Saturday, March 1, 2014

While the woodpile is evaporating

Well it seems so anyway. This winter has been brutal from a temperature standpoint in many parts of the country. So tell me, the rest of America, how does it feel to share our New England weather? Seems like it's the subject of every meeting you have with someone. I listen to folks coming back from vacation in the warmer climes and I am envious to some extent. But then I envision the last day of such a vacation and couldn't bear the thought of packing up and coming home to this frigidity. I'll bear with it and keep my eye on the calendar as the days get x-ed out. Frankly, I do not mind being out in the cold, I dress properly and haven't any issues, even liking the zero humidity as the mercury dips below the same. I like the sound of the snow as it squeaks under my boots when it gets down around 10 or 20 below. It's seeing all that hard work put into that woodpile disappear so fast and getting that oil bill every month that's a bit discouraging. It does however afford more time at the workbench. And here are the fruits of that time for the last few weeks.

   I keep receiving discards from Ralph Ratcliffe's line of terrific resin pieces in the mail and honestly, they are more precise and crisp than most resin outfit's regular offerings. This Mack DM600 steel hood cab is no exception. I really had to look hard to find anything wrong with it but Ralph is such a perfectionist that he refused to sell it. I had picked up another of the Athearn kits while at the Springfield show this year from Trip Aiken of Truck Stop Models. I really like these kits, they are extremely well detailed and that they have no paint to strip off makes starting them easy. I needed a good dump body for the DM and the Mack R model kit supplied the one for this model. The chassis is resin, also from Ralph (I bought this) and I added Ralph's suspensions, step fuel tanks and wheels. To the dump bed I added a foot rail and marker lights. The plastic scuff boards were cut off and replaced with wood. And lastly, a tool/chain box, mudflaps and A-Line mirrors were applied and I built the exhaust system, front bumper and frame plate at the rear with photo etched lights. The dump bed actually raises using the ram and piston from the kit adapted to the resin chassis.

   To get the muddied look on the bed, I painted specific areas with a clear flat acrylic and sprinkled artists chalks into the wet finish.

    This next Mack is the rest of the Mack R Model kit cab, chassis and wheels with the telescoping boom from the Athearn Ford F850 kit to make this tractor mounted boom truck. The fifth wheel, tool/chain box and chain on the bumper were added to make what has become a favorite. The heat shield on the exhaust is from Masterbilt model. I really like how this truck turned out and now I need to figure out what to use for a trailer.

I picked up a few Jordan Miniatures and set right to work on their Ford Model TT truck. The bed is my depiction of a grain bed that isn't quite like the prototype I modeled the truck after but is close enough and plausible in my opinion. It is entirely scratch built from styrene.  I left the little flathead exposed here since it would be a shame to cover it up.

   Well that's about it for now although I have a few more on the bench in progress. I hope you all stay warm and if you're not, find someone you love to cuddle with.

1 comment:

Geoff said...

Chester, I just love getting your updates. The paint finish is truly outstanding. The weather is such a change to the heat of our just finished summer. Hot and dry hear, drought through most of the state (Queensland).
Anyway back to your modelling, it would be great to see a photo before you paint a subject to see just how you've modified the kit.
Thank you for sharing your work,