The Canadian Military Pattern (CMP) truck was a family of military vehicles built by General Motors of Canada. The basic design of the CMP frame design provided multiple uses, the Otter Light Reconnaissance Car being one of them. A total of 1761 vehicles were built in Oshawa, Ontario, with less than 1000 actually being shipped overseas. The design followed a similar layout to the British Humber, but mounting a Boys Anti-Tank rifle and Bren Machine Gun. It was found the Otter, did not perform as well as the Humber, while having a more powerful motor, but was still acceptable.
The Otter served with Canadian units in Italy and North West Europe, while also being deployed with some British Army and RAF units. As Canadian tactics changed during the war, the Otter was relegated to providing convoy security and anti-aircraft duties. Is should be noted that some Otters were used after the war by the Jordanian and Dutch Armies.
Mirror Models, who have started a line of CMP vehicles, has now brought us the Mk.I Otter. As like their previous releases, this is a multi-media kit, but this time around, relying more on plastic, there are still a few bits of resin and PE. Opening the box, again it is packed with 6 molded sprues in grey plastic, two bags of resin bits and wire, a fret of PE, 3 small sheets of decals, and printed instructions.
Looking at the plastic sprues, Mirror Models has improved the molding greatly, there are no longer ejector marks showing on the parts. The quality of moldings is superb, with great detail, even having replaced some of the resin parts in past kits with new plastic molding, and there is no loss of detail. The frame parts are the same as the previous C15 kits, while the kit contains the new molded Otter upper hull components.
Mirror Models has been able to retain the detail of the small resin pieces in plastic, making the kit much more builder friendly, but care will be needed in removing a couple of the smaller parts from the sprue. This kit is much more geared towards the general modeler more than the past full multi-media kits.
The kit still contains some resin parts, mostly the drive train part, including the transfer case. The wheels are also cast in resin, with great tread definition. And for the real fine extra detail, there is a fret of PE, which include the upper hull turret for realistic thickness look. The PE parts are well detailed on the surface and have engraved fold lines.
There are decals included for three separate vehicles, and they are printed sharp and in register. While the decal for the 1st Canadian Infantry Division look to be correct in color, the marking for the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, 11th Field Engineers are a little dark, as the formation sign should be a dark to medium blue, and the unit sign should be a much lighter blue.
The instructions are printed on 8”x11.5” standard paper, and are printed in color. The instructions for this kit are a bit of an improvement from past kits, as there are a few more building diagrams, but the majority of the instructions still rely on pictures of the assembled parts. That said, the instruction are still clear, and will provide great help in assembling the kit. The builder will have to watch and determine their own build progression, while the steps are not number, they do provide a general flow for the build. As I have just completed assembly on the C15TA, I did find myself moving back and forth in the instructions as I progressed, mainly for painting, but I did find a few sub-assemblies that were easier to complete ahead of the suggested flow.
As with previous Mirror Models instructions there are no paint callouts during the assembly, the builder will have to refer to reference pictures. Also the instructions do not contain paint and marking schemes, but do refer to a web address, that again refers the builder to another web address being the Armoured Acorn web site
• 1st Canadian Infantry Division, 4th Princess Louise’s Dragoon Guards – Italy, 1944
• 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, 11th Field Company RCE – HQ Platoon – Normandy 1944
• 1st Canadian Infantry Division, Unknown unit/date
The Otter kit from Mirror Models is a definite improvement over the first two kits, and looks to be a much better builder’s kit. With the improvement of the moldings and change of some resin to plastic, this kit looks to be much simpler to make, but will still produce a great model. Mirror Models is continuing to provide quality kits, and this Otter is another fine example.