1⁄35A Tale of Three Jeeps
Comparison build review of Tamiya, Dragon and Bronco’s WWII Jeeps
IntroductionWith the recent releases of Jeeps by both DML and Bronco, I was curious how they compared to the last release of a Jeep by Tamiya, which was (and still is) considered state of the art. I had the Tamiya kit in my stash and received one of the DML kits for a review so it was only a matter of getting my hands on one of the Bronco boxes – which I did. The goal was not to compare accuracy (after DML fixed the major errors they can all be considered reasonably accurate), but to see how they build up next to each other, compare the different parts and see which one was the best to build. Another aspect was to see whether the “old” Tamiya kit can still hold its ground with the new releases.
Historical BackgroundI doubt that a historical background of the Jeep is necessary. However, it is interesting to point out that both the Tamiya and DML kits represent a Willy’s version, while the Bronco kit is of a Ford. Gino P. Quintiliani took the time to describe some of the differences in my blog and I took the liberty of including his words in this article: „Dragon's and Tamiya's are Willys MBs. Bronco's is a Ford GPW. They are similar, but not exactly the same. With its proven production ability, Ford was awarded a contract to license build the GPW version of the Willys "Jeep" after Willy's couldn't keep up with the full demand required by the US Government. The Ford GPW (Government, 80” wheelbase, Willy’s-pattern) differed from the Willy’s MB in a few areas. The most noticeable was the front frame cross-member under the grill. On the Willy’s MB, a tubular piece is used, while an inverted "U" is used on the GPW. Also, Ford instituted the familiar stamped grill that was also adopted by Willy’s. The other noticeable difference is on the lids for the toolboxes located on either side of the rear seat. The Willy’s MB uses a plain flat cover whereas the Ford GPW has an embossed lid. Per the Government contract, Jeeps had a full warranty, if anything broke, Willy’s or Ford would have to replace it, but old man Ford wasn't about to replace a Willy’s part. To keep track of "his" Jeeps, "Ford" was written in script on the rear plate. This was only done on the early GPWs. Early Willy’s MBs had a block letter “Willy’s” in the same place on the rear as well. To take the labeling one step further, Ford marked many pieces with a script "F" to identify it as a Ford part. In July of '42, the US Government made a change to the contract and no longer allowed the manufacturer to put their name on the rear plate.
Copyright ©2020 by Stefan Halter. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of Armorama, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2013-08-22 23:40:59. Unique Reads: 34002