ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale SAS 1/4 Ton Truck ETO

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale ?39-?45 Series Kit No. 672
5; SAS 1/4 Ton 4 x 4 Truck ETO - Smart Kit; 297 parts (259 in grey styrene,
31 etched brass, 7 clear styrene); pre-order price US$36.95 via Dragon USA
Advantages: corrections made to previously released kit; comes with fitting
s for SAS in Europe
Disadvantages: some problems with ejection pin marks on body; very high pri
ce for small kit
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Commonwealth jeep fans
Based on their success in the desert, the Willys Jeeps were used in many p
urposes by various organizations in Europe as well. The 1st Airborne Divisi
on (UK) used them as scout vehicles, including an attempt to land them at A
rnhem in 1944. But they were used in many other scouting and raiding roles
as well.
This kit is the ?Euro? version of the vehicle and compliments the SAS
?Desert Raider? versions with all of the modifications made for use in
Europe. It comes with standardized fittings for extra fuel tanks and ?fli
msy? cans plus a variety of armament options. They have also included the
2nd SAS Regiment figure set (No. 6199) from 2008 to give some figures to c
omplement the vehicle, but none are designed to fit inside it.
Note that once again because of the Chrysler Corporation demand for royalt
ies for using the name ?Jeep? this kit, like the Opel Blitz before it,
does not state what it IS but just sort of what it DOES.
As it has corrected parts as well as some nice new ones it now comes on ni
ne sprues but the body and frame are removed from their sprues and bagged s
eparately in the box. The body is slide molded with all but the grille and
rear plate. There are some serious injection pin marks on the bottom of the
body and under the fenders, but other than the fender wells I don?t thin
k most modelers will bother with removing them.
The frame is also one piece with all braces and the rear ?bumperettes?
molded in place. A so-so tow hook is also molded in place on the frame, bu
t as the opening section of the military hitch is provided (part B45) as a
separate part it will probably look better when assembled.
The drive line is typical of modern kits, axles with differentials and a s
eparate differential cover, separate shock absorbers, steering links and a
tie rod. The transfer case comes with the front drive shaft in place but th
e rear one is a separate part. The wheels are conventional front half with
all tread/rear insert type (staggered tread pattern) and separate brake dru
ms. Springs are the usual type, but the skid plate comes with the muffler a
ttached (part B41) which is new to me for an assembly.
The model comes with a cut-out grille but then emphasizes a new correct mo
lded full grille which comes with the new set of universal tires. The Mark
IA eyeball tells me they are virtually identical other than the missing bar
s, so apparently DML has corrected the original grille with incorrect spaci
ng and location of the blackout lights. As this is the ?Euro? version i
t comes with a backing plate of armored louvers, but these are a single pie
ce. With appropriate painting and finishing techniques it should look the p
art, however. A ?blackout? disk is included from brass for the right si
de headlight to match British practice.

This kit comes with extended range fuel tanks on the tops of the rear fend
er wells as well as four ?flimsy? fuel cans on the rear plate. Etched b
rass tie-down straps are included for all of these cans to attach them to t
he vehicle. Two bracket carriers mount one on each front fender as well.
This vehicle offers a wide choice of armament as it comes with no less tha
n eight Vicker K machine guns and a pair of M2 air-cooled .50 calibers as w
ell. Armored windscreens are included in either clear styrene or sold grey,
so the modeler has a choice on what to do with them. A total of 10 disk m
agazines is included for the K guns and the box art and directions show no
less than five of them mounted on the representative vehicle.
The engine consists of 15 parts and looks the part, and it comes with a se
parate radiator. This consists of three main parts, but it also has the hea
dlights and blackout lights attached. These take clear lenses (for those wh
o wish to use them) and must be installed before the radiator is mounted to
the body. It also comes with an expansion tank (part B21) but no hoses are
provided to connect them.
The seats have separate pads and backs, and the controls are very complete
, to include pedals.
The figures are of four men in ?para? suits and berets, so can be fini
shed as either SAS or paratroopers at the modeler?s discretion. Each one
comes in six parts per the normal breakdown with additional Commonwealth ki
t for completion. Ron Volstad?s artwork playfully shows two Paras and an
SAS man in a jeep surprising a pair of Germans in an Opel Blitz!
There are two finishing options: both are for SAS vehicles in Northwest Eu
rope 1945. One is standard green/olive drab and the other is green with bla
ck ?Mickey Mouse? camouflage.
A sheet of Cartograf decals provides for instruments and a ?number jungle
? for the census number.
The figures are given blue/grey/white painting instructions and the box ar
t provides better information on their finishing.
Overall this is a nice kit and probably can be used in a number of ways -
I unfortunately do not have the specific changes made to the 1st Airborne s
cout jeeps used or lost at Arnhem.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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