Friday, October 25, 2013

Matchbox Jeep Conversion for Bolt Action - AKA the cheap jeep

Welcome all to my little conversion tutorial on the 2012 '43 Jeep Willy's from child's toy to man toy.  The intended use of this is for 28mm war gaming, or in this case for Bolt Action.

Well here it is.  New in box, the Jeep from Matchbox.  Now you can get this model in three colors from matchbox.  There this, the brown "jungle" scheme, a tan jungle scheme, a special anniversary red one, and a traditional green one.  You can find these Jeeps on Amazon or Ebay quite easily...(until this tutorial is seen!)

Here is the Jeep fresh out of the box.  The jeep rolls on it's wheels quite easily and that will not be a problem soon.  You will notice a lot of space in the wheel wells and front fender of this lifted jeep.  

The original Jeeps in WWII did not have these over sized tires, so you will have to modify the jeeps to sit a little lower on their chassis.

Here is a comparison of the Jeep next to another US army jeep WIP I converted earlier.  You will notice a significant ride height difference between the two.  Now to the fun!

Take a good set of quality side cutters like these above.  The axles are made from some sort of alloy that all cars should be made of.  It destroyed my cheap modeling snips the first time I tried to use them.  Didn't cut the axle but left a imprint of the axle on both sides of the cutting surfaces.

(sorry about picture quality on this one!)  Here are the axle and tired removed from the chassis of the jeep.  At this point if you plan on keeping the windscreen intact on your Jeep, you will need to mask it with scotch/masking tape as it's easier in this step as everything is easy to get to.

Since this is going to be a LRDG Jeep from a friend's army, I removed the windscreen and sanded the hood for placement of some Jerry Cans.  Roughing up the surface makes the superglue stick better!

Using a hot glue gun, I stuck the tires back on the jeep closer to the wheel wells and the fender to lower it's profile more correctly.

As you can see here the actual frame of the jeep chassis is sticking down lower than the wheels.  This serves two nice purposes.  First, it lets the jeep sit flat on the table regardless if you glued the wheels on at varying heights.  Secondly, it stops the paint being worn off your wheels after painting!

I went through and added some jerry cans on the hood and extra one on the back attached to the one that is molded to the toy.  Using green-stuff, I added the bed rolls and a ammo box in the back.  Sith foam, I carved out a couple storage boxes in the back and a backup water reservoir on the front grill for those LRDG jeeps had to have extra cooling.

That's about all you need to do at this point.  I will be adding LMG/MMG/Crew to the LRDG jeep once it gets back from primer and paint..

Now if you are doing american jeeps, you can buy the jeep crews from Warlords, Here, for $6.50 USD.  It includes a .30 cal for your jeep.   If you are putting crew in these jeeps, you really need to cut the steering column off the jeep as your driver will not fit in there with it in.  You can keep the steering wheel and just glue it to the drivers hand and paint it.  You will also have to chop the drivers legs down a bit to fit him in, but it being such a small vehicle, it's hardly noticeable.

There is a finished US Army Jeep I did for a friend using these same steps.

I hope you enjoyed this, as it makes buying these small vehicles for your 28mm gaming a little more wallet friendly.  I think for each jeep with Crew, I paid ~$10 when all was said and done.  Quite a savings.

Keep your heads down, and roll some sixes.  (except on command rolls!)

Here is a nice comparison taken from a member of the Facebook Bolt Action page, I believe the first two are Warlord Jeeps, the third is a Matchbox (factory stock) and the last a Perry Brother's Kubelwagen.

You can find out more by visiting Dennis Biegel at

You can catch my new Matchbox version 2.0 Jeeps here:

Here are some random pictures of the jeeps I have done for friends:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

US Airborne Dipping

As you can see I painted one color on this miniature.  A shade slightly lighter than I would do not have to be careful at this point, as the dipping will cover up a lot of mistakes.

now this is the minwax polyshades antique walnut floor stain. You will need to shake or stir this vigorously.

With a brush apply a thin coat on to the model. Make sure you soak up the pooling, as this can cause it to look Blotchy.

Allow the stain to dry overnight. Do touch up work on model when it is dry. And feel free to add details you might have missed.  Apply some dullcoat to take away the gloss.  Texture/flock/static grass the base and you are done.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blitzkrieg Miniatures Panzer III ausf. G

Review - Panzer III ausf. G -

I got this I yesterday, my wife hiding it from me until late in the evening. Opening the box, the tank was wrapped in bubble wrap already assembled with the exception of the barrel and hatches. Overall the kit is pretty nice. My only complaints are lack of a machine gun barrel on hull MMG, some thick resin on the front track guards, and that the tracks seemed fused to the hull with no space between.

I give this an 8/10

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Match Box Jeeps

Working on a Panzer Brigade 150 army for bolt action.  It's germans dressed in US Army uniforms that were used to confuse the Allies during the battle of the bulge.  I am currently working on the 4 MMG jeeps I am going to be using.  These are Jeeps I bought from Matchbox, I got 4 of them for $8 off ebay like 6 months ago.

I cut the wheels off, glued them back on close to the frame, so they were not sticking out so far and I also lowered the jeeps stance.  Sprayed them with white primer, then with some OD green paint (masking off the windshield of course.

After some painting and washing it turned out like this.

Here is the Jeep ready for crew sitting next to one of my Imperial Japanese Jeep equivalents, the Type 95 Kurogane, and I have a German Hitlerjugend model next to the jeep for scale.

Painting the crew up, gluing them in, I ran this as a test fit only to find out that I have to do some major re-sculpting of the drivers arm in the next three to get it to fit inside the cab.

Finished Jeep.