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Skybow 1/35 scale U.S. 1-1/2 ton 6x6 Personnel Carrier

Manufacturer: Skybow, available from VLS, 1011 Industrial Court, Moscow Mills, MO 63362, 636-356-4888
Kit: No. TP3504
Scale: 1/35
Price: $37.95
Comments: Injection-molded, 259 parts (6 vinyl, 1 string), decals
Pros: Well molded, good detail, excellent canvas bed cover, optional parts
Cons: Difficult to align engine compartment components
To meet the increasing need for cargo vehicles during World War II, Dodge began producing a larger version of its 4x4 weapons carrier vehicle. It added a second rear axle to a lengthened frame, and then increased the length of the cargo box.

Like its smaller brother, the vehicle came in two versions, the WC62 and the WC63 with a winch mounted on the front bumper. A ring-mounted machine gun could be fitted to the passenger side of the vehicle to add some protective firepower. The vehicles proved to be popular with several foreign countries after the war, and many are still in use today.

Like Dodge, Skybow has produced a WC62/63 based on the Dodge command car and weapons carrier. Many of the components of the Skybow kit are common to all of the vehicles, especially from the firewall forward. Optional parts are provided to build the vehicle with a winch or without. A machine gun ring mount is provided as an option.

Like the smaller vehicles, a complete engine and drive train are provided. You also get an excellent canvas cover for the cargo bed. Markings are provided for three vehicles, but no figures are included.

I started assembly with the well-detailed engine. You need to decide at the start if you are going to build a vehicle with a winch, as a different gearbox is required. To make painting the assemblies easier I added all of the suspension parts to the chassis, but did not add the engine or radiator right away. I built the driver's compartment but left off the seat cushions (parts No. J20) so I could paint them separately.

I skipped steps 9-14 (the assembly of the engine compartment) but built the rear cargo bed; the detail is amazing with beautifully scribed wood grain and excellent fit. With the four major subassemblies completed (engine, frame, driver's compartment, and cargo bed), I was ready to paint.

Using Testor Acryl olive drab, I sprayed all of the subassemblies and detail parts while still on the sprues. When the paint was dry, I installed the engine and the driver's compartment. From my previous experience, I knew that assembling the forward section of the vehicle would be difficult. It comprises several pieces that must be aligned precisely for a good fit. I assembled the engine compartment in one sitting so I could adjust parts, if necessary, while the glue was soft.

After adding the side pieces (B47, B48), I found that the top (B55) did not fit perfectly, but needed to be clamped while the glue dried. I used the completed hood to make sure everything was aligned, then let the parts set.

With the engine compartment assembled, I added the fenders and grille, and all of the small detail pieces, touching up the previously sprayed items with a brush where necessary. Then I added the cargo bed.

Depending on what markings you intend to use, I suggest leaving off the windshield stops (B44) and clamps (B18) until the decals are applied, or they will be in your way. The decals snuggled down with a liberal application of Solvaset. This is especially needed where the serial numbers go over the hood louvers.

The finished model matches the dimensions in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles[ by Hogg and Weeks. There are also many pictures of full-size vehicles on the Internet. Just enter Dodge WC62 or WC63 in your favorite search engine.

I spent about 16 building hours on my 6x6, about average for a kit this complex but with such a simple color scheme. The kit should be an easy project for anyone experienced with handling small parts. The finished model is an excellent addition to any softskin collection, and has much better detail than the old Peerless Max (Italeri) kit.


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