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In-Box Review
135
C15TA Ambulance
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by: Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction


The C15TA was an armored car that was developed as part of the Canadian Military Pattern program during World War Two. The main use of the C15TA was as an armored personnel carrier, but the vehicle was also modified as an ambulance, designated the C15TAA. The development and production of the ambulance variant occurred in late 1944 and 1945. It has been stated that only two prototypes were built, and the initial order of 1000 was cancelled due to the end of the war.

Contents


As part of the CMP Series kits being released by Mirror Models, the C15TAA Ambulance has joined this list. The kit comes in the standard Mirror Models box, packed with parts. In the box there are 7 sprues molded in grey plastic, including a few lose parts in a small zip lock bag. There is also a small plastic bag that contains some resin pieces and bits of wire, mostly for the drive train and the radiator. Five resin tires are included as well as three frets of photo-etched. As for decals, there are markings for one vehicle, which will match the C15TAA that is restored and on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Canada. The printed instructions are the standard Mirror Models sheets, printed in color and showing images of different stages of the assembly.

Review


Having built the initial C15TA kit from Mirror Models that was truly a multi-media kit, the C15TA Ambulance is a step forward for Mirror Models, as most of the resin parts have been replaced with molded plastic. This is a definite advantage for the average modeler, who may shy away from multi-media type kits.

The molding of the plastic has greatly improved since the first C15TA kit, it is crisp with little to no flash, and there are no ejector marks. The surface detail is well represented and the detail of smaller parts is sharp. For those who have built some of the other Mirror Models CMP kits, most of the parts will be recognizable, as for the ambulance the new parts include the body sides, top, and a few detail bits.

The parts of the frame are the same as all Mirror Models CMP kits, which build up great, and includes PE detail for adding braces and some wire for some extra detail. As most of the parts have been converted to molded plastic, there are still a few bits of resin which includes parts for the drive train, the radiator, and the rear towing hitch. There are resin cast tires are included, and look to being the newly released tires from LZ Models, stamped as Dunlop Tires. The tread pattern is well cast, and tires look great.

Having built three of these frames to date, they build up nice, and look great.

The kit contains the basic driver and passenger interior detail, including a piece of PE for the floor. The detail of the interior of the front and door hatches is included, for those who like to leave them open. Unfortunately there is no rear section interior detail of the racks for the stretchers. Having seen the restored vehicle in the Canadian War Museum, this would not be difficult to scratch built as it is mostly tube steel and angle iron, very simplistic.

The sides, rear, and top are the new parts for making up the Ambulance. These look good, with molded on detail, to include the tie downs for the top. Based on previous experience, it is good to dry fit the parts as you go, and watch the installation of the front grill parts, this can be tricky to ensure the parts are lined up correctly.

It should be noted that the basic Ambulance kit from Mirror Models include plastic molded fenders, but for those interested, there is a PE detail set from LZ Models that will add the PE fenders, as well as a few other detail bits.

Looking over the instructions, this kit will build up similarly to the previous C15TA kit from Mirror Models, with the exception of the sides and top. The instructions do not include paint call outs during construction, so a little research will need to be done to find appropriate colors, though most of the vehicle is Olive Drab. The Mirror Models instructions are not the easiest to follow, as they are for the most part images of assembly completed at different stages, with some diagram help included.

The instructions include one paint scheme, to match the well printed set of decals that are included. These decals match the reference photos I have of the actual vehicle at that Canadian War Museum.

As for the accuracy of the Mirror Models C15TAA Ambulance, while the kit is the standard C15TA kit, with new sides and top, it does to a great job resembling the C15TAA Ambulance. However, there are a couple of details missing from the kit. The ambulance did not use the night light covers on the headlights, thus this will need to be replace with some aftermarket lenses. There was also a light with a red cross located just ahead of the driver door on the actual vehicle, this is missing from the kit.

Conclusion


Overall, this is another great kit from Mirror Models of a rare subject. The kit uses the basic kit and parts set out by Mirror Models for the CMP C15TA, and adds the right parts to build the C15TAA Ambulance . Even with a couple of small shortfalls, this kit will build a great looking model and is a great addition to the CMP Series. I highly recommend this kit.



References
Personal Photographs, Canadian War Museum Restored Vehicle
The C15TA in Canadian Service Roger V. Lucy, Service Publications

SUMMARY
Highs: Great kit of a rare subject. Well molded with great detail.
Lows: No interior, missing a couple fine detail parts.
Verdict: Great to have this rare subject in plastic, great kit, highly recommended
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35106
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 19, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Canada
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.35%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.81%

Our Thanks to Mirror Models Ltd.!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Kevin Brant (SgtRam)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA

I am an IT Consultant and father, with a passion for plastic models. I mostly prefer 1/35 Armor and 1/48 Aircraft. My main interests are anything Canadian, as well as WW2 German and British Armor and Aircraft. I have been building models since I was a young kid, got away from it for awhile, but r...

Copyright 2017 text by Kevin Brant [ SGTRAM ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


Reader Reviews
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Comments

Kevin, Thanks for the nice review. I wouldn't mind building up one of these kits, the CMP family has always been a favorite of mine.
APR 19, 2013 - 09:39 PM
I had this kit in my hands this morning and was all set to buy it, then after looking at it closely changed my mind. Because the canvas top is so smooth and firm looking, it looks more like metal than canvas. Absolutely no sag or texture to it and I couldn't imagine a way to improve it without making a major effort. Also, the photos in the instructions don' show the tie-downs on the sides for the canvas top -- they've either been sanded away or they used a different version of the kit for the instruction photos. I don't regret passing and will now wait patiently for the wrecker and hope that they do a better job.
APR 20, 2013 - 01:58 AM
Actually if you look at the actual vehicle, there is no real sag in the top. This is due to a sheet metal roof under the canvas. And the kit does have decent looking tie downs molded on to the sides.
APR 20, 2013 - 08:20 AM
Kevin, many thanks for the nice review. Brian, like Kevin says, this canvas does not have much that could be reproduced by plastic molding technology except the tie downs, which were added as a feature to production parts. These were not molded on test shots used for instructions or box images done in advance for printing, but somehow I really dont see your point, and what is wrong if the kit offers something more than is shown in building instructions - except things which could affect building of the kit as it is, but that is not this case. But sanding these off and replacing them with tiny rope would improve the kit look though. Canvas patter - it is simple thing, minimal detail that can be produced on injected plastic is 0,15mm, that means over 5mm in reality. I am not canvas specialist, but I have not seen any with pattern 5mm deep or so. In my opinion it is rather subject to painting and finishing technique, like masking the roof with very fine mesh and spraying few coats of paint as a base and they spraying final coast over it - it would certainly make nicely looking pattern I believe. Just a thought Cheers Libor
APR 21, 2013 - 10:59 AM
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