Friday, June 28

Don't ask about their Willys! Takom's new 1/35th scale "US Army 1/4 Ton Utility Truck w/ 1/4 Ton Utility Trailer & M.P. Figure"

Takom have just surprised us by releasing the box art along with the CAD drawings of a new tool 1/35th scale Willys Jeep "US Army 1/4 Ton Utility Truck". This kit is in the final stages of development, and we share with you all we know about it and the real thing in our preview...

Takom's new US Army 1/4 Ton Utility Truck w/ 1/4 Ton Utility Trailer & M.P. Figure 

US Army 1/4 Ton Utility Truck w/ 1/4 Ton Utility Trailer & M.P. Figure
1/35th scale
From Takom
Kit No# 2126
4 marking choices included
Photo Etch included
Kit designed by T Rex Studios
Kit comes with one figure included
A while ago we heard on the their Facebook page that Takom were going to make a new 35th scale 1/4 ton Utility truck or for the layman a Jeep. Also lid out was the whole family of this famous vehicle was in the planning...

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 "1/4 ton utility truck"
With the United States' involvement in WWII on the horizon, the government recognised a desperate need to replace its ageing 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 Takom
OK we do not know much as of yet about this kit apart from the CADs and the box art - 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 and chassis detail provided with opening bonnet (hood)
- Photo-etch parts included
- 4 marking choices 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...