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I've been wanting to build a Jeep Gladiator pickup for a long time, so I bought Revell's most recent "Pink Poison" reissue of their '81 Jeep J-10 pickup and got started. I built this kit in the mid '80s and recalled most of its shortcoming and faults, but it's the only game in town for a bi-scale Jeep J-series truck. so off I go.

First step, separate the one-piece(!) cab and bed along the vertical joint line between the two:

jcabnbedapart.jpg

 

Next, create a rear cab wall using styrene sheet and reference photos. The Full Size Jeep Forum has been a lifesaver for reference photos, so breaking the rear cab wall down into smaller pieces and different levels, I was able to come up with something close. Here's a good look at the earlier small window rear cab wall on a real truck:

 

I did cheat a bit with the ribs/depressions, as the inside corners should have much smaller radii (essentially making each depression much more rectangular in shape), but I also knew very little of the lower two-thirds of the rear wall would be visible once everything was assembled, so it was a compromise I decided to accept in the name of progress. Anyway, here are the pic of my progress so far:

Base piece, step one:

newrearcabwall1.jpg

 

Second piece layered on top, to add rib detail. The depressions with be filled slightly to soften/gradually taper the depressions:

newrearcabwall2.jpg

 

Greenhouse band/layer added:

newrearcabwall4.jpg

 

Same stage as above image, but you can see how the rear wall is just slightly inset from the cab's rear wall. This "step" will also get filled to soften the transition between the wall and cab in the greenhouse area:

newrearcabwall6.jpg

 

Tonight I added the raised section around the window glass, most of which will be removed when I create the window opening:

WP_20161116_006.jpg

Edited by Casey

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You are of to a very good start on this project ! I will be watching for updates.

 

 

 

  Be Well

   Gator

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I will be watching this! I have had one of these kits for the longest time, this could motivate me to get building on it.

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Nice fabrication Casey. I would like one too but I can't afford the listing prices.:(

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I'm not familiar with this kit but it looks interesting. I like how you built up the back of the cab, I'll have to remember that, it looks great.

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Nice fabrication Casey. I would like one too but I can't afford the listing prices.:(

Thanks. They do at times sell for more than I'm willing to spend, and the Pink Poison version is the only one which includes a non-tinted windshield, so that's why I specifically targeted this issue. I got this one for less than $30 on eBay, so I was happy.

I'm not familiar with this kit but it looks interesting. I like how you built up the back of the cab, I'll have to remember that, it looks great.

It's an interesting kit, and to be honest, if I hadn't been familiar with it, I would have been hugely disappointed upon opening the box. It "feels" like it was designed as a snap-together kit, and the suspension is very simplified (axles and leaf spring all one part at both ends), but to my eyes, the body is very very well done. The basic shape is very good, save for the slightly flat roof, and a lot of the details, like how the front edge of the fender flares meet the header/valence panel, etc. are very well done, too. It's a great starting point, but it's essentially a curbside model out of the box.

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It's an interesting kit, and to be honest, if I hadn't been familiar with it, I would have been hugely disappointed upon opening the box. It "feels" like it was designed as a snap-together kit, and the suspension is very simplified (axles and leaf spring all one part at both ends), but to my eyes, the body is very very well done. The basic shape is very good, save for the slightly flat roof, and a lot of the details, like how the front edge of the fender flares meet the header/valence panel, etc. are very well done, too. It's a great starting point, but it's essentially a curbside model out of the box.

It's very "Monogram of this era".   If you have the Dodge Ramcharger, this one is similar in detail level.  I've got a few of these tucked away for projects "someday".  I was thinking about US Army trucks based on this vehicle.  Field ambulance anyone?

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Looking good Casey! B)

I was hoping you'd see this, Jeff. I wish I had a real one in the garage for reference. :D

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It would be nice if someone (are ya listening model companies?) were to offer this kit with better detail and multiple variations. I see a J10 pickup, a Cherokee Chief 2 door and a Grand Wagoneer as a possibility. 

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Window opening reveal added:

 

I also removed some material at the bottom edge for frame frame and driveshaft tunnel clearance:

 

 

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I was hoping you'd see this, Jeff. I wish I had a real one in the garage for reference. :D

If you need any 1:1 shots you can't find online, just let me know!

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If you need any 1:1 shots you can't find online, just let me know!

Thanks Jeff. I'm sure I will take you up on that offer at some point. ^_^

This kit is a bit crude and simplified in areas, and looking at the engine compartment shows it better than I can say it:

WP_20161119_019.jpg

Yeah, not too impressive, and not very accurate, either, so I removed it all and will make something more accurate:

 

The MPC Jeep Commando kit's inner fenders might work here, but I'm not sure yet. The firewall is going to take some work, but I don't plan to go too crazy on detailing it. At some point I have to permanently attach the rear wall to the cab, so I'm trying to leave that as one of the last steps before priming the cab. The interior will need to be re-done so it can be assembled inside the finished/closed cab, so I will probably use only pieces of the floor section, if anything. I already have a few bench seats from various truck kits on hand, so I should be able to scrape together all the parts I need.

I also hope to add the snowplow from the MPC Universal Jeep kit, so that may save me from having to scratchbuild the front bumper. ^_^

WP_20161119_036.jpg

WP_20161119_035.jpg

Edited by Casey

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Some really nice work Casey on your build. Great subject.I have only seen a few of these trucks and they looked real abused and worked...

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Casey,

Excellent work on the truck and it would be a shame if you didn't consider casting that cab after all of the work you did to make it correct!

I think that plow is going to look small on the truck and if you want to swap it for one of the plows from the Revell 77 GMC, let me know, I happen to have an extra one I could swap you!

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 You have this one looking really good thus far ! I like what I see here.

 

 

 

  Be Well

    Gator

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I worked on cleaning up the frame today, removing the inaccurate shock mounts, filling in the leaf spring shackle bracket recesses, etc., but didn't take any pics. I did take pics after I joined the bedside panels to the rear bedside caps/rear valence panel, which first required filing the rearmost ends of the bedsides to 90 degrees. I added a slight bevel to both panels since the joint is supposed to be a pinch weld joint on the real truck, so we'll see how that looks after primer is applied:

b695b132-6906-4272-9f69-b928efe929cb.jpg

62a67d65-b4d1-4f7b-bb98-c8cb6f8454ff.jpg

96f9e875-ef5f-4994-b7b1-02da6112a8df.jpg

 

I think I need to add some material to the inner vertical edge of the end caps, as it looks a little think t my eye, and the outer edge of the tailgate panel too thick. We'll see how everything looks once I get the top/inner edge of the bed rails added back on and the stake pocket holes in place, though. It's hard to tell now that I've removed the bed rails' inner edges, but this is where it's at now:

651834ee-8098-4411-9dbe-c6edf731b9db.jpg

 

I may have mentioned earlier this kit has a lot of nice things going for it, yet some aspects leave a lot to be desired, so one detail which the Revell designers nailed was the bed floor ribbing. The rib count and position are both very accurate according the reference pics, so I am going to true up the long edges and reuse the center floor section. Here's a shop of a test fit/visual mock-up with the frame, cab, partial bed floor all together:

b695b132-6906-4272-9f69-b928efe929cb.jpg

 

As for the interior tub, I don't think I'll use any of it. It's tapered on three sides (assuming a draft angle design concession), the door panel detail is crude, and there's a huge molded in console/armrest I don't want. The underside, which does have some okay molded in detail, still isn't great, so into the unused parts pile it goes. Here's a look at the interior tub:

fc4956b6-53bc-49a6-8797-9269a692e272.jpg

11a1438b-302a-4906-8ba8-596e04f1e51c.jpg

b3b30124-2f7b-481c-b013-a212a1864d9a.jpg

Edited by Casey

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I decided to use the floor of the interior tub, as the tunnel area has a fairly complex, asymmetrical shape, and the locating studs would be useful for test fitting purposes, too. After removing the rear and sides of the interior tub, I added some material to both sides of the floor and the toeboard area. I had previously shaped the top edge of some styrene sheet which conformed to the underside of the cowl panel, so after some test fitting, cutting, etc, I joined a few pieces together and ended up with this:

WP_20161122_029.jpg

WP_20161122_026.jpg

 

I got lucky after opening a Revell Ram VTS and noticing how large the front inner fenders were...just what I needed for the Gladiator, with plenty of material to spare. :) Looks like they'll fill up the engine compartment nicely, though they will need to be modified a bit:

WP_20161121_005.jpg

 

After they were cut free and sanded a bit:

WP_20161122_030.jpg

Edited by Casey

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I measured the Jeep's wheelbase when I first took the contents out of the box, and knew it was a bit short of the correct 120" (4.80" in 1/25 scale) length, and since I was going to separate the bed and cab anyway, no big deal. Now that I'm working on reconstructing the bed, it's clear the bed is going to need some lengthening:

 

Luckily Jeff (jeffs396) went through this exact situation before me, so he is sending me the bed stretcher tool he used, so I should be good to go once that arrives.

I started looking at the engine parts, too, and there is really nothing good about the JO-HAN AMC engine, this one in particular from the '69 SC/Rambler kit. The cylinder heads are decent and I will probably use them after some clean up and minor reshaping, but the engine block itself it a hot mess, with an axle clearnace hole passing straight through it. :blink: The block's details (freeze plugs, etc.) are crude, too, so I'm looking at other options. No, not other AMC engine options, because there really are none other than the 1/24 Monogram Jeep's engine, which is the later style AMC V8, and no better than this J-10 kit's late AMC V8 engine. What to do...

After doing some online research on the earlier AMC V8, I noted some similarities between it and the Cadillac OHV V8 which was new for '49. I just so happened to have picked up a cheap Revell '59 Eldorado Seville, and lo and behold, the two engines are similar, maybe similar enough that I can modify the Cadillac engine to look like the AMC V8. Both have similar head with partially exposed exhaust ports, plug bores which are nearly perpendicular to the heads, valley pans, and intake manifolds which span from head-to-head...this could work. I will need to add longer skirts to the Cadillac block, but the Y-shape is there and the JO-HAN AMC heads fit fairly well, too. AMC heads on top row, Cadillac on bottom:

 

The valley pan isn't quite the same between the two, and I will need to dig up or make the water crossover (not sure what that's called exactly), but I think this is as good a starting point:

 

Not sure what I will use for a transmission at this point, but it will be a manual with a transfer case behind it. I think that'll be the easy part of the drivetrain.

I also owe a big thank you to Jordan White for trading me a set (still looking for more, though) of five Revell Goodyear Wrangler Radial tires, which are just about the perfect size. There's an MPC 5-slot wheel (very) snugly resting inside one tire for show, but wheel choice is still undetermined...they will be old school, though: 

 

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I just found this thread Casey, very masterful building. I will be following this one.

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