Willys Model MB Jeep
1/4-ton 4x4 Utility Truck

Tamiya #35219 Willys MB Jeep Model Kit

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

Dedicated to my Father-In-Law
Pvt. Anthony M.E. Cazares
96th Infantry Division "DeadEye", 381st Infantry Regiment, "C" Company
Okinawa 1945

Page One


Awards & Honors

I built this miniature Jeep for my Father-in-Law, who was a veteran of the Battle for Okinawa at the close of World War II. The last great land battle of WW II would be fought by the "DeadEyes" of the 96th ID in the rubble of the village of Medera, June 1945. This bloody and hard-fought campaign saw heavy losses for America, Japan, and the Okinawans. I first learned about this campaign, not through books or movies, but rather through visiting the War Memorial on Okinawa - during my four-year tour there. There is a profound sadness that no words truly can convey there today. Dad passed away November 29, 2000 and will be dearly missed by his loving family. My miniature represents his Company and Division on Okinawa.

The Willys MB Jeep has to be the most famous and recognizable vehicle in history. No story about ground campaigns during the Second World War would be told without mentioning the little truck that always could. From a military vehicle hobbyist's perspective, the Jeep is a must-have for any collection of models - built or not.

Military vehicle restorers and collectors around the globe love the vehicle, and their owners have returned many to operating condition. Not a tool of war anymore, the lovable Jeep still solders on.

So much information is available, and had been printed on the Jeep, that I could offer little more. So, I'll keep this to just illustrating this modeling effort for my father-in-law. This is a miniature I'm proud of, and looked fondly at every time I visited mom and dad. It looked nice sitting on his mantle and now has a place of Honor in my display cabinet back at home. I only put the model on display one time in a local contest. It was awarded a Second Place to the then new Tamiya FAMO. Probably a difficult comparison for the judges at the time, but I don't look at it as a loss because Dad was as proud of it as I was to build it. In that light, a contest result, whatever it might be, is meaningless.

Tamiya's Willys MB is the best available - in any scale. A new molding, it makes their earlier effort pale in comparison, and actually takes the mantle from Italeri's excellent Willys - notably that's been around for a very long time too. The detailing I added to the basic model kit is found in small details - adding further depth to an already complete kit. Little bolts, buckles, eyelets, and snaps enhance the details present.

The Radio Set is a resin item from Verlinden Productions, with Antenna Cable made from .010" solder. The Antenna is .010" brass wire - originally stowed by bending forward and tied down to the Blackout Light Guard but now repositioned. Air Valve Stems are made from the same .010" brass wire. All the Strapping on the miniature is made from 3M Post It Notes. The Door Straps are photoetched brass items as part of the Ordnance Models detail set. The markings are made from Superscale water-slide decals and Verlinden & Pre-Size dry-transfers. Wear and tear on the miniature Jeep is simulated with pastels - I don't use the wash or dry brush techniques in weathering miniatures. Snaps for the Canvas Doors were drilled out with a #80 mini-bit. Tie-down loops for the Pioneer Tools is .010" brass wire. The rearview mirror is a punched disc of mirrored sheet plastic - I used it for all my miniatures, as a dab of silver paint just doesn't cut it! The Engine was detailed with wiring and minor additions to improve the kit parts. MV Products Lenses replaced the headlight parts. All in all, a nice miniature is to be had in a reasonably priced kit. Not much more you could ask for here.

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All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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