Thursday, January 3, 2013

In kit form

If you're not familiar with the line of vehicles that Athearn is producing these days, you're missing some great models. I've already shown a few that I've altered and even one almost identical to the one shown here in the Ford F850 boom truck. But as good as they are, I find the paint job from the factory a bit heavy. I know this because we now have the opportunity to get some of these models in kit form. They are reminiscent of the large scale plastic kits we all built as kids (and maybe still do!). The castings on this Ford are crisp and clean and there is no lacking of detail for the scale. One of the reasons I like them in kit form besides the fact that I no longer need to strip the model, is that it enables the modeler to paint sub assemblies before putting the model all together. For this particular truck, I built handrails and racks out of .025" styrene rod to make the truck a reinforcing rod delivery truck. Aside from that the truck is built according to instructions. I should add that Trip Aiken of Truck Stop Models sent me this kit and a set of instructions that he wanted me to proof read, add to and/or alter to make it an easy build. So I had a slight hand in the creation of this piece to the public albeit a very small hand. Everything is assembled using plastic solvent glues. I painted it with Testors Acrylic with surprising results. Acrylics are very touchy to spray with an airbrush. I had no problems here and I believe the results speak for themselves. I should add that there is a very thin coat of clear flat lacquer over everything here before installing the glass. I really must find a more suitable cable material.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

End of year completions

2012 could have very well been a better year for many. I know it could in my instance but that hasn't deterred me from working at the bench. As I've said before, this hobby has become great therapy in fact.

First one I'd like to talk about is a venture into kit bashing I never thought I'd be doing only a few years ago. My limited knowledge of the real truck here had me a bit confused as to what exactly I was building but after a lot of research and the picking of others brains, I came up with the Kenworth 848 in a western logger. The base model is the Athearn Kenworth that one can see in this photo below has been pretty extensively dissected. Gone are the fenders, steps and hood sides. In starting to reassemble a truck from this I used square tube styrene to create new fenders and covered them in the excellent Plano brass diamond plate. A new grille was created using styrene and aluminum corrugated roofing.

I chose to fit this rig on the Model Power Kenworth chassis because it had the correct wheelbase and an engine. The engine however was far too small for the scale and was replaced. You see the new Cat C12 in place with a new bumper and mirror standards added. This engine is a bit new for this truck but my discussion with others familiar with this truck tell me they were tremendously underpowered from the factory and many had engines swapped out for more powerful one's. The air cleaners here just don't work for me even though prototypical on several I've seen.

Loosely fitted here are the cab protector and log bunks that are from a resin kit by Dennis Aust Models. Dennis has suspended production for a while and a huge void exists in the scale right now. We hope he starts up again soon. Also seen are the new air cleaners, mirrors,  a few steps and grab bars and a coat of paint on the cab.  I always do a dark primer on everything these days that has a lot to do with my finishing/weathering techniques.

It's at this point that I do what is necessary for a finished model to appear. Headlamps are a styrene dowel drilled out painted chrome and filled with Sobo clear craft glue. The cab protector and log bunks are fastened and a finish coat of paint goes on. In this case Floquil UP armor yellow Rail color, a perfect match by the way for the old Cat yellow. Notice the fuel tank made of sheet brass is between the cab and it's protector as in the original.


Of course this kind of truck is useless without a trailer and Dennis' kit provides the makings of one. Tires and wheels on the truck are Roco off road on Promotex 6 spoke rims. A few washes  and a shot with some artists chalks ready this piece for photos. So here are a few.


Number two of this post was a fun, quick build as are most of these Sylvan pieces for me. So just a few quick shots of this 1960 White 4000 in an oil field boom truck.

 Everyone have a safe and Happy New Year please and let your loved ones know you care.