Rocketeer builds the Jungle Cruiser from Tim Tyler's Luck (1937)

The other day, putzing around in the Cavern of Doom, I stumbled across an old resin kit of the Juggernaut, a tank-like vehicle used in the 1936 serial Undersea Kingdom. I figured, why not? and decided it’d be my next project.

But when looking for pictures on the Internet, I kept seeing pictures of its later incarnation as the Jungle Cruiser from 1937’s Tim Tyler’s Luck. The Cruiser exerted a strange fascination over me–after all, it had a sawtoothed strake, just like my all-time favorite sci-fi vehicle, the Disney Nautilus–and I began to ponder how to revise the Juggernaut into the* Cruiser*.

Eventually I decided that it’d be best to just scratchbuild a Jungle Cruiser; that way I could display the two vehicles next to each other; a sort of before-and-after.

Here are the resin kit (brown) and the start of the Jungle Cruiser (white), side by side. I used silicone putty to make a mold to cast a copy the Jug’s grill for the Cruiser.

The Cruiser has a complicated set of skid bars, which needed to be built, too. Had to think a lot, piecing together all the (inevitably blurry) photos I’d found to determine exactly what the skid bars actually looked like. I eventually bought a copy of Tim Tyler’s Luck, and it helped a lot to see the machine in action.

A lot of MicroMark 3-D rivet decals were needed.

Here’s the final result, with a little movie camera I found online.

And a rear view.

Look out! (1936)

Look out! (1937 version). You can see one of the Cruiser’s goofiest features here; affixed to the fender of this futuristic expeditionary machine is a rear-view mirror straight off a 1934 Ford truck. It only appears in some pictures; I suspect it was removed by a low-hanging branch during filming. :smiley:

So, do you count the rivets to make sure all sides had the same number?

And once again, amazing work. Thanks for sharing.

Fantastic, of course! I like how you went with a “dirt backlot” setting for them, as if they were just outside a soundstage somewhere in Burbank.

And yeah: how did the rivet spacing & repetition not drive you insane?

The rivets are little blobs of some kind of resin, printed on decal paper. One cuts out a line of rivets, dips them in water, and applies them like any other decal. Makes the job immensely easier.

Nifty. :slight_smile:

So you can buy rivet decals of different size rivets and spacing? Cool. Talk about your niche industry eh.

Yeah, a real niche market. But, surprisingly, two different outfits make them: Micromark and Archer Fine Transfers. The Micromarks are cheaper and cruder than the Archers.

The models look remarkably like Soviet tanks of the 1920s and '30s (before they hit on the T-34 and KV-1).

There’s a future project for you! Especially the infamous Soviet “flying tank” that was supposed to be able to cruise into any battlefield.

Awesone as always. I especially like seeing the in-progress of the scratch-build one.

Sweet job! I love to see what you make. Never heard of the show before but just now watched trailers on youtube.

Incredible job on the Jungle Cruiser, I collect Tim Tyler’s Luck lobby cards. I’m really surprised no one came out with a model kit for the jungle Cruiser.

Note that this is an almost year-old thread, Georgeraft.

Thanks! It was a fun project; the pivotal moment was when I realized that it wouldn’t be much harder to scratchbuild a complete Cruiser than to convert the Juggernaut I had to a Cruiser–and then I could have both!

I love your work.