The rest of the build was fairly straight forward but a lot more detail needed to go into it. Items such as 1/6 scale brass .30 caliber shells were found, a scale tow rope for the front bumper, even scale sweet wrappers from the period are ‘tossed’ on the floor of the Jeep.
The seats also came in for some attention, with real cotton (in an extremely small scale weave), was glued to the plastic seats in stages, to look like the real canvas seats. Even the tiny brass studs holding the seat covers on were hand painted on, late in the process.
Decals and painting was done in stages throughout the build, and also took a great deal of time. “I wanted the Jeep to have a used look about it. I didn’t want it to look like it had just come out of the factory. I felt it should have character about it, just like all the shots you see of vehicles during wartime. And with every vehicle on Santo covered in coral dust from the roads the US forces built, that too needed to be applied last”, James said.
With the model built, then came the process of getting it from Melbourne, Australia to Luganville and the Museum. “That was what worried me the most”, James says. “Carrying a plastic model on two flights from Melbourne to Vila and Vila to Santo, concerned me as to what state it would be in at the other end.”