I’ve always enjoyed building models of small and everyday vehicles. I’ve built plenty of jeeps, kübelwagens, Panzer IIs and kettenkrads, but never a King Tiger or a Maus tank.
So I found it quite natural to build a jeep as my first vehicle in 1:48 scale. Tamiya makes a very nice set called WWII U.S. Army Infantry at Rest, #32552, which includes nine figures and a “light vehicle”.
The “light vehicle” isn’t called anything else anywhere in the set or on Tamiya’s website but for the casual observer it does look quite a lot like a Willy’s Jeep! I guess they are not using the name for trademark reasons, which appears somewhat odd to me.
I began by assembling a couple of the figures and the frame of the jeep. The figure above is definitely my favorite, looking in amazement or awe at something.
Here most of the parts are ready to be assembled, while my new trooper is still standing by, amazed!
With everything assembled, I undercoated the jeep with a can of Olive Drab 2 from Tamiya Color. Then it was time to place the decals and for the first time I tried using Micro Sol from Microscale, which is a setting solution for decals.
I was a bit sceptical at first, but it did seem to soften the decals somewhat so they were easier to place.
Then the wheels and seat were painted and the jeep looked new and fresh, ready for action!
Since I intend to use the vehicle for wargaming as well, I undercoated it twice with matt varnish to protect the colors. This really made the little jeep shine.
To enhance the details of the model, I then gave it a brown wash and a light grey drybrush to highlight the details.
The wheels were given a wash of very light brown to simulate dried mud inside the tire pattern.
Finally the whole jeep was brushed with weathering powder to give the impression of a dusty vehicle on a summers day in 1944.
Then it was time to try my new monastery diorama as a photo backdrop. The uppermost photo is also from the diorama with one of the figures from the Tamiya set.
The road on the diorama is the obvious place to place the vehicle, but I also really like the way the jeep sinks into the tall grass in the courtyard of the ruin.
After taking the photos on the diorama this afternoon, I spend some time looking around YouTube for a cool video with the prototype and found this one, which seems to be a sort of presentation of the jeep and its capabillities. Amazing footage! Enjoy the flying anti-tank gun behind the flying jeep.
I really like my new model, even though these images have reminded me to paint a few more details on the model.
The model also included a M1919A4 machinegun, which might be fun to put on the model for wargaming. The set also included a very useful sprue of barrels, jerry cans as well as bags and rolls which could easily be added to the jeep.
What do you think of the model or the diorama as a backdrop?