M20 Armored Utility Car
"Double Dare"

Tamiya #35234 M20 Armored Utility Car

Copyright 2000, Jim Lewis/GunTruck Studios
All Rights Reserved Worldwide

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Awards & Honors

Like with Tamiya's M8 Light Armored Car, I could hardly wait until the M20 Armored Utility Car was released. I rushed out, bought it, and built it immediately to have a companion piece to display with my M8. This model was also a test of resolve. I finished the original model in late November 1999, and was in the process of applying a final dull coat to seal the finish - when I dropped the model on a concrete patio floor and destroyed it. After a beer, or two, I sat down and figured out how to rebuild the model. I had put too much time and effort into it to give up at that point. I built it so fast - I didn't even stop to take a picture!

In essence, I built two M20 Armored Utility Cars, and what you see here is the culmination of a great deal of rebuilding and repair work. No one I haven't told this story can tell the model had ever been damaged.

Above are two photos of the restored M20 Armored Utility Car "Double Dare". Maybe one day, I'll run into this vehicle at a MVPA show somewhere and get to photograph it some more. I did not add the two German National Insignia 'kill marks' to my miniature, but if I ever can find out more about the real vehicle (verifying the kills and additions of marks) then I'll certainly add them!

Having built Tamiya's M8 Light Armored Car before, tackling the M20 Armored Utility Car proved a breeze. You can almost build it in your sleep. From the outset I planned to take advantage of the separate engine breather hatches to model an engine for my M20. The Tamiya model kit doesn't come with this detail, sadly, but you can take advantage of the resin sets offered by Jaguar and Verlinden Productions.

I did - using components of both of them to make the engine compartment complete. Having both on hand also came in handy when I dropped the model and destroyed it the first time around. I had enough to rebuild the miniature, though I had to fashion some replacements for lost detail in the accident. Markings for "Double Dare" came from Superscale and Aeromaster water-slide decals, and Verlinden, Archer, & Pre-Size dry-transfers. Hudson & Allen supplied some equipment markings too. Hudson & Allen Tow Cable Ends were mated to nylon string to make the tow cable. Builders In Scale chain was used on the front of the miniature.

At left, Verlinden's resin .50cal machine gun and associated equipment replaced Tamiya's kit offerings. I wanted to dress this area up a little more, not that anything is terribly wrong with the Tamiya kit parts as supplied.

Kendall Model Company & On the Mark Models tie-downs were used all over my miniature. Strapping was yellow 3M Post It Notes painted with Tamiya Red Brown. This is my favorite for simulating leather straps, as when you trim them from the sheet, a little yellow shows on the edges looking like worn straps. I lost the buckle for my Jerry Can on the above photo - had to place a new one there later on. All rolls are made from tissue. The Jerry Can holder is another favorite - On the Mark Models product. National Insignia are behind the First Aid Kit and the Jerry Can Holder - I had to explain this because some contest judges don't realize this is a common location for these markings. They think something is 'wrong' with the model when they see the decal peeking out from behind the simulated equipment.

Interior shots... One could paint the interior white overall, but I went with OD Green. I added equipment and smaller details like the Spare Cal.50 Barrel container at the top of the above photo. The Binoculars have Grief Optic Blue Lenses in them. A Verlinden resin Cup sits next to a rope bundle I weave during baseball or football games. More 3M Post It Notes for leather straps to secure equipment in the Fighting Compartment. Tool & Equipment Boxes are Italeri items. The Helmet & Grenade is my 'signature' addition to all of my miniatures - made from Italeri parts with Verlinden Foil liner and straps. The Tanker's Helmet is from a DML figure set. Flashlights clamped to the Driver's Compartment walls are simple styrene rod reshaped for the purpose. Cabling and Wiring is made from various gauges of solder and Detail Master wiring for automotive models. Underneath the Tanker's Helmet, on the right side Bench, is a bottle of liberated wine.

A clear plastic item painted with Tamiya Clear Red. I suppose it could be a deeper red, but I like the way the light shines through it. I sanded off the Driver's Hatch Handle detail on the kit part, and made my own out of Verlinden Foil and .020" solder so that I could reposition it for variety. Resting on the small bench at the rear of the Fighting Compartment is an Italeri Helmet and Grenade with a brass pull ring. The liner and straps are made from Verlinden Foil. I usually add this last detail as a type of 'signature' in my miniatures.

All content Copyright 1998 - 2019 Jim Lewis, guntruck.com, guntruck.us, guntruck.org guntruck.net and GunTruck Studios.
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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