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Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor with TRCU30 trailer 30t. tank transporter - case report

To the rescue !!
      This is the opportunity to see this brave girl whose mission was to take and rescue the tanks on the battlefields. Let's talk about the Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor with TRCU30 trailer 30t. tank transporter.
Found !!!
The crew of Scammell Pioneer tank transporter loading a broken
Matilda Infantry tank in the 30 ton. trailer - Africa, 1942.
      The Scammell Pioneer was a British 6x4 tractor unit used in the Second World War as an artillery tractor, recovery vehicle and tank transporter.
      Designed as a 6×4 off-road vehicle for use in Britain's colonies where sealed roads were scarce, the Pioneer was first produced in 1927. Though lacking all-wheel drive, its combination of a suspension with great travel, excellent traction, and a low-revving engine gave it impressive pulling power on rough ground at low speeds. Though not designed for military use, the British War Office purchased a single petrol engined example in 1932. Equipped as a tank transporter with a permanently coupled 18t semi-trailer, it was assigned to a training unit but did not initially catch on. Additional transporters were not purchased until 1937.
Scammell early with Medium Tank Mk II a
       All Pioneers in British Army were equipped with a 102 hp Gardner 6 cylinder diesel engine, rear-wheels drive and a power winch. Introduced in 1935, the version R100 heavy artillery tractor was used in World War II to tow medium and heavy artillery. 980 Pioneers R100 were produced to the end of the war. 
Scammell Pioneer R100
      From 1936 the British Army began to receive 43 Pioneers heavy recovery vehicles SV1S. Many of these SV1S and R100 vehicles were lost in France in June 1940, destroyed by the withdrawing troops or captured by the Germans. The version SV2S had a redesigned crane with greater lifting height and was introduced in 1938. Total of 1.975 SV2S were built. Delivery of a tank transporter began in the ends of the 30s.
Scammell Pioneer SV2S
Tank Transporter:
      With the exception of the 1932 prototype (see pic above...) , delivery of a production variant tank transporter did not begin until 1937.
Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor with TRCU30 trailer 30t. tank transporter
North Africa, 1942.
      The production variant was equipped with a longer chassis for an extended cab to accommodate the tank crew as passengers and larger rear wheels than the Artillery tractor and Recovery vehicle variants and was given the designation Pioneer TRCU20. 20 and 30-ton (Pioneer TRMU20/TRCU30). See below this instructional video of how the Scammels Tank Transporters 20 and 30 ton. were operating:

Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor under fire.
Notice the Crusader without the left track, on the trailer.
Desert of North Africa, July 1942.
Scammell Pioneer "Snow White" TRMU 30 tractor with 30t trailer
carrying a MkIV cruiser tank
1st Armoured Division - Le Neuborg, France
British forces retreat - June, 9 -1940.
The same Scammell Pioneer "Snow White" TRMU 30 tractor with 30t trailer
seen above, after her rescue from France, carrying an A9 cruiser tank
North Africa, 1941

    The tractor/trailer combinations were delivered, in both cases the trailer was more-or-less fixed to the tractor and not demountable like modern semi-trailer trucks.
The Scammell pioneer TRMU30 coupling
     Hinged ramps were used to get the tank onto the trailer, which if immobilised could be pulled on with the tractor unit's winch.  See this action below (no sound):

    Pioneer tractor/trailer combinations proved too tall to carry higher profile US tanks under some British bridges, resulting in their being superseded by the American Diamond T tank transporter from 1941 on.
Scammell tank transporter with M4 Sherman in the desert...
Africa, 1942.
   Despite this it remained in production throughout the war, with 459 being produced. As a result of their tall profile the trailers proved undesirable postwar and most were scrapped; the tractors were retained for use with other trailers or sold into civilian use.


Scammell Pioneer
TypeTractor unit
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service          1932 - 1980s
Used byBritish Army
Wars                                         World War II
Production history
DesignerScammell Lorries Ltd
No. built459
VariantsTank transporter
WeightUnladen: 8.51 t
Payload: 3.00 t
Max towed: 19.96 t
Length6,7 m
with trailer: 11,13m
WidthTank transporter: 2.87 m
Height2.97 m

Engine510 cu in (8.4 L) Gardner 6-cylinder Diesel
102 brake horsepower (76 kW) @ 1700 rpm
Transmission6-speed constant-mesh gearbox
SuspensionWalking beam, 6×4
Operational range
690 km
Speed39 km/h

The kit:
      For this commission project, I'll use the kit from Thunder Model, the British Scammell Pioneer TRMU30/TRCU30 Tank transporter 30 ton. (#35200).
Thunder Model Scammell's box kit
      First of all, my admiration about the attitude taken by this Company, respecting the modeler as a consumer and aficionado.
      When this kit was released on the market, an error was detected in the number of "vertical honeycombs" on the radiator of the tractor. Immediately, Thunder provided an extra piece in resin to correct this flaw. And this part I found inside the box of my kit as soon as I opened it ... Congratulations, Thunder. This is called COMMITMENT WITH QUALITY !!
The correction in the box kit:
Left: the correct resin radiator with 8 vertical honeycombs
Right: the wrong plastic radiator with 6 vertical honeycombs...

Well done, Thunder!!!

      After this tribute to those who deserve it, let's continue the work ...
The radiator and the engine...
The engine is a jewel...

My scratch was the cooper wire in the injector pump...
Very detailed part!!!
Front suspension...

      And the building goes by the booklet:
Front suspension in place with details...

Engine in the chassis. A new approach in terms of engine painting ... I hope!!!

Rear differential and chassi winch system.

In place...

       Well... The coupling system of the kit is based on a plastic pin with 1mm in diameter: An invitation to disaster ... I will replace the plastic pin by a metal wire of 1mm in diameter, with the possibility of disassembling the trailer of the chassis without accidents.
The disease...

The cure. Notice the new plastic bushing (red arrow) to increase
the locking extension of the metal pin ...

All in place...

The coupling with 360 degree rotation with no possibility of breaking ...

In position...
Notice the sizes of the two Scammels, side by side...
My Scammell SV2S you already know ...
      And the Saga continues...

Cabin building... Nice details...

And painted. The rifle and other details are from my spare parts box...
Shame on you, Thunder!!!

But here, a point to thunder; the dashboard with decals...
Simple and effective...

The engine...right side

Engine: left side...

Preparing to close the cabin ...

Done: left side

Right side; the absence of the door is because the steering wheel is waiting ...

Stering wheel in place...

And the right front door in position...

The TRMU 30 is huge!!!

Adding details...

The tractor is ready for painting...

Now, it's trailer time!!

Trailler - starting - belly view

Trailler - starting - top view

With Valentine CDL, testing the trailer...
Trailer almost done...

Testing the coupling...

Scammells all around!!!

Masking for painting...

Tomorrow, primer + desert yellow...
The end is near!!!

My private alchemy...

My yellow recipe: a blend of Vallejo + Mig + rattlesnake powder + bat skin...
      About markings, I wonder if the Scammells fought side by side with the Diamonds tank transporters in the African desert. My intention was use the same markings of vehicles operated by the RASC in the African desert. Something like that:
Scammell marings: Maybe??

      I put this question on Social Networks and I received this great news of our friend James Elliot (thanks a lot, James...) 
      "I know for a fact that the RASC operated both vehicles as my grandad was a RASC Driver and told stories of driving both, he favoured the DT (Diamond T) though! Can’t help on the markings I’m afraid..."
      It was the confirmation I needed. Although there is no photographic proof of these specific markings for the Scammells, as they served in the same unit of the Diamonds, nothing would prevent the use of the same markings. For me, it's a very concrete and consistent What-if ...
        And to improve, James send to me this pic, with Scammells and Diamond work togheter, in the African Desert: "Marcos Serra Thankyou, here’s a picture of both DT ‘s and Pioneers in use together. I know these are recovery variety’s but it shows both makes in theatre together!"

Big girls working togheter, in the African sands...
      As I had a spare sheet of decal from Star Decals with Diamond's markings (#35-963), I put the markings on the girl !!!

Air recognition cross in the roof...
Surgery for use in a bigger cabin...

British roundel covering the gaps...  it's works!!

Left side of the cabin...

Right side...

Trailer number 6 - RASC!!

Now, it's time to aplly the matt varnish and
glue the wheels...
Rear view of marings...
notice the metal jigs for perfect alignment of wheels ...
Scammell Pioneer tank transporter with
Scammell Pioneer SV2S Heavy Breakdown Tractor

The TRMU version is big!!!

Working with Matilda CDL

Almost there...

      Final touches; Value Gear stuff:
Value Gear for the Scammell and Valentine CDL...

Almost ready...
      A nice shot of two fine Scammell girls:
Scammell Pioneer SV2S Heavy Breakdown Tractor and
Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor
     And finally, the Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor with TRCU30 trailer 30t. tank transporter it's ready. The only thing to regret is that this beauty is not mine, but a commission work. it will be painful to deliver this pearl to its owner...But it was a delight to be with the girl during this building period.
      Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor with TRCU30 trailer 30t. tank transporter. 8th British Army; GHQ Middle East Forces; Royal Army Service Corps (RASC); 372nd Tank Transporter Company; Western Desert, 1942.
Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor -  8th British Army
GHQ Middle East Forces -  Royal Army Service Corps (RASC)
372nd Tank Transporter Company -  Western Desert, 1942.

TRCU30 trailer 30t. tank transporter

 Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor with TRCU30 trailer 30t. tank transporter.

 Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor with TRCU30 trailer 30t. tank transporter
carrying a Crusader A15 cruiser Mk I tank

Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor with TRCU30 trailer 30t. tank transporter
8th British Army - GHQ Middle East Forces
Royal Army Service Corps (RASC)
372nd Tank Transporter Company -  Western Desert, 1942.

Scammell Pioneer TRMU30 Tractor with Kojak
and Rover, the dog.

Thanks for follow, my friends!!!