Big Hand Crafted Four by Fours – Part Four

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 fourth of my models the 2016 Land Rover ‘Heritage Edition’ Defender.

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 Four – Land Rover Defender ‘Heritage Edition’ 2016

 

On it’s diorama. Real chestnut rail fencing made from a 30 year old post found in my garden.

 

Front axle and steering gear.

 

Front axle and steering gear again.

 

Underside view

 

Details of lower door hinge. Tiny screws out of an old camera. Aluminium brush finish obtained using wire brush in a mini electric drill.

A view of the engine.

 

Another engine view.

 

Interior view. Canopy lifts off to enable inside to be seen.

 

Rear view of finished model.

 

Front view of finished model. The real ‘last Defender’ had an egg-crate grille in plastic which looked a bit ugly. So I made mine in real wire mesh, like a traditional Land Rover. The etched Land Rover badges are from a specialist – they’re quite expensive but are superbly made.

 

A view of the driver’s side of the completed model showing mirrors, black grilles in the wings and a host of other fine details.

 

Higher view of the front and side of the completed model.

 

Low view of front and side of completed model.

 

Engine installed. The thick sturdy metal bonnet stay was unaltered on the real Land Rover from 1948 to the last Defender!

 

Rear corner. Lights from an eBay supplier from the Czech Republic. Tiny screws from an old camera. The ‘reversing lights’ jewel was a motor scooter’s headlamp on a Birthday card I received.

 

Rear view of completed model

 

Front/Side view of completed model.

 

Seats and console. The real ‘Last Defender’ which the factory are keeping for their museum has cream leather seats. I bought cream leather on eBay ‘same as used by Aston Martin’  and glued it over timber patterns. The seats come from a ‘Bratz Doll’ 1:10 scale Cadillac car and were much modified to the correct shape.

 

The main body early on before the ride height was adjusted by shortening the springs.

 

Rear end. Early test fit. The tailgate is brass and aluminium with hard wood ‘triangle pieces’ in corners.

 

Primed chassis and front bulkhead. Coil spring towers are pen-caps!

 

The Land Rover’s chassis. Two pieces of structural quality softwood, glued together then cut to correct profile. Wood filler has been applied and it is ready to prime.

 

The finished Land Rover on it’s diorama with chestnut fencing.

Editor – Robert’s latest project is a 1:10 scale hand made 1955 Land Rover Series One 107 inch long wheelbase pickup. We at MAR Online look forward to Robert sharing the pictures and details of that build with us when it is finished.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please contact us at our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.