GB Modelli

 

Fiat OCI 708 CM Towing Tractor

Kit #: 72003

Preview by Stephen 'Tank Whisperer' Brezinski - sbrez1(at)comcast(dot)net
Edited by Rob Haelterman
Little History For The Modeler

The Fiat OCM 708 CM was developed for the Italian Army as a towing vehicle for their 75-mm field gun in mountainous terrain. It was also used as a towing vehicle for large aircraft, so this kit can also be attractive to aircraft modelers. The vehicle is what I call petite, small.

Italian artillery model kits we can portray it with include the Cannone de 47/32 antitank gun (GB Model 72009), the Cannone de 75/27 mod.11, and the Cannone da 75/32 Modello 37 field guns, several mountain guns, or perhaps the Obusiers Skoda de 100/17 mod.14 howitzer. MarS offers several 100-mm howitzers that were used as captured weapons by the Royal Italian Army. In German service, in late 1943 and after this, the tractor could be portrayed with a PaK 38 antitank gun or IG 18 infantry gun in the mountains of Italy.

I have seen photos of this tractor in service in Ethiopia and North Africa where it should be painted in desert tan. In the Spanish Civil War and Europe I understand that the tractor should be in Italian gray-green. I have not seen photos of this tractor serving in the USSR but it is possible. One photo shows a license plate mounted on the radiator.

The Kit Parts

There are 28 pale amber, cast resin parts on four pour plugs and some parts already separated from the pour plug. The parts are cast very well and removing the pour plugs and clean-up looks easy with a fine saw blade and Xacto blade. I noted no air bubbles, broken parts, or bad casting. There is minor flash around the parts that will be easily removed.

The pour plug at the top holds the mudguards; below that is the pour plug holding the steering wheel, idler wheels and drive sprockets. In the center is the lower chassis part and below that are the right and left suspension parts holding the roadwheels. At bottom are two pour plugs with holding eight track sections. After cutting off those long tabs from the narrow track sections, warm the track in hot water and bend it around the suspension.

There are no decal markings, etched brass parts or figures included in the kit.

Assembly Instructions

The assembly instructions are very good, especially considering that many small scale resin model kits I have have no assembly instructions or very basic instructions. In green ink I have added some notes to the exploded view diagram. By the way, the cylinder behind the driver's seat appears to be a capstan for a winch.

Post scriptum

Wolfgang Voglmeier adds the following:

As owner of the (regarding to my knowledge) only working (Youtube!) Fiat OCI 708 CM worldwide I have to correct you in only one point:
what is marked with green ink as "exhaust pipe" on your assembly sheet is in fact a shovel - or spade - that is normally stowed at the right side from the mudgard to the rear end of the cowling.
The exhaust pipe goes directly down from the exhaust manifold, the horizontal part runs near the inner side of the left chain.

This is a rather bad picture (orientation: left side of pic is front of tractor), but you can see the carb, the carb-manifold, the exhaust manifold and the black exhaust pipe leading downwards.


Orientation: right side is front, vehicle "as bought" in Spain. Unfortunately it was "painted" in red and green half a year before I purchased it...
Here you can see the exhaust pipe coming down from the manifold and turning backwards.


The shovel can be seen on this historic sketch. The hook-like part lurking out underneath the blade of the shovel is the lower hook of the 2-ton winch, which is stowed away in the upper lid of the toolbox. Its crank and ratchet mechanism is clearly visible underneath the steering wheel. A second winch is on the left side.


Thanks to Giorgio Briga (GB Modelli) for the review sample.

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Article Last Updated:
01 March 2015
16 September
2015

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