Italeri Toyota BJ-44 1/24

31 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

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

Edited by martinfan5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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

pic042.jpg

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I see potential...

_fj40_land_cruiserrunning_shot-vi.jpg

ToyotaFJ40Outlook-vi.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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

dscn64681jk.jpg

tshirt19ov.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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 ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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

4522785850_0265c79312-vi.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Thanks for sharing.

I gotta get one. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Well, I had to order one all the way from Hong Kong

$17 and $14 shipping. Hoping for the best :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Got mine today.

Sharp looking kit.

Nice gun but winch isn't that nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Got mine today.

Sharp looking kit.

Nice gun but winch isn't that nice.

Pics please!

Wow that was fast from HK!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Pics please!

Wow that was fast from HK!

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

ItaleriArmedpickup.jpg

italeripickupbody.jpg

Itarelipickupinterior.jpg

Itarelipickupparts2.jpg

Edited by RodneyBad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Itarelipickupparts.jpg

Itarelipickuptires2.jpg

Itarelipickupamchinegun.jpg

Edited by RodneyBad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Thanks for the pics Rodney!

I see LHD and RHD dashboards, that's good...

Do I see a frame that's molded with the body? :angry:

No interior door panels...not good :(

I'll still get one though! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

No door panels and chassis molded to the interior tub.

Sorry I missed that pic.

ItareliPickupchassis.jpg

Cat hair no Extra charge.. :D

Edited by RodneyBad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now