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GMC Bofors

Converting a 2 1/2-ton Bofors GMC Truck
By Thomas Bollessen

A unique feature of the 2éme Division Blindée were their self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicles. When being equipped by the US in 1943, they originally received some Bofors 40mm guns, towed by GMC 2 1/2-ton trucks. The idea of towed AA didn't fit in the division's intended role of a fast unit, so the French mechanics went to work creating their own self-propelled AA. They removed the original loadbeds from the trucks, mounted a simple flat platform and bolted the Bofors guns directly to the GMCs. 

What you need:

- 0.5 plastic card or cardboard
- plastic tube (0,5 inch diameter)
- 4 small rare earth magnets
- US541 M1 Bofors 40mm Gun
- US430 GMC 2 1/2-ton Truck (Special Order)

Of course, you could also use US431 GMC 2 1/2-ton Truck (2x Resin), but it would be a real pain to remove the tray/load bed!

GMC Bofors
GMC Bofors

Tools Needed

- protective mask
- sharp craft knife
- ruler
- superglue, gluestick, plastic glue
- file/sandpaper
- saw or dremel-tool
- drills (same diameter as magnets)

Step 1: Preparing the Gun

Assemble gun as per instruction sheet

Special modification:
Drill hole in the base of the gun for a magnet.

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

Step 2: Preparing the Truck

Remove the sides and the back of the truck's bed with a saw or the dremel tool.


Warning: Resin dust is harmful! Wear protective mask!

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

Step 3: Modifying the Truck Bed

Drill hole for the gun into the middle of the tray, 19-20mm from driver's cabin. (see sketch on PDF-file for specifics)

If you've magnetized the gun, make the hole slightly deeper and glue magnet in place. Be sure to check the polarity fits the one in the gun!

Cut out holes over back tires (11 x 5mm, see sketch on PDF-file)

Glue the wheels onto the vehicle.

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

Step 4: The Wheel Wells

Cut parts from plastic tube (length 5mm; 60 degrees angle)

Glue the cuts of tubing into the wheel well as shown below.

***If you prefer the easy option, you're finished now! Otherwise, keep reading!

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

Step 5: Stowage Racks & Seats

The French engineers not only bolted the gun to the loadbed but also provided seats for the crew and stowage racks for ammunition.
So out comes the plasticard!

Print out and cut the shapes found on the conversion PDF. Use either cardboard or 0.5mm polystyrene sheet something similar.

GMC Conversion PDF ... 

Hint: Print the PDF on white paper and glue it to the styrene sheet using a glue-stick. After cutting the parts the paper can easily be removed using water.

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

Glue parts together (see instructions on pdf) and glue the completed rack to the back of the truck.

The tray/load bed is about 22 mm wide, so to fit the rack properly, carefully file down the back corners of the tray (4 x 0,5 mm, see sketch on PDF-file)

 

GMC Bofors

 

Finishing Details

Cut length (21mm approx.) of provided seat as to fit the space in the rack, glue to funny lead pieces

Finish the assembly of the truck (wheels, driver, windscreen, cab roof), Add some crew and ammo boxes to finish off the model.

There you go—a 2 1/2-ton GMC Bofors SPAA truck!

Related Links 

French 2éme Division Blindée History ...

French 2éme Division Blindée Briefing PDF ...

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors

GMC Bofors


Last Updated On Thursday, September 25, 2008 by Mike at Battlefront