by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
Resicast have a number of Airborne Jeep conversion in their extensive range of British and Commonwealth kits. I have built a few of these already but hadn’t gotten around to doing kit No 35.1148 which is a conversion kit for the Tamiya Jeep (Kit No 35219), to make it into a Royal Army Medical Corps Airborne Jeep.
Elite forces have always been popular subjects. The history, achievements and failures of the Parachute Regiment are well documented, earning them a well deserved and respected reputation throughout the world as a serious professional fighting force; tough men often sent to do the impossible with minimal back up in terms of support weapons.
During WWII, to help overcome this deficiency, standard infantry equipment was adapted to fit the parachute role and provide basic support and recce ability for troops landing behind enemy lines. These heavier items could be glidered in to provide limited anti tank support, recce and supply ability. The Willys jeep was one of the few vehicles that could be transported by air and soon became a very useful vehicle for the Paratroopers and was converted into several role specific versions. One of these elements is medical support and the Jeep would have performed an important role within deployments.
These conversion sets have been on the market for some time and this is a brief look at the kit contents for the RAMC kit conversion.
This set is designed to convert the Tamiya Willys Jeep item 35219 to the British Airborne RAMC type jeep as transported on Horsa Gliders.
The set comes in the standard, sturdy Resicast box with a good colour picture of the completed model on the front along with the makers name and product details.
Inside the box are 6 zip bags of resin parts, a fret of PE for the conversion and some plastic rod you will need for the build along with an A5 twelve page set of instructions.
The front page outlines a brief history of the kit and a list of the most notable modifications made to the jeeps.
The instruction steps are clearly laid out starting with the donor kit build and integrating the conversion as the build progresses. These are the older style instructions and the text is quite small but is backed up with black and white progress pictures to aid the build. The front page contains a listing of the resin parts and photo-etched parts so you can check and identify everything. All the pour plugs have numbered parts so identification should be fairly easy.
Included in the set are the rear plate, steering plate quick release mechanism, front bumper, front two yoke, dashboard, spare wheel, jerrycan fixation and jerrycans, pick handle and pick head, spade and spade handle, rifle and rifle clamps, bonnet and window screen tie downs, window screen lock, lower window screen lock, stretchers, legs for same, medical field containers and rolled blankets. 34 separate PE parts are included to enhance the build some being x 2 or x 4 or x 6.
The parts are well cast in a light grey resin, despite being quite an ‘old’ kit the detail is excellent. All were free from any damage or cause for concern, and come well wrapped and protected in the box. An additional set of parts not listed are parts V and W which are the front axle replacement parts to allow the wheels to be positionable, which is a useful item. . Also in my kit was a wheel used on the airborne trailers towed by the jeeps. A good set of weapons is also included in the set although check your references as these may not have been carried on the RAMC Jeeps.
You'll need a sharp modeling knife and razor saw but clean up should be minimal. There are quite a few small parts so be careful and normal safety precautions apply when working with resin.
Overall this looks to be a fairly comprehensive set to allow the modeler to make a good representation of the Airborne RAMC Jeep. You need to bear in mind that there were modifications carried out locally by REME units and therefore there were not always in line with the official specifications, a great deal of latitude being taken as to actual fitting up of the vehicles. As with any modelling project a good set of references will help. Referenced in the instructions is a pamphlet on the Modification and Specifications on British Airborne Jeeps by Rob van Meel.
The detail and the casting looks excellent, a good read of the instructions before you begin is recommended. The kit contains many small parts so be careful of the carpet monster, but if you have a few years experience and have worked with resin and PE before then this set should give you a very cool vehicle indeed.
No decals are provided with the kit which is a minus. A good variety of ‘boxes’ come with the kit so stocking this one up should be fun. The Tamiya jeep also provides a relatively inexpensive donor kit for the conversion.
Resicast have the largest range of 1/35 British Airborne figures and items that I know of, so drivers and figures to suit should also be readily available.
British Airborne Jeeps 1942 – 1945 Modifications and Markings by Rob Van Meel