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Toyota BJ44 Land Cruiser

Italeri 1/24 Toyota BJ44 Land Cruiser Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2021 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Toyota BJ44 Land Cruiser Scale 1/24
Kit Number 3630 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautiful subject Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $57.99

First Look

Toyota BJ44 Land Cruiser
Toyota BJ44 Land Cruiser

Toyota began production of the Land Cruiser series in 1960 as a slightly larger alternative to the Jeep CJ series. Like the CJ, the Land Cruiser is a four-wheel drive utility vehicle that was popular around the globe. It offered a variety of engine sizes in both gas and diesel. The chassis was produced in three sizes, short (90" wheelbase), medium (104" wheelbase), and long (116" wheelbase). The short version was the two-door model, the medium was also a two-door utility, two-door pick-up, or four-door wagon. This kit from Italeri is the medium wheelbase, two-door SUV.

This kit was originally released by ESCI in the early 1980s, with periodic reissues from both ESCI and Italeri. Molded in multi-clor styrene, this kit is presented on one parts tree of black parts plus the chassis frame, one body shell in blue styrene, two tops in white styrene, the windows in clear styrene, and five rubber tires. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nice chassis with detailed suspension and power train
  • Designed as a 'curbside' kit, so no details under the hood
  • Can be built as left-hand or right-hand drive
  • Winch provided on front bumper
  • Choice or hard or soft top (or no top)
  • Choice of rear seating options

Unfortunately, Italeri did not include the additional parts from earlier releases like the front brush guard nor the roof rack.

The kit provides a variety of license plates from the US, UK, and Europe (pre-EU).

For those who are fans of the Land Cruiser family, this kit will be a welcome addition to your scale garage. For those who want to do something different, you can also scratchbuild a plinth and 14.7mm machine gun to create a 'technical vehicle' used by militias and insurgents around the globe. You can build it in mint condition or rode hard and rusted, the possibilities are limited by your imagination.

This kit is a simple build and will make for a fun weekend project!

Thanks to MRC for the review sample.