By Robert P. Gunn
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.
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 to 1:10 scale, four of which have already appeared in MAR Online. The fifth is a 1957 Land Rover 107 inch wheelbase described by Robert below.
When the Land Rover appeared in 1948, its all terrain usefulness was much appreciated from the beginning. But farmers and other users soon found the rear load area to be too small, owing to the very short wheelbase – 80 inches originally, then 86 inches (2.3 Meters and 2.18 meters).
In 1955 Land Rover answered this criticism by introducing the long wheelbase Land Rover, in pickup and station wagon versions. The wheelbase was stretched to 107 inches (2.71 metres), giving much more room in the load area. Oddly, the allowable load was initially exactly the same as the short wheelbase model, but the road limit was soon raised; possibly the springs were strengthened.
The 107 inch was stretched to the more familiar 109 inches later, the extra length being to accommodate a diesel engine which longer.
Making the Model
This model was made in the same way as the other four earlier ones in my ‘1:10 scale 4×4’ series. (use the site search feature and search for ‘big hand crafted’ if you wish to read Robert’s four previous articles). It is of mixed materials, to strict 1:10 scale, using whatever suits a particular part best. Or sometimes simply what I have available!
The chassis is of pinewood, and most of the body flat panels are in hardboard. The cab roof is aluminium sheet glued to a softwood block, while the bonnet lid was formed from nickel silver sheet – this is more rigid than aluminium but easier to work than steel.
Springs and much of the steering is of brass strips and tubes; some universal joints from radio-controlled cars were adapted to enable the front wheels to turn.
Rubber tyres are correct tread pattern, Dunlop ‘TRAK-GRIP’, a tyre actually fitted by the factory as an option on this model.
Seats are carved from softwood and covered in vinyl, obtained from a cheap handbag bought in a charity shop – with some funny looks from the assistant!
The many galvanised parts presented a problem. Only the cowling above the windscreen is real galvanised steel sheet. This is very realistic stuff of course, but is too hard to work. Instead I bought some bright zinc sheet and made it dull by a special chemical process. Other parts are painted in grey primer, which seems to match quite well.
The number plates and photo-etched Land Rover badges were bought from eBay suppliers, as were the rear lamps.
This model has 1,500 parts and took nearly a year to complete. It’s overall length is 18 inches (455mm).
The steering assembly test fit.
Details of the Damper
Rear bed made of hardboard with sheet brass floor and plastic rubbing strips.
Tailgate is of aluminium and brass, superglued together.
The doors do not hinge open but were made as separate parts. This gave access to build the model, and resulted in realistic gaps around the doors.
Views of the steering column, instrument panel, and gear and other levers.
Seats look as uncomfortable as the they are in the real thing!
More Views of the Cab
Showing the galvanised screen and the wipers.
Doors in place and all the galvanised strips showing clearly.
Doors shown in more detail with hinging shown even though doors do not hinge! But as can be seen a realistic gap can be created if doors are fitted separately.
General Views of the complete model
Model seen from front three quarter view .
Passenger side with exhaust winding its way underneath and mirrors standing high and proud on the front wing.
Drivers side with exhaust box and tail pipe and spare wheel clearly visible.
The Rear End
Cross member built-up of brass sections.
The engine is fully-detailed. Bonnet stay is hinged like the real thing and works.
Tailgate opens on chains, and the spare wheel can be removed from its bracket.
The underside is fully detailed with all the transmission shafts, pedal linkages, springs and chassis sections modelled.
The Front End
A general view from the front. Note the strengthened hole in the front bumper to allow a starting handle to be used.
A view of number plate, grille and front lights as well as the Land Rover badges.
A detailed look at the front grille and headlights as well as the neatly made Land Rover badge.
The Wheels and Suspension
The wheels were modified by fitting the nuts and studs, among other changes.
The rear leaf spring and damper are shown above with the rear axle and prop shaft.
‘UO’ was a Devon registration. Number Plates include a realistic effect to suggest the raised letters used on 1950s plates. Reflector and rear light flank the plate.
The Completed Model
All complete and ready for work!
Completed Model On Display
The fisherman, from eBay, sits in the rear of the finished model.
In a natural setting – the Rocky Mountains!
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