Thursday, February 14

Takom Get their Willys out (in 1/635th scale)

Takom have just surprised us by releasing the CAD drawings of a new tool 1/35th scale Willys Jeep. Surely this will launch into a family of all sorts of Jeep variants, but see what we know about it so far in our preview...

And YOU get a Free Willys - And YOU get a Free Willys... Takom's new Jeep hits the streets

 Willys Jeep Family
1/35th scale
From Takom
T Rex Studios designed 
The wording  "Willys Jeep Family" suggests that this would be more than one release and a "family" being the important wording here, we might find ourselves "chock-a block full of Willy" this year - there are so many alterations and variants of the jeep my head is spinning just thinking about them...
The original "Willys Jeep"
With the United States' involvement in WWII on the horizon, the government recognized a desperate need to replace its aging fleet of Model T's, calling for a small, lightweight, three seat, four wheel drive vehicle. Karl Probst started work on his design for a barely-solvent truck company called Bantam on July 17, 1940, and finished two days later. By the 22nd, the entire proposal—including cost estimates—was handed in to Uncle Sam.
Bantam didn’t have the capabilities to produce the sheer quantity needed to fight the Nazis, so the Army brought Willys and Ford to the table and handed them the blueprints. Ford had a number of innovations on its "Pygmy" design, while the Willys Quad, shown, even featured four-wheel steering.
 The front's legendary shape was actually Ford's contribution - With the war looming, emphasis on both quality and ease of production meant Willys had to adopt several components, not the least of which was the Pygmy’s flat front grill, shown here.
While it’s commonly thought that “jeep” is a truncation of General Purpose vehicle, or GP, that’s likely wrong. Ford’s version was officially named GPW, where G means Government, P refers to the distance between the wheels (80 inches), and W stands for Willys, since the vehicles Ford produced were technically under license from Willys. 
Alternately, some say it was common lingo to refer to all military prototypes as “jeeps,” and that “peeps” even entered the lexicon briefly. All we know is...maybe?
The most interesting theory is that Jeep is named after a cartoon character. This little guy’s name is Eugene the Jeep. He’s a character in “Popeye” that was first drawn up a few years prior to the Bantam 4x4.
In the 4x4's first public outing, it was driven up the steps of the U.S. Capitol
When asked what it was, the driver replied simply, “It’s a jeep.” Two years later, Willys-Overland filed a trademark application.

A few other interesting subjects in the Willys family a modeller might take on...

The New "Willys" Family from Tacom
OK we do not know much s of yet about this kit - but here are some bits we are sure of:
- 1/35th scale injection plastic kit
- Designed by Jason Wong and the T-Rex Studio from an original version of the Jeep
- The trailer is included in the kit as is the rear mounted MG
-Full engine ans chassis detail provided with opening bonnet (hood)
-Photo-etch parts included
- There are many other jeeps in this series to be designed and built and you can be sure the Jeep range will be tested.

More when we know it from Takom...