|KIT:||Hasegawa 1/48 Jeep|
|KIT #:||36012 (X48-12 )|
|PRICE:||$ 20.90 SRP|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
At the end of WWII, Dwight Eisenhower named five things that he considered to be part of the reason that the Allies were victorious. Surprisingly, most of them were not offensive weapons at all and one of them was the Jeep. WWII was a perfect example of the importance of supply and reconnaissance. If you have them, then you will be able to carry on the fight. Often times an army outran its supply line and what was a sterling rout of the enemy, turned into a defensive battle while awaiting more supplies.
Anyway, the Jeep is as synonymous with Americans in WWII and Korea as anything else. Though the actual vehicles used for what was the jeep's original mission have changed, the concept is basically the same. A relatively small four wheel drive vehicle for transporting men and priority supplies as well as being used for light recce. Its ability to travel and relatively high speeds on prepared surfaces and yet go off road with little problem made the Jeep the icon of the war that it became.
Previously only offered by Bandai and later by a reconstituted Frog out of Hong Kong, this is Hasegawa's initial foray into 1/48 military vehicles. The first boxing was a 'follow me' jeep that introduced the kit to the public. It seems as if model companies are now introducing new kits in the guise of, well, less-desirable options to see how well it sells before bringing in the variant everyone really wants.
This is the variant everyone really wants, a standard, nothing fancy Jeep.
Molded on several OD sprues, the parts breakdown shows no unused parts. There is a main body for the jeep and a full chassis and suspension provided. There is an engine, but it is very basic indeed and would require considerable work as much of the parts like exhaust and intake are molded in place. Everything else you need is there. A nice set of decals are provided for the instruments so no worries about painting those things unless you wish.
One thing that I did notice was that you will have to spend some time with filler/sandpaper to remove ejector pin marks. All the larger bits have them on one side of the mold which means there will be bits like the underside of the body, back of the windshield frame, underside of the top, and the like will have them. Some will be easy to remove and others, like those on the back side of the wheels, won't. I've also noticed that there are raised copyright and part number marks on the underside of the body and top. Just like Monogram kits. You'll probably want to remove those as well.
There are two figures provided, one of them probably supposed to be Chester Nimitz. Three markings options are provided. One is the box art vehicle from the 101st Airborne in France during 1944. The second is a Marine Corps vehicle from the 2nd MD in Japan post war as a Military Police vehicle. Finally a Navy Grey version for Chester Nimitz during 1942. The decals (not shown) look to be quite good and should provide no problems.
As nice as the Bandai kit is, this one is much nicer. I'm surprised that Hasegawa chose to release it, but perhaps they were willing to pay the licensing fee whereas Tamiya wasn't. Regardless, this is a great kit and I can see where it will sell very well, especially for those who want to add some interest to their dioramas.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for providing the review kit. You can get yours at your local hobby shop. If you don't see it, ask them to order one for you.
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