Saturday, September 6, 2008

A step into today



I drove a big rig for a very short time many years ago and loved it. But leaving the house early Monday mornings and returning late on Fridays just wasn't conducive to raising a family. So when I found out my wife was pregnant with our first, I joined the family construction business. That hasn't stopped me from having alove for the over the road tractor trailers. It was said to me some time ago, that I only build vintage vehicles and viewing much of what I have shown so far perhaps one might get that impression. But I have built many a modern truck in my modeling over the years and thought I'd like to show just a few like the Kenworth W900L above. This is a diecast truck from a Dutch firm called Edocar that has been stripped, repainted and had a few extras added.
The Mack Vision is their first entry into an aerodynamic body and I must say it is one of the more attractive of the type. This model is a flawless resin cab of the Vision presented by Masterbilt Models. It requires the purchase of the Herpa/Promotex Mack CH (which the Vision replaced on the Mack roster by the way) as a donor vehicle for the chassis. It is an easy fit and the glass from the CH fits nicely also. This particular truck has been outfitted with a high rise sleeper unit also from Masterbilt and Budd style wheels from Boley. The trailer is a Great Dane 40' van from whom I do not remember but it has spoke wheels from Lonestar. I painted this model with automotive lacquers. They give a beautiful finish but a word of caution to putting it on plastic models. Prime, the lacquer will most definitely alligator raw plastic.
Staying both with Mack and with Masterbilt Models, I'd like to show the other newer Mack that is used most often as a contractors truck and not particularly a highway tractor, that is the Granite. For this truck, I chose the Lonestar lumber body and added wheels and tires from another fabulous supplier of resin castings, Dennis Aust Models. The black banding on the wood stacks is merely wire dipped in Blacken-it, an etchant that turns just about any metal black without having to paint on a finish. The truck bed tie downs are a tape that is used by R/C model airplane folks that is put on and heated to make it tight.
Some time ago WalMart came out with a line of diecast trucks distributed through an outfit called Malibu. Although they were good to scale and the bodies looked quite accurate, there was always something about them that was in discrepancy with the real thing. In the case of the above truck and most of the others bearing the Malibu name, it was the grille. My guess is that to avoid licensing , they couldn't make an exact replica of the prototype. These trucks also came with a very thick paint job that in my opinion obscured a lot of detail. What I show is the Freightliner Columbia and the grille fix was an easy one. I also stripped the heavy paint from the model and did this one up in the colors of Sunbury Transportation out of Fredericton, N.B. We see a lot of these bright yellow trucks bearing the Sunbury logo here in New England. The great decals on this truck are from the now defunct PenBay Equipment company.
The last to show this session for modern vehicles is an very unusual truck that one might never see. It is the Kenworth C500B oilfield truck that has been used as a prime mover in the Saudi oil fields. They don't get a lot bigger or more powerful than this and you'll notice the large high floatation tires (super singles) all the way around this monster. The model itself is another offering from Dennis Aust models and has been placed on a 10 ton military chassis with winch from Roco Minitanks. All of the resin details on the model such as fuel tanks, air cleaners and spare tire holder are also from Dennis Aust. There are also photo etched mirrors and a roof rack details and to add even more, I put wire grabs and steps in appropriate places as on the real truck as well as fender mounted turn signals.
So there ya go. a few modern rigs from me and I hope to have the time and room to show the many more that come out of my little 1/87 garage from time to time.

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