Revell 1/25 Jeep Tow Truck
By Fabrizio Fae
I have found it difficult to manage my ever-growing kit collection over the years, so I decided to restrict myself to a single subject: I would only collect and build Jeeps. I chose Jeeps because I like them. I saw a curious Jeep tow truck during a trip, so I decided to build a scale replica of it. I have an original issue 1981 1/25th Revell Jeep J-10 Honcho in my collection so decided to use it as the base kit.
The Revell Jeep Honcho is a very nice kit and it’s easy to build. I prefer the first issue, because it has big and soft rubber tires. Revell reissued this kit later with Jeep CJ-7 tires. These tires are smaller and composed of harder rubber. The Jeep truck kit was produced in 3 different versions, the Jeep Honcho, the Pink Poison (Black Top Warriors 2001), and maybe the most obscure of the 3, a Jeep Honcho "Dude".
Inside the box all the plastic parts are cast in black. The cab and the bed are a single piece molding, and the windshield and head light lenses are all tinted. Not very nice, but I was undeterred and decided to scratch build replacement parts. The kit has nice, clear instructions, and good decals.
I searched for a tow truck kit for the conversion, and I found a Revell Snaptite Chevy tow truck in 1/25. I found this kit was perfect for my concept. The Chevy retains the 80's style I wanted for the Jeep. The Snaptite kit is super easy to build. I personally don't like the soft plastic: it’s too rubbery. The Chevy is molded in orange plastic, with chrome parts and clear windshield. The instructions are very clear, the parts count is small, and the “decals” are self-adhesive stickers.
I began the conversion by separating the Jeep cab and bed. I checked these parts against the Chevy’s tow truck bed to measure the wheelbase. I needed to stretch the chassis and had to narrow it to allow for the twin tires of the rear axle. I scratch built a gas tank, and I added all of the necessary wiring, and fuel and brake lines. I used the Chevy’s tire and wheels. The wheels are chromed plated, they look nice, and I felt they were a nice option for a tow truck.
I installed the interior after I finished the chassis. The interior is basically OOB (Out Of the Box), except that I added a C.B. radio and some other details, such as switches, to the dashboard.
I applied a coat of primer, but I was still undecided about the final color. I finally decided on yellow with a blue metallic stripe that follows the typical full size Jeep fender design. And I was pretty happy about that. I think also the sun visor I built from scratch enhanced the cab.
The engine is a classic AMC360 V8, which required some work too. I scratch built some parts all around the engine, like the air conditioning line/tank, horns, alternator, wire and brake/fuel lines, and other little stuff...
I added some finishing touches including the license plate, “TOW 1”. I'm pretty happy about this Jeep tow truck. I enjoyed the conversion work, and it is the model that I was looking for. I think it is a nice addition to my collection. So what’s my next project? For sure, another Jeep!