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This is Meng Models 1/35 “Pickup with ZPU-1” which we all recognise as a Toyota Hilux, but to spare Meng’s blushes at trademark infringement the vehicle retains the somewhat coy, more genralised ‘pickup’ moniker.

I’m posting this in ‘Armor’, but without the Russian heavy machine gun stowed on the flatbed, the vehicle is just a beat-up old truck – albeit a Technical, or militarised civvy ride, hence this category.

It was going to be a second Steampunk conversion (see recent “Matilda Swann” posting), but I changed my mind and decided to do a straight build with the exceptions of removing the front doors, adding battle damage, removing all glass and replacing it with mesh in various configurations, and distressing the paintwork (… well, straight-ish…).

It’s an intricate little kit, particularly the machine gun. It’s one of those models that’s come through via CAD, and makes you wonder if anyone actually tried to build it before manufacturing it, such are the delicacy of the details.

The kit plastic is offered in three different colours depending on which part of the build is underway. The elements of black plastic I definitely don’t care for, as the items are tiny and reflect no light to see the attachment points, etc. Ditto comment for the PE which is black as well.

The main paintwork is chrome silver over primer, followed by the application of various ink washes, with pigment powders to finish, to replicate a vehicle that’s been in harsh conditions to the point where the paint has simply worn away.

The interior is matte black – I didn’t even use the dashboard dials decal. There’s a spare tyre (all the tyres are nice) but no engine. There’s also a figure of a Taliban fighter (?) to pose seated at the gun, but he was so basic I didn’t use him. I used the windscreen wipers but posed the blades bent or missing as there were no clear parts used.

The project took about three days to complete.

To note, since the original photos were posted, I decided to make a terrain base for the vehicle (see image), from an old picture frame, a few pieces of shaled brick, grass tufts, and painted with acrylics. Accordingly, I’ve rephotographed and posted a new series of images.

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

26 responses to Lo-lux

  1. Hi Rob. Amazingly realistic. I must congratulate you on the superb weathering job you gave your pickup. Would love to know how the constant firing and recoil of the ZPU-1 would affect the pickup’s suspension. Toyota could use it as a marketing tool. 😉

  2. Nice work, great attention to detail and an unusual subject. I think the boys on Top Gear tried to destroy a Hi Lux some years looked like your model minus the heavy machine gun.

  3. Rob,
    Great job on every part of this truck. Damage and weathering is superb.

  4. Nicely done Rob. the terrorist`s go anywhere vehicle.
    Definitely got that beat up feel about it.

  5. Nice work, Rob…..very convincing. That’s just what the A-10 drivers are lookin’ for.

  6. one careful owner until 20 drunken somali teenagers got a hold of it…very cool

  7. Very nicely thought out build, Rob. it’s the details that make the difference.

  8. Beautiful model with an aggressive touch to it! I drive a Nissan pickup myself (with front doors) and I sometimes would like to have something shootin’ in the trunk! Road rage in Brussels…

  9. Great build, Rob. While looking at your build, i ask myself, what will happen, when i arrive with this vehicle, on the regular technical examation for vehicles, here in Germany ….

  10. Fantastic Rob. Very Taliban!
    There’s some great detail there and the weathering is equally as impressive. Nicely finished off on that base might I add!
    I want to do something similar with a car at some point. I have lots of missiles and bombs rolling around the spares box, and even a minigun. My idea is to mad max something! But no idea when, the stash seems to get bigger every time I look at it.

  11. Heresy! The stash IS your friend! It’s just trying to help. Resistance is futile, you will be…ooops! Ah, have a nice day! (sheesh, that was close)

    • Actually, I work without a stash. My rule is, one build working, one build waiting, so I only ever have one live project at a time, with one ‘next-up’ to follow. It saves having ‘dead money’ lying about on shelves, and encourages me to exercise restraint in wanting to buy everything. For every model you have there are five hundred more out there calling to you. Scary.

  12. My CO in basic was an armor officer. He told us he’d been at Ft. Irwin (the national warfare training center, now) and the California National Guard was playing the OPFOR. They were doing Rat Patrol type stuff with jeeps. They shared that if you mounted a 50 cal in back, you’d better pile sandbags on the floor. Otherwise, when you fired, the floor would break loose, and you’d be doing AA.

    • I think some Technicals are considered better suited than others for the task. Toyotas are a simple body on a steel frame and virtually indestructible, excepting of course from a direct hit.

      The British TV (car) show, Top Gear, once dropped a Hilux in the sea, ran over it with a bulldozer, dropped it off a building, etc., and all they needed to get it going later was a couple of lump hammers and a crowbar; it started right up.

      I’ve seen footage of a heavy MG firing from a Hilux bed. Plenty of MG recoil. Toyota was like a piece of granite.

  13. Interesting diorama.Excellent constructed.For these kind of weapons is no simple answer. Cheap and mass produced. Very dangerous.

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