Christmas in Europe
This is a story of hope, not just for modellers, but for their long struggling wives and partners who sometimes don’t quite ‘get us’.
Who has ever been asked “Why do you need a new kit? You have heaps in the shed you haven’t built yet” or “Why don’t you just finish the one you are building?” – all of us have heard these and other comments thrown at us as we duck into a model shop to see what treasures or inspirations await.
This brings me to the story behind this model, a combination of the Mini Art Bantam jeep with crew, and the CMK resin kit of Santa Claus, his sleigh, and reindeer for a Vietnam era LVTP 5A1 landing craft. Both brought some years ago and then placed in the cupboard to build ‘one day’.
Skip forward to present day and I am building another unrelated kit and I need to scroll through my spares cupboard looking for some accessories and I stumble across the Bantam jeep and the CMK Santa kit. Suddenly I’m hit with a light bulb of inspiration – I could put these together and see what comes out the other side.
Now I don’t know if any jeep ever looked like this during the World War 2, however it would not be a stretch for some talented field engineers with scrap metal and imagination to slap up something similar to this in a day or two. So with that in mind I decided to do the same. Sometimes with kits it’s nice to let go of the rules and just have fun with it. So that’s what I did.
The biggest challenge was cutting out the sides of the sleigh and reindeer as they were moulded into a sheet of resin. The cutting out itself wasn’t hard, it was around the antlers on the reindeer that was a bit dicey but I made it first time. The CMK kit came with 4 reindeer so I had spares should things go wrong, but surprisingly they didn’t.
I took great pride in explaining to my partner that they were not new kits, but old ones I had finally got around to finishing. As long as it’s her spending the money at the shops, and not me, she is happy.
Apart from some plastic rod for the frame, adding a sack and rifle to Santa’s hands, and a couple of boxes and a helmet on the back seat, it was all pretty much straight from the box.
Overall I was happy with both kits and especially how I was able to merge them together into something that I think is quite interesting and just a little bit different.
6 additional images. Click to enlarge.