Kit Preview : 1/76 MMS Komsomolets Light Artillery Tractor
About the manufacturer
MMS is the leading 1/76 white metal model brand. The quality of casting and level of detail are comparable to traditional plastic kits, albeit without etched metal detailing. Smaller details such as mirrors are often omitted , and the running gear of tracked vehicles is usually a simplified one piece casting where the guide teeth are backed by a solid metal strengthening strip.
Due to the tight packaging in unprotected plastic bags, parts often come bent or one might say, with pre-built battle damage. Care must be taken to straighten things out lest parts be broken. Most MMS models I have seen are accurate, the only exception being the Shermans which have too short tracks, too much ground clearance and a too short transmission cover.
About the vehicle
The T-20 was an early war Soviet light artillery tractor. Unusually for such a vehicle it has an armored cab and a fully enclosed MG for defence. The crew in the back, however is fully exposed. The Wikipedia entry on the T-60 is a good place to start if you want to learn more.
About the kit
This is a typical MMS tank kit. It includes the tractor, a wheeled limber plus a 45mm barrel and spoked wheels to convert a Pak36 37mm gun into a Soviet 45mm gun. The track/wheel assembly is one piece with the guide teeth backed by a continuous strip of metal. I find this to be acceptable as it is hardly seen behind a dark wash. The tractor is a quick build with a handful of parts. The 4 spoked wheels have horse cart type thick spokes. Most pictures I have seen show motorcycle-type wire wheels. The difficulty lises in finding appropriate replacements. Zvezda's solid wheels with a wire pattern are not in my mind a pleasing solution.
Previewed on Jan. 12, 2013