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Jeep (Willys MD) Truck, 1/4 t, M38 A1

ROCO 1:87 Scale Vehicle Review

Willys Jeep M38 A1 converted to Bantam GMC (Gun Motor Carriage), 1:87 H0 Model Kit ROCO 143

This conversion of the ROCO Jeep has had the round front fenders cut back and the raised central portion of the hood scraped off with a scalpel, to resemble the Bantam Jeep which was used as a basis for the 37 mm Gun Motor Carriage in 1941. The original Bantam G.M.C. had a swivel-mounted anti-tank gun behind the driver seat. The later experimental version shown here has the anti-tank gun facing the rear of the vehicle, with the passenger seat installed facing backwards as well. Stowage has just been added to the vehicle, it still needs to be painted in subdued colours and weathered a little, to blend in with the rest of the vehicle.

Contents

Willys Jeep, M38 A1, with .50 cal. MG

  • Type: Truck, 1/4 t, 4x4 Utility
  • Wheelbase: 2.03 m
  • Length: 3.36 m
  • Width: 1.58 m
  • Height: 1.32 m, 1.83 m with top
  • Weight: 1.1 t
  • Note: Nato Vehicle; may be converted to resemble earlier models.

Evaluation

  • Scale model with some detail and snap-on accessories.
  • Cheap source of an important vehicle for wargamers.
  • Assembled model. Wheels need to be immobilized to prevent the vehicle from rolling around on wargame terrain pieces. Spare tires and jerrycans should be glued in place. The Jeep can be converted easily.
  • Less expensive than a model kit.
  • High quality vehicle. Accessories fit well, but there is some flash on tires.
  • Not compatible with 1:72 scale. Without the canvas top and windshield, the chassis does appear large enough to be used alongside 1:72 models.

Historical Employment

  • Nato Jeep Willys MD
  • Israeli Jeep Willys MD

Possible Conversions

  • Jeep Willys MB 1941-1945
  • 37 mm Gun Motor Carriage (Bantam 40BRC)
  • British SAS, L.R.D.G. or Commando Jeep with .50 cal. MG, twin Bren, captured Italian Breda MG or German MG 42. Jerrycans on hood and stowage inside.

The ROCO model of the Willys Jeep is a nice vehicle which lends itself to a number of interesting conversion. The model is cheap and it can be stripped of valuable spare parts in the event that a particular conversion project should fail disastrously. Stripped chassis make convincing hulks which can be used to decorate the battlefield.

Frequently Asked Questions

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British Miniatures of World War Two


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