Ok, so I decided to work backward on this model, with the trailer first as its a pretty easy compared to the truck itself. To start off building the trailer I cut the leaf spring suspension and axle off the sprues and glued them together. I then was presented with the option to either have to trailer with the jack stand down or up depending if you want it to attach to the jeep or not, I of course do. The instructions weren't very clear how to assembled the three pieces and I ended up cutting off a nub that was totally unnecessary because of it. I found out it was easier to actually just build it on the bed of the trailer itself and then attach the stand last.
Once those were built up I attached them to the bed of the trailer, along with shocks before turning to the sidewalls of the trailer. Fenders got fit to each side along with brackets from the PE fret before offering them up to the bed. I prepped the front and rear pieces as well so that I could position everything while the glue wasn't solid to make sure everything lines up easier. A couple more details both, jackscrew and PE get added before calling this done. Oh, tires, the wheels on the trailer were 3 pieces, the overall wheel, a sidewall pice, and the hub. I didn't attach them though till after painting later.
Starting off the ¼ ton truck we start with the suspension and undercarriage again, building up the pair of differentials and leaf spring suspension systems for the front and rear of the chassis. I'm not sure if my kit has mis-molds on the rear leaf springs but they didn't attach to the frame as they should have, so they are left floating a bit, gluing it down results in the later-to-come shocks not fitting correctly. The front suspension also had the steering linkages attached before attaching everything to the frame.
At this point, the instructions call for you to build the wheels which assembled the same as for the trailer, but I opted to skip them for now as it made no sense to attach them yet and instead focused on details around the frame of the model, with fenders and some PE bits being added. The steering column was added along with a few more details on the bottom side, like the exhaust.
Next up was the engine, with its numerous detail parts that resulted in a very cool little sub-assembly of its own. A skid plate gets added to the bottom of the oil pan before attaching it to the two halves of the engine block itself. The transmission is then assembled and attached, along with accessories such as drive belt, starter, exhaust manifold, and cooling fan. The transfer case is the last detail to be added along with the valve cover and intake. I went ahead and painted the engine at this point, olive drab with some details beyond that such as the exhaust manifold and intake cleaner being painted glossy black.
To start off the body of the Jeep is a few details like gear shifts, parking breaks, and pedals. From there we are told to fit this onto the chassis, but I didn't think this made sense from a painting point of view and so continued on my way. Next up the front fenders had a few details added, as well as building up of the radiator at which point those were also to be added since I didn't attach the engine though I couldn't do that and didn't want to anyway. The radiator I painted glossy black based on research I've done online before I did some highlighting with aluminum dry brushing to bring out the details. I also added the radiator cap now so it could be painted as well.
I built up the firewall with its details next and fit it to the main body of the jeep, a very tight fit but once it found its home sat good and tight and was able to be glued into place. I also built the back panel of the jeep with the wrench for the wheels, and the delicate upper railing before adding it to the body as well. From there I started to go my own direction from the instructions as they didn't make sense from point of painting and final assembly, so if you're following along it won't make much sense going forward.
I went ahead and added the fuel tank into the body, along with the side cushions and fire extinguisher, then went and added the rest of the upper railing to the body along with all the grab handles. I then built up the dashboard but didn't attach it to the body yet. Next, I built the seats up, the frame gets painted olive drab but the seats are more of a khaki color so I didn't attach them yet, same with the seats in the back
The windscreen was next on the agenda, with two options presented, using clear plastic with the wipers molded on or using PE pieces. From there more PE and details are added, including the amount for a gun, where you again have the option if you want the gun or not. My windscreen frame was warped and so before even adding the glass I attached the frame to the body of the jeep to glue it down and get it set right, plus the glass needs masked off and painted before adding it.
The final details to get added then include mirrors, hold downs, spare wheel, and jerry cans. The jerry cans and spare wheel were left off of course, for painting and ease of construction. There is also a gun that gets added with its mount, I assembled and left it off till later as well. actually the machine gun is one of the few complaints I had with the model, as it's not very detailed and I wish it had a slide molded barrel but it still looks good when built up.
Painting this model was very straightforward, with basically all of it being olive drab save for a few details here and there that were painted otherwise. I painted using Tamiya olive drab, although looking at pictures online it probably should have been more of a lighter green than olive drab but it is what it is. The engine bay received a lot of splashes of semi-gloss black, flat black, and some silver for clamps and a few caps. The seats received a buff overcoat very lightly just to change up the color a bit, along with the steering wheel.
I painted up the final detail parts as well for the model, things like the tools, guns, and jerry cans as appropriate so that they could be attached later on. Thankfully for the most part everything on these was painted in typical olive drab, with guns basically being the only thing different as they were of course raw metal.
With the paint completed, I was able to move onto the relatively few decals that this kit has to offer. I went with the markings for «The Damn Yankee» because I thought it was humorous more than anything. Markings included the radiation detection paint on the hood with the US insignia, a few stars on the sides, and on the trailer, and the general markings for this individual unit. The decals all went down well and other than the hood decal I had no issue with them conforming to the surface. Takom made one blunder with the decals, that being the hood decal being one piece, while the hood itself can come off. After letting the decal soak good I took a sharp Exacto blade and cut it, before applying a bit more setting solution to conform that down and calling it done.
Into the final stretches, we go. with decals and painting all out of the way I was able to turn to the final details of the project but first I gave the model a good semi-gloss coat to seal the decals in and take away a bit of the silvering that appeared afterward. Then I was able to turn to the details that needed to be added yet, the wheels were painted and attached, along with jerry cans in the trailer, rifle below the windscreen, and the gun on its pivot mount.
One might have noticed the lack of the driver for this particular model though, he was sent off to New Jersey to my good buddy Ed once again to get painted. And in the process realized I forgot to send him the decals and PE for him, but that's OK, those I can handle! With the driver finished off as well I was able to add him to his post before calling this model done.
I did a little bit of weathering, but not being a fan of it and preferring the factory-finished look basically I was able to put this one to the shelf.