If I may be so bold, you are recreating a gun truck originally built by 18 and 19 year olds with what ever materials they could find. They took trucks out of service, slapped some made up armor on it, stole, borrowed, black marketed automatic weapons by whatever means were necessary to arm their trucks. You are doing a fantastic job and when you are done it will be gorgeous. But, maybe, a little rough around the edges might be a bit more accurate? Regardless, I hope you will solve your dilemma and I can’t wait for the finished project.
Thanks for the kind words of encouragement! Don't worry, there will be plenty of "rough around the edges". I will still try to hide the wood inside the armor panels as much as possible. Probably nobody would notice, but my OCD will notice.
I was able to fit the hatch up today. Even though the opening for the hatch wasn't square, I was able to rig up a makeshift guide for my angle grinder to cut away the 18ga sheet metal, then used a jig saw to remove the wood. I was surprised how easy it was, and how well it came out. It won't be as unobtrusive as yours, but given the amount of foot
traffic in the truck at shows, I think this is a necessary evil. Still need to add a padlock hasp and door stop, though
Was also able to get some painting done inside the box. Mainly focused on the areas in-between the inner and outer armor.
Also test fit the radio shelf. It's a modified HMMWV shelf so not period correct, but works well for my layout, and it won't really be seen once the radio is mounted to it.
Hope to finish painting during the week so I can start adding all the bling next weekend.