Tamiya 1/35 Willys Jeep






Several Jeeps


Scott Van Aken


Looks like a rather new mold



At the end of WWII, General Dwight Eisenhower stated that there were several pieces of equipment that led to victory. One was the C-47, another was the Liberty Ship, and one was the Jeep. There can be no doubt that is was the most ubiquitous piece of military vehicular hardware built . It could be found in one variant or another in every Allied theater of operation.

Though it is a bit of a stretch to call it a truck, it was a 4x4 and capable of carrying 1/4 ton (i.e. 500lbs of people and gear), and even more when it had to. It was powered by a four cylinder L-head four of  134 cubic inches and produced about 60 hp if all was running well. Though built by many including Ford, it remained basically the same throughout WWII and after. The true Jeep aficionado can tell who built it, when and what minor changes were made from variant to variant, but to most of us, the WWII jeeps all look quite similar.

It was used for purposes that the designers really hadn't anticipated, including as a mini-locomotive to pull light loads over the rails in Burma. By the end of the war, over 640,000 of all types had been built and many are still in use today, lovingly restored by their proud owners.




This is not the older Jeep model that I can recall seeing many years ago. The date on the instructions is 1997 and the improvements of the kit (other than the improved price) are most welcome. In fact, you get a full bore, open things up and look at everything kit. No curbside for this one. It has a complete engine and opening hood as well as a windscreen that can be folded down. Option bits include a 50 cailbre machine gun on a post (sort of like 'Rat Patrol'). There is also a tow bar or a wire cutter for the front if so desired. In addition to the full engine, a full suspension is given. A single figure of a rather laid back driver is provided as well.

The kit itself is very well molded, but one must be on the alert for ejector pin marks as there are quite a few. The vast majority of them are in places that will be hidden when the kit is built, but there are some that will need attention. I'm speaking of those on the underside of the body, the inside of the hood and the inside of the back piece that will need filled or filed off. The ones on the underside of the body won't be easy. I also found a sink mark or two on the body and front bumper. Despite the sprues being individually packaged, a couple of the more fragile parts were broken.

Instructions are excellent as one expects from Tamiya. Of course, all colors are in Tamiya paints, but at least nothing needs mixed this time. Decals are for five different Jeeps, all quite similar except for a serials and the white painted bumpers on a Regiment HQ Jeep. Decals are standard Tamiya  decals and while quite thin, are probably a touch transparent, as Tamiya white decals tend to be. Interestingly, there is a mini-advertisement for Jeep on the box side. Probably a requirement for licensing! 



I can't see how this could be anything but a super kit. It has all the bits one needs and is very well molded. If I can get things up to speed, you may see this in a future full build review!

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