Book Review
GM 15TA Armoured Truck
GM 15TA Armoured Truck CMP (Canadian Military Pattern)
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by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]


With production terminating of the (White) M3 Scout Car in 1943, the British government ordered a replacement - in the form of the GM (Canada) 15TA. General Motors' Canadian division had already produced, with some success, the Otter and Fox armored vehicles.

The wheelbase for the 15TA was the CMP 101" which was the 15CWT light truck. On top of this chassis, a newly designed, lightly-armored body was added - giving the vehicle's crew and passengers some protection.

Capricorn's book

This is Nº9 in Capricorn's 'Army Wheels in Detail' series and follows exactly the format of the previous titles in the series. Soft-cover, 43 pages and printed in a non-standard (somewhere between A5 and A4) size. The book is jointly authored between James Gosling and Petr Brojo.

In Detail

Within this particular section of the Review, I'll concentrate on areas such as the chapter headings and contents. In the conclusions section I'll look at the more qualitative areas of the book.

There are 8 specific sections within the book. These are:

1) Photo Manual History:
The seven pages which comprise this section, cover contemporary photos of the vehicle in service. Two vehicle 'owners' are covered, the Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade Group and the Canadian Army. In the case of the former, the photos are predominantly of vehicles taking part in what seems to be a Victory Parade in Prague in May 1945. The second batch show vehicles in a more 'hostile' environment, albeit towards the end of the war also.

2) Exterior:
These 5 pages are dedicated to the exterior of the vehicle clearly showing placement of racks, spare-wheel stowage etc.

3) Chassis:
Using three different types of illustration, (CAD images, reprints of the Tech manual and photos of a preserved example) the chassis is covered in great detail.

4) Engine:
Using both photos of a preserved example and the Tech manual, the power-plant of the CT17a is presented in as much detail as one could wish for. This is particularly useful for those wishing to super detail the engine on a 15cwt truck...

5) Interior:
This, assuming we're going to get a 15TA at some point in the future, is one of the strongest sections of the book. Every possible aspect of the interior is presented whether by way of reproductions of the original workshop manual or some excellent photos of a preserved example.

6) Exterior:
There is a myriad of useful images within this section including good detail on the headlamps, excellent coverage of the tilt (though, surprisingly, NOT, the support frame) and the complexities of the armored windshield.

7) Plans and Color Views:
In total there are two pages of 1/35th scale plans and a further two of color schemes/markings. All are pretty late versions and include the ambulance variant.


The CT17A is a very practical scratch project as the 15Cwt is available in both 1/72nd and 1/35th from IBG and Italeri. This book will go a long way in assisting with the realization of it. It's not a tremendously complex shape and would make for an interesting scratchbuild/conversion.

While I am enthusiastic about the book, there are a couple of shortcomings. Firstly, if one wants to build a CT17A, then you'll have to look elsewhere for details of the distinctive support for the canvas tilt as this is missing from the book. It's well-documented on the buttoned-up version but the 'convertible' is lacking, apart from a couple of 3/4 views of a preserved example.

Another shortcoming, which is no reflection on the author, but rather on the format used, is the need for more contemporary images of the vehicle. What the book has are very good though.

Not the problem of the publisher/editor, but the CT17A, while making a superb subject for a model, has been pretty much ignored by the model manufacturers. This is a pity as this will limit the appeal of the book and limit its market somewhat.

In summary, while there are some minor problems with some of the documentation, all-in-all, it's a very useful publication indeed.
Highs: Subject area, well edited, well presented and in a useful format.
Lows: Lack of specific coverage of the tilt support. No existing model of the CT17A may also limit its appeal?
Verdict: An extremely competent and useful publication from a publisher who has brought out a highly-useful series of books over the years.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: AW 09
  PUBLISHED: Apr 06, 2012

Our Thanks to Capricorn Publications!
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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


Actually Kevin, I have thought about kitting this; even getting so far as measuring one, but I think there were rumours a little while ago about a plastic kit. Anyone know any more about that?
APR 05, 2012 - 03:15 PM
Nice review and I too would love a kit! What an interesting vehicle. ~ Jeff
APR 05, 2012 - 07:09 PM
yeah Chris, I think I do know a little Cheers Libor
APR 06, 2012 - 09:28 AM
No Libor, I mean I heard there was going to be one in Styrene, not resin
APR 06, 2012 - 01:28 PM
For those who can't wait for Styrene, there is a resin one from Wespe. It's not a great kit. Not at all bad, roughly 80's/early 90's level casting technology. I haven't measured it to check for accuracy, but it is basic in a number of areas. The parts are cleanly moulded though with relatively few bubbles but some of the mould shift can be brutal, especially on the smaller cylindrical parts. HTH Paul
APR 06, 2012 - 03:57 PM
Good to see another reference for the vehicle coming out, fingers crossesd for both an Armoured and Open Top version in plastic. Cheers Al
APR 06, 2012 - 06:56 PM
LOL did I say resin....
APR 06, 2012 - 08:22 PM
Mr. Libor, I'm afraid you have SAID TOO MUCH! Now you must die. Oddjob? Take care of this please. Paul
APR 07, 2012 - 02:11 AM
A very useful review, indeed, especially as I collect up references for my Mirror Models, Ltd (LZ Models) C15TA. Now have a copy of this book on order, and I'm hoping that it'll cover the engine details well enough to do the Mirror Models kit some justice. I guess Libor's hints were not too much after all! (PS: I'm also looking forward to the Otter Mk1 next month.)
NOV 22, 2012 - 04:08 PM

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