SKYBOW 1/35 U.S. 3/4 TON WC-56/57 COMMAND & RECONNAISSANCE CAR (GENERAL PATTON's COMMAND CAR)
The U.S. 1/2 ton truck series, introduced by Dodge in 1936, was superseded by their new tougher 3/4 ton 4 X 4 truck range in 1942. These were lower, wider vehicles and were powered by the T214, 6 cylinder, 230.2 cu. in. engine.
The command car was but one in a range of eight or so variants, each vehicle incorporated radio equipment. Production of all 24,041 command cars took place in 1942. Two batches of the WC-56 type were built. Shortly after this batch the specification was modified to include a front winch. The upgraded vehicle was then designated WC-57. Either version can be built from this new kit.
The WC-57 was built in three batches. General Patton used a variety of specially modified vehicles in Europe and North Africa. These included a M3 half track, a M8 armored car, and of course numerous jeeps. In Mediterranean operations he used a WC-56 Dodge command car. His preference for this vehicle became clear when, after the Normandy landings in the European Theater of Operations, he upgraded to a late production WC-57 registered 20295359-S. This particular vehicle can be built from this kit using the decal provided.
Both the earlier and later Dodges were specially converted in England to Patton's personal specifications. The extra items he had fitted included a .50 cal. machine-gun, hidden armoured plating, a grab rail for the rear passengers, both siren and air horns, and numerous flags and pennants. All these extra items are included in Skybow's kit.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?:
Skybow has not spared any expense as far as cello bags are concerned in this kit. All eight parts trees are individually packed in their own bags. A really nice touch is the fact that all these cello bags are re-sealable!!
Seven, assorted size, olive green trees of part are in the kit - in addition to one small clear tree that has the windshield panes and light lenses. Included in the same bag as the clear parts is a length of white string that is to be used for the cable around the winch.
Lying loose in the box is small black vinyl tree of six poly caps. These are used to hold the wheels on the vehicle.
Tree letter 'A' holds the engine parts, the radiator, leaf springs, mufflers and tailpipe, axles etc. The engine looks to be very complete only wiring would be needed to really dolly it out. (Parts on this tree number 59)
Tree letter 'B' holds two grill options (one for a WC-56 without the winch and one for the WC-57 with), bumpers, dashboard, jerry cans, windshield frame, steering gear, fenders, steering wheel etc. (63 parts here)
Tree letter 'C' body panels, folded canvas roof, seat cushions, etc. (26 parts on this tree)
Small letter 'D' tree holds just one part - the vehicle's frame.
Tree letter 'E' holds the tires and rims. (23 parts here)
Small letter 'F' tree holds the tool rack and tools (five parts on this tree)
Small letter 'G' tree holds the clear parts for the windshield panes and light lenses (six parts on this small tree)
Letter 'H' tree holds the machine gun and its pedestal mount, siren, air horns, command pennants etc. (most of the parts needed for Patton's personal vehicle) (27 parts here)
Finally there is the six black vinyl poly caps, mentioned earlier.
The decal sheet holds markings for three vehicles:
A WC-56 (no winch) for a generic vehicle in 1944 Europe.
A WC-57 (with winch) for the 82nd Airborne 1945.
General Patton's WC-57 command car with 3rd Army markings.
The instructions are a 10 page booklet. Page one gives the history of the vehicle in English, Japanese, and Chinese (the kit is molded in Taiwan).
The top of page 2 gives the assembly symbol explanations and the numbers for the colors required. From the bottom of page 2 to page 8 eighteen assembly steps are given. Pages 9 and 10 are the painting and decaling drawings.
This kit is really beautifully detailed. A lot of the parts are tiny and delicate and I suspect some care will be needed removing them from their trees, so as not to damage or break them.
General Patton, as we all know, was flamboyant and kind of a prima donna. I look forward to building his gaudy personal vehicle with all bells and whistles on it that are included in this beautiful kit. I seem to remember that Tamiya makes a 1/35th scale figure of Patton. I will seek it out to pose next to this vehicle.
Skybow also produces the Dodge WC-51/52 weapons carrier version of the 1/2 ton truck. The Tank Workshop has resin wheels with snow chains on them available for either of these Dodge kits.