Beloved by GI and civilians alike, produced in one form or another in military and civilian incarnations for 67 years, the "jeep" (originally the "Truck, 1/4 Ton 4x4 Reconnaissance Car, Willys MA") was credited by World War Two Allied Supreme Commander (Europe) Gen. Eisenhower as one of the four weapons most responsible for winning WW2. Jeep is now a vehicle brand name as well as a term for light four-wheel drive vehicles.
Hasegawa is entering the 1/48 ground vehicle arena with WW2 American jeeps. Their first compliments their many 1/48 Allied aircraft, a Willys MB "Follow Me" Jeep. A second, with a .30 caliber machine gun, is due in June, 2007. The only other styrene 1/48 jeep I recall is Bandai's vintage offering.
In the box
'FOLLOW ME' is 58 olive drab plastic and clear parts for the jeep. Eleven olive drab plastic parts make up the three figures: pilot, driver, controller. A metal wire is included for the radio antennae.
Check the Decals
A peculiar decal sheet features not only the markings for three USAAF/USAF jeeps (two WW2, one Korea) but a huge (relative to the vehicle) single red and white check board to cover the jeep! Get the setting solutions ready! Decals are provided for the dashboard instruments.
The model can be built with or without the large radio stack used to communicate with aircraft. The parts are all crisply molded. Sadly, many round mold marks are present; happily, most are where nobody should ever see them--not all, like those on the windshield frame. Most parts have tabs on them and these disposable things have the only sink holes I have spotted. Only one part has flash upon it, the encased M1 Garand rifle. It is on the very tip of the muzzle.
The chassis is a single piece frame, single piece transmission/drive gear and single piece muffler, and four springs with shocks. The body is a single piece floor with sides and fenders to which you attach the separate rear and dashboard, and the radiator and hood.
Five parts make up the GoDevil SV 54hp engine. The hood is not hinged but the windshield is. All the seats are separate. The steering wheel, shift levers and mirror are separate.
Nine exterior items round out the jeep, including a three-part jerry can. It can be built top up or down. The grab handles on the side of the body behind the doorways (yellow circle) are molded as solid semi-circles. These unsightly blobs should not be much trouble to shave off and replace with wire.
The figures are nicely detailed, but seem slightly undersized. The pilot is decked out in flying gear. Two heads are individually molded (see red circles.)
There you have it, a pretty little gem. It should be a quick build. Guide jeeps were known to be brightly decorated at air bases. The red and white check board scheme is striking.
Highs: Clean, crisp molding with a striking decal sheet. Detailed figures, radio gear, an engine.Lows: No towed trailer. That Striking decal sheet's red and white check board is one-piece. Many mold marks, some where they can be seen.Verdict: Long-awaited, this is a very welcome addition to 1/48 military vehicles in general and 1/48 aircraft modelers in particular!
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...