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Jeep Kit

Hasegawa 1/24 Willys MB Jeep w/Trailer Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2005 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject Willys MB Jeep w/Trailer Scale 1/24
Kit Number 20221 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, nice details Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $38.00

First Look

Jeep Kit
Jeep Kit
Jeep Kit
Jeep Kit
Jeep Kit
Jeep Kit
Jeep Kit
Jeep Kit

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).

I was a little surprised to see Hasegawa release a Jeep in 1/24 scale, but for the first time, we have a nice quality MB Jeep in standard automotive model scale. The kit is molded in olive drab styrene and presented on seven parts trees, a separate body, a tree of clear parts, and rubber tires. The Jeep itself uses up six of the olive drab trees and the clear tree, while the utility trailer is contained on the seventh olive drab tree.

Construction begins with the engine, and it is a nicely detailed rendition of the flat-head four. The only thing missing are the ignition wires. The engine and transmission are mounted on the chassis, with the front and rear differentials added. The wheels are installed on the axles with poly caps, so the wheels will roll after installation.

The body is assembled next, with the radiator assembly, fuel tank, tail gate, firewall, etc., installed first. Next in the process are the driver's controls (steering wheel, stick shift, pedals, and transmission hi/lo and 4WD levers). Finally the seats and instrument panel are installed.

The windshield is movable, though locking handles are provided to show the windshield 'locked down'. The hood can be positioned up, but is not hinged so you won't see all of that nice detail around the engine if you glue the hood closed.

The body is mounted to the chassis and the remaining detail parts, including pioneering tools, spare tire, gas can and rack, and machine gun w/mount are installed.

The final step in assembly is the utility trailer, which goes together easily, but is also nicely detailed.

A driver's figure is also included.

Markings are provided for three examples - an 82nd Airborne Division Jeep from Operation Market Garden, a 101st Airborne Division Jeep from the siege at Bastogne, and a 3rd Armored Division Jeep.

I was initially skeptical of this kit as I wasn't certain how Hasegawa would do with a 1/24 Jeep. I can say that I'm quite impressed with the kit and it will go well with my Tamiya 1/24 YJ Jeep (modeled after my own Jeep) and the Revell 1/25 CJ-7.

If you want some ideas on how to finish or detail your Jeep, check out our Reference Section of several excellent museum examples!