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U.S. Telephone Trailer K-38

 (catalogue n.º 538)
Available from
 Plusmodel 

17 resin parts, PE sheet and decals

Prize tag:15.70€/22,40$

 

Plusmodel is the most prolific 1:35 model company of diorama accessories and we are lucky that over the past years, we having the privilege to have the opportunity of reviewing several sets.

So for today, we got a telephone trailer!

            First of all, a little bit of history:

“Although the K-38 is cited as produced by various manufacturers;[1] the SNL-G-685 parts list[2] reveals that the unique body parts all had AT&T part numbers.

A list of serial numbers, manufacturers and dates of delivery is in compilation, and seems to indicate that Highway Trailer made the earliest units at the start of World War II, FWD production was later in World War II, and Regent Manufacturing post World War II production.

The disc wheels, 4" wide by 18" diameter, are described as "motorcycle type". The earliest trailers had two tie-down holes stamped in a recess on either side of the wheel hub, visible in one of the images used here. Later plain wheels sometimes had a single hole cut in a corresponding place in each wheel centre, or a welded-on loop, and the post war Regent production had a different style entirely with more of a lattice section towards the outside of the centre disc. This variation can be attributed to manufacturers using whatever wheels were available at time of production, but all wheels appeared to have been made or altered to be able to be secured by hole(s) or loop.

The bracket on the top is for a fuel-burning lantern used for roadside warning purposes, and on inspection appears rather more elaborate than it needs to be. A fabricated steel guard with mesh sides was provided for the lantern. No electrical wiring was provided on the original trailer, but a single taillight and reflector were commonly added.

Security was by padlock and hasp on the main lid, the rear lower hatch being secured by a pin with a pull handle running up the rear inside of the main body.

Production quantities are not known, but serial number spread suggest that FWD alone produced something over 3000 units, and there is a known spread of at least 250 units in the Highway Trailer serial numbers.

 

The US Army Signal Corps K-38 trailer, cable splicer, 1/4 ton, 2 - wheel, seems to have been a standard civilian American Telephone & Telegraph designed product from the 1930s that was adopted into military service, and later augmented by the K-38A, a modified Willys MB/GPW jeep trailer which was outfitted for the same work - the repair and maintenance of lead-wiped telephone cable joints. The parts list below was published in January 1945, which supports the assumption that both types were in use at the end of World War II. Identical civilian trailers dated as late as 1948 have been found, albeit with slightly different wheels.

Although the K-38 is cited as produced by various manufacturers,[nb 1] the SNL-G-685 parts list [1] reveals that the unique body parts all had AT&T part numbers.

A list of serial numbers, manufacturers and dates of delivery is in compilation, and seems to indicate that Highway Trailer made the earliest units at the start of World War II, FWD production was later in World War II, and Regent Manufacturing post World War II production. York-Hoover and Transport Freight production has not yet been dated. USA serial number information does not seem to exist - at least in quantity, and images of the unit is service are very few.

Most trailers seem to be identified simply as model "S" trailers on their respective serial plates, with just one known example of a late World War II FWD plate actually being stamped with the Signal Corps designation of "K-38". The hyphen is part of the Signal Corps designation and should not be neglected.

The disc wheels, 4" wide by 18" diameter, are described as "motorcycle type". The earliest trailers had two tie-down holes stamped in a recess on either side of the wheel hub, visible in one of the images used here. Later plain wheels sometimes had a single hole cut in a corresponding place in each wheel centre, or a welded-on loop, and the post war Regent production had a different style entirely with more of a lattice section towards the outside of the centre disc. This variation can be attributed to manufacturers using whatever wheels were available at time of production, but all wheels appeared to have been made or altered to be able to be secured by hole(s) or loop. The wheels appear to be subject to more corrosion and damage than the rest of the trailer, and are a particular problem for current restorers.

The bracket on the top is for a fuel-burning lantern used for roadside warning purposes, and on inspection appears rather more elaborate than it needs to be. A fabricated steel guard with mesh sides was provided for the lantern. No electrical wiring was provided on the original trailer, but a single taillight and reflector were commonly added.

Security was by padlock and hasp on the main lid, the rear lower hatch being secured by a pin with a pull handle running up the rear inside of the main body.

Production quantities are not known, but serial number spread suggest that FWD alone produced something over 3000 units, and there is a known spread of at least 250 units in the Highway Trailer serial numbers.”  - in Wikipédia

 

As all product from Plusmodel, the U.S. Telephone Trailer K-38 came with the usual packing, in small paper boxes with the parts wrap in bubbles plastic.

 

Inside there are 22 resin parts, a photo-etched fret and small decal.

 

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The small decal (plusmodel self-productions I think) only have four white stars with an appearance of a solid white color. It´s does not look like to be a transparent white.

 

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The PE freet is a small one but it contains 37 pieces.

 

In PE you will have all the small details like hinges, hooks, handles wire reel, cover supports, a sort of head “helmet” to communicate and others small exterior details.

 

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The resin is in dark grey and the majority of the parts have no flash at all. However, there´s two parts that have a protecting resin barrier to prevent damage. The trailer hinge and the axle for the springers.

 

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All parts are beautiful casted with no bubble or distortions... as usual, top noch from Plusmodel.

 And the surface detail is fantastic. For example, the trailer main pice have all the positive rivets and hinges well represented along the metallic reinforcements.

 

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The resin block are reduce to minimum making quite easy to remove with a saw.

The trailer cover also have some really nice detail in and outside allowing the modeller to display this trailer open or close which makes perfect sense as the trailer has full interior detail.

 

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The springer and the wheels have exquisite detail, quite fine and delicated.

 

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The instructions are a simple paper sheet with assembly diagram, decal placement directions. Nothing to report on this one, as they are clear to follow in the construction and decal guidance. One more point this time and looks like Plusmodel have been reading our review: a small paragraph with a historic text about the model itself. Great!

 

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No color guide is given but the boxart is a good color reference.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Quality and Plusmodel are two words that can be together always. And to make a word “menage” you can add “creativity.”

It’s a very good little kit that will enhance any diorama or vignette!

Kudos once again to Plusmodel.

 

 

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND

 

Our truly thanks to Plusmodel for these review samples.

 

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