Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On the job- dumps

Back in 1907, my grandfather P.Russell Fesmire and his brother started a contracting business in S.E. Pennsylvania. Most of my uncles and my father all entered the business eventually as did I. It wasn't unusual for me to spend my Saturdays and summers even as a little kid, on the job sites. What could be more entertaining to a 10 year old boy than to watch a backhoe fill dump trucks and watch dozers grade a site? So trucks on the job hold a familiarity that goes way back. We are fortunate that in the scale, there are an abundance of construction related vehicles and equipment available to us. For this section on construction vehicles, I'd like to focus on dump trucks. And with little text this time, I'm just going to load up a bunch of photos of dumps I've built. The shiny new looking dump above is the Mack Granite with a dump body given to me by the great modeler Joe Enriquez that he built from scratch and made a resin copy of. The Granite cab is from Masterbilt Models.

This next one is also a Mack Granite, the SBA (set back axle) again a Masterbilt cab, with a resin dump body from Ralph Ratcliffe. The paint is a transparent green over silver.

Stepping back a few years and going off road now is a quarry truck. This round belly dump is a cast metal kit from Alloy Forms of the Autocar Constructor. I've left the sides of the hood off here to expose the engine compartment and put some high flotation tires on the front.

Another off road dump is this Autocar DC 102 with rock bed and planetary rims on the rear. The cab is a solid resin piece from Sheepscot Scale.

Of course not all dumps are monstrous high volume machines. Many residential contractors have been using smaller dumpers like this '56 Chevy above for years. This model is from the German company Wiking and has been out of production for many years. Some might think that I'm a bit crazy for taking a rather valuable collectors piece and changing it from it's original condition, ruining it's value. I suppose they are right and had I known it's value when I modeled this I might not have. I have seen these fetch as much as $100 on Ebay in good condition. This particular model holds a great deal of meaning for me in that it's the first true 1/87 scale model I ever owned. I received it on my eighth birthday making it almost 50 years old. I have had several resin copies made of it since.

Up until now I've shown construction type dumps but not all dumps are intended for building purposes. This Oshkosh has had a plow frame put on it and represents a municipal snow removal truck. This solid resin cab is a Sheepscot product.

A few years ago, Busch came out with this really nice model of a Dodge Power Wagon. What could be more suitable for use as a plow truck? The plow unit here is scratch built and the dump bed is from a cheap toy.

Another use for dumps is not seen often anymore. Coal delivery seems to be a chore of the past. This Autocar cabover U90 from Sheepscot has been fitted with a dump body from Lifelike.

We'll make this Mack BX the last for this time around. A slight departure from solid resin here for Sheepscot. This model is a cast metal and brass and I used another of the cheap Lifelike dump beds here also.

Well again, just a few examples of a type of vehicle I have modeled and I'm sure others will crop up from time to time. I hope to show more construction related vehicles soon and who knows what else.


Wayne said...


I really enjoy your work. It's top notch. The Blog is coming along great.

Peter said...

Very, very nice truck kit builds!
Some of the best I've seen.
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Uncle Chester & Aunt Doris!
It's Marilyn! I can't believe I stumbled on your blog! We miss you so much and love your models.
We love you Both!

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