Skybow WC57 Dodge Command Car
I'll look at the options first: WC56 without winch, WC57 with winch, and
Patton's personalised WC57 with winch, siren, air horns, and pedestal-mounted .50 MG.
All these get the appropriate alternative parts - so there are two radiator grille
shields, one deep for the WC56 and a shorter one for the WC57 and Patton's car (obviously
there's an optional winch as well) and two front bumpers, the WC56's single piece and the
WC57's split into two segments to go either side of the winch. Patton's personal car
gets the necessary parts for the MG and its pedestal (NOT the same sprue as in the M38
kits), the siren and the air horns, and also various other changes - repositioned
jerricans, radiator armour plate, command pennants and a luggage rack on the rear.
Even a repositioned side reflector!
OK, what's in the box to produce those alternatives? Sx sprues in olive drab polystyrene, one in clear for the windscreen halves and headlamp lenses, a length of nylon string for the winch cable, poly caps for the wheels, and a very nicely printed deal sheet. The instructions come as a 12-page booklet and give a potted vehicle history (the serial number blocks quoted don't
tally with the number they say were built, though), 18 assembly stages which call out all the options, and decal illustrations for three vehicles. Patton's of course includes the command pennants and star plaates as well as serials and 3A/HQ-1 bumper codes. The other two are from 308 Engineers of 83 Infantry Division, 1944, and 82 Airborne Division, 1945. No locality notes are given but presumably all three were photographed somewhere in North West Europe. Also included are placards for the instrument panel (but no dials, alas), a tyre pressure marking for the car which carried one, and the standard "caution left hand drive" and "no signal" markings although those two aren't shown in the decal placement instructions so I'm not at all sure
whether any of the three cars given actually carried them.
The OD sprues are intelligently broken down, with the complete multi-part engine, axles, drive shafts and sundy chassis details on A. These include the springs, and Skybow has adopted a new method with the rear ones - instead of plugging into locations under the chassis they're on complete outside sections of the rear chassis to be fixed to it. This should make their alignment a lot more positive. Sprue B give the winch components, bonnet (hood if you prefer), front mudguards and front parts generally. C contains the command car body parts inlcuding the body pan, seats and folded tilt. Sprue D is the chassis itself and E has the wheels - no markings moulded on the tyres but they do have the modern assembly with their separate section to trap the poly caps fitting into their rears. Nicley detailed brake drums too. Sprue F holds a very neat pioneer tool rack with separate tools - I wonder if they'll release this as an accessory, it would be welcome - and G gives the clear parts mentioned above. Finally, H holds all the parts for the Patton option. All are nice clean mouldings and it looks as though most of the ejector pin marks will be concealed after building.
My verdict: a resounding YES. The box side shows a Dodge WC51 to come, and certainly the parts breakdown will make this easy to provide.
Complete model image courtesy of Accurate Armour.
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