Monday, November 19, 2012


   It seems like I accomplish models in spurts. Several get done in a short period of time and then long periods of drought between. Well here's hoping this is the start of a spurt. I've been working out of state with my youngest son all summer. The will be a hiatus for a few short months and then I'm back down to work in Penna. again for a much shorter time. Hopefully, it will be back to Maine for good when I'm finished down there sometime in the early spring. Suffice it to say, I get no modeling done down there.
   So here's a piece just finished in my first three days back at the bench. No not continuously for three days. The '37 Chevy from Sylvan has been a favorite of mine and I've built quite a few now. This is the second wrecker I've done with the '37 and I changed the look a bit with this one by adding the fendered bed. The boom is also scratch built and I placed the Jordan wheels on it. The grille has been Bare Metal Foil-ed and the paints are Floquil Rail colors. A very light coat of clear flat lacquer dulled it up and a few washes were done. A very light dusting with artists chalks finish it.
    Short but sweet this time, thanks for looking.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Up close

Unfortunately my Sony Cybershot died this last week. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Although financially I really wasn't prepared to shell out the money for the camera I wanted, I happened on one ebay auction that nobody seemed to be paying much attention to. What retails for just under $300 I picked up for $136, a Canon Powershot 300HS. I am truly impressed right out of the gate with it's ability to take very close macro shots. It does however have the unnerving drawback of a bad field of focus in macro but whose doesn't in a point and shoot camera? It also does very well in low light conditions. Something the Sony was entirely void of. Well my camera expertise is also sorely lacking so let me show you how well it really does do. The photo above is from a model you might remember from a few posts back. The Mack LJSW in a solid resin cab from Sheepscot that I did into a logger. It shows the detail of the logging bunks and something else you cannot see in any of the photos previously taken with the other camera, the diamond plate steps that I used to replace the resin ones. I urge you to click on the photos to see the enlarged photos for all the one's I'm showing here.

The photo of the Ford Model TT above is an example of what this camera can do under low light conditions. It is 7:30 pm on a very cloudy night in June and there is barely enough light to see where one was walking. And to add to the darkness, the model has been placed in the barn diorama which shields it from the light coming from the very small window in my office with the exception of what is coming through the even smaller windows of the diorama. Proof that the camera can see more than the naked eye. By the way, the Ford is something new, here's another photo of it.

I don't even know why I'm showing this one except that it does give a really fine example of how finely detailed Roco does things. The truck is a Kenworth C500DA oil field heavy hauler from Dennis Aust models that is put on the Roco chassis from a ten ton wrecker. The off road tires are from Roco too on Promotex rims that I altered to make them planetary.

Here's one last shot for this post that is again of the TT wrecker. The small tool box is made from brass shim stock and the inside is filled with VectorCut wrenches. Thanks for looking, enjoy. And give your kids a hug.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Back to stay

Yes, I think I'll keep doing this modeling thing. A few more recent pieces here. Starting with an old favorite, the '37 Chevy truck from Sylvan Scale. Pretty much box stock (no alterations done to the model.) except for using the Jordan 5 hole steel wheels. The covered livestock hauler in behind is a resin kit from the German outfit Kniga. I did lower the suspension a bit and used a two hole steel wheel on the trailer. I also covered the tarp that was already molded in the resin casting, with tissue. Just helped to make the seams at the glue joint less perceptible.

Sometimes you run across a model that is just too much like a toy. Such is the case with the Imex International KB8 from 1947-49. It is a diecast piece with a very thick paint job and plastic headlights that are mounted on the bumper. To creat this piece, I shortened the wheelbase and corrected the windshield area. I then used some appropriate headlamps and mounted them up on the fender where they belong. The wrecker unit is scratch built and sits on diamond plate. The wheels are from Athearn. After stripping all the paint off, I cleaned the casting and dipped it in Blacken-It. A chemical product that darkens most metals. This eliminates any coats of paint at all and provides a good tooth for anything that does get painted without priming.

I do feel fortunate to have friends like Ralph Ratcliffe. Ralph is the renowned modeler responsible for countless numbers of masters for models brought to us by the likes of Sheepscot Scale and Don Mills Models as well as carrying his own line of great models now. I was the recipient of the Mack F700 cabover from Ralph because it had some defects and he could not sell it to Don Mills who markets the kit. With just the cab in hand I found a Promotex chassis suitable and put Ralph's wheels on it with his cab. The trailer is the Lonestar kit of the Trailmobile 40 ft. flatbed. A great kit for scale and prototypical accuracy but a bit of a bugger to assemble with all the fiddly little parts. Not impossible by any means but if you're just starting out in modeling, you might want to put this one on the shelf until you sharpen your skills a bit. The load is an old plastic kit from Preiser of a generic forage wagon chained down to the trailer .

The last thing I want to show for this posting is the trailer I originally intended for the Mack F700. It is a 28' wedge from Rail Power offered in a plastic kit. Of course I can always change my mind again.

Well thanks again for looking and happy modeling.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back at it

I was told that getting back into the things I love to do is a great therapy so I forced myself to sit down at the bench and broke out some old kits. It feels very good to create again after so long.

My first venture into the long trip back to anything resembling normalcy was the old Model AA Ford from Jordan Miniatures. I have an issue with the roof not being prototypical on this model but otherwise it's a fine kit. I combined it this time with parts from a Tichy wooden ore car kit to make a coal delivery truck. The bed (supposedly) has a screw auger dispensing system and I scratch built a geared gate for it. The 'coal' is fine granite dust sprayed black. Did some heavy weathering here on the truck.

I moved on to another old favorite in the Roco Zis-5 again and combined it with the tank from the Model AA kit. Added a bunch of scratch built details to come up with this Airport Fuel delivery truck. The (as yet unfinished) plane in the background is a 1938 Corben Super Ace which comes in a plastic kit from Williams Bros. Not a very detailed kit but it is one of the few aircraft models that scales to an exact 1/87.

This truck sat unfinished for the longest time. I knew where I wanted to go with it but didn't know how to get there exactly. The model is a cast metal kit from the now defunct Ivers Engineering of the 1953 REO Gold Comet. I built log bunks, head ache rack and the stinger trailer to come up with this.

I've always had a love affair with the pre and post war Chevy truck. My neighbor has two of them parked behind his house. It was great when Clare Gilbert at Sylvan Scale came up with this cab. Funny thing is, now Classic Metal Works and adp of Germany also have a model of this truck but neither is as prototypically accurate or close to scale as Clare's offering. Not only that but Clare has given us the model in a cabover configuration too. Which is what I used here for this pumper unit. I tried to stay true to the Art Deco form here with a scratch built bed. Many of the details are scratch built with some help from Ralph Ratcliffe models fender mounted siren.

We I've got lots more to show but that's it for now. I'd like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to all those that have wished us well and given their prayers and condolences following the tragedy that befell our family. It's all of those kind words from you folks that have helped immensely to overcome what I thought was the end to the happiness and enjoyment life can offer. The realization that so many good hearts exist out there has given me the desire to participate in life again. Many thanks to each and every one.