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richellis

Willys Jeep working etched leaf springs in 1:24 or 1:35

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Willys' Ford Jeep etched working leaf Springs
1:24 or 1:35 etched set from Minor Models


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The Willys MB US Army Jeep is known by a few other names including the Ford GPW, or ¼ ton 4x4 Truck, it was designed in 1941 as a go anywhere light utility vehicle for the US army and made a name for its self during WW2. With its short wheelbase, 4 wheels drive chassis, 2.2l engine and a manual gearbox with high and low ratios it could go anywhere! The basic Jeep was modified and found a home in many roles in the army finding its self being fitted with weapons, snow ploughs, radio gear and armour as a few examples.
Some good detail photos can be seen in this walkaround thread.
The Jeep is often seen as an iconic vehicle and has a massive fan base both preserving 1:1 vehicles, and for scale model builders. Minor Models have a selection of sets for modellers of the iconic Jeep including a set of working leaf springs in etched metal both in 1:35 and 1:24 scales. Minor Models have sent a 1:24 set for me to look at.

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The set comes on a small etched sheet, and it is taped to a stout piece of card to protect it. There is an A4 instruction sheet folded up in the pack, the instructions are diagrams that are colour coded to show the etched parts in blue, kit parts in black and scratch build parts in red.

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The etch sheet comes on a single sheet, you will need to get some rod and wire for the build as this isn’t included in the set. Looking at the instructions you need some 0.7mm and some 0.5mm wire.

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The springs are built as a real spring would be, starting with a centre bolt made from some 0.5mm wire then the leaves added from long to short. You then need to bend the end of the long main leaf around some wire to get the eye for attaching to the hangers. The shackles will also need bending and adding with some wire to hold them in place. There are different shackles for the Willys and Ford built Jeeps. The hangers for the springs also come on the etched sheet and will need attaching to the kits chassis and some wire needs bending to shape, following the instructions given on the instruction sheet, to hang the springs to the chassis. A close up of some parts is shown below:

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The kits axles attach to the springs with some U bolts made from wire when in place the springs need to be flexed to shape. You need to be very careful with the glue when adding the etched nuts to the end of the rods to allow the suspension to flex and give working springs. Minor Models have sent some pictures of the parts in use to show it in action. I will put these at the end of the review.

Conclusion
A nice set that will give your build extra working detail, and will be a good talking point at a show or club night. Not for the beginner, more for the experienced builder.

1:35

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1:24

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Review sample courtesy of

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Photos below from Minor Models

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