Jeep Willys MB
Hasegawa 1/24 kit No. MV1
Review by Terry Ashley

I must admit I have a soft spot for the timeless Jeep having half a dozen Tamiya 1/35 kits (only one built to date), a few Italeri examples and am part way through a life’s work of dealing with the big 120mm Verlinden Jeep (now that’s a whole new story) so was pleased to see the announcement by Hasegawa of a “new” 1/24th scale Jeep.

Now the kit is here and bearing in mind it is 1/24th and not 1/35th I have to say I’m a little disappointed with what’s in the box, so let’s have a closer look.

The kit:
The kit consists of 120 parts in dark green hard plastic with a further 13 for the driver figure, 4 clear parts and five vinyl tyres plus a large decal sheet and instruction sheet.
The quality of the mouldings is quite good but lacks the details and finesse which we have come to expect from current generation kits, especially in this bigger scale with some of the detail in the 1/35th Tamiya kit being superior. There are also numerous pin ejector marks and moulding seam lines to be removed from most of the parts.


The Chassis and suspension:
The main chassis is in one moulding and this is good to ensure the correct alignment of the suspension parts. The two rear bumpers are excessively thick and will need to be thinned quite a bit for a better scale appearance.
The chassis is correct for the “Willys” in having the tubular front cross member as opposed to the cross beam on the “Ford” produced Jeeps.
The front and rear axles are in one basic piece with only the front of the diffs to be added plus the front steering rods, again in a single piece, this results in over simplified assemblies lacking detail especially in this larger scale.
The leaf springs, shock absorbers and mountings are again moulded together as one part with the resulting lack of detail definition while the wheel rims and hubs are simply way of the mark as far as detail goes. In fact the Tamiya 1/35th wheels have better detail than the wheels rims/hubs in this kit.
This is due to the raised circle around the centre hub being the wrong shape (being round in profile instead of higher on the inside tapering down on the outside), the centre hubs themselves don’t protrude enough and the outside of the rims lacking the outer lip, the vinyl tyres look a little on the thin side but the tread pattern is quite nicely done.
The brake drums trap poly caps on the back of the wheels to attach to the axles which makes for easy attachment as any time during construction.

The Engine and compartment:
This is quite a comprehensive assembly made up of 16 parts for the engine itself and a further 8 parts for the radiator, battery and horn. Unfortunately these are again fairly basic in detail and lack definition. The large halves of the engine block and gearbox don’t have any locating pins, not that that is a great problem but requires care when gluing together. The upper air cleaner and oil filter are moulded in one piece and lack details for the scale. The generator on the right side of the engine is moulded with the fan pulley assembly and is has no detail at all, while the rear cranking motor is moulded as part of the right engine block half with the resulting lack of detail definition. The fuel pump on the left of the engine is again moulded as part of the left engine block with the same lack of definition while the other separate parts for the distributor and ignition coil have fairly basic details as does the carburetor assembly while the battery and regulator are also in one moulding.
The radiator has the large front housing with headlights included (with separate clear lenses) and rear section as separate part as is the radiator top which includes the top hose to the engine block. The engine head has the stamping “Willys Jeep” and reinforcement ribs included between the head bolts, these ribs were a post war addition and the "Willys" stamping was a late war/post war modification.
All of this may seem a bit over critical but again we are talking about 1/24th scale here and these parts are not that small and you would think this basic detail could be included.

The Main Body:
This is one large moulding with the floor, sides and front grill included similar to that in the Tamiya kit and is quite nice and also has the rear panel as a separate part. This panel has some impressive pin ejector on marks on the inside to be removed as does the engine compartment side of the forward firewall part.
The body interior has front seats with separate lower cushions while there is a separate brake and clutch pedal the accelerator is included in the body moulding and there are also separate gear levers. A separate fuel tank is included for under the driver’s seat but is the wrong shape.
The full length dash board has a separate hand brake handle and decals for the instruments and data panels on the glove compartment. The details on these parts are okay but the two support panels on the forward inside walls are not there. Also not included are the two side safety straps or their attachment points on the side of the dash board and behind the front seats, another detail you would think would be here in this scale?
The windshield has separate wiper motors, lower securing attachments and side fittings for opening the individual screens but the wiper blades are moulded with the windshield frame with the resulting lack of definition. The large rifle rack on the inside of the windshield has the M1 rifle included as one moulding with again a lack of definition. Of course you can show the windshield in the upright or lowered position easily as you wish.
The engine hood has details on both sides but again there are some ejector marks on the inside to be removed, but does include four separate “T” securing latches.

On the outside of the body there are separate parts for the front fender head light and guard which can do with being thinned down, the side and rear grab handles, tools on the left side and the folded canvas top supports around the rear. The axe and shovel are quite nice but have their attachments included in the one tools mouldings as does the jerry can on the rear with its securing strap and mounting bracket included with the Jerry can halves.

Added to the rear is the pedestal mount and .30cal machine gun. The supports for the pedestal are overly thick but you do get the rear stabilizing support for the .30cal.
The .30cal MG itself comes in just two parts with one side having half the MG body, the full barrel and the rear hand grip while the other part is the other half of the body. The single ammo box has two halves with separate lid but has no ammo belt included and while the gun is fairly simple in construction the detail isn’t bad and should come up well with careful painting. There is also a wire cutter bar for the front bumper which could also do with some thinning down for better scale appearance.

The Driver Figure:
Well simply put this is throw back to the 1970s, with the details being very “soft” and lacking in definition with large moulding seams to be removed, but with careful detail painting could be made to look reasonable.

The Decals:
This is quite a large sheet with markings for four Jeeps with a choice of star for the hood with and without the circle plus quite a bit of stencilling including the tyre pressure markings and data panels for around the vehicle. The decals themselves are a little on the thick side which is normal for Hasegawa decals.
The markings included are:
  1. 101st Airborne Division, 401st Glider Infantry Regiment, France 1944
  2. 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1944
  3. 2nd Marine Division MP, Japan 1945
  4. US Air Force, Air Police, 1950s

As mentioned at the start I was a little disappointed with this kit, for a 1/24th kit the details are basic and those that are there are lacking in definition with many assemblies done as single pieces instead of separately for better details such as the suspension and engine parts.
If you are prepared to do a bit of work and add the additional details a reasonable model could result, but then there is the wheels to contend with.

The sprues
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Detail Images
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Page created 26 June 2003

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