WC-52 Truck

Kit # 7010 Article by Danilo Carli - 172normandyafv(at)gmail(dot)com
Edited by Rob Haelterman

The Italeri kit is the release of the older 1976 ESCI kit. It is composed of two moulds, sand yellow in my case but I've also seen olive green moulds; one has the common pieces shared by the M6 37mm GMC (aka WC-55) Italeri kit # 7025 and the other has the flat bed and the tarpaulin. The decal set and the instructions complete the kit. No transparent parts are given.
Close observation reveals this apparently is a good kit. The pieces are finely sculpted (see for example the leaf springs or the surface of the steps). There are some pieces nicely moulded separately, such as the tools. A thing immediately perceptible is that there are a lot of ejector pin marks to be erased. Cleaning confirms some pieces are as fragile as they look. The kit also has two seated figures, a driver and a passenger. They wear the battle dress, the helmet and the boots (without the leggings); no accoutrements or weapons. Details are soft and both need a bit of reshaping. If available in the spare box, a replacement head would be a good idea. Despite this, a crew is always a welcome bonus.
Strangely enough, the name of the kit, reported in every release since the original ESCI boxing, is incorrect: the model doesn’t depict the WC-51 as written on the box and on the instruction. The model depicted by the kit is the WC-52, as can be seen by the presence of the winch (the only difference between the two models). Officially known as G-502, "Truck, Cargo, 3/4 ton, 4x4, Weapons Carrier", it was the American equivalent of the British 15-cwt truck.

Registration numbers of the WC-52 were in the following batches: W245845-246394; W289213-291384; 291993-292512; 2160419-2179292; 2180276-2199555. As said, the WC-51 was very similar, being the same vehicle without the winch. Clearly, the conversion is very easy and for the modeller interested in such a job these are the registration numbers for the WC-51 batches: W252293-254792; W259135-289212; 291210-291992; 293685-294209; 2110000-2125113. I also have to say something about the WC-55 / M6 GMC. When they became obsolete, most of them were converted to the WC-52 standard (they had the winch), removing the 37mm gun and its support. I haven’t seen a photo of these reconverted trucks, so I I’m not sure about other modification to the body in the magazines area. However the WC-55 batches had these registration numbers: W6016072-6021066, W6022453-6022837.
After having identified the variant, let’s go to check the general dimensions:

1/72 Kit
14’ 9” 62.4 62.0
6’ 11” 29.2 28.8
5’ 2” 21.9 See text
6’ 10” 28.9 See text
98” 34.6 35.0
Axle track
64” ¾ 22.8 23.4
Wheels 9.00x16 12.4x3.6 12.2x3.6

Height apart, dimensions are quite well respected. As can also be seen in other reviews, the chassis is too high over the wheels. I chose my way to solve the problem, as correction is compulsive. I made the variant proposed by the kit. A very useful walkaround is here.

Production changes
As far as I've found, the WC51 and the WC52 had few details changed during production. In a 1/72 perspective, what we could consider are related to the body differences and the reservoir caps.


  • Early type: since the start of production (1942) to early 1943.
    The lower edges of the sides (forward and rearward of the wheelbays) weren't at the same level. The forward lower edge reached the step level while the rearward edge was placed higher. The front touched the spare wheel.
  • Mid type: until late 1944.
    The early type body forward lower edge was raised to the same as the rearward one.
  • Late type: until end production.
    The mid type body was shortened: the front was pushed rearward and didn't touch the spare wheel. The shortening is clearly visible around rounded depression for the tarpaulin fastening point(pushed rearward). Its surrounding area was made smaller.

    Reservoir cap

  • Early type: until 1943.
    The cap was fixed, centred in its depression.
  • Late type: until end production.
    The cap became larger and could be extracted to ease the filling.


Clearly the Italeri kit depicts an early type WC52. Anyway the conversion to a mid type is very easy to do.
As already told in other reviews, attention must be paid using photos of restored vehicles, because the owner could have used non original spares or could have added modern details to respect the current road rules.



Here is what I made:

As correctly noted by other modellers, the model built out of the box sits high on its wheels. This is due to three facts. First, there are squared shims over the axles, which interlock in the leaf springs. Second, the shackles are a bit too high. Third, the rear bumpers hit the lower edge of the rear. To correct this, I made the following changes:

  • I cut off the shim on the axles and the interlocks on the leaf springs. I also thinned them removing the lower leaf of the springs with sand paper.
  • I glued the leaf springs in place. When the glue was dry I carefully cut them off each front shackle and reduced its height by sanding. I glued them in the new position and repeated the job to the rear shackles.
  • I carefully removed the rear bumpers. The bumpers were then glued on the body’s lower rear edge, after being thinned on the lower edge.
  • Pay attention to the drive shafts. Contrary to the instruction the longer 47A goes forward and the mid one 46A goes rearward.
  • The front bumpers outer endings were filed to depict a C section. Their inner ending front edges were rounded with sand paper.
  • Attention must be paid to correctly place the winch subassembly to the chassis (check using a photo). Around the winch I wrapped a wire.
  • Particular attention is needed to correctly glue piece 3A in place, to which I thinned the thickness on the points of contact to the chassis and to the radiator bottom.
  • I added two belts from metallic sheet to the tank bottom.

Bonnet, cab and body

I didn’t follow the instruction sequence and, as usual to me, I glued the three parts together to have just two subassemblies and ease the paint job.

  • The upper edge of the bonnet top 20A needs to be rounded, being too much squared. I had to replace the radiator cap by stretched sprue.
  • I rounded the mudguards outer upper edge with sand paper, the originals not being squared. I also thinned the inner lower edge to avoid the bonnet louvers interference during the assembly.
  • The brush guards were asymmetrical. Using sand paper I shaped the two correct shapes.
  • I added the missing gear levers from stretched sprue.
  • In front of the passenger, barely visible, there was the fire extinguisher. I made it from plastic rod and stretched sprue.
  • The steering wheel rod is placed too much vertical giving an unnatural look. I replaced the rod with metallic wire (it looked a bit fragile to me) and drilled a hole on the floor bent line, just above the pedals, restoring a more natural position.
  • The spare wheel was mounted inside out with respect to the others. Unfortunately the inside is not well depicted. I carved its inner side with a motor tool.
  • The jerrycans are too much squared and look like boxes. After having sanded the corners, I added the caps and the triple handles to the jerrycans. They are moulded identical and not symmetrical, in this way the one which is placed to the body have to be glued with the cap inside.
  • There weren’t side doors. In their place there were two belts which I made from plastic strips. Two others were placed over the tailgate.
  • The flatbed vertical interlocks for the tailgate 21A and the front side 22A were cut off being absent in the original.
  • The backrest bases 108B and 109B were thinned. I inverted their sub assemblies (backrest + base) placement with respect to the instructions. The central position of the tarpaulin frame pushed forward the central support position and in this way the wider distance between the vertical rods was rearward. It must be noted that the backrests and their base are smartly moulded separately. The backrest could be folded down inward, an easy way to differentiate the model.
  • The rear lights are a bit too far from the corner. I left them as they were. The correction is not impossible anyway. I carefully filled the join between the sides and the rear side.
  • The tool rack 120B edges were thinned, being huge.
  • The tools need their belts. I made them from metallic sheet.
  • On the left side of the rear plate an antenna bracket could be present. I didn’t add mine; anyway it was a simple shelf, very easy to do.
  • The tarpaulin is really too much wide. Partially because the top is wide, partially because the sides are thick. After assembly I filed its sides, thinning them to restore the correct width. Then I filed the front trapezoidal part to the correct size and shape. Being a canvas cover I rounded the corners and I tried to give a bit of sagging by sand paper after having filled the inner side by cyanoacrylate glue and plastic chips where required. Unfortunately I lost the original engraved details. A thing to be noted is that the body tarpaulin and the cab tarpaulin were two separate pieces. The cab one could be erased, leaving just the body one and have another way to depict a model with something different. Inside I glued the three frames made from metallic wire. My tarpaulin ended up a bit too smooth and I’m not sure I’ll use it, however its correction is proven.


Three vehicles are depicted. None of them is drawn with the winch… All the three variants are repeated in a kit since the first 1/35 Max kit was released, where the last two were associated with the winch-less WC-51 and just the first with a WC-52. I didn’t find their photos. Anyway...

  • USA 218077, “MOHAWK”, 4-2R8 A-B16; the bumper codes look strange to me while the registration number surely is part of a 4,628 WC-4 batch (which was a different truck).
  • 2304853 Tn-10 B-15; the registration number is out of the WC-51/52 batches.
  • USMC 59231 2D – C, “OLD CROW”

For the generic bridge class disc, the background colour is white. It should be yellow.

Despite the chassis problem about the height and the oversized tarpaulin, the kit is still amazing. It is more than 40 years old and is still a good kit. If one compares it to the only other Dodge WC class plastic kit, the Academy WC-54, which was released in 2005 (when the ESCI kit was already 29 years older), the Italeri WC-52/55 still have some parts which are better depicted and that can be used as replacement for the Academy kit. A new decal set is wished for. Recommended.

Preview sample purchased by the author.


This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

Back to Italeri Kit List

Back to Construction Reviews

Article Last Updated: 30 September 2019

Back to Home Page