The publication of any images or informations related to nazism, fascism or any other totalitarian regimes must be understood as the reproduction of historical accuracy and not as apology to these regimes, leaders or symbols.
A publicação de qualquer imagem ou informação referentes ao nazismo, fascismo ou quaisquer outros regimes totalitários deve ser entendida como reprodução do rigor histórico e não como apologia a estes regimes, líderes ou símbolos.

Bedford QLR - 4x4 wireless truck - case report


    Today's theme is about one of the most famous workhorses of the Allied transport trucks. Let's talk about the Bedford QL 4x4, especially the wireless version, Bedford QLR 4x4 wireless.

Bedford QLR 4x4 command/wireless truck

    The Bedford QL was a series of trucks, manufactured by Bedford Vehicles for use by the British Armed Forces in the Second World War.

Bedford emblems

    Although Bedford Vehicles only started producing utility vehicles under its own brand in 1931 and did not supply its first military vehicle until 1936, this company was probably the most important manufacturer of military trucks in Britain during World War II, reaching wartime production numbers of more than 250,000 vehicles.

    The early Bedford models included the 2-ton WHG and WLG, and the 30 cwt WS; all were fitted with a Chevrolet cab, and were powered by a six-cylinder petrol engine producing 64 hp from a capacity of 3.178cc. Examples of all of these, as well as the later WT model, were supplied to the British Army. 
Bedford WHG - 1936
Bill Richardson Transport World museum

Bedford WLG - 1936

Bedford WS 30CWT - 1937

Bedford WT - 1936.

    In 1936, Bedford entered a 12-cwt van and a 2-ton truck for military trials, both being lightly-militarised commercial vehicles, the former acquitting itself well.
Bedford 12 CWT van - 1936
    The following year, the company entered a square-nosed 15-cwt 4x2 truck for the same trials, which had been assembled largely from off-the shelf components; in 1938, the same vehicle was trialled again, but now fitted with Bedford's new 3,519cc 72bhp engine. In 1939, this truck went into production as the MW, with a total of almost 66,000 eventually constructed. 
Bedford MW 15 CWT 4x2

    It was also in 1939 that the company announced a completely new range of restyled, and more powerful, civilian trucks, including the K, M and 0 Series, all of which used the new 3,519cc engine. The 0 Series was eventually adapted for military service as the 30-cwt OX (short wheelbase), a version of which was also produced for use as a tractor for semi-trailers, and the 3-ton OY (long wheelbase), of which some 72,385 examples were constructed. 
Bedford OXD 30-CWT 4x2 3 ton.

Bedford OXC 4x2 tractor semi-trailer

Bedford OXC 4x2 tractor semi-trailer
RAF Museum - London

Bedford OY 4x2 3 ton.

    In 1941, Bedford produced its first all-wheel drive truck, in the form of the forward-control QL. A pilot model was ready in February 1940 and quantity production started in March 1941.

    The Bedford QL was in production from 1941 until 1945; some 52 250 were made. In addition to the most common GS cargo truck (QLD) there were several derivatives, e g. the QLC chassis/cab (for bodywork by outside contractors, including refuellers and tractors for semi-trailers), the QLB Bofors gun tractor, QLR signals vehicles, QLT troop carrier and QLW airportable tipper QLB and QLW had a 5-ton winch. QL-series trucks were used by all services for many years and a fair number have been preserved in Museums and in private hands.

  • QL1:
    • first prototype, made in 1940 (see pic above).
  • QLB:
    • Bofors gun tractor. Approximately 5,500 QLBs were built. Several QLBs were fitted with shortened GS bodies and recovery cranes to be used as wreckers by the Danish Army (Used until late 1960s).
Bedford QLB (Aussie) towing a 40mm Bofors AA gun

Bedford QLB
Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, Brussel

Bedford QLC fire engine, one of the tenders of 104 Fire Fighting Company
(Army Fire Service), stationed in Caen - Normandy.

Bedford QLC fire engine without tarp
upper rear view

Bedford QLC fuel tanker (RAF) refueling a
Tropicalized Hurricane with gasoline - Italy

Bedford QLC tanker, refueling a C47 in Brussels, 1945.

Bedford QLC 4x4-2 Dromedary 

Bedford QLC 4x4-2 Dromedary
rear right view

Bedford QLC 6 pdr. gun portee (without the gun)
Notice the wide cargo bay and soft cabin

Bedford QLC Portee with 6pdr unloaded, crossing 
a captured location in Tunisia
(source: British Pathe newsreel)
Bedford QLC 6 pdr. gun portee 
converted to troop-carrier, with a QLT bay cargo and soft cabin

  • QLD:
    • General service (GS) cargo truck and was the most numerous version in the series.
Bedford QLD (GS) - Notice the metal bay cargo

Bedford QLD (GS) with "Mickey Mouse" cammo

  • QLR:
    • Signals vehicle. Originally Originally mounted on the QLC chassis/cab, special QLR chassis were soon put into production, which differed from the standard type in having special electrical equipment, radio suppression, fitment of a 660 W auxiliary generator driven by the transfer case power-take-off and, like the QLT, two 16 gallon petrol tanks instead of one behind the cab. The interior furniture, partitioning and radio equipment varied from the different functions. On vehicles installed for the wireless role, a tent could be erected at the rear and sides. Between cab and man body were lockers for aerial masts and other equipment. Beneath the body were further lockers and racks for cable drums, batteries, tyre chains, 20 gallon drinking water tank, rectifier box, tools, fuel tank for the auxiliary engine, jerrycans and other items. The basic body shells were produced by Duple, Lagonda, Mulliner, Tickford and others. A revised body was introduced during 1944 for the Command High and Low Power and Wireless High Power roles. This body had an improved "L"-shaped tent which could be erected alongside the left-hand side and rear of the body.
A brand new Bedford QLR in England

Bedford QLR

Bedford QLR with tent erected
in the right side of the body.

Bedford QLR wireless

  • QLT:
    • Troop carrier, with extended body for an intended load or 29 men and their equipment. 3,373 Bedford were produced before the war ended.
Bedford QLT - 3/4 front view

Bedford QLT - rear view showing the seats for troops

  • QLW:
    • This winch equipped model had a 2,3 cubic meters Edbro tipper body. About 1000 Bedford  QLWs were produced  of which the last 600 were designed to be air-portable, the Bedford QLW, APT version.. Entering service in 1944, with a 5 ton winch and 52 meters of cable they were used by REME and RAF construction units. When used with a Tilt Cover they were also deployed as a General Service trucks. Broken down into two loads the Bedford QLW could be shipped in two C47 Dakota's.
Bedford QLW (winch) chassis

Bedford QLW with the tipper bay fully raised

Bedford QLW with tipper covered with tarp.
 They were also used as a General Service trucks

Bedford QLW with tipper covered with tarp,
transporting troops and towing a trailer.

  • Lorry, 3 ton, GS Bedford half-track (Bedford-Bren - prototype only)
    • Following the fall of Singapore rubber was scarce and so at the request of the Ministry of Supply a Bedford QL was adapted using a Carden Lloyd suspension taken from a Bren Gun Carrier. While the Bedford-Bren was capable of impressive feats of tractive power (which could have been easily produced in its own right as a prime mover) British authorities, unlike the Americans and Germans, did not favour the half-track. The shortage of rubber was not as severe as anticipated and official interest in the project waned. Not only did this British parallel to the German Maultier not go into production, the single prototype was converted back into an all-wheel vehicle.
Bedford half-track (Bedford-Bren - prototype)

  • Lorry, 3 ton, 4 x 4, Bedford, experimental (Bedford Giraffe - prototype only)
    • An attempt to make a motor vehicle capable of deep wading for river crossings and amphibious landing, the Bedford Giraffe was developed as insurance against the shallow wading kits under development did not prove effective in deeper water. As a 'plan B' Vauxhall adapted a Bedford GL by mounting its engine, cab and gearbox on an elevated girder frame some seven feet high, with a chain drive transmitting power to the propshaft. The ungainly but effective vehicle demonstrated it was a viable solution should hastily extemporised waterproofing kits fail but they proved effective and so no specialised type was required.
Bedford Giraffe - prototype
Front view

Bedford Giraffe - prototype
Rear view
  • Bedford-Vauxhall BT "Traclat"
    • In 1943, after German medium half-tracks had been captured in Africa & tested in Britain, it was decided to copy it for the British Army as a towing vehicle for the 25 pdr, 17pdr and 40mm AA guns. un. The German SdKfz.7, 8-ton version was decided on as the one to produce & Vauxhall Motor's Bedford Truck Division was told to copy it as closely as possible. Vauxhall insisted on large orders before starting production so the Army ordered 7,500 for 1944 & 5,000 for 1945 delivery. However doubts were expressed about the very time-consuming production of the high-quality needle-bearing track components & disruption to Tank production. By June 1945 only 6 prototypes had been built. Testing showed that the Traclat was superior to all other vehicles being considered for the job but it was cancelled due to its cost.
      The bodies & front wheels were standard Bedford items. The Traclat was powered by two Bedford six-cylinder 140 hp engines (with their radiators) mounted side-by-side - the cooling system for each engine was seperate. These engines drove via shafts into a coupling gearbox. The track bogie-wheels were of German pattern but seem to be taken from a mix of German half-track types (hole patterns) - the outer ones from SdKfz-11 / SdKfz-251 while the inners from a DB-10 (12 ton) final type. Vauxhall re-engineered everything was for imperial measurements - imperial nuts & bolts etc used. This meant that the track bogie-wheels were new, even though they retained the Germanic styling, thus accounting for the strange (non-German) hole patterns, very conical centers & hubs. And to top it off, the vehicle had a right-hand drive. (font:
Bedford-vauxhall BT "Traclat"
prototype no. 6 (font: Vauxpedia)


Bedford QL
Place of origin                                           United Kingdom
Service history
Used byBritish Armed Forces
WarsSecond World War
Production history
ManufacturerBedford (General Motors)
No. built52,247
VariantsQL1, QLB, QLC, QLD, QLR, QLT & QLW
Mass3,277 kg (empty)
6,985 kg (loaded)
Length5.99 m
Width2.26 m
Crew1 + staff personnel

EngineBedford, 6 cyl  3,519 cc
petrol - 72 hp 
Payload capacity3 tons
SuspensionWheel, 4x4
Operational range
250 km

The kit:
    Today, we live very happy days in relation to scale models. Several manufacturers strive to produce varied models, with companies diversifying their production lines and presenting numerous alternatives, like this Bedford QLR from IBG (even with details of the interior ...).

Bedford QLR Wireless, from IBG (#35017)
Box art
    But in the dark-ages of 2005, when I built this project, the only Bedford on the market on a 1/35 scale, was the old Bedford gun portée, from Peerless/Italeri / Revell.  
A pearl from the old-days (1974): Bedford gun portée
My Peerless kit... Yeah...I'm a old school guy!!

   If you wanted to make a Bedford QLR back in the 2005, or you bought the complete kit in resin (and it was, as always, very expensive: a cornea and a kidney ...) manufactured by Plus Models or Resicast...

    ...or you would have to build the Portée version, find a closed cabin in the accessories market and execute the entire shelter area in scratch ... 
The PlusModel cabin kit in my worbench...

    And that's what I did...
Sorry for the quality of the photos.
My digital camera was really very primitive, in those Dark Ages ...
And unfortunately I missed some images from the initial steps.
The Peerless chassis with PlusModel cabin

PlusModel cabin with interior painted...
    For the construction of the shelter, the first thing I did was to print the profile in 3 views on a 1/35 scale. With this, I was able to glue the profiles drawn directly on the plasticard board with PVA glue, for the necessary cuts ...
The left side of the shelter. Cutting the plasticard
with scalp and Dremel.

    Cutting the front and rear walls. The screws keep the parts together and, with that, they are identical after cutting. I use the same system for the side walls: maintaining symmetry is very important to avoid twisting the construction of the shelter.
Front and rear walls before the final cut.
The screw holes will then be sealed with plasticard discs ...

Cutting the side panels of the shelter...
I used 1.5mm thick plasticard

Cutting the floor, based in the side wall panels...

After cutting all the panels, gluing the walls perpendicularly,
using a square for the perfect alignment of the shelter.

Testing the  perpendicularity ...

Doing the internal reinforcements and the wheel housings ...
I didn't make the interior apparent ...
Life is too short for certain things ....

The shelter closed...

...and painted in green. The dark color it was applied on purpose,
so that the interior was as "unobtrusive" as possible through the windows ...

Making window glass with transparencies and gluing with PVA glue...

Transforming the original Peerless horizontal fuel tank
to the vertical version of the QLR.
Repositioning the filling nozzle and
making the ribs with a stretched sprue

Maing the stowage bin with plasticard
Notice the future space to spare wheel...

Stowage bin in position
See another details in the pic...

The shelter growing...

Fuel tank in detail...

Gluing the shelter in the chassi...
left side view
Gluing the shelter in the chassi...
right side view

Adding details in scratch...

    The spare wheel rack was made with plasticards ant tons of patient... This is the drawing of all the ting!!

1- Oil can rack (from the it)
2- spare wheel rack (scratch)
3- spare wheel in resin (spare parts box)

The spare wheel in position...
Notice the details...
Ols school scratch!!

Adding details in scratch...
Only the oil can rack is from kit...
Top view - right side

Top view - left side
    These trucks generally had awnings on the sides, for the comfort of their crew. I made two rolls of awnings using the well-known tracing-paper technique ... Glue the edge of the paper to the copper wire and let it dry for a while. You will fold and roll the paper in this support:
Two cooper wire rods and tracing paper...

After gluing one of the edges of the tracing paper
to the metal wire with super glue, I start to wrap the paper in the wire ...

The paper, almost completely wrapped in the wire ...
Keep the roll formed for some time.

I unrolled the paper and applied a solution
of PVA glue + water (50% + 50%).
I rolled everything up again,
without too much pressure ......

Waiting for the glue to dry ...

While the formed roll dries, take the time to tie the canvas
obtained with polyester thread folded in half.
Tie tightly, taking advantage of the paper being soft by the glue,
clearly demarcating the mooring regions

Ready and dry awnings | !!!

Testing in the sides of the roof: perfect!!

Applying the canvas to the skylight (tracing-paper).
Notice the roof rack ...

And making folded tarps (with tracing paper) for the front rack.
The straps are made with paper tape.

    For this project, I chose the following markings, on a "Mickey-Mouse" type camouflage: Bedford QLR 4x4 wireless truck number 2, belonged to Divisional Headquarters of 11th Armoured Division (part of VIII British Army Corps), in the battles of Operation Epsom, in department of Calvados, Normandy - France, in 27 June 1944.
11th Armoured Division insignia: the "Charging Bull" , but
the Division was also known as the "Black Bulls".

    Unfortunately, I missed the photos of the initial stages of painting, but I remade the photos of the final result of the work. This is my Bedford QLR 4x4 wireless truck number 2, belonged to Divisional Headquarters of 11th Armoured Division (part of VIII British Army Corps), in the battles of Operation Epsom, in department of Calvados, Normandy - France, in 27 June 1944.
Bedford QLR 4x4 wireless truck number 2 - Divisional Headquarters
11th Armoured Division - VIII British Army Corps
Operation Epsom - Calvados, Normandy
France - 27 June 1944.

Bedford QLR 4x4 wireless truck
with Kojak and Rover, the dog.
Bedford QLR 4x4 wireless truck with Bedford haltrack prototype

Bedford QLR 4x4 wireless truck number 2 - Divisional Headquarters
11th Armoured Division - VIII British Army Corps
Operation Epsom - Calvados, Normandy
France - 27 June 1944.

Happy New Year, Lads!!!