Advances in early 20th century technology resulted in widespread mechanization of the military during World War I. The United States Army deployed four-wheel drive trucks in it, supplied by Four Wheel Drive Auto (FWD) and the Thomas B. Jeffery Company. By the eve of World War II the United States Department of War had determined it needed a light, cross-country reconnaissance vehicle.
Anxious to have one in time for America’s entry into World War II, the U.S. Army solicited proposals from domestic automobile manufacturers for a replacement for its existing, aging light motor vehicles, mainly motorcycles and sidecars, and some Ford Model Ts. Marmon-Herrington presented five 4×4 Fords in 1937, and American Bantam delivered three Austin roadsters in 1938. Recognizing the need to create standard specifications, the Army formalized its requirements on July 11, 1940, and submitted them to 135 U.S. automotive manufacturers.
Italeri 1/24 Jeep Willys 6355
The recently released Italeri 1/24 scale Jeep Willys kit # 6355 was left on my office door by the guys from the brown truck. I set to build it as soon as I teared down the cellophane. The kit is comprise of 2 dark green injected sprues and 1 clear sprue for the windshield and the clear part for the canvas -optional.-
The instructions are of the usual fold-out style and color call outs are in F.S. Colors and Italeri’s own paint colors. Not being able to commit myself to another paint line, I opted for Tamiya colors and this subject demands the most controversial color, U.S. Army Olive Drab. This color is so open to different interpretations, that it could take a whole ‘nother article in itself. My base color then was a home brew of 2:1 Tamiya Olive Drab XF-62 and Tamiya Dessert Yellow XF-59.
Because this is a 1/24 scale model and it will be displayed along other automotive kits in our premises, I did not want to go too heavy on the weathering. Markings are provided for 4 different Jeep Willys after the war:
VII Reggimento Laives, Bolzano, 1948.
Unknown Carabinieri Unit, Italy 1949
Staziones CC Ponte Milvio ‘Roma’, 1946.
Stazione Territoriale Carabinieri Di Settecamini ‘Roma’ 1946.
After painting the model mostly thru sub-assemblies, I placed the decals for version ‘D’.
Once the decals for version ‘D’ were applied, I gave the entire model a wash of AK Interactive Dark Brown -for Green Vehicles- AK-045. The tires made a nice test subject for one of the most recent additions to Tamiya’s color to their line; Ruber Black XF-85.
This is not the usual 1/35 scale kit of the famous Jeep Willys. I wanted to be able to display the humble interior of this kit as it is in the real subject. I did not experience any fit problems to report but some minor mold line cleaning is in order. The engine is very simple
-as the real thing- and the modeler will have ample room to add more details like wiring under that hood.