As part of a major project for Defence Material Organisation (DMO) we were contracted to build a model of the new MERCEDES BENZ vehicles that had recently been announced as the winner of a substantial part of the Australian Army LAND 121 Project. Once again this was a first for us as we had not constructed a model of these vehicles. It was decided by DMO to have this model built as one of the 6 x 6 utility vehicle and we would build this to the scale of 1:10 also to match the ASLAV and BUSHMASTER models.
Drawings were found of the basic vehicle and we did a lot of our own design work on how this would be built. One again our friends at 1AFDS at RAAF AMBERLEY came through as they had recently taken delivery of several of these vehicles, so dozens of photos arrived to help us with the construction and detailing.
The drawings were completed and entered into the laser for cutting. The chassis was built from large Evergreen stock strip and all the suspension, rear tray and cab details fitted to this frame work. The body was built up by having an internal body box and then fitting the outer body shell to this. This was rather different for us as most military vehicles have very flat or panelled sides. This vehicle had cabin sides that had a curve from top to bottom so had to be built up in layers on this internal box.
Once this curved body shape was completed, window frames and the roof were fitted on top. The cabin was then fitted to the chassis. Several masters and moulds were also made at this time including the wheels with hubs fitted, suspension components, rear view mirrors and other details for multiple parts. These were cast and fitted to the body and chassis. The tray back was built and fitted to the chassis ready for the frame and cover over the rear of the vehicle. The cover was made of a special laminated paper printed with the "HEX" pattern camo material.
The cab body was painted in its camo scheme and details like the mirrors, grill, bull bar, roof racks, lights and wheels were all fitted. The roof rack and bull bar were all built by hand using brass and everygreen plastic tubing as was the small Mercedes Benz grill logo. The model was fitted into the display case and the final details added. The model was delivered to the Land Warfare Conference held in Melbourne and went on display with the ASLAV, BUSHMASTER and small LHD models.