Hasegawa 1/48 'Follow Me' Jeep Willys MB Kit First Look
|Date of Review||September 2005||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||'Follow Me' Jeep Willys MB||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||36011 X48-11||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (Yen)||¥1500 (about $12.85)|
The Willys Jeep (the sound of GP pronounced) was developed in response to a 1940 US Army Quartermaster’s Specification for a four-wheel drive scout vehicle that could disengage the front wheels when needed, could reach 50 mph on prepared roads, had the capability to tow, could mount a 30 caliber machine gun, was powered by at least four cylinders, and weighed no more than 1275 pound. A number of designs were submitted, three were selected for trials. The Ford GP and the Willys MA were two of the finalists, though in 1941, the Army opted for a single design. This was the redesigned Willys MB, which both Willys and Ford would mass produce.
The Jeep became an icon for battlefield mobility in all theaters of operations, including many US allies. While produced for service during WW2, the Jeep would soldier on into the 1950s until replaced by the M38 Jeep (a militarized version of the Willys CJ-3).
Hasegawa released a nice rendition of the World War II era Willys MB Jeep in 1/24 scale (reviewed here) so it shouldn't be a big surprise to see it scaled down into quarter scale as well. How did they do? Let's take a look.
The kit is rendered on three parts trees molded in olive drab styrene plus a singe small tree of clear parts for the windshield, etc. Like the larger scale version, this kit features a nicely detailed suspension and drive train, right down to the removable hood to reveal the flat-four engine.
The body is also nicely detailed with a complete set of shift levers, stowable windshield, and optional soft-top.
Parts are included to render a standard utility Jeep with rear set and all of the pioneering tools, or you replace the rear seat with a huge radio rack and antenna to serve as an airfield mobile control vehicle.
As the images show, the kit provides a large red and white checkered decal from which you apply the visibility markings to your airfield control vehicle. I doubt you'd miss this thing parked near the end of the runway. In service, these vehicles would ensure that returning aircraft would have their landing gear down and warn pilots of problems they may not be aware of (hence the radio gear) and also lead transient aircraft to an appropriate parking spot for servicing.
The kit also provides three nice figures. One is a chap behind the wheel of his Jeep looking back to see if an aircraft is indeed following him, a second figure is standing outside the Jeep with headphones and speaking over the microphone, and the third figure is a pilot still wearing his gear.
This is a nice looking model and will look great in its own vignette or as part of a larger diorama leading a fighter or bomber to its parking spot.
If you want some ideas on how to finish or detail your Jeep, check out our Jeep Reference Section for several excellent museum examples!
My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!