Willys Jeep

From 1940 until 1945 when its production stopped, the 647 925 produced units contributed their maximum to the needs of the Armed Forces who used them. Its mechanical characteristics, innovations introduced, simplicity in maintenance and reliability on the battlefield made such a great impression on the troops, affecting up to its name. Many claim that the characteristic name Jeep – except for General Purpose – is derived from the cartoon “Eugene the Jeep” which could accomplish even seemingly impossible problems. The first Willy’s MB’s were received by the “Sacred Band”, a Greek Special Forces Unit formed in the Middle East, in 1942. {https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Band_(World_War_II) }
Since then and for almost half a century, they loyally served our Troops. From simple vehicles to weapon carriers, (0.30 – 0.50cal, PAO 106mm recoilless guns), the Jeeps became very popular.

Willys JeepOne of the many configurations that were used and which caught my attention was a Military Police vehicle.
The saying goes: “I want the groom now and I want him in all its glory!” After I came across a beautiful picture on the internet, I
set out to find the Jeep and its related decals. My impatience was satisfied with the Commando Car from Italeri in the 1/35th scale. With the exception of the vehicles’ canvas cargo cover which was not intended to be used from the beginning anyway and the clear plastic piece for the windscreen, which was replaced with gelatin, fortunately the kit provides all necessary parts for the construction of the simple version Jeep. So, the kit made its way to my workbench for inspection… Although in the box
it is referred to as a 1994 produced kit, the hard plastic and the known ejection pin marks, (some unfortunately at easily visible places), refer to an earlier than 1994 kit.

Construction
Body Work
Construction started from the characteristic front grating / cover of the radiator, to which I added vertical bars from styrene and after sanding them, I left them aside until the final phase of assembly. Then, after filling and all pin marks from the sides of the body, they were glued to the main part of the bodywork. At this point and on the back of the body I chose piece #14 instead of the one proposed by the kits’ instructions. With the front part of the body in place, the entire construction was left to dry and It was already the turn for the most beautiful, and enjoyable part of the kit….

Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep

Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep

Chassis and shafts
This is where Italeri really did a great job,  excellent reproduction
of the detail and minimal pin marks and  excess plastic. After studying relevant  photos it was found out that all mechanical parts and the chassis itself were painted in the same color, so I decided to follow the same practice. The
individual parts (shafts, laminates, exhaust pipe) were glued onto the chassis with a flawless fit and were left in their turn aside.

Willys Jeep

Engine bonnet
From the beginning of construction it was decided that the engine bonnet would be left in the closed position (thus sacrificing the wonderful engine provided in the kit) and while up to this point the impressions from the fitting of the kit was more than positive, this was sadly not the case with the bonnet. In the closed πosition, even during dry fitting tests, I found out that the gaps at the contact points were out of scale. All γluing was done with cyano acetate super glue and then filled with Humbrol Green
putty.
After sanding with 400 to 1000 grade σandpapers,
the lines were re-engraved using Trumpeter’s engraving
tool and so the gaps between the body and the bonnet were reverted to scale.

Willys Jeep

Detailing – Additions
With the main parts ready for priming, it was time for some small additions to the kit. At the sides of the
body and just behind the driver and passenger seats the mounting points of the seat belts were added made of
styrene sheet and the seat belts themselves were created
from thick aluminum sheets from Nescafé package covers.
The attachment points for the side seat belts on the body of the instrument panel were made of thin copper wire which was wrapped to an appropriate diameter needle and were glued in place with cyanoacrylate glue.
On the windscreen’s frame and on the drivers’ side I added windscreen wiper from the spare-box and next up was the adding of the framework for the canvas cargo cover.
Based on the dimensions of the body, I carved a guide for the axes of the canvas cargo cover on a piece of wood and carefully with a hairdryer I re-warmed lengths of previously stretched plastic sprue in order to curl in accordance with the guide. The two “Π”-shaped plastic lengths that were created were also glued in place with cyano acetate super glue while the joints came from suitably cut photoeched metal pieces.
Finally, the texture the bare seats of the kit was improved with the method of liquid poly cement. Generous layers of liquid poly cement were applied on the seats and before it
evaporated, I pressed down on the seats, irregularly, with an old stiff brush.
After leaving them for 24 hours to dry, they were sanded lightly with a 600 grade sanding paper and all of the individual parts of the construction were prepared for…

Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep

Priming – Painting – Decals and Weathering
All substructures were washed with warm soapy water and a brush and when once dry, primed with Gunze Mr Surfacer 1200 in a spray can. Because of the particularity in the Colors of the Military Police vehicles, first I painted Gunze H-1 Gloss White the bumpers, the base of the windscreen, the wheel profiles and the back seat.
These parts were left to dry for 24 hours and then were covered with Humbrol liquid maskol to  protect them from the basic color of the body. At this point and based on the study of Mr. D. Lampaditis about the coloring of US Military material I chose for the model’s base color a mix of
Gunze H-78 Olive Drab, Gunze H-47 Red Brown and Gunze H-1 Black Gloss at a 70-20-10% ratio. The paint was airbrushed on the entire model and after it was left for 24
hours to dry, it received a coat of Gunze H-30 Clear Gloss Varnish for the application of the decals, specifically the LM35006 set by LM Decals. Religiously and carefully, the
decals were applied with the help of Tamiya Mark Fit and were sealed by airbrushing the entire model, with the exception of the lower part, with a coat of semi-gloss varnish
derived from a mix of Gunze H-20 and Gunze H-30 at a 50-50% ratio. The lower part was airbrushed with Gunze H-20 Matt Varnish to facilitate the application of weathering later on.
After 24 hours and with the model dry, the remaining details were painted with Humbrol enamels. Specifically, the driver’s and passenger’s seats were painted with a 70-30 mix of Brown Yellow No.94 and Re Brown No.160; respectively while the seat belts on both seats and the jerry can with No.94. The plastic latches on the bonnet were painted with white gloss and the rubber stop on the windscreen as well as the treads of the wheels with the well known tire black.
Given the fact that the vehicles of the Military Police in 90% of cases (especially at line up and parades), were excessively polished, the level of wear in the model fluctuated
in a very small range.
The model received at the entry points a discrete dry brush with dark earth while the entire lower part including the treads of the wheels received extensive dry brushing with iconography powder pigments in various shades of brown and gray. The model was left to wait patiently the rest of the construction involving the…

 

Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep

Base and Figure
Without the possibility of ordering an excellent resin figure of an English Military Policeman, I turned to the next best option which was my spare box and scratch building.
The body of the figure came from the crew chief figure of a Universal Carrier of Tamiya. Based on the excellent photos from the collection of the “Historical Collector of Veria, Greece”, some details of the figure, like its harness, were omitted and I began adding the characteristic details. The
military police cap was made using styrene sheet and putty based partially jockey type hat in the 1/35th scale.
The cartridge belt and revolver holster came from the spare box while the characteristic safety cord and whistle chain were made from thread, impregnated in wood glue.
Finally, after mounting the belt made of aluminum foil, the figure was washed carefully, primed and prepared for painting.

The face and hands were painted with Humbrol No.61 Flesh and for the uniform I chose a mix of 50% Humbrol No.26 Khaki and 50% Humbrol No.119 light earth. The light blue parts on the armband and cap were painted by mixing 50% of Humbrol No.15 and 50% Humbrol No.114. The
figure was airbrushed with Gunze gloss varnish H-30 in order to apply the decals with the initials “ΕΣΑ” (= Hellenic Military Police), on the armband. A second coat of Gunze gloss varnish H-30 was applied seal the decals and after the necessary wash with enamel black for highlighting the details, the figure was airbrushed with Gunze matt varnish H-20 and received, very carefully, a dry brushing with the basic color lightened by 30% with white matt.

With the figure poised beside the Jeep, it was time for the base. On a simple round base I glued the really wonderful plaster structures for paved roads and sidewalks by Mr. George Roidodimos.
The plaster pieces were allowed to adhere for 24 hours and then were cut at the base’s limits. A final layer of styrene sheet was glued on the sidewalk and I engraved the characteristic gaps between the plates. The method of liquid poly cement and rigid brush was repeated in these plates.
When the sidewalk was dry, I sanded it irregularly using a 500 grid sanding paper and on it I added three small columns of cylindrical styrene lengths, 3mm in diameter and 18mm in length. On top of them I made the appropriate mounting loops for the parade cord made out of styrene lengths curled on a hot prong. The parade cord itself was made from coarse thread impregnated in wood glue while at the ends of the thread I added spiral copper wire and the two thread sections totaling 20mm in length were glued to the columns.
I applied liquid putty around the base to close all the gaps at the joints of the various materials, sanded it and coated it with primer. After studying photographs I chose tones of
gray for the paved road, namely Humbrol enamel No.145 Medium Gray and Humbrol enamel No.147 Light Gray applied abnormally with a flat brush. I used Humbrol No.147 Light Gray to paint the main body of the columns and for their tops and the edge of the pavement I used Humbrol No.34 Matt White. The parade cords were painted with Humbrol No.19 Gloss Bright Red, their ends with Humbrol No.16 Metallic Gold and at the end I painted the sidewalk with Humbrol No.119 Light Earth.
The painted base was coated with a Matt Varnish followed by dry brushing with various tones of Light Brown, Green and Blue, with diagonal movements in different directions
for each color and with an interval of about 4 hours between each of them. At the end of the procedure the base was coated with a Gloss Varnish followed by a wash with
Black and Brown enamels and aged with Powder from … Greek coffee and Nescafe which covered the entire paved road and was gradually removed irregularly with a flat brush.
When the result was satisfactory, the whole work was sealed with Gunze H-20 Matt Varnish and the base was ready to receive the jeep and the figure.

Willys Jeep

Instead of an epilogue
With the figure and model placed diagonally on the base for a better aesthetic result, the construction of a particular sentimentally valued subject came to an end.
The pleasant and almost trouble free construction was the reason for starting a perhaps lengthy project, to build as many vehicles feasible that were used by the Military Police.
In closing, I would like to warmly thank Mr. Giannis Pitsas, George Roidodimos, Apostolos Kostopoulos and Constantine Tsagas for their contribution to the completion of the construction

Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep

Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep

Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep

Willys Jeep
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Willys Jeep Willys Jeep Willys Jeep

 

Sources:
www.truckhead.gr www.to4x4.gr
https://el-gr.facebook.com/istorikos.sillektis.verias
www.warjeeps.com
www.wikipedia.com
www.olive-drab.com

Construction – text – photographs: Sergios Tsigaridas

Translation: George Roumbos

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