An Easy Win: Tamiya 1/35 Jeep Willys MB 1/4 Ton 4×4 Truck

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After my year long break from modeling, I decided to ease back into things by selecting a simple and fun kit to build. I opted for the classic Willys Jeep! This is my first utility vehicle I have modeled and I can definitely say it has be wanting to explore more of these utility vehicles in the future.

Tamiya is known for its easy to build and well engineered kits. They may not be the most complex or be filled with every single minute detail, but they are held in extremely high regard by all in the hobby. Prior, to embarking on my ongoing Dragon M4A3E8 Sherman build (I will be writing a post about that odyssey soon), I had only constructed Tamiya models. In fact, the reason why I had so many issues with the aforementioned Dragon kit, was because I simply was not prepared for that leveling of complex model making from my experience with Tamiya. Regardless of how badly I had been demoralized by the Dragon build, I was determined to get back on my game!

I am very glad to have selected and built this kit. Overall quality was great! The details are good and the kit does a fine job of presenting a believable Jeep. There were quite evident ejector pin marks to clean up (in hindsight, I wish I had filled the ones on the bottom of the kit), but otherwise, everything went together perfectly. An issue I did run into were the very small grab handles. These parts are prone to breaking and flying across the room when you are cleaning them up or grasping them with tweezers. I had one fly onto a dark blue carpet and I spent about an hour and half looking for it. I wish model maker companies would include a few extra of these shitty little parts with the kit, as I am sure they damn well know these are very finicky pieces. Also, Tamiya’s decals were extremely thick. This caused me a great deal of anxiety, because prior to a matte varnish and weathering, I really thought I had killed the model’s look with the very thick and obvious looking clear film around the decals. Thankfully the varnishing toned them down immensely.

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My self-pep talk prior to the hour and half search for the tiny grab handle.

As an aside, to the build: I had some paint related issues as well. In 2014, I had ordered a bunch of Olive Drab paint from Ammo of Mig. Ammo of Mig makes very high quality products and I recommend them without hesitation. However, at the time that I had ordered those paints, there was a bad batch that had been sold. The paint pigments could not stay combined no matter how much you stirred or how much you “beat the devil out it” (to quote Bob Ross). The colors simply separated after a few minutes and you lost the intended color. Well, this paint had sat in my storage box for over a year, so when it was time to paint up this Jeep, I was having all kinds of issues with surface adhesion, different color tones, rough sandpaper finish of the paint, and terrible “wet spots” that would form after a light misting on the surface. Long-story short, Ammo of Mig replaced all of my defective paints and gave me free stuff. Do yourself a favor and buy some of Mig’s products.

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“Beat the devil out of it”

Despite some setbacks and relearning forgotten skills, I think it came out pretty good. Although, I wish I had not glued the damn hood shut, as it has a really nicely modeled engine for display. Lesson learned.

The final result: (please forgive my iPhone quality photos)

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Well that was fun! Hope you enjoyed!

Next time I hope to bring you more of the ongoing Tiger I build, as well as introduce my journey with Dragon’s M4A3E8: The model that nearly made me quit the hobby.

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I’m out!

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