by: Russ Amott [ ]
Legend Productions offers a wide variety of resin aftermarket accessories and details for not only the newest releases but older kits as well. The WC 56/57 was originally released by Skybow in 2001 and the molds obtained by AFV Club afterword’s. While the kit is very nicely detailed, Legend Productions saw the opportunity for some upgrades and extra stowage to give the kit a "lived in look."
The kit comes in a small, end opening box with the parts placed in a single bag. This is very unlike the stowage set I reviewed for the WC 51, in which all the parts were carefully packaged. The result of this was that there was some parts breakage that will be detailed below.
The resin parts themselves come on pour blocks that are set to minimize loss of detail on the parts when they are removed. There are 38 resin parts consisting of asome replacement pieces for the styrene, such as jerry cans, spare tire with cover, windshield with cover and folded canvas roof, plus additional accessories such as ration boxes, pouches, bags, and rolled tarps. There are two pieces molded to fit over the front fenders, one part that rests between the rear right fender and battery box, a welded on basket with several items inside, and a centrepiece SCR-506 radio set that is invisible as the radio box has the front dust cover buttoned down. Under the radio box there is some cable, a box and a blanked molded as a single piece, plus three helmets. Decals are included for the ration boxes, with a distinct size difference between the C and K ration boxes (something I failed to note in the review of the WC 51 set-I somehow managed to pick up the same size boxes every time I measured them. The parts are all molded cleanly, with no bubbles or warping. Because everything was placed in one bag, two of the handles for the jerry cans were broken. Fortunately there are four total included, so you have two spares.
There isn't any real assembly to these parts, other than attaching the stand base to the radio box. Clean-up is required of each part. I test placed the parts molded for the fenders and fit appears to be quite good. I don't know how the left fender piece will fit with the spare tire in place. Detail on the resin parts is quite good, and much better in the case of the fold down top. To fit the top I had to carefully care out the resin from the underside and test fit repeatedly. You will need the arm parts from the plastic piece to attach the top to the vehicle. I wondered if the fold out table on the back of the front seat was removed with the radio in place. A photo I found appears to show it was left in place. There is no wiring guide for the radio set, so that will have to be scratch built, nor is there a decal for the side of the radio box, something I have seen in some, but not all photos for the SCR506.
The only real issue I have found is that there aren't a lot of photos of the WC 56/57 with any significant amount of stowage, other than modern restorations. Claims of the vehicle being a target because of its distinct profile may be correct, but I have read comments that the vehicle was generally commandeered for service and staff transports behind the lines. It was not popular in front line service because the front seat was very cramped-only a short driver could sit comfortably- and didn't accelerate as fast or turn as quickly as the 1/4 ton truck. Modern restorations often move the front seat back as it is difficult for anyone over 5'5" (1.6 meters") to drive the vehicle. The bonus of this set is that there is enough stowage to really load the vehicle down, or pick and choose what you want for your diorama. Based solely on the photos I viewed, vehicles in the PTO appear to have carried more stowage than vehicles in the ETO.
If you are looking to dress up you command car, this is the set to do it with. It gives you many parts to use as you wish, all with great detail. The ration boxes appear to have the correct dimensions and the decals appear correct. Anything not used for the subject model can be saved and used on another project. The spare tire and windshield cover are identical to parts from the earlier WC 51 accessory set, but as long as you don't set them next to each other in the diorama or on the shelf, it won't be noticeable. The set has a retail price of $25.00, but prices vary considerably online.