Build & Review: Academy #13412: 1/72 U.S. M977 8×8 Cargo Truck

The Kit

I bought this M977 8×8 Cargo Truck to compliment my other builds ( Bradley, Humvee, US Soldiers & Apache ) for the ISM New Age Desert Rats group build. Academy have a winning streak with their “1/72 WWII Ground Vehicle” sets. I’ve picked 5 of the series so far and will no doubt be getting more.

This set is the Gerry Anderson esk, M977 8×8 Cargo truck.

Like all Academy kits I’ve built, the detail is excellent, the fit is great and mould and injection marks tend to be hidden away. On with the build…

Speaking of injection marks, these were the only ones I had to fill. I could have left them as they are under the bed and wont be seen, but I’ll know they are there…

Not visible in the box are is a small crane/jib at the back of the vehicle, there’s a few small parts so take your time.

The rest of the build was steady and uneventful. I left the cab, trailer and frame as sub-assemblies ready for painting


I’d already painted up the Bradley so I had a good idea how I wanted to progress. I started with my usual Poundland primer undercoat, then black pre-shading along panel lines and joins.

Then it was successively lighter layers from the Vallejo Desert Modulation set, starting in the centre of each panel and fading out to the edges.

With the base coats down, I picked out the rusty exhaust parts and chipped the paintwork using a sponge and Vallejo black brown. I like my stuff to look used.

I clear coated with vallejo gloss varnish and used a watery burnt umber oil wash to pick out the detail.

I removed the wash from the centre of panel lines using Sansodor thinners and cotton bud. Once I was happy with it, I realised I’d forgotten to put the (few) decals on!

I applied the decals ( I should have done this before the chipping ) and sealed the whole thing with vallejo matte varnish.

I gave the whole thing a very, very light drybrush on the edges and raised surface detail.

Next it was the window glass ( this is why I’d left the roof off the cab 😉 )

I gave the wheels and underside a light dusting of sand coloured pigment and I’m calling it done.

Here’s a couple of natural light shots along with some of the other vehicles I’m setting it with.

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