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Old 03-06-2021, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default The real Gladiator

I recently had the opportunity to acquire a scale 60's Gladiator. I have always been a fan of the FSJ line of Jeeps and the Gladiator is my favorite. This one will be a depiction of a '68 J3000 US Forest service truck.

A little background on how I got. It's going to need some work but I must give the credit to Nathaneal at MCI Racing for this custom, 1/9th scale, Gladiator body. He scaled it to exactly what I was looking for and kept me up to date throughout the process and even sent me a pic of it when it was done. This is a "one-of-a-kind", so due to it's size and the effort that had to go into producing this masterpiece, it's the only one they will do. I guess I broke them because they are limiting their bodies to 1/18 scale and smaller now. I appreciated the opportunity they afforded to me and will try to do it justice.

It's going to be a slow burn on this one(nothing new there, lol). It has a 14" WB and is about 8.6" wide. I mocked it up with K44's, cut down Hawkeye 1.9 tires and Boomracing Classic Yota 1.55 rims. The frame will be a custom built frame with leaf springs. I'm planning on replicating a period correct interior for it, but that's a long ways off.

On to the pics...first one is a pic from MCI Racing when it was finished, then a couple of mock up shots, and then the inspiration pics.
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

VERY cool!

Interestingly enough, I just scored an out-of-production RC4WD "Expedition" Lexan body - it's a somewhat inaccurate but obvious take on the SJ Gladiator.

Among the issues are side windows that are too small, fenders that are too big, and no protruding lip at the top of the windshield - which is the part that bothers me the most, as I can cut out the side windows and trim the fenders way down to minimize the others.

It DOES have at least an attempt at a drop bed, and a better than average decal sheet.

It is within a few millimeters in width, length, and wheelbase of my TRX-4 Defender, so it will likely become the occasional replacement, and will lower the weight and COG when used...

I'll be watching your build with interest!

BTW - there's a SJ Gladiator front end conversion for 1:1 rigs, my friend Miatardo sent me the link to a story on them:

https://www.drivingline.com/articles...n-inside-line/

and found an image of the discontinued RC4WD body - not nearly as nice a shade of green as the Forest Service truck!

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Old 03-07-2021, 05:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

I remember that body! Wow...that goes goes back a few years.

It was based on the J12, a JK conversion concept, which also lead to the Nukizer from Axial. The J12 was a custom idea of creating a Gladiator type truck based on the JKU chassis. It even had a bench seat conversion for the interior with a plaid seat cover to boot. There was also a Cherokee Chief concept but it never materialized.

Jeep has since released the Gladiator based on the JLU which is now designated as the JT. I've seen a couple of pics where the JT was made into a single cab with a longer bed and it looks much better, imo.
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

Nice!! Look forward to seeing how your Gladiator progresses.
The pics of the 1:1 trucks are gorgeous.
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Old 03-07-2021, 01:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 58_Willys View Post
I remember that body! Wow...that goes goes back a few years.

It was based on the J12, a JK conversion concept, which also lead to the Nukizer from Axial. The J12 was a custom idea of creating a Gladiator type truck based on the JKU chassis. It even had a bench seat conversion for the interior with a plaid seat cover to boot. There was also a Cherokee Chief concept but it never materialized.

Jeep has since released the Gladiator based on the JLU which is now designated as the JT. I've seen a couple of pics where the JT was made into a single cab with a longer bed and it looks much better, imo.
Excellent find!

Yep - that J12 concept is nearly spot-on to the RC4WD body, only thing is the leading edge of the roof above the windshield.

Damn, I wish they got that detail right. I just MIGHT try to make a Lexan visor and bolt it on...
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Old 03-07-2021, 05:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

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Originally Posted by JimK View Post
Nice!! Look forward to seeing how your Gladiator progresses.
The pics of the 1:1 trucks are gorgeous.
Thanks...hopefully I can get the scale version looking as good as the 1:1

Quote:
Originally Posted by durok View Post
Excellent find!

Yep - that J12 concept is nearly spot-on to the RC4WD body, only thing is the leading edge of the roof above the windshield.

Damn, I wish they got that detail right. I just MIGHT try to make a Lexan visor and bolt it on...
I agree with you about adding a visor piece like they did on the 1:1 rendition.


I managed to tear down the the 8274 and painted it so it resembles the real one...the gray color just didn't do it for me. I bought the bumper back when I decided to build this and got it set up today with the winch. I have the hooks just like the 1:1 hooks under the bumper. I'm not sure that I want to mount them the same way, cause they'll get stuck on everything. I was thinking about front face, or the top side but that's just so common...opinions welcomed.
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

Looking good so far man! I would say with open hooks your kinda stuck with pointing them straight ahead either on top of bumper or underneath. I know on top of the bumper is kinda boring but its probably about best place, that or underneath but further back so they are kinda tucked into the approach angle.
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Old 03-08-2021, 01:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

Wow, that 3D printed body is awesome! Excited to see where you take this

Those 1:1 renderings are a bit questionable
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 350TacoZilla View Post
Looking good so far man! I would say with open hooks your kinda stuck with pointing them straight ahead either on top of bumper or underneath. I know on top of the bumper is kinda boring but its probably about best place, that or underneath but further back so they are kinda tucked into the approach angle.
Yeah...I may just go with the underside and live with it. It's only meant for trail running anyways.

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Originally Posted by ScaleLifeNewbie View Post
Wow, that 3D printed body is awesome! Excited to see where you take this

Those 1:1 renderings are a bit questionable
It's definitely gonna need some work, especially the grill area. I'm seriously contemplating a completely new panel for that area, so that the "V" shape can be added back in, the way it should be.

Those renderings for the J12 are a depiction of the RC body posted by durok.

The 2 Forest Green pics are what I'm going for. The only item that seems to be outta place, in those pics, are the vertical tail lights. Not sure if those tail lights match with the front grill area...they should be the round tail ights with that grill design. The vertical lights go with the "razor" grill. It's not uncommon for people, doing restorations, to remove the "razor" grill to get the older look. I'm no expert, so I may be totally off-base here.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

I am all about this thing. What a fantastic looking one-off body!
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

This is going to be a good one! Looking forward to more progress.
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Old 04-10-2021, 12:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

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Originally Posted by addiemonster View Post
I am all about this thing. What a fantastic looking one-off body!
Quote:
Originally Posted by chino63 View Post
This is going to be a good one! Looking forward to more progress.
Thanks guys...gonna be kinda slow going. I'll be getting back to it, but my CJ-5's are taking up my hobby time, at the moment.
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: The real Gladiator

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Thanks guys...gonna be kinda slow going. I'll be getting back to it, but my CJ-5's are taking up my hobby time, at the moment.
Take your time, my 4Runner build is my dream car and that's exactly why it's taking me forever to finish.
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