Sunday, October 19, 2008

tanks a lot

I suppose looking at the prices on the gas pumps the other day made me think of this one. No matter what the liquid is that we are in contact daily with, usually was in a tanker of some sort or another at one time. Even water is either transported by tanker or used from a tanker like in the example above of the '56 Chevy LCF that is similar to many fire department tanker unit from back then. The resin cab for this truck was placed on a Roco military chassis and made to look like the old 4 wheel drive conversions back then by Marmon-Harrington Corp. The tank itself ironically is made from a cigarette lighter that I made bunks for to fit on the chassis.

Of course tankers are most well known for hauling fuel as is the case with the unit being hauled here by a Mack Vision with flat top sleeper. The tanker is from Promotex and has merely been repainted and detailed.

Way back when, food related liquids were almost always hauled in wooden tanks. The truck above was modeled after a cider/vinegar transport truck. The truck itself is a 1922 Packard and the tank is modeled with Manila paper wrapped around a wooden dowel.

I knew I'd get around to showing more of that 1930's truck that I made so many versions of in an earlier posting. Here's one more in the form of a tanker. The tank was made this time by wrapping a dowel with sheet brass and a pair of wire bands.

If you remember seeing the movie "Duel" then you might recognize the Peterbilt 281 above that chased Dennis Weaver all over the desert in his poor little red Valiant. This model took some doing by adding 6 scale inches to the height of an inexpensive Imex Pete and cutting out the heavy window glazing that comes with the original model. Then the grille was scratch built and it was fit onto a customized chassis and all the details such as fuel tanks, steps, wheels/tires and mirrors were added. The trailer is an old Wiking piece that I added the tool/chain box to and all was heavily weathered. I love these old Petes and when I drove a truck, it was one similar to this.

The Peterbilt above is a rather unusual truck. It is a fuel and lube truck that would be in service supplying fuel, lubricants and hydraulic fluids to large equipment that cannot be driven back to a fuel and service facility. The spent fluids would also be carried away with a truck like this. The model itself is the Wiking Peterbilt and the tanker bed is from a train load that has been detailed.

To the left above is another of the Sheepscot International R180's in a highway tractor pulling a fuel tanker similar to the one on the Duel Pete. On the right is the same Sheepscot R 180 cab this time in a milk tanker. The body on this is also from Sheepscot and is cast plaster. Two very distinctively different trucks using the same cab.

Often a piece designed for the military is quite suitable for civilian use as is the case above with the Oshkosh tanker. More commonly known as a HEMTT this model is from the Roco Miniatur civilian line and is painted to represent an airfield refueler.

We'll be entering the area of fantasy for this next piece as I don't believe anything like this ever really existed. But I loved the truck and wanted to do something really different with it. The Henschel is a German truck from the 30's that is shown here in an airfield fire/rescue unit that has been with hyrail wheels. Perhaps there was a large enough industrial facility to once need something like this but who cares really. I just like it.

Lastly I'm going to come around full circle and show another Chevrolet fire department tanker from 1956. This one is a resin casting of the Wiking Chevy that has been sitting roadside for many years.

Well again it's been my pleasure to show some of my builds to you all and I hope you enjoyed. Tanks again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

on the job - here to assist

I don't particularly like the thoughts of having to call for a tow in real life. But for some reason the wrecker has become one of the model types I do quite a few of. When I started building them I was using wrecker units from other models and a favorite was the Holmes unit that came with the B and R model Macks that were so well done by Athearn. The International R 190 above left came from Classic Metal Works and I fit the Holmes wrecker unit from Athearn directly onto the chassis and added some corrugated metal fenders. It's companion to the right is the IH LC 180 cabover that had a bed from a Wiking model altered to hold the Holmes unit.

Much more to my liking and frankly just a much better model is the Sheepscot IH R190 in a solid resin cab. This cab is prototypically correct and appears less toy like than the CMW offering. I scratch built the tow boom on this model.

I showed this one already but it's one of my favorites. The 1930's Zis 5 from Roco that I scratch built the wrecker body for out of old watch parts and styrene. Just another glimpse above.

I have a customer and now friend that loves his old trucks and among his collection resides a 1938 round nose Ford cabover. When Clare Gilbert of Sylvan put out the call for info on this truck I went over to my friends barn with camera and ruler and gave the information and photos to Clare. He was kind enough to give me the first of this model to which I scratch built the wrecker unit for on what you see above. I was very pleased at what Clare did with this truck and am happy to have been able to contribute to bringing it to the scale.

Another of Sylvans trucks that you have already seen is the '37 Chevy. This time done up as a tow truck with again, a scratch built wrecker unit. These are rather simple affairs really with styrene rod pinched on the ends and a Tichy bolt used to hold them together. The winches are mostly all scratch built as well on these trucks.

The model above is one of the resin castings of the Wiking '56 Chevy I mentioned in an earlier post. In the resin casting process it sometimes occurs that voids and bubbles appear. This I tried to overcome by making a beater 4x4 wrecker with this model. The bed on this is a very nice piece that comes with a Trident model of a newer Chevy that I put on a chassis from a 1/72 scale Jeep.

Another '56 Chevy available in the scale is the LCF, a resin kit from Resin Unlimited. For this truck, I scratch built the bed and wrecker unit.

As you can see, I've cranked quite a few tow trucks out and most of them altered greatly from the original model. However, sometimes I just like detailing an already good model which is what happened here with the Wiking Peterbilt. Some nice photo etched mirrors, different tires and rims and a few decals over a glossy paint job here is all that was done.

OK, one more as I watch the clock ready to go to AM from PM here. This a really heavy duty military rig. The M936 from Roco Minitanks that was detailed by painting and adding a protective screen for the wrecker operator, hydraulic hoses and a chain.
Hope you enjoyed and don't need the services of a tow truck anytime soon.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

on the job - equipment

Trucks and cars are what we all are most familiar with since we see them everyday when we get into our own vehicle to ride to work, play or errand. It isn't a rare thing to see the equipment used for work being transported by trailer so we recognize many of the pieces I'm about to show, but don't take the time to look carefully at them. Most prominent among them would be earthmoving equipment since we can also see this type of vehicle as we wait to be flagged through a road construction/repair project. No comment on the number of workers it takes to dig a trench here. Among them backhoes play an important role in getting unwanted material into dumps and away from the job site. The small backhoe above is a European version in the Liebherr 912, a plastic model from Wiking. This is a good example of why I prefer to weather the metal blades like the bucket above on a piece as I do, instead of trying to wear paint off to metal in the case of a diecast or white metal piece. The technique of painting first with an appropriate color and then adding the metal look to it can be done with virtually any material be it plastic wood or even paper. Hence I use it for everything with the same consistent results.

Here's another example of a backhoe or shovel if you will, from back in the days of steam. This Bucyrus Erie B2 is a magnificent model from Vintage Vehicles (Jordan) that is a plastic kit with quite a few parts to it. Not a kit for the novice. I show it above with a vintage lowboy trailer which is a great little and very simple cast metal and wood kit from Rio Grande models. And another version on the right of the same model.

To achieve the grade on a road, graders much like the Caterpillar here are used. This being a very inexpensive Norscot diecast piece from WalMart that I merely painted the plastic pieces, applied a few washes and then used chalks for the final weathering.

Having grown up in a farm community has brought me to think of work vehicles in terms of tractors and other various farm equipment. There was a lot of red International Harvester equipment that I saw in my youth but a few nearby preferred the "green" tractors for their work. The John Deere styled model B was very popular back then and I show the Innovative Designs cast metal model here that I turned into a single tire tripod version. Often seen with a tractor like this would be the discs shown in the photo with it or something similar to the forage wagon on the right which is a plastic kit from Preiser that represents a Euro version.

Here's another John Deere called the "Waterloo Boy" which I believe is an orchard style tractor that I have weathered heavily. This another example of the very cheap stuff once available in scale at WalMart.

And before we leave the farm (something I fear will never leave me), I'll show one more out of use old tractor. The Fordson was one of the first affordable tractors to farm folk. This one from Jordan Miniatures in the farm version. They also offer one for industrial use with steel disc wheels. Henry might well turn in his grave seeing this one left to rot out under the old apple tree.

Also Euro is another Liehberr piece from Kibri in a plastic kit to which I have added a brass lattice boom from Sheepscot models and an excellent cast metal dragline setup from Langley models. This model has been weathered to represent a unit that has not seen use in a while.

Well so much for me neglecting my responsibilities and ignoring the fast growing honey-do list. I must go now but will continue to present things at work soon. Thanks again for coming.