11 years ago
Willys Jeep: 122 parts (117 in olive drab, 5 clear styrene); price
when new US$1.98, now OOP
Advantages: simple, easy-to-assemble kit of popular subject; most
likely cheaper than new production versions from Tamiya and Hasegawa;
comes with four generic US figures and a trailer
Disadvantages: OOP; decals not likely to last 35+ years
Recommendation: for =93quarter scalers=94 of both aircraft and armor
The Willys Jeep needs no introduction as one of the most popular
vehicles ever built. Even today repro parts are in wide scale
production and use to keep them going for both fans and
preservationists. And the same is true in the modeling community.
In 1/35 scale there are a number of kits of which the new Tamiya,
Italeri, and old Tamiya are the best (and in that order). But in 1/48
the first kit was put out by Bandai in 1974. Part of a broad attempt
to create a new 1/48 scale market with the cost of 1/35 scale kits
going up (Horrors! The Tamiya 88 was $10.95 at the time!) Bandai added
many detail accessories to their very inexpensive kits such as
figures, interiors, engines, and in this case a 1/4 ton trailer to
How has time treated the little beast? Having picked up one at
Maraudercon today in Baltimore, the answer is not bad. This kit was
complete less the decals which sort of rotted out over the past 36
years, but overall it is a nice little model even today.
What you get is a complete Jeep kit with the trailer and a choice of
raised or lowered top, something not often found in new mold kits. The
wheels have the proper tread pattern but are a little squared off on
the shoulders, but a bit of work with some sanding sticks or sandpaper
should fix that. The only major item I saw that was missing was the
rifle rack for the back of the windshield.
Running gear is complete down to the shocks and while simple the
engine and transmission are there as well. Shift levers are included,
Oddly enough the model comes with a whip antenna for a radio =96 but no
The figures are generic in field jackets but with no kit other than a
helmet. Four M1 rifles are also included. However, the basic moldings
are still acceptable for use today.
Overall, this is a worthwhile little beastie and for flea market
prices will do fine as opposed to $25-30 for the modern competition.