Author Topic: Willys MB - The Jeep - More Jeep Crew 170721  (Read 16039 times)

Rubicon Models

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Willys MB - The Jeep - More Jeep Crew 170721
« on: December 09, 2015, 03:46:41 PM »
Willy MB - The Jeep

The Willys MB (commonly known as a Jeep, formally as the US Army Truck, 1/4 ton, 4x4) and the Ford GPW are four-wheel drive utility vehicles that were manufactured during WW2. Produced from 1941 to 1945, it evolved post-war into the civilian Jeep CJ-2A, and inspired both an entire category of recreational 4WDs and several generations of military light utility vehicles.


Background Histroy - Wikipedia

Advances in early 20th century technology resulted in widespread mechanisation of the military during World War I. The United States Army deployed four-wheel drive trucks in that war, supplied by Four Wheel Drive Auto (FWD) and the Thomas B. Jeffery Company. By the eve of World War II the United States Department of War had determined it needed a light, cross-country reconnaissance vehicle.

Anxious to have one in time for America's entry into World War II, the U.S. Army solicited proposals from domestic automobile manufacturers for a replacement for its existing, aging light motor vehicles, mainly motorcycles and sidecars, and some Ford Model T's. Marmon-Herrington presented five 4×4 Fords in 1937, and American Bantam delivered three Austin roadsters in 1938. Recognizing the need to create standard specifications, the Army formalized its requirements on July 11, 1940, and submitted them to 135 US automotive manufacturers.

By now the war was under way in Europe, so the Army's need was urgent and demanding: Bids were to be received by July 22, a span of just eleven days. Manufacturers were given 49 days to submit their first prototype and 75 days for completion of 70 test vehicles. The Army's Ordnance Technical Committee specifications were equally demanding: the vehicle would be four-wheel drive, have a crew of three on a wheelbase of no more than 75 in (1,905 mm) – that was later upped to 80 in (2,032 mm) – and tracks no more than 47 in (1,194 mm), feature a fold-down windshield, 660 lb (299 kg) payload and be powered by an engine capable of 85 lb·ft (115 N·m) of torque. The most daunting demand, however, was an empty weight of no more than 1,300 lb (590 kg).

Initially, only two companies entered: American Bantam Car Company and Willys-Overland Motors; Ford Motor Company joined the competition later. Though Willys-Overland was the low bidder, Bantam received the bid, being the only company committing to deliver a pilot model in 49 days and production examples in 75. Under the leadership of designer Karl Probst, Bantam built their first prototype, dubbed the "Blitz Buggy" (and in retrospect "Old Number One"), and delivered it to the Army vehicle test center at Camp Holabird, Maryland on September 23, 1940. This presented Army officials with the first of what eventually evolved into the World War II US Army Jeeps: the Willys MB and Ford GPW.

Since Bantam did not have the production capacity or fiscal stability to deliver on the scale needed by the War Department, the other two bidders, Ford and Willys, were encouraged to complete their own pilot models for testing. The contract for the new reconnaissance car was to be determined by trials. As testing of the Bantam prototype took place from September 27 to October 16, Ford and Willys technical representatives present at Holabird were given ample opportunity to study the vehicle's performance. Moreover, in order to expedite production, the War Department forwarded the Bantam blueprints to Ford and Willys, claiming the government owned the design. Bantam did not dispute this move due to its precarious financial situation. By November 1940, Ford and Willys each submitted prototypes to compete with the Bantam in the Army's trials. The pilot models, the Willys Quad and the Ford Pygmy, turned out very similar to each other and were joined in testing by Bantam's entry, now evolved into a Mark II called the BRC 60. By then the U.S. and its armed forces were already under such pressure that all three cars were declared acceptable and orders for 1,500 units per company were given for field testing. At this time it was acknowledged the original weight limit (which Bantam had ignored) was unrealistic, and it was raised to 2,160 lb (980 kg).

For these respective pre-production runs, each vehicle received revisions and a new name. Bantam's became the BRC 40. Production began on March 31, 1941, with a total of 2,605 built up to December 6. As the company could not meet the Army's demand for 75 Jeeps a day, production contracts were also awarded to Willys and to Ford.

After reducing the vehicle's weight by 240 pounds, Willys changed the designation to "MA" for "Military" model "A". The Fords went into production as "GP", with "G" for a "Government" type contract and "P" commonly used by Ford to designate any passenger car with a wheelbase of 80 in (2,032 mm).

By July 1941, the War Department desired to standardize and decided to select a single manufacturer to supply them with the next order for 16,000 vehicles. Willys won the contract mostly due to its more powerful engine (the "Go Devil"), which soldiers raved about, and its lower cost and silhouette. The design features in the Bantam and Ford entries which represented an improvement over Willys's design were then incorporated into the Willys car, moving it from an "A" designation to "B", thus the "MB" nomenclature. Most notable was a flat wide hood, adapted from Ford GP.

By October 1941, it became apparent Willys-Overland could not keep up with the production demand and Ford was contracted to produce them as well. The Ford car was then designated GPW, with the "W" referring to the "Willys" licensed design. During World War II, Willys produced 363,000 Jeeps and Ford some 280,000. Approximately 51,000 were exported to the U.S.S.R. under the Lend-Lease program.

A further roughly 13,000 amphibian jeeps were built by Ford under the name GPA (nicknamed "Seep" for Sea Jeep). Inspired by the larger DUKW, the vehicle was produced too quickly and proved to be too heavy, too unwieldy, and of insufficient free-board. In spite of participating successfully in the Sicily landings in July 1943, most GPAs were routed to the USSR under the Lend-Lease program. The Soviets were sufficiently pleased with its ability to cross rivers to develop their own version of it after the war, the GAZ-46.




Proposed Features

- multi-slide mould single piece jeep body for model integrity and ease of assembly
- 1 or 2 sprue plastic kit (excluding the jeep body)
- highly detailed accessories, including spade & axe, jerry can, and spare tire
- two windshield options - standard or folded position
- removable canvas top
- HMG and MMG options
- special equipment - tow bar / capstan / deep fording kit / cable cutter / expansion tank / radio
- crew including driver, passenger, and gunner
- special designed waterslide decal sheet

We will revise the specification as we move along the project, based on available sprue space, of course!

Comments welcome!
;)
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 12:54:51 PM by Rubicon Models »

Yaquir

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 04:50:17 PM »
Yay!

Pinky

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 12:52:44 AM »
The wargamers are going to love this one.  Will you sell them 2 to a box?

Rubicon Models

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 01:00:03 AM »
The wargamers are going to love this one.  Will you sell them 2 to a box?

It's too early to tell.  Will depend on how many parts and how many sprues... we are still 1/3 done with 3D drawing!


airborne

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 04:05:37 AM »
My first vehicle when I was 16, and my pride and joy for years. Please include the iconic trailer as most are around some were, if not in every photo. You made me smile.

Rubicon Models

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 10:33:15 AM »
My first vehicle when I was 16, and my pride and joy for years. Please include the iconic trailer as most are around some were, if not in every photo. You made me smile.

The trailer had to be on a separate kit... sorry!

elias.tibbs

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2015, 07:50:00 PM »
You have just made me a very happy man! I will stop commenting jeep on everything now :p

If you can do one jeep on one frame, I would highly recommend selling them two to a box for the same price (or slightly less as its only one mould and not two) as your other 2 frame kits. Save's on packaging and no one is going to complain about having two!
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
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airborne

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2015, 01:34:02 AM »
Well I won`t complain at all if you do a trailer separate that's fine with me.  Jeep ,M8/20, Halftrack, and the Stuart that's a fine start for a cavalry section. Brilliant.

airborne

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2015, 12:56:04 AM »
One thing the radio bracket mount, I put mine there first, and had it knocked off over Cannock chase by a tree. Best and safest place on the rear protecting the trailer socket. I`ll dig out some photos.

ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2015, 03:43:37 AM »
Nice.

We will want a range of crew for all the user armies (please).

Pinky

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2015, 10:27:14 AM »
Nice.

We will want a range of crew for all the user armies (please).

That would sure fill the sprue!  At least British and US crew would be great. 

Rubicon Models

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2015, 12:04:42 PM »
It really depends on how the 3D drawing and prototype turned out.  Ideally, to keep mould cost down,  we wanted a single piece jeep body plus one sprue.

Based on the current design, you will need:
- wheels x 5
- windshield x 2
- seats x 2
- steering wheel x 1
- chassis frame x 1
- jerry can x 1
- tarpaulin & frame x 2
- radiator grille x 2
- machine gun x 3
- other objects x 4
- US driver x 4
- US passenger x 4
- US gunner x 4

Total 31 pieces (might be less, depending on how it goes).
An alternative is to create a second sprue for British version.
Right now is still too early to decide what to do!

;)




Bruno_015

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2015, 02:59:36 PM »
I don'T know if there were any differences between the jeeps the american and the brits used and if there were any changes in its design through time, but if not maybe you could separate the crew sprue from the vehicle one so the jeep could serve for any versions and you just have to change the crew sprue when packing. Also I have no idea how would that impact in the costs.

Pinky

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2015, 03:15:51 PM »
It would make a lot of sense to have the nation-specific parts on a separate sprue (like Bruno, however, I have no idea how this impacts on the cost).  The Brits used the basic Jeep pretty much unmodified, but they also had some special purpose versions - including the famous SAS variant (which would require a lot of additional parts).  I have a feeling that a Jeep with a US Army crew would be the safest bet.  Especially if the crew could be used for other purposes (such as tank crew).  It probably wouldn't be that hard to convert them into Brits or Soviets using Warlord bits.

Incidentally, one common addition to US Jeeps in NW Europe was a vertical post fitted to the front bumper to snag wires strung across the road.

airborne

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Re: Willys MB - The Jeep
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2015, 01:11:19 AM »
We also used to carry a 5 gallon water jerry can on our right passenger step,  sure made life interesting with girl passengers.