WW II Scammell Pioneer SV/2S Heavy Breakdown Tractor

Somehow I always had a weakness for British vehicles from the second World War. Their robust appearances always attracted me. Be it the smaller cars or the bigger trucks. One of these was the Scammell SV2S Heavy Breakdown Tractor. I was very supprised that this vehicle was produced in plastic by IBG Models. Below two overview pictures from the Maintenance manual.

SCAMMELL SV/25 6 4 HEAVY BREAKDOWN (1) Long lift, 2-ton load, (2) Short lift, 3-ton load, (3) Folded away for travelling, the hand operated hoist being worm-driven. Length 20ft 3in (25ft jib fully extended) Width 8ft 61 Height: 9ft 5in Weight Laden: 10 tons I7 cwts gross.

Probably the most widely used and longest in service of the British recovery vehicles. the Scammell Model SV/2S Powered by a Gardner 6LW diesel engine (RAC Rating 43.5 hp) with 6 forward and l reverse gear this tractor had a range of 535 miles at a maximum governed speed of 24 mph. Special fittings included an 8-ton vertical winch with 450 feet of 7/8 inch cable, and detachable ballast weights mounted in front of the radiator - The breakdown crane of sliding jib design being operated by means of a small hand winch, having three positions, see drawing below. On the right a close-up of the counterweight mounted in the front of the vehicle.

The first production Scammell Recovery Tractor was the model SV/1S delivered in 1939. It had a narrow A-frame jib mounted at the top with a horizontal girder I-Beam that folded into the body when not in use. Only around 50 of these vehicles were delivered before a less complex crane was designed. This new crane was designed and built by Herbert Morris and became standard for the Scammell Recovery SV/2S Tractor. A hand operated winch mouted at the front of the body was used for lifting. The picture below shows the jib fully extended.

The Scammell SV/2S was the standard heavy recovery tractor used in the desert and North-West Europe. In North Africa they were attached to unit LADs as well as RAOG or REME workshop and recovery units. The Scammell was by 1944 replaced for frontline work by tanks converted into armoured recovery vehicles like the ARV Mk I and Mk II. But behind the lines they remained in service till the end of the war.

While searching on the internet I came across the page by Panzerserra, that gave a good explanation of building this vehicle. Above this info I can show some more details of the Scammell Breakdown Tractor below. These are from the Driver's Handbook.

The driver's manual describes two kinds of air cleaners. The pressed type and the cast type. In the kit we find the cast type as can be seen on the camouflage pictures below and the parts pictures. I do not know what type was more common or if these parts were interchangable.

The kit parts

Scammell Breakdown with tracks installed.

In the drawing below a purpose built tray is shown to stow away the tracks depicted here.

Above a nice Youtube video of the Breakdown Tractor in action.

Often you see that the wheel nuts of a Britsh truck are painted white and red, But according to the manual there should be two rings of nuts, uncoloured inner ring and red couloured outer ring, keeping the two rims together on the tyres. The manual states the following: "FRONT WHEEL—To Remove and Refit Jack up wheel by placing a jack under front end of perch bar. DEFLATE TYRE and remove the inner ring of uncoloured nuts and collars. DO NOT TOUCH THE RING OF RED NUTS WHEN REMOVING OR CHANGING THE WHEEL. The wheel may now be manoeuvred clear of the hub by using the double-pronged crowbar as shown. Grease wheel studs before replacing wheel. When the wheel is refitted, replace the collars (cone shaped end first), then screw up the nuts a little at a time, taking opposite ones alternately. Check over all nuts for tightness after removing jack." As is common knowledge, this procedure did have its challenges, with injuries as a result. See pictures below.

Some more details of the vehicle below.

Below two pictures of a Canadian WW 2 example of this vehicle.

As an extra source of information I added a walk around with pictures of a restored vehicle. These can be found here.

And what to think of a diorama of a Pioneer towing a glider during salvage operations after the operations of Market Garden? The picture below is not very sharp but gives a good idea of how it would look.

Where to find information

Publications found on the
Scammell Pioneer SV2S Heavy Breakdown Tractor

Driver's Handbook for Scammell Tractor 6x4 Heavy Artillery and Breakdown - Book No. 100/SL 1A

Scammell Maintenance Manual and Instruction Book for Tractor 6x4 Heavy Artillery, Tractor 6x4 Heavy Breakdown, Transporter 30-Ton 6x4-8 Semi-Trailer Recovery - Book No. 101/SL1

Webpage by Panzerserra

Pioneer - The Scammell R100, SV1 & SV2, TRMU20 & TRMU30 in British Army Service by Pat Ware

British Military Trucks of World War Two by Les Freathy from Tankograd Publishing
A little photo gallery of a restored Scammell named "Daisy"

The Models and Materials needed

To start with this project, we need the IBG 1/35th scale model kit.

Building The Models

Whats in the IBG kit.

Because my main interest is within the D-Day to Berlin period I chose to build the Normandy 1944 version that depicts a vehicle used by the REME workshop of the 22nd Armoured Brigade that was part of the 7th Armoured Division. Bridge classification 12 and vehicle number H4781232. The markings seen below.

The vehicle with its camouflage scheme below.


The Final Result