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M1009 CUCV build

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  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
M1009 CUCV build
Posted by HeavyArty on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 8:12 PM

My next build is an M1009 CUCV (Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle), (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Utility_Cargo_Vehicle) which was a militarized 3/4 ton Chevy Blazer. These were mainly used as staff officer vehicles. 

These trucks were a stop-gap measure used in the early '80s when the US military found that the M151 was wearing out and too small, and the HMMWV was in development, but not yet ready to field. They took civilian trucks and outfitted them as military vehicles by upgrading the electrical system to 24 volts, adding a blackout light system, tow shackles and pintle, etc. They were still being used by rear area units up until the early 2000s.

I know about the Miniman Factory resin kit of this truck (and the M1008 CUCV pickup), but found a cheaper die-cast version by Jada. It is listed as 1/32, but scales out to about 1/36, so close enough. I wanted to see if I could make it into a respectable CUCV model.

It is pretty well detailed for a die-cast model. The only die-cast metal part is the body. Everything else is plastic. You can see the well detailed grill with clear plastic headlights. It also has clear red taillights, plastic bumpers, a detailed interior, etc…

A different color, but the same Jada die-cast model.

blazer CUCV 3

I started by tearing it down.

IMG_2220

I cut away the piece that attached the roof above the driver’s area as it isn’t really there nor needed. I also cut the oversized hinge bars off the doors.
IMG_2221

I filled in where the hinges attached to the doors w/A&B putty. I will add window cranks later.
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One of the biggest area that needed improvement was the frame/running gear, which is pretty much a flat plate bottom with metal rod axles and a few bumps here and there to represent the engine, differentials, etc. I swapped it out for the frame and running gear from a Dodge WC56 3/4 ton staff car.  It fits the M1009/Blazer almost perfectly.  I did extend it at the rear by 1/4 inch and had to add a center support for the transfer case.
IMG_2229

Here it is on the frame w/interior in place.  I also made front inner fenders from the WC56 rear fenders and more sheet styrene.
IMG_2230

The cab interior also needed attention. There was a large bump in the middle of the floor for, I’m assuming, a motor. The rear cargo floor was way too high as well. I cut the hump out and rebuilt the floor and cargo area with sheet styrene.  I also made a fire wall from sheet styrene.
IMG_2228

On the dash, I filled in the two cut outs for the hinge bars with A&B putty. I sculpted them to match the dash and added the lines for the glove box.
IMG_2225

I also had to fix the seats as well. The front seats had no backs, so I filled them in w/sheet styrene. On the back seat, it required more work. The motorization box extended into the seat. After cutting it away, I rebuilt it w/more A&B putty and a piece of styrene to fill in the back. I scribed the folds and line pattern onto it as well.
IMG_2224

The Jada tires were pretty good, but the wheels were all wrong. I had new tires/wheels 3D printed by our own Michael “MikeyBugs” Goldberg. They look great and fit perfectly.
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I also had the brush guard 3D printed by our own James_Lee. It is an exquisite piece of work. Here it is along with the grill and front bumper.
IMG_2227

Next up is to start painting and detailing the interior, then adding the militarized details. More to come.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 9:28 PM

Oh yeah! I'm curious to see how you do this conversion.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 10:40 PM

Nice work, Gino.  As a suggestion, I would use 1/25 CJ/Wrangler Dana 30 open knuckle axles as these would approximate the GM 10 bolt front/rear axles in 1/35 if you can find some.  The last truck to use closed knuckle axles was 1975 F-250's so the WC axles are kind of out of place in my opinion.  Another thing is that the WC used a divorced transfer case while the Blazer used a married TC without an intermediate shaft with the Turbo 400 automatic trans.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 4:23 AM

Hello!

Another interesting project! How does that die cast model compare to the resin kit in terms of price and availability?

Wouldn't it be cool to have the entire undercarriage 3D printed in one piece for a "drop in"?

There was also this cool bit about the keys for a CUCV, maybe you could write about it too?

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 7:38 AM

Thanks guys.  It will be a fun build.

As to the underside, I am not too worried about it being exact as you can't really see any of the details once the truck is upright.  It is close enough.

The die-cast only cost me $8, so it is a much better deal than the resin kit and it can be found all over eBay and at toy stores here in the states.  The extra 3D parts and WC kit added a bit more, but not too bad.  I could only find the resin kit directly from Miniman Factory and it was almost $100 with postage from Hungary.  So a much better deal w/the die-cast to me.

Pawel
There was also this cool bit about the keys for a CUCV, maybe you could write about it too?

Yes, they were all keyed the same so any key would fit any vehicle.  This was so if you lost a key, you could still get into and start them w/another.  Pretty cool, esp. when you wanted to screw with your buddy.  Big Smile

 

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 8:03 AM

It was fun doing that. They were good trucks. I discovered the key situation by accident. Like I said had fun withit. Going to follow this one closely. 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 3:11 PM

Thanks lurch.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Friday, November 25, 2022 12:03 PM

And outstanding build, if one that takes a person down memory lane.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Friday, November 25, 2022 3:58 PM

CapnMac82
...one that takes a person down memory lane.

Thanks and yup, me too.  When I was a wet behind the ears 2LT, I was Gold Bar Recruiter for UF ROTC for the summer before I went to OBC.  The ROTC unit borrowed a CUCV from the local NG unit that I drove around all summer to high schools and junior colleges recruiting new ROTC cadets.  It was a fun summer.

Gino P. Quintiliani - Field Artillery - The KING of BATTLE!!!

Check out my Gallery: https://app.photobucket.com/u/HeavyArty

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." -- George Orwell

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