Before I delve into my story of how I transformed a miniature model in to something that I always imagined, let me give you a small history of what the JONGA is and how important it means to us, as Indians.
The JONGA is actually the Nissan Patrol 60 and was a 4x4 vehicle made by the Japanese to tackle the bad roads of the country, following World War II. It became so popular there, that the Indian Army commissioned its production in 1963 at Jabalpur, which is where the Nissan Patrol 60 donned the name JONGA (read more about this and how this name cropped up in the Scale Model Cart’s BLOG section).
Being born and brought up in Belgaum, Karnataka a city bordering Maharashtra, this city is known for some major military centers such asThe Maratha Light Infantry, The Platoon Commando Wings and The Airmen Training Centre among others and so the Jonga was an everyday sight during my childhood days. With time, the JONGA disappeared in the 80’s and I moved on with my career and life, settling in Benguluru.
Old memories got revived after I saw the Nissan Patrol being sold one day on Scale Model Cart website. Not losing any time, I immediately placed an order to possess this rare collectible. I wanted to get hold of something that brought back fresh memories of my childhood.
The model of the JONGA which was available on the website was blue & white but in my mind, it was bathed in the color of our prestigious Indian army. So I decided that the only way I can have it my colours would be to transform the available model in to the JONGA in the colours, I wanted it to be – The Regal Army Green.
I was excited to accept the package from Scale Model Cart and within a few days of its arrival, the transformation process began on my 2 feet table. Since, I had all the equipment's such as airbrush painting machine, decals, etc. I began with the following steps,
1. I disassembled the body of the stock blue and white Jonga.
2. Removed the steering wheel from left (originally placed) and fixed it to the right.
3. With the help of the airbrush, I painted the Jonga.
4. Fixed few decals and hand painted the insignia of the Platoon Commando Wings of Belgaum.
Turning the stock JONGA into its respected military counterpart was a fulfilling experience and the finished product was not only something which instilled feelings of pride, accomplishment and a tinge of patriotism in my heart, but also something which stood apart from everything else in my die cast collection shelf.
I thank Scale Model Cart and their Desi Firang section for providing collectors like me, the ability to obtain “desi” collectibles relevant to India and its cultural history like no one else, and I also extend my personal thanks for providing me something that holds a precious and valuable connection to my own childhood.
Nandish B - Bangalore