wheel holder at the front. The tail wheel is glued to the holder. Because of the two different scales the Gladiators undercarriage had to be squeezed together slightly in order for it to fit in the truck bed. The two models are stored separately and only fit together for displays. I added some fuel cans and boxes in the back of the truck as well. So one down two to go, and then scratchbuild the ferry. Watch this space as they say……

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