Dragon 1/72 Armored 4x4 Truck
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Two complete kits. Includes photo etch|
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.
Probably what one would have called a sort of 'gun truck', the Jeep was totally unable to withstand even small arms fire. This made it somewhat vulnerable when used as a reconnaissance vehicle. Sure, some were fitted with pylon mounted .30 and .50 caliber machine guns, but more was needed. A kit was developed that would provide a modicum of protection to the crew and to the Jeep. This consisted of armor plating where the windshield and doors might go on the Jeep. A section on the front helped to protect the radiator. I am sure that this made things a bit more top heavy than usual.
This sort of vehicle has been kitted before in 1/35, but Dragon has decided to make this available to the 1/72 modeler by offering this dual kit. It is really amazing how much detail one can stick into a vehicle that measures about 1.5 inches in length. Of course the armor plate is made of photo etch brass and one gets options for what to stick on the pylon. The kit suggests a twin Bazooka or a .50 cal machine gun, though a .30 cal is also in the set.
The kit also has all the bits needed to make a standard Jeep if you wish to do that with one or both of the kits. Well, actually that means that the windscreen and frame are also in with the kit as that is the only thing not used. As you would expect, the detailing on the chassis and the body is superb. It also includes the Jerry can and spare that you would find on any Jeep. Of course, it is not called a Jeep so that they do not have to pay licensing fees, but we know it is.
There is a small decal sheet included that has not only ready to go serials, but a bunch of individual numbers so you can make your own if you wish. Both of these are painted OD with canvas seats and both are from the 1945 time frame in Europe.
Whether you build them as they are or choose to use them for a wide variety of possible dioramas that might need a 1/72 Jeep, this has to be the best kit of this vehicle I have seen in this scale. It should also go together rather quickly as there are only 70 parts in total for both vehicles.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or retailer.
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