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Willys Jeep

Bandai 1/48 Willys Jeep Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review November 2010 Manufacturer Bandai
Subject Willys Jeep Scale 1/48
Kit Number 8284 Primary Media 122 parts (117 in olive drab, 5 clear styrene)
Pros Simple, easy-to-assemble kit of popular subject; most likely cheaper than new production versions from Tamiya and Hasegawa; comes with four generic US figures and a trailer Cons Out of Production; decals not likely to last 35+ years
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

The Willys Jeep needs no introduction as one of the most popular vehicles ever built. Even today repro parts are in wide scale production and use to keep them going for both fans and preservationists. And the same is true in the modeling community.

In 1/35 scale there are a number of kits of which the new Tamiya, Italeri, and old Tamiya are the best (and in that order). But in 1/48 the first kit was put out by Bandai in 1974. Part of a broad attempt to create a new 1/48 scale market with the cost of 1/35 scale kits going up (Horrors! The Tamiya 88 was $10.95 at the time!) Bandai added many detail accessories to their very inexpensive kits such as figures, interiors, engines, and in this case a 1/4 ton trailer to boot.

How has time treated the little beast? Having picked up one at Maraudercon today in Baltimore, the answer is not bad. This kit was complete less the decals which sort of rotted out over the past 36 years, but overall it is a nice little model even today.

What you get is a complete Jeep kit with the trailer and a choice of raised or lowered top, something not often found in new mold kits. The wheels have the proper tread pattern but are a little squared off on the shoulders, but a bit of work with some sanding sticks or sandpaper should fix that. The only major item I saw that was missing was the rifle rack for the back of the windshield.

Running gear is complete down to the shocks and while simple the engine and transmission are there as well. Shift levers are included, too.

Oddly enough the model comes with a whip antenna for a radio – but no radio!

The figures are generic in field jackets but with no kit other than a helmet. Four M1 rifles are also included. However, the basic moldings are still acceptable for use today.

Overall, this is a worthwhile little beastie and for flea market prices will do fine as opposed to $25-30 for the modern competition.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 65 Details, engine, seats
  • B 23 Body, frame, top, trailer body
  • ‒ 29 Four figure
  • ‒ 5 Clear styrene