Sunday 5 May 2019

Kit Build/Review: Heller 1/72 Jeep (+ Academy Jeeps!)

After reading and reviewing the inaugural Land Craft book on the Jeep, I fancied making another, having already built one from the Allied & Axis light vehicles set by Academy, many moons ago. In an excess of zeal I bought the Academy set again anyway, so I can rebuild that one as well. You can't have too many Jeeps can you? I think in excess of 90,000 were built during WWII.

I had hoped to build both Jeeps today. Indeed, I almost set myself the challenge of building and painting them both in this one day. But what with a lazy Sunday lay in and the World Championship snooker as a distraction, that was a forlorn hope!

Prepping all the parts, laying them out ready to assemble.

Jeep assembled, trailer ready to go.

I decided to do the Heller Jeep sans hood, so it'll make a nice companion for the Academy ones. This meant fabricating the frame, from wire and plastic card, as the only supplied frame elements in the kit were for the hood up scenario.* The hardest part of doing that was keeping the frame components separate. A very fiddly process!

I also broke one of the hood attachments on the windscreen, whilst masking it. The masking is made trickier by the fact that aheller have included windscreen wiper detail in the windscreen part. I fabricated a new one from plastic card. It's a bit chunky. But I hope I'll be able to pare it down a bit. I also had to repair the MG-mounting post, in a very minor way. As it happens I think I'll leave that off the model anyway.

Heller Jeep alongside the already built Academy Jeep.

* This is a bit odd, 'cause if you build this with the MG deployed, then the hood needs to be down, yet they don't supply suitable parts for that iteration.

Day 2...

Academy Jeep #2

I've already built one of these Jeeps, but fancied making another. It's a nice clean moulding, and goes together nicely, but lacks one or two of the nice details the Heller kit has, such as the clear plastic headlights, or the wrap-around handles on the rear corners of the bodywork.

Parts prepped for assembly.

I've opted to leave the machine out again, so that's two for the spares box now.

Chassis first...

Body pan next...

And before you know it, done.

Loading with stowage...

I think I'll load this Jeep to the gunnels: just added two tarps and a box so far. But a load of jerry cans, and perhaps some scratch-built bits... maybe a toolbox? Hmmm... time for a break. Keep tabs on Trump vs. Higgins, in the Snooker final.

Yay, the Judd-ernaut won! I had hoped the final would be Gary Wilson vs. either Trump or Dave Gilbert. But as it was Trump vs. Higgins, I wanted Trump to get his first World Championship title. And what a game he played!

My next batch ready for undercoats and base-coats.

Anyway, back in Styrene-land, my two latest Jeeps are built, and a certain amount of clobber has been added. I thought I'd add some finishing touches and stowage to a couple of PSC Sherman's that had kind of stalled, so I could undercoat and base-coat a decent batch of models in one go tomorrow. 


  1. Hi Sebastian

    Nice builds, I have the academy kit somewhere in my personal stash, here is a link to some Brit para jeeps I built that you may like.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Dan. I love your 15mm AB Naps, btw.