Scale 1/72
Manufacturer Italeri
Kit ID 7010
Type Dodge M-37 (WC-31)
Unit Korea
Date 1952
Aftermarket parts used None
Other detail added Decals from kit and Roco
Model built by Alex Hunger
Date Completed June 2010

The Osprey series of books on Korean War aviation inspired me to carefully look through them again for suitable vehicle and diorama subjects. Among the usual vehicles, the Dodge 3/4 ton truck, also known as the BEEP, WC-51 or later M-37, could be seen on several occasions adorned with the markings of the Far East Air Force. The photos and captions indicated it was used to transport pilots to and from their aircraft, if not as a general base hack.

The Italeri kit of this vehicle is a reboxing of the venerable Matchbox kit, which also served under Esci, which in its day also featured a 20 mm gun. Otherwise, everything else except the decals remained unchanged.

The breakdown of the parts is fairly logical and allowed one to build this classic without too many hassles.  As usual, I first built the chassis and drivetrain, which was then coated in Hallfords grey. The front and rear bumper were sprayed in Tamiya Olive Drab while the rest was hand brushed in Tamiya Gun Metal.

I constructed the different modules of the body separately. Care needs to be taken to adjust the engine compartment and passenger compartment to each other so that they fit the chassi properly when the three are eventually mated. The rear body was nearly idiot proof, except for the flimsy wooden side rails. They needed a bit of reinforcement. All were first primed in Halfords Grey and then in Olive Drab.
The canvas top also fit together well. It and the seats were done up in a duller Tamiya Acrylic Matt Green toned down with a touch of grey to look like well worn fabric.

The 3 pre-painted body modules were popped onto the chassi and left to dry a bit. I then attached the pre-painted running boards on the side and the spare wheel. I glued a clear plasticard sheet, saved from some packaging material, to the windshield frame, which was added to the vehicle.

The smaller of the two crew figures, which I had pre-painted earlier, was jammed as best as possible behind the steering wheel.
The tilt is made to look like a soft top, but still looks very "square" compared to actual photos. It unfortunately also refused to sit straight without being permanently glued on.

After some touch ups on the paint job, I applied most of the kit decals. I just added some white "FEAF" lettering and some other symbols from a Roco decal set to the bumper.

That said and done, the Dodge could now be parked on some Korean war PSP planking in front of a Nissen Hut to feel at home.

Model, article and photographs by Alex Hunger