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1/35 Scale 'Follow Me' Jeep

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Back in 2005 when I first wanted to buy a 1:1 scale Willys Jeep, the big question was would it fit in the garage? The garage isn't quite a double, being 11ft 8in wide, with one half occupied by my 12 x 6ft aircraft trailer. This didn't leave a huge amount of space for a Jeep, but they are fairly narrow vehicles. A search of the internet gave me some dimensions which suggested it should fit, though very tight. I didn't know if the dimensions I found included the handles, mirrors etc, and without a vehicle to measure, a plastic kit was the next option for some measureable dimensions. Once I had those, I was more prepared to spend money driving around the country looking for a vehicle.

 

jeep_02.jpg

 

An Italeri 1/35 scale Jeep was bought, and it seemed moderately accurate comparing the parts to photos. I hoped the finished model would give me a better idea on how tight the garage fit was going to be. The Jeep and trailer were built purely as a tool, so there wasn't much attention paid to filling, painting and crafting a nice scale model. I just wanted the overall dimensions, which once built, turned out to be pretty good. The kit suggested that a real Jeep would fit my garage with around 1 inch clearance each side between the garage wall and the aircraft trailer! I did wonder if I would have to remove the handles from the bodywork to reduce the width slightly.

 

jeep_01.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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Knowing there was a good chance a Jeep would fit, I found that the closest dealer in Jeeps was Scotland, so arranged a long weekend to go and take a look, taking of course, a tape measure! Thankfully, the model turned out to be pretty good, and the model dimensions matches the fullsize Jeep. The one Jeep the dealer had was in reasonable condition, straight from the French army auctions, though not taxed/MOT'd, and with a little welding to be done, so I paid a deposit and arranged to collect once the work was done.

Jeep as first found.

ff1.jpg

I also asked for the Jeep to be resprayed olive drab, so all I've have to do is markings and a few odds and ends to get it presentable for the 60th anniversary of VE Day, as I knew there would be a number of events going on during 2005.

On the way home from Scotland

ff5.jpg

and with markings on

05a.jpg

The 1/35 scale model was now forgotten, and stuck on a shelf in the bedroom for four years. Not sure wifey entirely approved, but there you go. To be fair, she's pretty supporting of my hobbies.

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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Nice, there are a few guys around here with MBs, M38s and MUTTS that bring theirs to car cruises.

Edited by Wayne S

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Then in 2008, wanting to be different to all the other green Jeeps, and having a strong interest in aviation, I began to convert the Jeep to a 'Follow Me' vehicle, adding checkered canvas, warning flag, 'Follow Me' sign, radio and taxiing indicator lights.

Here's my Jeep, doing its thing at Breighton Airfield with the first of a pair of P-51's in tow.

 

followme1.jpg

 

and a view from the back of the Jeep

 

p51a8.jpg

 

After doing that, I noticed the Jeep model looking rather dull in its plain green plastic, and decided to give it a refurbishment and modification to match the fullsize. So it was brought down and dusted off and out came the tools and paint.

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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The first job was painting the roof canvas white, and once dry, mark up the checkers in pencil. These were then filled in by hand. I'm undecided which took the most time, the model or the fullsize. The model was fiddly to paint, but the fullsize took about three coats of paint due to it soaking into the canvas so much. It then took about two weeks to fully dry!

 

jeep_07.jpg

 

One of the other modifications I'd made to the Jeep, prior to the 'Follow Me' conversion, was to make a set of doors and side panels. Rather than the usual winter canvas set which cost around £600, I'd seen an airfield Jeep that had doors made of out of wood salvaged from around the base. This turned out to be a much cheaper option, costing £75 for the ply, strip timber, paint and clear plastic. The rear panels can remain fixed to the Jeep, while the doors have quick release hinge pins. I decided to model the Jeep with the rear panels on, but the doors off, which would allow the internal detail to still be seen.

 

These were the first parts of the model to be built from microstrip and 0.5mm styrene.

 

jeep_09.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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In the back of the Jeep, sitting on the rear wheel arches is a Dummy BC-348 radio and a large wooden crate. The crate contains two speakers, while the dummy radio hides a 12 volt car battery, amplifier and MP3 player. At military events, I play aircraft sounds at random intervals, and with enough volume, you'd be surprised at the number of people who keep looking skyward; even those I've caught out before.

This is the fullsize dummy BC-348 radio I made in the Autumn of 2008.

 

fc13.jpg

 

While the microstrip on the side panels were drying, I started on the radio and the crate. The body of the radio was made from 'Chemiwood', a high density foam that can be cut, sanded, filed, drilled, tapped etc. Small styrene details were glued with cyano, and would be trimmed to the final shape later. It was easier to do it this way than trying to hold a 0.5mm diameter piece of styrene.

 

jeep_11.jpg

 

The crate was made from sheet styrene, sanded with some 80 grit sandpaper to give it a wood grain, before the microstrip reinforcing straps were added, also having been sanded. The model is still covered in the dust from four years of living on a shelf!

 

jeep_10.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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Very interesting, both scales. Where did you get the idea for your fellow me scheme? Looking around the net I found a few pic's of fellow me jeeps. They were all different but none were similar to yours.

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Radio and the crate in the correct locations in the Jeep. They would be glued in after the Jeep interior had been cleaned and painted, as only the seat cushions were painted when the model was first built.

 

jeep_12.jpg

 

Once the radio had the dials and switches trimmed, both it and the crate were brush painted a base coat. Dry brushing would follow later.

 

jeep_15.jpg

 

jeep_16.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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Very interesting, both scales. Where did you get the idea for your fellow me scheme? Looking around the net I found a few pic's of fellow me jeeps. They were all different but none were similar to yours.

Since all the Follow Me Jeeps were made on base, as you said, they are all different, so nobody can say it's wrong! I looked at various vehicles, and picked features I liked to combine into my Jeep. I didn't want to paint the whole Jeep checkered, I still have a green canvas, and by removing all the accessories, I can turn it back to a normal looking Jeep if I want to. I did find an original Jeep like that, with only the canvas painted, so felt it acceptable.

The signal light box on the back of the Jeep was based on another vehicle, while the checkered side panels came from another. Checkered flags seem common, but I had to move the flag mount to the other side after buying an aerial mount for the rear left corner.

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The inside of the canvas roof needed a little thinning to allow it to sit over the side panels I made, and the metal bows needed trimming off the model. They had been glued on in the stowed, roof down position and needed cutting off to allow the side panels to sit on the body tub. The Jerry Can on the rear of the Jeep was also removed. Airbase Jeeps didn't need them, and early Jeeps, such as the one I first based my restoration on, didn't have them fitted. I removed the bracket from my Jeep and instead fitted it to the trailer so on long trips ( usually with camping gear in the trailer ), I can still carry extra fuel.

 

jeep_13.jpg

 

Once the fit was good, the interior of the Jeep was painted out and the sides glued into place, followed by their painting. The glazing in the rear panels has yet to be added.

 

jeep_14.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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Since all the Follow Me Jeeps were made on base, as you said, they are all different, so nobody can say it's wrong! I looked at various vehicles, and picked features I liked to combine into my Jeep. I didn't want to paint the whole Jeep checkered, I still have a green canvas, and by removing all the accessories, I can turn it back to a normal looking Jeep if I want to. I did find an original Jeep like that, with only the canvas painted, so felt it acceptable.

Don't misunderstand my questioning, I wasn't trying to say your wrong just where you found the info is all. Most I had found were all checkered and you didn't want that and that is ok.

This website may help for other things.

http://wwiijeepparts.com/Archives/WWIIJeep...PAandOtherJeeps

HTH

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Don't misunderstand my questioning, I wasn't trying to say your wrong just where you found the info is all. Most I had found were all checkered and you didn't want that and that is ok.

This website may help for other things.

http://wwiijeepparts.com/Archives/WWIIJeep...PAandOtherJeeps

HTH

It's OK, I didn't misunderstand. There are plenty of rivet counters in the full size military vehicle world, but very few know much about Follow Me Jeeps, so I'm fairly safe with what I've done knowing each one was different. Some were Yellow and Black, others Red and White, plus it wasn't just Jeeps. I've seen many other vehicles adapted for Flying Control duties.

I was pleasantly surprised when I found the partial checkered Jeep, actually via another forum about the USAAF ( usaaf.co.uk ). Another feature I've seen is one of the large GMC 6x6 truck headlights mounted on the back of a Jeep, angled down. All I can think of for its use was to illuminate the taxiway during twighlight for the aircraft following to help prevent them running off the edge with the possibility of bogging down in the grass.

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With the body tub painted out, the radio and crate were dry brushed and glued in.

 

jeep_17.jpg

 

jeep_18.jpg

 

The glazing in the sides was then glued in with PVA, followed by the canvas roof being glued on. Leaving the doors off does leave enough room to view the interior.

 

jeep_19.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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When my Jeep was first built, it was 6 volt like all Jeeps started out. During its service with the French, it was upgraded to 12 volt by the addition of a second 6 volt battery between the front seats. When it went for its major rebuild in 1966, it was upgraded to the standard 24 volt to match other military equipment. The addition of a second 12 volt battery under the hood required a repositioning of the voltage regulator from the right side of the engine bay to the firewall, and the air filter moved from the right to the left side. These two pictures show the real engine bay. The black drum with the yellow top is the air filter. The second picture shows the two 12 volt batteries in the foreground. The rear of these ( to the left of the picture ) was the addition, taking the place of the voltage regulator and air filter.

 

2014_engine_rebuild63.jpg

 

2014_engine_rebuild64.jpg

 

I wanted to replicate these changes on the model since that was built with a 6 volt engine. A distributor and ignition leads were also made as the kit didn't have one supplied.

 

jeep_24.jpg

 

jeep_26.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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Many thanks. I've had great fun and many hours entertainment with both, though I don't have to keep putting money in the smaller one!

The next step was to replicate the 'Follow Me' sign and the light board. The wooden sign and box are supported from a welded steel frame which bolts to the canvas hood bows. The lights are actually connected to the indicators and brake lights via the Jeeps trailer socket.

 

09a.jpg

 

fc9.jpg

The sign and box were made from sheet and strip styrene, glued with cyano to a thin strip of nickle silver from the etchings scrap box. This formed the beginnings of the support frame.

 

jeep_20.jpg

 

I didn't have any waterslide computer paper, so printed the arrows and text directly to plain white paper. These would be cut out and attached with double sided tape to the styrene.

 

jeep_21.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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The painted and lettered sign was glued to the canvas, leaving the ends of the metal support hanging in mid air. The rest of the supports would be soldered in place to these pieces and to the canvas bows, which would be made from fine wire.

 

jeep_23.jpg

 

Also seen in this picture are the beginnings to modify the rear bumperettes. The tops have been chopped and styrene added to the bottom. For some reason the Army Air Force fixed them on upside down compared to the normal Army positioning. The picture below left shows the standard Army mounting, while below right shows the inverted Army Air Force type. The only reasoning I've heard for this mod was that it lowered the top of the bumperette, making it an easier step for climbing in the Jeep while wearing flying kit.

bump6.jpg bump7.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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The warning flag was made by printing the flag and its mirror image on paper and folding them back on each other, joining with double sided tape around a brass wire flag pole. The pole was glued to the Jeep body at its lower end and soldered to the light box frame where it passed. On the real Jeep, the removable pole passes through a tube welded to the light box frame. 

 

jeep_28.jpg

 

The roof canvas bows have now been added with brass wire and the rest of the light box frame soldered in place.

 

jeep_22.jpg

 

 

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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Following further bodywork and markings painting was done, and an aerial added to the base ( More brass wire ). I had no waterslide stars left, so the star and bumperette markings were just handpainted ( it's not a competition model afterall ).

 

jeep_31.jpg

 

The axe, shovel and lights were then painted.

 

jeep_30.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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Before the whole thing was done, I had to also mod the kit trailer, as there were a few differences here. The Jerrycan and bracket from the Jeep were glued to the trailer body as I had done on the real trailer.

 

jeep_32.jpg

 

Rather than the long straight towing eye, my trailer has a shorter raised eye, seen in the corner of this picture, so the kit was modified to suit.

 

jeep_33.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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On the front of the trailer, a handbrake lever and linkages were added

 

jeep_34.jpg

 

and on the back, a plate for the registration and the light clusters made.

 

jeep_35.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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After some final markings and touch ups, it was all done!

 

jeep_36.jpg

 

jeep_41.jpg

 

My next model is also a 1/35 scale vehicle, based on my Dodge WC51 Flying Control truck ( at the time owned by a friend ). The chassis and forward body are made, and I'm working on converting the rear body now.

sedgefield2.jpg

Next Project - Flying Control Dodge Thread

Edited by Army_Air_Force

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I've just replaced all the photos in this thread that were formerly on Photobucket. I haven't yet done the Dodge thread that is linked from the end of this one. 

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