by: Kent McKesson [ ]
IntroductionAs a modeler pretty much dedicated to 1/72 scale for everything except civilian vehicles, I thought this was a very interesting vehicle to see in resin. I purchased the kit myself off an eBay seller for about the same price as you would through regular distribution. I was particularly inspired to build this vehicle when I found a photo of an M1A1 in OIF passing a parked CUCV. The CUCV (Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle) program was developed by the United States to provide cheaper vehicles to supplement the purpose built HMMWV and Gamma during the late 1970ís and 1980ís. Vehicles were initially supplied by Dodge but the program ended with Chevrolet supplying the vehicles and the trucks were militarized versions of readily available light commercial vehicles.
The GM/Chevrolet vehicles were developed from heavy duty light truck components and powered by a diesel engine. The GM/Chevrolet vehicles had a 24V military electrical system under the hood, but were otherwise the civilian 12V electrical system. Externally the major difference is the addition of a towing point and hooks, though some vehicles are equipped with a brush bar and the suspension was upgraded to provide a 1-1/4 ton capacity. Roughly 70,000 vehicles were produced between 1983 and 1986. Though battlefield performance is understandably less than desirable, they can still be found in use with support troops even today.
ReviewThe PJ Production kit consists of 20 resin pieces and one vacuum formed windshield. The instruction sheet is well laid out in spite of the fact that the vehicle is fairly simple to figure out. It includes a color four view drawing of the M1008 NATO camouflage pattern, including references to Humbrols, Gunze, Tamiya, and the FS numbers.
Parts are well molded with a very slight amount of flash present on some parts. There are a few very slight but easy to repair bubbles present in the resin and the detail is crisp and well defined. The only downside is the lack of detail for the interior doors. The vacuum formed windows are a bit rough and will need some polishing to make them more glass like, so some additional work will be required there as well. Even with this, it is still more welcome than some braille-scale resin kits that provide no transparencies at all or just a plain flat sheet that must be formed to complex curves.
Overall the kit scales out well and it is a very unique addition in 1/72 scale considering this is a subject that is highly unlikely to ever be kitted in plastic. Though it is more expensive when compared to some styrene kits, it really is a good value for detailed resin. Better still is that this vehicle can be used in settings from 1983 till the current day, though they have become less and less common. A word of caution for modelers using the Internet to research and detail this vehicle due to the fact that, as military surplus, it is fairly popular for civilian use and some sites may show a CUCV that has non-military features added.
ConclusionOverall, this is a very nicely done resin kit of an easily overlooked subject. The quality and detail is excellent and easily justifies the price. This is a "must have" for a braille-scale builder of soft skins and supporting equipment. Highly recommended.