Revell 1/25 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

KIT #: 4053
PRICE: ~$30.00
DECALS: Several options
REVIEWER: Chris Mikesh
NOTES: There is always a First Time


(Edited from the Instructions Sheet.) Originally designed for the military and World War Two, the iconic Jeep has transformed itself into a vehicle with great versatility. Whether it's for work or play, the Jeep has kept up with the times and continually improved without losing its basic character. The Rubicon was a limited-edition version in 2003 and featured in a full-length movie, (Tomb Raider) It's named after the Rubicon trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Rubicon is loaded with special features such as front and rear Dana 44 axles with a rock track 4-wheel drive, and special alloy wheels. It has other accessories such as riveted Fender flares, diamond plated bumper guard and tubular grill guard.


I normally don't build cars or trucks. I just wear them out. But when my grandson Robbie, ask me to help him build his first model, I could not say no. This young man is a 4th generation model builder and has skills he does not even know he has.

This Rubicon is produced in white plastic, with rubber tires, clear, and chromed parts. Construction is very easy and requires a small Philips head screw driver and regular modeling tools. It is intended for a novice builder and is good basic construction. Instruction sheet is word-less with basic painting directions. All parts are well produced with few – if any – deformities.


As noted above, construction is very simple and following the instructions is the best way to proceed. We pre-painted parts such as the chassis, body, and interior with spray enamel. Constructing the chassis first is the best way to go. The axles along the undercarriage have a spring to emulate shock absorbers. Robbie was totally fascinated with that, as it was fairly realistic. Next comes the seats and the rest of the interior. All of these are straightforward in separate modules.

An experienced modeler will know to dry fit all part before gluing. In this kit, the same rule applies because after pre-painting, many of the holes are filled in with paint or the size is changed because of paint build up. However, the kit is well engineered, and many novice mistakes are concealed.

A word of caution: The wheels are force-fit onto a metal axel. It is potentially easy to break the wheel or bend the axel in construction.


That beautiful green is Testors #1630 Gloss Custom Green Metal Flake. The light grey is Tamiya AS-16 (USAAF). Both paints laid down perfectly. Other colors included a Silver and Black Sharpie, Flat Black and Steel paints.

The Revell decals provided in the kit were great. Each decal took about 5 minutes (10 Minutes to an impatient 7-year-old) to slide off the paper. We used MicroSol and MicroSet for the rear “JEEP” decal. It was on an irregular surface and the combination was excellent.

Towards the final steps of construction, the parts needed are very small such as windshield wipers, door handles, and lights. These parts can easily be lost. All Clear parts are very good, and the fit is excellent. Finally, the tail lights were painted Clear Red.


Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda - If this kit were to be done again, a coat of Mr. Surfacer spray should be applied as an undercoat on the body. Not because it was a rough surface, but to give the Green a better “bite” onto the surface. But otherwise, there are no regrets.

Who says that building models is not a team sport? All you need is a grandkid with the same passion for modelbuilding. This model took 5 Tuesday nights to build and is Robbie’s first model. What a way to cap 2022! Constructive encouragement will be forwarded to Robbie.

This model would be welcomed on anyone's shelves and is very attractive. Very Recommended.

Chris Mikesh

7 March 2023

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