Bandai 1/48 Jeep

KIT #: 058284
PRICE: $20-30.00 'used'
DECALS: Several options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The Willys MB and the Ford GPW, formally the U.S. Army Truck, 1⁄4-ton, 4×4, Command Reconnaissance, informally the Willys Jeep, Jeep, or jeep, and sometimes referred to by its supply catalogue designation G503, are American off-road four-wheel drive military light utility vehicles, built in large numbers to a single standardized design, for the United States and the Allies of World War II from 1941 until 1945.  

With almost 650,000 units built, the jeep constituted a quarter of the total U.S. non-combat motor vehicles produced during the war, or almost two-thirds of the 988,000 light 4WD vehicles produced, when counted together with the Dodge WC series. The jeep massively outproduced its primary Axis counterpart, Nazi Germany's Volkswagen Kübelwagen, which only had a production total of 50,000 units. Large numbers of jeeps were provided to U.S. allies through Lend-Lease.


 Once upon a time, 1/48 armor was not a very popular subject. However, there were enough modelers out there who liked the idea of a well detailed subject that took up less space on the shelf and was in scale with a lot of aircraft kits. These modelers were provided with kits in this scale by Bandai and once Bandai pretty much stopped producing these kits, they became highly desirable by modelers and collectors alike.

One of those kits was the Jeep. In particular, this Jeep kit provides an engine, four figures, and a small trailer. The kit has a complete chassis The body sections are attached to the floor pan and then the interior is completed. Then the engine is attached to the chassis which then has the body attached to it. Next the trailer is assembled. The kit provides a pedestal mounted 50 cal machine gine. There is also an option to have the top raised or lowered.

Instructions are well drawn and entirely in Japanese. However, Jeeps are easy to paint as long as you have olive drab and some green drab for the seats. There are decals for several options, though I'm not sure just how viable these are. There are aftermarket out there if you want to use them.


This is not the newest Jeep in this scale as Tamiya produced one, though it is hidden within a figure set to circumvent lawyer's fees. The kit is fairly easy to find on various on-line sources that deal in second-hand kits. 


May 2023

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