Big Hand Crafted Four by Fours – Part Three

By Robert Gunn

Readers of MAR magazine will have been familiar with Robert’s contributions as an expert on pickup trucks. Since retirement he has been making a selection of 4×4 vehicles by hand which he will share with us over a series of articles. All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The Models

The models are hand made to 1:10 scale. Each is a unique creation and when finished is displayed on a modelled plinth in a clear cabinet. Here we look at the third of my models the Datsun Patrol.

How the models are made

All have a softwood chassis of pine or deal. Most body sides are tempered hardboard, as are the floors, but bonnet lids are metal – either aluminium or or nickel-silver sheet. Rounded corners are of timber beading, usually hardwood. Small details are made of anything which suits from my huge boxes of bits – parts of old pens, pieces of metal or plastic, nuts and bolts, tubes and so on. Sticks of solder are good to file into manifolds, carburetors and similar. Windscreen frames are either brass sheets and strips, or latterly in sheet polystyrene plastic.

Parts which I can’t make are brought-in, such as wheels, tyres, mirrors, lights, and badges.

Glues used vary from white PVA (Woodworking Glue) through super glue, Scotch glue and others. “JB Kwik” two pack epoxy is also very useful stuff – a combined glue and filler.

Part Three – Datsun Patrol L-60 1965


Alice the farm girl – Sarah’s sister – another modified Katmiss (Jennifer Lawrence) figure with new clothes and a bow and arrow surgically removed! She is holding a traditional wooden rake with prongs made individually from cocktail sticks.


Test fitting the parts with the Datsun in its ‘first-coat’ orange paint.


Datsun door cards and handles. These are filed from aluminium with pin heads as the ‘bolts’.


Datsun dashboard
Datsun Engine. A 3956cc unit producing 145hp when the Land Rover had 2286cc and 77hp.


Alice checking the engine.



Alice with the Datsun.



Swinging the spare tyre carrier aside to allow the rear tailgate to be opened.


Alice on the diorama I made with the rake.

A future article by Robert will cover the Land Rover Defender Heritage Edition 2016 he has made.

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