Tuesday, 23 September 2014

An unexpected arrival - MMS Citroen Type 23

Always nice to get unexpected parcels. I ordered this so long ago I had completely forgot about it - it's a beautiful white metal MMS Citroen Type 23 (c1939ish) light truck in 1/76 scale...

The 1/76 MMS Citroen Type 23 kit (source: MMS Models). A short review of this
kit is available over at www.mondo72.com
I could have just used models of captured Soviet GAZ AAs and ZiS-5s for my light truck inventory of my Finnish collection, but as usual I wanted to illustrate the diversity of vehicles deployed by the Finns. I spotted a Citroen 23 in a photo of the Finns at war (a civilian commercial vehicle pressed into military service) and so looked for a 1/72 model version.

It was a bit of a long shot, I didn't expect to find a 1/72 plastic kit for this French WW2 truck as it's a wee bit niche, but I did come across this very nice white metal kit from MMS Models of Folkestone, UK.

It is, of course, 1/76 scale so technically should have been a wee bit smaller than I would have liked, but I decided it was still worth getting as I had a 'cunning plan' to mate the front half of this with the back half and chassis of Minairon's new 1/72 Ford AA van (which comes out at the end of September). I was thinking it would make a lovely Citroen ambulance or radio car...

The soon to be released Minairon's Ford AA ambulance.
A French Citroen Type 23 ambulance. Mating the Citroen's bonnet to the
Minairons Ford body would have made a wonderful conversion.
Anyway, when I opened the parcel I was very pleased to notice that it's actually quite a large vehicle, easily compatible with my other 1/72 light [1.5 ton] truck kits (I compared it side-by-side with the parts of my Military Wheels GAZ AA kit and they matched perfectly). So, no need to modify, it'll make a nice little model for towing my Finnish HQ 20mm AA gun!

Beautifully restored example of the Citroen Type 23 truck in French army markings.
Large numbers of these were 'acquired' by The Germans after the fall of France and
were used by the Wehrmacht
Historical note: I have been unable to find the original photo showing the Type 23 in Finnish service again so cannot absolutely validate the authenticity of using the Type 23 for this project. However, the Citroen was a very popular and successful European commercial vehicle - produced in large numbers from 1936 - and so having it as an example of civilian vehicles in use by the Finns is more apocryphal than fact.

Update: Information I have received on the Axis History Forum points towards 40 Citroen Type 23 vehicles having been imported into Finland during World War 2. So that's nice as it makes my use of the type a little less suspect!

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