Building the Geepstar - The Bodywork.

The Geepstar bodywork plans were printed full size so they would be stuck to the chosen sheet material and cut with a jigsaw.

The Geepstar is a monocoque construction with metal fabricated parts. The body was made from good quality 12mm plywood, with some aluminium panels.


The Finished Geepstar


To minimise costs, it was planned to make as much as possible out of surplus material and scrap parts in the workshop. The exception was the wood for the bodywork which was purchased new.









Sticking the plans to the sheet material

12mm Birch plywood was purchased to make the body.

The instruction book came with a suggested layout for the plans to get the most from an 8ft by 4ft sheet of material. However the actual sheet was metric and therefore slightly undersized. So a different layout had to be used. Not all the pieces could be got from a single sheet so a further half sheet was purchased to make the remaining parts.

The plans only came with one side template so the first side was cut out and then used to as an outline to make the second side.









A jigsaw was used to cut out the majority of the panels but this was not very successful at cutting the straight lines. Edges that needed to be straight were cut oversize and then trim with the router guided b a straight edge.

Not all the parts were cut out in one go. Using the instruction book as a guide it was clear that some parts should be cut to suit the dimensions of the already assembled parts. These parts were cut when needed to ensure a good fit.

The photograph on the right shows the routing of the front grill slots. Five slots were cut instead of four as per the MKII instructions. The slots were cut by first drilling 20mm holes at the top and bottom with a flat bit and then joining the holes with the router.

Routing out the front radiator slots









Base with batons in place.

The base was cut out with the jigsaw and the edges indicated on the plans had batons glued and screwed in place using waterproof adhesive.

A pilot drill with adjustable countersink was used to drill the holes and this made construction much quicker. Each baton had glue applied, then it was held in place with clamps and then drilled and screwed.

The gap for the steering column was positioned for a right-hand drive vehicle.









The front was fitted first. Glued and screwed, ensuring it was upright.

Next the sides. Again care was taken to ensure they were upright and in line.









Upper cross piece and inner wings in place

The 'J6' crosspiece was cut to ensure the sides were upright. The front inner wings were made from the wheel arch cut out parts, which ensured they were the correct profile.









Back, Dashboard and riser fitted

The dashboard was another part cut to suit so that the width was the same as the outsides of the car.

The riser had to be vented to cool the motor and so a surplus aluminium louvered vent was fitted.


Aluminium formed round inner wings

The plans specified 0.8mm aluminium for the formed panels of the bodywork. However only 0.5mm was available from the scrap bin and in fact this was nice and easy to form.

The panels were cut slightly oversized and nailed in place. Once fixed the outside was filed flush to the Jeep sides. The plans showed the front edge to be bent up and secured onto the inside of the front panel but this was omitted for simplicity. Instead some builders caulk was used to seal and glue all the edges.









MKII wing details

Another MKII feature was the addition of small wing details over the front wheel arches.

In reality the full sized Jeep would have a tapered bonnet line and parallel wing edges. However the Geepstar used these clever little additions to create a more Jeep like appearance. They are tapered towards the back and help the front look the right shape.

They also add 3" to the overall vehicle width.









Front supports (arrowed) now fitted.

Front support beams were added and screwed to batons on the bulkhead and front panel. These beams would be used to hold the top of the curved aluminium wing sections.

However before fitting the aluminium panels, the steering column was fitted while access was easy.









Once the steering gearbox had been fitted, the formed wing tops were installed.

These were cut to length (slightly over long actually) and marked and drilled to take evenly spaced nails.

The aluminium parts were glued and nailed along the lower edge and then formed and secured over the wooden profile. Small round head nails were used which would look like rivets once painted. The front edge of the aluminium was filed flush with the front panel to finish.

Formed aluminium wings.


Geepstar with wheels fitted.

The wheels were supplied by Real Life Toys. Although trailer wheel substitutes were considered, the supplied wheels had better tyres, bearings and a greasing point, and represented very good value.


The main body of the jeep was sanded and painted in matt green. The colour was mixed at the local hardware store and it was "Delux Gooseberry Fool 1"

Red oxide on metal parts

Body in Primer

Body in Green


Three coats of green were used. The finish was OK but brush marks were hard to avoid in the matt paint.

All the metal parts were painted in Hammerite smooth black paint and re-assembled with grease and Nyloc nuts.


Some nice head lights were purchased on Ebay, advertised as lights for a 'ride-on Hummer'. They were slightly too small for the holes in the Jeep so some wooden bezels were turned from Plywood.

Pair of 12v lights

Bezel turned from plywood

Light fitted


The Windscreen.

The windscreen was made differently to the plans because of the materials available. Instead of an aluminium 'u' section channel being used for the frame some 8m square steel bar was bent in the vice to form the right shape.

Once this part was formed to the correct profile a 12mm x 2mm thick strip of steel was tack welded to the outside of this.

Welding the Frame


Finished Profile

When viewed from the front, this provided a 4mm shoulder on the front edge to accommodate the screen itself.

The screen was made from an old picture frame which had polycarbonate instead of glass. The profile was traced from the frame and cut on the bandsaw.

The polycarbonate was then drilled and screwed to the frame using 3mm screws.


The screen hinges were made to the plans as normal hinges would give a finger trap hazard.

However the angle of the frame was tilted back by 10 degrees so that when in the upright position it would not be exactly vertical. Accordingly the position of the pivot was adjusted so that the screen still laid flat when in the down position. The lower edge of the screen was sanded to 10 degrees to align with the screen base when in the upright position.

The screen was held in place with two over-centre clips on the cab side of the screen.


Inside the car, the bulkhead was added to seperate the passengers from the contents under the bonnet. This was angled so that the bottom was as far forwad as possible to maximise foot room in the cab.


To finish the bodywork some vinyl decals were added. An axe was also put on one side and a painted beach spade on the other.

Two seats were cut from old pine shelving and a Jerry can was made from an old oil container.

The following images give a good view of the finished vehicle.

Click pictures for larger images.