Kit Preview : 1/76 Convoy White 444T/Autocat U7144T and Low Loader Semi-trailer

About the manufacturer
ModelTransport is a defunct 1/76 resin model manufacturer. Convoy now carries part of once was an extensive range of very interesting vehicles. The resin castings are well done but not up to the current standards set by Milicast and Cromwell. I have found some errors on their models so references need to be handy to correct them.

About the vehicle
The AutoCar U7144T and the White 444T are identical as White was selected as a second source foir the truck but used their own model numbering system. These 4 wheel drive 5ton tractors were used in combination with various semi-trailers for transporting supplies over long distances. They were used on all fronts, more notably on the Burma Road and the Red Ball Express in France.

Hare are some interesting pictures:
and some specs and additional pictures.
and color pictures. Do take time to enjoy the full gallery of the Marshall museum in Overloon, Netherlands.

About the kit

This kit was obtained second hand and is probably pretty old. Apart from some bubble holes, the casting is crisp and without too much flash. The trailer will need to be unwarped carefully using hot/cold water.

The main issue is with the grille. It is much simplified and and tilts at a wrong angle. The front face should be almost vertical and the grille is actually bolted on. The headlight guards are missing altogether. The pictures on the linked pages above will make this very clear. I think it is possible to rebuild the grille using plastic strips and rods as it is a very simple design. It is composed of a rectangular frame with 4 horizontal bars and 12 vertical bars. The horizontal bars are strips but the vertical bars are rods and it seems that they go behind the 4 horizontal bars so construction should be simple.