Kit Preview : 1/76 MMS Unic P107 in German Service
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 Unic P107BU was a french Army light tractor for 75 and 105mm artillery pieces. 1006 were built between 1938 and the start of the war and another 2270 completed before June 1940. It was perhaps the only vehicle to have attained its production quota during that chaotic period.
Here are some pictures of a preserved Unic P107.
The Wehrmacht impressed many captured Unics and made minimal changes. Most were lost on the Russian front. Some survived to face the Allies in France. The MMS instructions sheet indicates that it was used in North Africa but I have found no evidence backing this up.
About the kit
The kit represents the German version of the Unic P107. Modifications are minimal. Removing the Notek light, adding 4 characteristic "pig tail hooks" (on each side of the front roller and the rear tow hook) and changing the German style tow hook (it's actually not a hook but two eyes and a bar) to a more traditional hook will revert the model to the French original.
There are several ugly mold seams that will need careful sanding. They are as pronounced as panel lines and will stick out if you just overpaint them.
The windshield will need careful detouring, especially if you want to keep the wipers! Amazingly the rearview mirror is included. The canvas top needs to overlap the body. It needs to be thinned to allow that.
The hood is lacking the round ornament thingie.
The canvas top has a hole that needs filling. The windows are molded solid and will need to be drilled out (6 on the sides and 3 on the back) and replaced with clear acetate. They were sheet plastic so very thin acetate should be used.
The ammo compartments in the rear are actually open. They can be painted black or drilled out, in which case the openings must be enclosed in boxes so that you don't see through the sides.
Overall a very nice kit that should build up easily with a choice of French and German versions.