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Armor/AFV: Softskins
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Another Jeep Project - M38 this time
HeavyArty
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Virginia, United States
Joined: May 16, 2002
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Posted: Sunday, November 01, 2015 - 01:09 PM UTC
Looks like I am on another Jeep kick. This time I am adding another rare jeep to my collection, an M38, which was an interim jeep used after WWII and in the Korean war.

A little history on it:
In 1950, Willys introduced the M38 (identified as an "MC" by Willys), a post-WWII Jeep based on the CJ-3A and fitted will military-specific features, including a one-piece foldable windshield, bottom-mounted wipers, a pintle hook for towing, lifting shackles, and a fuel filler on the driver’s side. Pioneer tools (axe and shovel) were mounted on the passenger side, and larger tires were used (7:00 x 16) along with a waterproof electrical system, requiring a second battery mounted in the engine cowling on the right side, with a door on top.

Other distinctive features of the M38 include protruding headlights (with guard wires in front), an air vent in the base of the windshield, blackout lights and notches for various tools. The M-38 used a slightly modified standard tailgate, and as is normal with military Jeeps, it was not stamped with "WILLYS". It was also bolted shut since the spare tire and gas can would do damage to the tailgate if it were allowed to swing down. The M38 continued in production until 1952, when the M38A1 became the “standard” model of military service.



For the conversion, I am using parts of three kits; Tamiya's Willys MB, MK Models' M606, and Plus Models' M38 Conversion set.





Most of the parts are coming from the MK Moldels M606 since the M606 was built on the same MC model frame and body as the M38. Both were based on civilian jeeps (CJ-3A for the M38 and CJ-3B for the M606). The difference between the two was the engine, with the M606/CJ-3B having the later, taller F-head engine, which required the higher hood, grill, and engine cowl.

For the conversion, I used the low engine cowl from the Tamiya Willys MB and low hood from the Hobby Boss Ford GPW British Airborne jeep (it has a new one for the British version). Oddly enough, the Tamiya cowl was about 1mm too wide for the MK body, but the hood from the Hobby Boss Ford GPW (same vehicle as the Willys MB) fit the MK body perfectly. Which is the correct width, I don't know? I suspect the HB and MK Models ones are right. Either way, it was a minor pain making the Tamiya cowl fit. Tamiya also donated the flat-head "Go Devil" engine as well.

I also had to shorten the MK frame by about 2mm so it would fit the body. It may have been my assembly, but I think that the frame parts are a copy of AFV Club's M38A1, which is slightly longer than an M38, but otherwise the same.

I am also using the grill, tires, instrument panel, windshield, and a few other pieces from the Plus Model Conversion.

Here it is so far. The light cream parts are from the MK kit. The darker grey resin is from the Plus models Conversion. The dark green parts are from the Tamiya MB. The lighter olive green hood is from the HB GPW kit.








As always, all comments are welcomed.
WXerock
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California, United States
Joined: July 19, 2015
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Posted: Sunday, November 01, 2015 - 07:14 PM UTC
Gino, that is a great start on a cool variant. I love seeing inprocess photos that show all of the different materials that ate used almost as much as I like seeing photos of the finished product. I will be watching this one.

Regards, Eric
Modelrob
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Arizona, United States
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Posted: Sunday, November 01, 2015 - 09:52 PM UTC
Gino your off to a great start. look forward to seeing you finish it.

Rob
HeavyArty
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Posted: Monday, November 02, 2015 - 12:53 AM UTC
Eric - Thanks for checking in on it. I also like the in-progress shots for the same reason. It really shows what the modeler has done to get to the final product.

Robert - Thanks. I hope to have some more pics, with paint on it, in a few days.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Monday, November 02, 2015 - 12:13 PM UTC
One correction, just realized it should be Bronco's GPW, not Hobby Boss.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Monday, November 09, 2015 - 01:44 PM UTC
I have completed the M38 conversion. I decided to make it a USMC jeep with Deep Water Fording Kit (DWFK) for something a little different. The DWFK includes and extended air intake tube and an extended exhaust tube that allows the vehicle to ford up to a depth of 72 inches.

Here is the setup:


I made the intake tube out of a guitar string (the biggest, G string?), capped with the intake cover off the air cleaner. The exhaust extension is a piece of solder with the end drilled out. The fittings and clamps are left over PE bits and a length of 0.20 brass rod.



The intake is routed into the engine compartment through the hood and into the air cleaner.



Here it is overall:





I used Archer instruments and placards left over from a Tamiya Willy's MB kit.



The engine is fully plumbed with spark plug wires, wires for the lights and horn, fuel lines, and a few other lines for good measure.



Here it is with its brothers to see the progression. On the left is a WWII Willys MB, center is the Willys M38/CJ3A, and on the right is the later Willys M606/CJ3B.



Thanks for looking and as always, all comments are welcomed.
Karl187
#284
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Posted: Monday, November 09, 2015 - 11:49 PM UTC
Nicely completed conversion Gino- you've got quite the Jeep family going there! The placards on the dash and the engine detailing bring it to life nicely.
Modelrob
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Arizona, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 12:08 AM UTC
Great conversion here, the jeep cam out nice.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 02:53 AM UTC
Karl - Thanks for the compliments. I like how the placards and such bring it to life as well. You know me, I like to add the little details. This is only a small sampling of the jeeps I have done. I also did the early Willys MB slat grill and a couple M151s as well. I have a few more jeep ideas I'd like to get to as well...eventually.

Rob - Thanks. I'm happy how it came out as well.
jphillips
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 05:27 AM UTC
Amazing jeeps! You've really taken them to another level. I'm curious to know what else you have in mind.
covkid
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 07:04 AM UTC

Wonderful stuff, well done.

Regards Jason
HeavyArty
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 07:07 AM UTC
jphillips - Thanks for looking in and the compliments. For future jeep projects I have the original Bantam BRC-40 kit, plans for the Willys MA prototype, a Ford GPW, Ford GPA, maybe another CJ3B in USAF blue, M38A1, M151A2 hard top, etc., etc., etc..... Lots of jeep possibilities.


Jason - Thanks for the compliments. I'm glad yo like it.
Karl187
#284
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 11:27 PM UTC
There's so many weird and wonderful versions of these jeeps- I saw a WW2 version recently done on a rail-track weird but definitely an interesting subject. Did the M38 also mount a Recoilless Rifle at some point? I remember building one that Chris Mrosko had shown as an Iranian version- I think the original kit was a US vehicle by Skybow.
I have one more question- when the windscreen on these jeeps is pushed down onto the hood- is it secured in some fashion so it doesn't bounce about?
HeavyArty
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 11:50 PM UTC
Karl - I am not sure if there was a RR version of the M38, I have never seen any. The model you are thinking of is an M38A1C. The M38A1 was a totally different jeep.

M38A1

M38A1C


For the windshield, yes, on the front top of the grill, there is a footman loop. There is also a footman loop on the inside top of the windshield frame. These line up when the windshield is folded and you secure it down with a strap.
Karl187
#284
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Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 11:41 PM UTC
Ah I see the differences now. I suppose the differently shaped front fenders and the lack of headlight guards is a quick way to identify the M38 from the M38A1. Thanks for the info on the hood too, one thing I always wondered about.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 01:19 AM UTC
Yup, since the M38 was seen in small numbers, it is often confused w/the M38A1. Also, I don't know why the designation kept the M38 part for the M38A1 when it was a totally different vehicle and not a minor change like most A1 versions are. The M38A1 should have really had its own, separate nomenclature number.
covkid
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Posted: Friday, November 13, 2015 - 05:22 AM UTC

You're welcome. Looks like some very interesting stuff, especially the MA. Any plans for a Ford GP?

Regards Jason
MissAnna
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Colorado, United States
Joined: November 11, 2015
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Posted: Friday, November 13, 2015 - 05:27 AM UTC
Excellent work - your attention to detail is marvelous. The weathered paint looks perfect, and I'm another one that enjoys the W-i-P shots showing the different materials and components.

Top notch.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Friday, November 13, 2015 - 05:35 AM UTC
Jason - Yup, I plan to do both a Ford GPW and a Ford GPA amphibious jeep. I have all the stuff to build them...eventually...

Anna - Thanks, I am happy how it turned out as well.
HeavyArty
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Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 02:46 AM UTC
The ejector pin marks on the inside of the hood were bothering me.



I filled and sanded them. It looks much better now.

MissAnna
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Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 03:11 AM UTC
Nice!
HeavyArty
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Posted: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 03:38 AM UTC
Thanks Anna.