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Army_Air_Force

1/35 Jeep Build To Get A 1/1 Jeep To Fit In The Garage!!

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There doesn't appear to be a "Softskin" section of the forum for work in progress, so this Jeep story will have to go under the Armour section ( hope this is the right place! ).

 

This story began around the end of 2004, when because of health problems, I decided to take a break from balsa dust and R/C model flying and find a new hobby. Growing up on a diet of war films and M*A*S*H, the iconic Jeep had always appealed to me. Affording a Jeep was one thing, fitting it in the garage was another matter altogether! The garage isn't quite a double, being 11ft 8in wide, with one half occupied by my 12 x 6ft trailer that stored my 1/6 scale B-17 Fortress.

 

This didn't leave a huge amount of space for a Jeep, but they are fairly narrow vehicles. A search of the internet gave me some dimensions which suggested it should fit, 'though very tight. I didn't know if the dimensions I found included the handles, mirrors etc, and without a vehicle to measure, a plastic kit was the next option for some measureable dimensions. Once I had those, I was more prepared to spend money driving around the country looking for a vehicle.

 

jeep_02.jpg

 

An Italeri 1/35 scale Jeep was bought, and it seemed moderately accurate comparing the parts to photos. I hoped the finished model would give me a better idea on how tight the garage fit was going to be and a better idea whether the measurements I found on the net were the overall or basic body dimensions. The Jeep and trailer were built purely as a tool, so there wasn't much attention paid to filling, painting and crafting a nice scale model. I just wanted the overall dimensions, which once built, turned out to be pretty accurate.

 

The kit suggested that a real Jeep would fit my garage with around 1 inch clearance each side between the garage wall and the aircraft trailer! I did wonder if I would have to remove the handles from the bodywork to reduce the width slightly. The trailer as shown below, also suggested a real Jeep trailer might also fit within the length available.

 

jeep_01.jpg

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No idea how this worked out for you but I guess it's good that you didn't choose a Trumpeter Jeep!

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Knowing there was a good chance a Jeep would fit, I found that the closest dealer in Jeeps was Scotland, so arranged a long weekend to go and take a look, taking of course, a tape measure! Thankfully, the model turned out to be pretty good, and the model dimensions matches the fullsize Jeep. The one Jeep the dealer had was in reasonable condition, straight from the French army auctions, and with a little welding to be done, so I paid a deposit and arranged to collect once the work was done.

 

The Jeep as first found, still in its French Army three tone camo.

 

ff1.jpg

 

The dealer gave the Jeep a rub down and a coat of olive and left the markings choice to me. The drive home!

 

 

jeep_03.jpg

 

The big test came when I got home after a 135 mile drive. Would it fit?

 

YES!!!!!! thankfully! After that, little thought was given to the model as I had the real thing to tinker with.

 

jeep_04.jpg

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After three seasons of a standard O/D Jeep, amongst many other O/D Jeeps at the shows, I wanted to do omething to make mine stand out and be noticed. There are only so many you can see with a 30 cal, camo net, baseball bat and catchers mit hanging off them.

 

Having had a strong interest in aviation most of my life, I began to convert the Jeep to a 'Follow Me' vehicle, adding checkered canvas, warning flag, 'Follow Me' sign, radio and taxiing indicator lights. The conversion has resulted in a number of great photo opportunities. Here's my Jeep, doing its thing at Breighton Aerodrome with the first of a pair of P-51's in tow and then with Spitfire IX MH434, probably the most famous Spitfire in the world.

 

followme1.jpg

 

jeep_06.jpg

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Having converted my real Jeep, the dusty model grabbed my attention. It had been abandoned on a shelf for over three years.  I noticed the Jeep model looking rather dull in its plain green plastic, and decided to give it a refurbishment and modification to match the fullsize.

 

So in September 2009 it was brought down from the shelf, dusted off and out came the tools and paint. The first job was painting the roof canvas white, and once dry, mark up the checkers in pencil. These were then filled in by hand. I'm undecided which took the most time, the model or the fullsize. The model was fiddly to paint, but the fullsize took about three coats of paint due to it soaking into the canvas so much. It then took about two weeks to fully dry!

 

jeep_07.jpg

 

One of the other modifications I'd made to the Jeep, prior to the 'Follow Me' conversion, was to make a set of doors and side panels. Rather than the usual winter canvas set which cost around £600, I'd seen an airfield Jeep that had doors made of out of wood salvaged from around the base. This turned out to be a much cheaper option, costing £75 for the ply, strip timber, paint and clear plastic. The rear panels can remain fixed to the Jeep, while the doors have quick release hinge pins. I decided to model the Jeep with the rear panels on, but the doors off, which would allow the internal detail to still be seen.

 

These side panels were the first parts of the model to be built from microstrip and 0.5mm styrene.

 

jeep_09.jpg

 

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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In the back of the Jeep, sitting on the rear wheel arches are a dummy BC-348 radio receiver and a large wooden crate. At the time, the crate contained two speakers, while the dummy radio held a 12 volt car battery, amplifier and MP3 player. At the military events, I use to play aircraft sounds at random intervals, and with enough volume, you'd be surprised at the number of people who keep looking skyward; even those I've caught out before. The amp eventually blew after a couple of years and never got replaced. This is the fullsize dummy BC-348 radio I made in the Autumn of 2008.

 

fc13.jpg

 

While the microstrip on the side panels were drying, I started on the radio and the crate. The body of the radio was made from 'Chemiwood', a high density modelling foam that can be cut, sanded, filed, drilled, tapped etc. I used to work somewhere that used large amounts of this stuff, and I collected up the offcuts that would normally be binned, but that were perfect for small modelling. Small styrene details were glued to the radio with cyano, and would be trimmed to the final shape later. It was easier to do it this way than trying to hold a 0.5mm diameter piece of styrene. The overall length was about 1/2 inch and about 1/4 inch high.

 

jeep_11.jpg

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The crate was made from sheet styrene, sanded with some 80 grit sandpaper to give it a wood grain, before the microstrip reinforcing straps were added, also having been sanded. The model is still covered in the dust from four years of living on a shelf! The rear seat back rest had also been broken off at some point and would need refitting.

 

jeep_10.jpg

 

The radio and the crate are show in the correct locations in the back of the Jeep, sitting on the wheel arches and rear locker lids. They would be glued in after the Jeep interior had been cleaned and painted, as only the seat cushions were painted when the model was first built.

 

jeep_12.jpg

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I had to take a pause from posting last night to enlarge some of the pictures on my host site for this thread. Back now, so on we go.

 

The inside of the canvas roof needed a little thinning to allow it to sit over the side panels I made, and the roof bows needed trimming off the model. They had been glued on in the stowed, roof down position and needed cutting off to allow the side panels to sit on the body tub, as per fullize.

 

The Jerry Can on the rear of the Jeep was also removed. Airbase Jeeps didn't need them, and early Jeeps, such as the one I first based my restoration on, didn't have them fitted. I removed the bracket from my Jeep and instead fitted it to the trailer so on long trips ( usually with camping gear in the trailer ), I can still carry extra fuel.

 

jeep_13.jpg

 

Once the fit was good, the interior of the Jeep was painted out and the sides glued into place, followed by their painting. The glazing in the rear panels has yet to be added.

 

jeep_14.jpg

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With the body tub painted out, the radio and crate were dry brushed and glued in. The rear seat back was also refitted.

 

jeep_17.jpg

 

jeep_18.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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The glazing in the sides was then glued in with PVA, followed by the canvas roof being glued on. Leaving the doors off does leave enough room to view the interior.

 

jeep_19.jpg

 

When my Jeep was first built, it was 6 volt like all Jeeps started out. During its service with the French, it was upgraded to 12 volt by the addition of a second 6 volt battery between the front seats. When it went for its major rebuild in 1966, it was upgraded to the standard 24 volt to match other military equipment.

 

2014_engine_rebuild63.jpg

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The addition of a second 12 volt battery under the hood required a repositioning of the voltage regulator from the right side of the engine bay to the firewall, and the air filter moved from the right to the left side. The black drum at the far side is the repositioned air filter. The two 12 volt batteries are in the foreground. The rear of these ( to the left of the picture ) was the addition, taking the place of the voltage regulator and air filter.

 

bayfinished.jpg

 

I wanted to replicate these changes on the model since that was built with a 6 volt engine. A distributor and ignition leads were also made as the kit didn't have one supplied.

 

jeep_24.jpg

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The engine bay has had a distributor wiring harness added, and all the components have been painted.

 

jeep_26.jpg

 

The next step was to replicate the 'Follow Me' sign and the light board. The wooden sign and box are supported from a welded steel frame which bolts to the canvas hood bows. The lights can work, connected to the Jeep electrical system via the trailer socket. The Jeep is seen here at Debach airfield, home of the 493rd Bombardment Group, the last heavy bomber group to become active in the UK.

 

09a.jpg

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Here's a closer view of the light box, showing the supporting framework.

 

fc9.jpg

 

The sign and box were made from sheet and strip styrene, glued with cyano to a thin strip of nickle silver from the etchings scrap box. This formed the beginnings of the support frame.

 

jeep_20.jpg

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I didn't have any waterslide computer paper, so printed the arrows and text directly to plain white paper. These would be cut out and attached with double sided tape to the styrene.

 

jeep_21.jpg

 

The painted and lettered sign was glued to the canvas, leaving the ends of the metal support hanging in mid air. The rest of the supports would be soldered in place to these pieces and to the canvas bows, which would be made from fine wire.

 

The tops of the rear bumperettes were cut off and a small rectangle of styrene was glued onto the bottom. This is as a result of a quirk that seems to only be seen on Army Air Force Jeeps, and even then, not all of them.

 

jeep_23.jpg

 

 

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For some reason, on many Army Air Force Jeeps, the rear bumperettes were removed and refitted upside down compared to the factory fit. The first picture shows the factory mounting.

 

bump6.jpg

 

The second picture shows the inverted Army Air Force type. The only reasoning I've heard for this mod was that it lowered the top of the bumperette, making it an easier step for crews climbing into the Jeep while wearing flying kit.

 

bump7.jpg

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The warning flag was made by printing the flag and its mirror image on paper and folding them back on each other, joining with double sided tape around a brass wire flag pole. The pole was glued to the Jeep body at its lower end and soldered to the light box frame where it passed. On the real Jeep, the removable pole passes through a tube welded to the light box frame. It just needs a little touch up with a black pen along the edges.

 

jeep_28.jpg

 

The roof canvas bows have now been added with brass wire and the rest of the light box frame soldered in place.

 

jeep_22.jpg

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A very different and interesting project. Following with much interest. :yes:

 

Trivia info; According to the DVLA records your 1:1 Hotchkiss was first registered in the UK on 1 January 1957, has resided near Chester Le Street since 2006 until it's last MOT on May 10th 2012, and only had 11,011 miles on the clock at that time. Talk about low mileage!  :blink:

Edited by Bill.B

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The DVLA isn't quite correct. This is one of two Jeeps I have, the Hotchkiss being bought in Feb 2005 ( the other being a 1943 Ford GPW ). According to the chassis number, and data plates, it was a December 1958 vehicle, that was later rebuilt by Hotchkiss in 1966. It was sold as surplus from the French Army in 2000, sitting with a dealer in Scotland until I found it. He registered it, so probably put down the Jan '57 date as a best guess. Chester-le-Street was where I used to get it MOT'd, so I'm guessing that's where that came from. It's about 6 miles from here in Washington.

When it was purchased, it had a kilometer speedo fitted, but that wasn't connected ( missing adapter into the gearbox ), so I have no idea what the mileage really was. From memory, it had about 13,000Km on the clock, but how long the clock was disconnected for I don't know. I fitted a MPH speedo when I got it, so the mileage recorded by the DVLA was just those miles I clocked up ( currently a little over 14,000 ).

 

A few years ago, it became MOT exempt, and so they probably don't have any more recent records.

I really need to put together a walkaround of the GPW as it was a complete strip down and rebuild, so lots of useful reference photos taken between 2012 and 2014!

 

0062.jpg

 

0749.jpg

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I've had lots of great adventures with the first Jeep, with a Jeep trailer for our camping gear. Then in 2009, a daughter comes along - high chair, push chair, car seat and all the other support equipment you need for a child. The Jeep and trailer just wasn't big enough.

 

So we bought a Dodge WC51 Weapon Carrier!! My wife didn't take much convincing, it was an invenstment after all. So after that, for some of the local events which didn't involve huge fuel use, I took the Dodge with my daughter, and my wife drove the Jeep ( she loves it ). Then in 2012, I got the Ford GPW as a restoration project and investment. That took a couple of years to strip down and rebuild.

 

Apparently, three vehicles is enough now, so I'm told!

 

croft107.jpg

 

croft4.jpg

 

bowes49.jpg

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Following further bodywork and markings painting was done, and an aerial added to the base ( More brass wire ). I had no waterslide stars left, so the star and bumperette markings were just handpainted ( it's not a competition model after all ).

 

jeep_31.jpg

 

The axe, shovel and their straps were painted, followed by lights and reflectors.

 

jeep_30.jpg

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