built this jeep years ago, and the trailer shows up in my Hürtgen Forest
diorama. I've built a couple of Tamiya jeeps in the meantime, and this version
is still the gold standard. But in building the Signal
Corps communications set from C.G.M., I got a chance to reacquaint myself
with the earlier Italeri kit, which was generally well respected but lost some
of its luster when Tamiya retooled its jeep in the mid 1990s. Italeri's product
had surpassed Tamiya's older effort, which also included a ¼ trailer and
figures. However, the Big T's second version is about as close to a perfect kit
as you can get.
just because the Italeri jeep got some dust kicked in its trademark grille doesn't
mean it was forced off the road. This remains a reliable kit, just lacking some
of the refinement of the Tamiya version. And while the latter comes with a .30
machine gun on a pedestal mount and a few other accouterments, Italeri's still
has the trailer and the option of the deployed rag top.
of the main differences between the kits is the breakdown of parts for construction.
To simplify building, Tamiya has grouped many of the suspension components together
on the chassis and the side walls are fixed to the vehicle's floor. This saves
a few steps and ensures proper alignment, but that's certainly within the abilities
of all but the youngest modelers. There's nothing inordinately difficult about
frame for the jeep's canvas roof does require a bit of attention to align; it's
best to assemble this off the jeep in case you want to smooth and round the joints.
Or, you could replace with wire. (ABER makes an extensive set of photoetch fittings
that will give you the plates that mount the frame to the jeep wall.)
provides a decent start for the engine, which you can further detail with the
requisite wiring if you want to display the jeep with the hood open. These
photos might be helpful. You can dress it up with a resin and photoetch detail
set from the now defunct Kendall Model Company that might still be found collecting
dust on the shelf of your local hobby store, or you can opt for parts from ABER.
few of the more notable items provided by Tamiya but missing from the Italeri
box are the fire extinguisher and delousing sprayers that mount on the interior
front wall panels and the hip pads on the outboard side the front seats. You can
adapt some plastic card and tubes to replicate these features if you desire.
seem to be a perpetual problem for Italeri models. Probably the biggest drawback
for the overall look of this kit is the rather lame shovel and axe. If you are
using photoetch, you might want to use the tools from Formations (#FO56) without
brackets and straps. That will give you a much better shovel and axe, as well
as some other tools for your spares box. Another option would be to just replace
the anemic handle for the axe with some plastic card.
you can fabricate a couple of small semicircular shapes to represent the wiper
motors that should be located on the top of the windshield frame. Both jeep kits
omit the two spring clamps mounted on the hood that secure the windshield when
it is lowered.
MBT-3 model trailer, designed by the
Bantam company, looks the part out of the box, but can be helped with some minor
improvements, including alterations to the frame and the addition of a parking
brake lever, lighting wiring, towing chains, and the stays that helped secure
a tarp to the trailer body. This trailer was later modified after the war and
known as the M100 in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
finally, the wheels on both the trailer and jeep can use valve stems.
you've got parts left over from a previously built Tamiya jeepsay, the .30
gun and mount, the front towing assembly, or wire guardyou can use these
with little or no modifications. Along with the photoetch sets, there are several
suppliers of resin wheels with snow chains, and Trakz offers a better looking
set gives you the only decal sheet with markings for a 101st Airborne jeep, as
well as the 5th Army in Italy and Marine jeeps deployed to Guam and Iwo Jima.
includes two figures, a driver and a soldier firing a recoilless rifle. Both men
and the weapon are poor representations and should be discarded or given to a
youngster to add to his collection of "Army men.".
you need a trailer, this is the kit you'll have to pick up for the foreseeable
future. But if you aren't extremely picky, you'll probably enjoy seeing what you
can do to bring out the best in this old jeep.