This beautiful kitbash by Jim Lewis represents the Mitsubishi CJ3B-J4 as used by the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Jim started with the 1/35-scale CJ3B-J4A kit from Okuno, and the engine and frame from the Skybow M-38A1 kit (40K JPEG).
See left rear and right rear photos (160K JPEGs) showing the incredible detail. See also more photos and details of this project, as well as Jim's Korean War-era M-38A1 model, at GunTruck Studios.
Early in 2004, Okuno of Japan released this 1/35th scale injection molded plastic kit representing the CJ3B-J4A, built in Japan between about 1965-67. The J4A was an update of the J4 military Jeep which had been in production by Mitsubishi since about 1956.
The kit hasn't become widely available in North America, but it's a good basis for a Willys CJ-3B or M606 model.
Dennis Decklever used a Tamiya Willys MB kit for the chassis and running gear of a model based on his own 1954 CJ-3B. He was originally thinking of using the F-head engine from the Skybow M-38A1 kit, but thought he could do a "L" to "F" conversion cheaper than the $19 kit plus shipping. He modified the L-head engine to an F-head, and by not gluing down the hood (or the cowl to which it's attached) the engine is displayable.
Dennis used the rear seat from the MB, but the body is from the Okuno J4A, minus all the emblems and military moldings including the headlight guards. He framed up a tailgate from scratch and molded the ribs.
Dennis purchased a couple of the kits from Hobby Link Japan in 2005, and commented at the time that "it seems they are not selling many and only have one left."
He trimmed the military details off this one, but built it with the big tires and wheels included in the kit. See also a front view photo (70K JPEG).
When the lifted model was finished, Dennis thought he had seen it somewhere before, and then he remembered Mike Kautzman's 1953 CJ-3B (right) on The CJ3B Page.
This example using the stock running gear included in at least some of the versions of the kit sold in Japan, was nicely assembled and painted by a Japanese modeler. See also the left side and interior (50K JPEG.)
This clipping from a brochure (70K JPEG) shows the two versions which can be built with the parts included in the original Okuno kit -- the stock military version and a lifted surplus Jeep with rollbar and big tires.
Pete Harlem notes that "The Okuno kit I saw only has the off-road version in it. The regular running gear is not included as it is in the one on your website. There must be two releases, at least, of this model."
Thanks to Roberto Flores and Morihisa Ochi, and Jim Lewis of GunTruck Studios. -- Derek Redmond
See also Mitsubishi and Mahindra Jeep Toys and more Jeep Modelling on The CJ3B Page.
Return to the Toy Jeeps Pages on The CJ3B Page.
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