Hogan's Heroes Jeep by  Alan Alexis

Open this kit up, and you can see the first good thing about RC's efforts to improve AMT. Four neat bags, containing all the parts. Their practice of separately bagging the body, is a very nice touch.

A quick tour through the bags also shows the first problem. Four tires, in one small bag. Four 'Civilian' tires. The old MPC 'Suburbanite' tires are nice to get back, and are right for an old Jeep. They just are not right for a Military Jeep. Besides there only four of them. No 5th tire for the spare.

I wish the Marketing people at AMT would look at their old kits and see what was in them before sending them out. This Kit could benefit from at least two different set of tires. (5 each) Either the Old MPC "Desert Dogs" that were included in almost generic their Jeep kits in the 80's,or a set of generic 60's muscle car tires for the 'Jeepney' Variant that is the other building option in this kit. Militaryse, it goes without saying that a set of 'Unidirectional' after-market are a must, if you plan on building the Hogan version. The aftermarket or parts box must come to the rescue here.

Oh, And that missing fifth tire. No worries! Contact AMT Online, to have it sent to you. I have contacted them, and should see it soon.

The Flat fender should be familiar to anybody who has ever built any of the many MPC Jeeps.

This kit seems to have all the parts of the early 80's Olive Green/Blue military / bushwhacker" kit, plus a few more. That kit had no 'stock' military seats.

This one does. They are nicely detailed too. The old custom buckets are still here as well, although not mentioned in the instructions. In fact about 1/3 of the parts you will find in the box are not mentioned in the instructions, and some that ARE called for, are not in the kit. Specifically, the Chrome wheel covers for the 'custom' version are shown, but not on the parts tree.  Instead you will find a set of Very 80's "Turbo-Vec" finned military. These are well done, but, require the aforementioned Desert Dog tires.

All the optional military parts are scattered about on various trees. Looking through them, you will find that in addition to the Cal 50 Browning HB machine gun and all it's bits (Pintle Mount, and 2 piece Ammo Box, all very softly engraved) there are two small arms (a Thompson and an M-1 Carbine) a portable Radio (again in two pieces) and a three piece stretcher. The hidden jewel however is the 106 MM recoilless rifle. All the parts for it are included, but good luck getting it together. No mention is made of it anywhere in the kit!

Nice to have it though! Also in the kit. Both stock and custom grille/headlight parts. Stock and custom 'Dual carb' engine options. For a fully stock military Jeep, you will have to strip the chrome from some of these. (The Fan, Both manifolds, the Carb, and the Oil Filler/Filter assembly) A Surrey type top, chromed 'Big-Rig" style mirrors, and a civilian tailgate, hitch and bumper. Two rear fender flares for your huge tires, a diminutive hood scoop, and the odd looking bed cover and roll-bar assembly that was so prominent on the old MPC Flat fender Jeep Kits. There is a lot here in this kit.

The parts are almost completely flash free. Kudos to AMT on Getting this part right. While all the engraving is on the soft side, none of parts are really bad. Think typical 60's tooling. Which is what this is.

Building.

The chassis went together without drama, but is fiddly. I recommend tube glue and a building jig, or Super glue and Accelerator! I used a set of parts box tires as I built mine as a Filipino Jeepney Bus. I rode these in the late 80's while could he P.I. with the USAF so it seemed a natural for this kit. Besides every Jeepney is both unique and colourful so I could not go wrong on the colors! The Jeepney part also solved the 'not enough / wrong tires' question. I built the engine with the optional twin carbs.

The fit of this is not great, so test fit the intake manifold, carbs and Chrome air cleaner carefully. It will all line up but you may have to shave the tops off the carbs to do it.

I used the stock seats (all three of them) although for a correct Jeepney I should have scratch built a pair of side facing bench seats. I left both front and rear bumpers chromed, although for a military Jeep, de-chrome the front one and use the kit supplied bumperettes in the rear. I debated about painting it pink, but settled for a pale lemon yellow from a rattle can. The decals I used are a mixture of parts box and Kit. The kit decals are very well done. They include all the markings for Col. Hogans jeep, as well as the ones I used for the "Cafe Roma"

Verdict:

A good little kit! Nice to have this one back, however the tire problem is a killer.

Four of the old tires is a big stumbling block. I wish someone there would check these details out before letting us have the kit. It would prevent this kind of embarrassment. Would have been nice too to have the directions for assembling the Big recoilless, since it is in the kit.

Buy more of these kits, and show AMT they were right to dust off these molds.

And, Yes I know the ESCI 1/24 scale kit is more accurate, and has better detailing. It is also hard to find, expensive and aimed right at Armor Modelers not Car Guys, despite it's scale.

 Alan Alexis

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