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Italeri Toyota BJ-44 1/24


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#1 Mike999

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:49 AM

Hi,

First post ever! Have been reading and enjoying the board for a long time.

Last week I picked up this "new" kit in my LHS. If you like 4WD stuff, you may be interested. Especially since these Toyota kits have not been available since ESCI issued them in the 1980's.

Box art pic:

http://shop.italeri....0003452_300.jpg

ITALERI #6352 Armed Pick-up "Upgraded Moulds" 1/24

U.S. Retail: $47.99
Random Comparison Prices: LuckyModel US $23.99, Great Models Webstore US $35.95

VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: Toyota BJ-44 Land Cruiser, circa-1980's, with .50 caliber machine gun on U.S. WWII Jeep mount.

KIT DESCRIPTION: Re-issue of the old ESCI kit, with new gun parts. The old molds still look clean, with body emblems etc. very sharp. Some flash on smaller parts like pedals, but not bad for a kit of this age.

PLUSES:
+First re-issue of this 1/24 Toyota BJ-44 kit ever
+Dashboards for right and left hand steering (not mentioned on instructions)
+Full rear seat and side-facing rear seats (not mentioned on instructions)
+Quick build (curbside, no engine), good for new/young/impatient modelers
+Great detail in places, e.g., separate windshield wipers
+Vast modification/conversion potential, e.g. with the back seats and a fabbed roll bar - Generic Third-World Dictator/Field Marshal Spec!

MINUSES:
-no interior door-panel or side detail - really obvious on an open vehicle
-no instrument panel decals or engraved i.p. detail at all. Ditto above obviousness.

WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
PARTS COUNT:
GRAY: 63 parts for basic vehicle (some not used), 17 new parts for .50 caliber machine gun and mount
CLEAR: 9 parts (windshield, side windows, lights)
BLACK VINYL TIRES: 5
DECALS: 4 sets of dual license plates only, printed in black & white only:
1 set for Lebanon
2 sets for Somalia
1 set for Chad. Neatest option, since the license plates advertise "Diagnose Auto, Rue De 40 M N'Djamena." (Thanks, Mr. Opti-Visor!)

BACKGROUND: Way back around 1979 or 80, ESCI started issuing 1/24 kits of the Toyota BJ-44 Land Cruiser. Three different versions were eventually released:

#3027 Toyota BJ-44 Land Cruiser Canvas Top - basic vehicle with a full raised soft top

#3028 Toyota BJ-44 Philippines Taxi - one of the coolest kits in the history of modeldom! A bonkers, psychedelic Filipino "jitney" taxi with little chrome horses/figures for the hood, extra lights, horns, etc. And eye-popping decals. This kit included a nice hardtop.

#3030 Toyota BJ-44 Savannah Master Kenia (sic) Safari - a zebra-striped safari truck, also a hardtop. This version had a roof rack full of jerry cans, wooden crates, spare tires, canvas bundles etc.

As far as I know, none of these kits have been available since the original ESCI issues. All go for big bucks on eBay.

SUMMARY: Well, the boxtop screams "Upgraded Moulds!" I compared this kit to the Filipino Taxi in my garage, and the sprues are identical except for color.

So "Upgraded" means the single new sprue with the .50 cal gun and mount. A few months ago, ITALERI issued kit #6351, its old 1/24 U.S. WWII Jeep with a newly-tooled .50 caliber gun.

So here's the next kit in sequence, #6352 - a Toyota BJ-44 "technical" with the same gun and mount.

With the basic vehicle, ITALERI is on solid ground - armed Land Cruisers have been a favorite of grumpy insurgents around the world, especially the PLO in Lebanon. You might want to tweak the gun mount to make it look more home-made, though.

It's just a shame that ITALERI was so stingy with the extras (as usual). We only get one can of .50 cal ammo, mounted directly to the gun itself. Assuming they still have the molds, it would have been really nice to have some stuff from the old ESCI Safari kit #3030 - especially the jerry cans.

SUGGESTIONS: if you're building a "technical," just remove the doors completely. The users often did that anyway, for quick exits.

Otherwise you have to deal with those smooth inner door panels. If you feel scratchy, the BJ-44 had vinyl inner door panels and photos are just a Google away.

Since ITALERI didn't give us any extras, we'll have to get them from eBay or elsewhere. Anybody know of any 1/24 AK-47s? I lived in Saudi Arabia for 2 years and in Egypt for 4 years, so I feel fully qualified to scratch-build my own 1/24 scale bucket of falafel.

#2 martinfan5

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:52 AM

Can post some pics? , I would like to see these

Edited by martinfan5, 23 January 2012 - 12:11 PM.


#3 Junkman

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:34 PM

I was able to snap a test shot they had at the SMW in Telford. What I saw looked promising:

Posted Image

The engraving looked razor sharp, so they must have done quite some work to the tool.

#4 martinfan5

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 01:38 PM

Looks good, I am not a military model but still could see myself picking up that armerd pickup

#5 Junkman

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:05 PM

I sure will, once prices have cooled off a bit.
Teh only thing missing from the old civilian version is a roof, which I think is not too hard to fabricate.

#6 Chuck Most

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:06 PM

I see potential...
Posted Image
Posted Image

#7 martinfan5

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

Its a perfect starting point to making a rock crawler like the pic above, getting some ideas now, but will wait tell the price's come down a little bit

#8 jbwelda

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:36 PM

someone really really really needs to do an FJ-60!!!


Posted Image



Posted Image

#9 Erik Smith

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:49 PM

Really cool. Wish i could buy more time AND more kits.

I love these old Toyotas. They are rare in the US - I've seen a lot just north of the border.

Does the kit have full floating axle in the rear? Toyota seemed to short US spec vehicles of the heavy duty options available else where.

Edited by Erik Smith, 23 January 2012 - 03:51 PM.


#10 jeffs396

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:05 PM

Welcome to the site Mike! Thanks for posting this! B)

This kit looks easy enough to convert to an FJ40 also, just have to scratch the hardtop ;)

#11 Chuck Most

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:19 PM

Meh... hardtop, schmardtop. :P Unless you're building this...
Posted Image

#12 horsepower

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:37 PM

I can see a Toylet (Chevrolet powered Toyota) in the works already.

#13 RodneyBad

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 04:44 PM

Thanks for sharing.
I gotta get one. :D

#14 Junkman

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 05:58 PM

very cool subject even if you arent into military models, it has a ton of potential built other ways B)

looks like the 1/24 Opel Blitz too?


Yes, the Opel Blitz is back, too. So is the Land Rover 109 and the Willys Jeep, all in this military series. But they can be civilized easily I'd say.

#15 RodneyBad

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:37 PM

Well, I had to order one all the way from Hong Kong
$17 and $14 shipping. Hoping for the best :)

#16 RodneyBad

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:48 PM

Got mine today.
Sharp looking kit.
Nice gun but winch isn't that nice.

#17 jeffs396

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:51 PM

Got mine today.
Sharp looking kit.
Nice gun but winch isn't that nice.


Pics please!

Wow that was fast from HK!

#18 62rebel

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:35 PM

i'm post-dating a Blitz into a post-war workhorse now! i figure Hans was able to pick up a junked one and, using experience in the Wehrmacht motor pool, he rebuilt it and started his own trucking business.... but, that's a workbench topic and not a Toyota one. i'd like to find one of these Toyotas before they're gone again...

#19 RodneyBad

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:11 PM

Pics please!

Wow that was fast from HK!

got pics but photo bucket isn't working for me right now, will try again later.

#20 Joe Handley

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:46 PM

That would make for another nice kit to bash with Losi's Micro Crawler and Scaler too!