Sunday, February 24, 2013

Don't tell me it's raining.....

Most of you know the rest of that saying. And it may be a bit harsh to use it to describe what I'm feeling about the social communicating media we all know as Facebook. However it is an accurate expression to use regarding the way many folks are beginning to treat the groups I have subscribed to. Each and every one that I decided to visit and contribute to begin with "1/87 scale". To me this means we are supposed to discuss scale models, specifically 1/87 scale and what most of us accept as a reasonable tolerance. Personally I would include that to mean between 1/85 and 1/90 since we can't be perfect all the time as hard as we (should) try. Arguments have become heated at times and I confess to being right in the middle of them in many instances. Perhaps I should keep my mouth shut because there are a lot of folks out there with very thin skin and can't recognize the difference between constructive criticism and an attack on their personage. My apologies to them but please, if you're going to contribute to these groups which are labeled as "scale" modeling groups, do one of two things to ease the tension that has been created on occasion. One, get it right. Get a scale ruler, learn how to do the math, and find out what the size of the real object you are trying to model is. Notice I said "object" since often it is not a whole model that is out of scale but just a sub assembly or detail. Or choose number two. Grow some thicker bark. Most folks aren't on these groups to take out their frustrations on others, they just want to help. I've tried to give an understanding of scale in every endeavor I communicate in be it magazine articles I've written to internet forum and email list discussions. I'm not interested in one-upmanship. This is NOT a competition. I'm simply trying to get to the true and accurate techniques to create more realistic looking models. And that's what this is all about, isn't it?

Well for some it isn't. Vehicles that look really cool (or 'kool'  written by most that wet themselves over them) and objects of a caricature nature are all well and good. I actually do get a kick out of them. But I'm not interested in waiting for my computer to load photos of them on a site where 1/87 is the reason I have decided to visit. There is a plethora (love that word) of places to go where Big Daddy Roth is worshiped and revered and folks model in a variety of scales.  More often where there is no discernible scale at all. And there's nothing wrong with that! But those places are where those things belong. Get it? Find the group where the folks there most appreciate what it is you want to contribute. Where it is most appropriate. But please leave the 1/87 scale groups to those that want 1/87 scale modeling.

OK, enough of that, I'm tired of beating my keyboard (a few years ago it would have been my gums) on a subject some will either refuse to or incapable of understanding and let's look at some recent modeling. I really like the repertoire of Don Mills Models. I've done his FCSW twice now and I'm going to show the Mack LTL here now for the second time. Form what information I can gather, The LTL (last 'L' for light) was a sort of experiment by Mack to lighten the weight of the truck by an extensive use of aluminum in it's parts. The only visual evidence of this is the use of 5 hole Alcoa wheels although many of the parts besides the wheels were aluminum including the chassis. The reason I point this out is because at the same time Mack was still producing the LT with steel parts which is what I've chosen to model here. I have substituted a steel wheel for the Alcoas that came with the kit and moved the air cleaner to the curb side of the hood to show what I am led to believe would be called an LTH ('H' for heavy).

I was standing in front of Don Mill's table at Springfield talking about what we both love, the trucks and the models, when I spotted an old EKO model Don had for sale. It was a Pegaso, a truck made in Spain, coupled with a mid 50's Fruehauf tanker trailer. It even says Fruehauf on the bottom of the casting. It had some rather bulbous, out of scale castings on it but for $5, I couldn't pass it up. Sorry I didn't take some before photos but suffice it to say the crappy details came off and I added a few of my own.

I had to build new fuel tanks for the LTH because what came with the kit had too many flaws and I added a heat shield to the exhaust stack that I think I will be doing over in the future but for now will pass. The trailer had a bunch of lights put on the rear and I built a tire/chain rack underneath with a wood deck and put some Lonestar landing gear also. Still needed as well is a Bulldog for the rad cap that Alloy Forms has in a lost wax brass casting that is pretty nice.

This next one was a real quickee since I didn't want to spend a whole lot of time on this particular Imex casting. It is of the 1948 Ford truck that I have placed on a Boley chassis and scratch built a bed and wrecker unit for. I replaced the grille and headlights as well as 'tuned up' the windshield area and cut in a rear window to try to give this diecast piece a little more prototypical look. The wheels are from a Miniaturmodelle Russian Gaz truck.


Well I know I stepped on a few toes here with this posting as usual. I'm sure however if you're the kind of modeler that takes the time to come here to read my blog, that I'm preaching to the choir. You obviously have good taste, love puppies and are an all around great person. Make sure to give your loved one's a hug today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Apres Springfield

Having missed the big Amherst Railway Show in W. Springfield, Mass. last year, I had an even greater anticipation for the event here in 2013. Gathering up all the models I was taking there and hoping I would pack them safely I almost felt giddy. But the show came and went and I had a great time seeing all of my 1/87 scale vehicle buddies and meeting some new. A few things I did prior to the show will be shown here as well as one project I finished since.

Another model I built for the show was a Zis-5 that mysteriously showed up in a box here at Christmas time with another saying Merry Christmas from Santa. Many thanks to Santa!  One of the trucks came with a tanker body produced in the Czech Republic that I finished in acrylics.


One more to make the trip was a unique little piece in a Model T with trailer. I saw this configuration in an old photo and decided to give it a try. The T of course is the Jordan coupe and the trailer is the popcorn wagon also from Jordan. From all that I can gather many of the vehicle pulled trailers of the time started as horse drawn wagons and were modified. so this is what I came up with.

This piece was done since the show. In fact I picked it up from Ralph Ratcliffe at the show. This solid resin cab is of the Brockway 758. To it, I added photo etched muffler heat shield (thanks Bob Johnson), crossover deck marker lights, fuel tank steps and mud flaps. The trailer has been shown before here, the Fruehauf 28' wedge from Rail Power.