Jump to content


Member Since 25 Dec 2010
Online Last Active Today, 11:29 PM

Topics I've Started

Larry's scratchbuilt Dodge WC19 Panel truck...three solid months effort

15 May 2015 - 09:01 AM




Military photo of the Dodge WC series 4X4 Panel truck. During WW 2, Dodge made a plethora of WC series military trucks including 103 of these WC19 panel trucks.


My brother, Larry, just supplied me with photos of his now completed 3 month modeling effort...a 1/25 scale 1941/42 Dodge WC19 military 1/2 ton 4X4 panel truck. He tends to build models of vehicles that aren't available as plastic kits or diecast, and this model is mostly fabricated of soldered brass, though a diecast Coca Cola promo became the starting point for the basic panel body. That body shell then required lengthening and re-sculpting, brass door hinges fabricated, and all the internal structure created. Brass was also used for the firewall, cowl vent, opening windshield, left door rear view mirror, etc. The inner door panels, floorboards, axles, transfer case, motor, transmission, safety brake assembly, brake backing plates, and wheels/rims are scratch built using a composite of styrene and brass, while all working steering components (king pins, tie-rod, pitman arm, drag link, etc.) use brass exclusively for durability. The bucket seat structures are brass and can be pivoted forward but the styrene seat cushions are actually covered (upholstered?) in super thin leather (from used 'kid gloves'). Brass was used for the frame rails, cross members, bumpers, fenders, gas tank and filler tube, main spring leaves, fuel line, brake lines, etc. Aluminum tubing was used for the exhaust system. Actually, the only components not scratch built or heavily modified are the headlight lenses, the tires, the steering wheel, and the interior rear view mirror. 
This was Larry's first effort at creating a military vehicle and, though he admittedly prefers a model with a high gloss paint finish, he claims he has grown to appreciate the 'olive drab' on this particular model. The total time spent in research and actual fabrication has also caused him to no longer see the prototype vehicle as ugly or ungainly. Perhaps that's a bit like parental instinct.












1/8 Scale Diecast 1949 Russian Pobeda

24 April 2015 - 08:46 AM



These large 1/8 Scale Pobedas were marketed by DeAgostini in Russia using 100 incremental parts packages that came with a magazine subscription over a few years. They've only recently completed the parts editions, so many Russian model car aficionados have finally been able to finish their models. My brother and I just went 'halvers' on this one on Ebay (they 'ain't' cheap) and even then it took a full day to fine-sand (2000 grit), polish and repair the sometimes sloppy workmanship....lots of glue smudges, a scratched windshield, and a couple of broken parts. The model as produced by DeAgostini is really quite impressive, and even includes switch operated running lights and brake operated tail-lights. The model is really (REALLY) heavy, but delightfully the front wheels stand vertically with no sloppiness in the steering, The windows crank up and down and the vent-windows all pivot open.

The design of these Pobedas began before the end of WWII around 1944 and production began slowly in 1946 ...so it wasn't a copy of an American Car as so many Soviet vehicles were.  The production continued until 1958 by which time it looked quite dated by western standards. I personally think they were quite attractive and proportionate vehicles, and I'm really glad to have one of the 1/8 scale examples











1958 Chevy Suburban with factory Napco 4 wheel drive option

18 March 2015 - 07:12 AM





I've just completed this 1/24 model of a basic, stock '58 Chevy Suburban with the factory optional Napco four wheel drive option. In previous years, the Napco 4x4 was a dealer installed option but beginning in '57 it became a Chevy factory option. They all came off the assembly line with the 235' Six cylinder motor and, in '58, all the light trucks (without deluxe two tone paint) used black painted wheels. Although many currently restored versions use chrome deluxe trim, you can imagine that the vast majority of the original factory versions used the basic painted bumpers and trim since these were almost always utility vehicles used in relatively rough conditions by construction contractors, surveyors, and civil engineers back in the day.

I started with a derelict diecast '57 Suburban which was suffering from severe 'paint rash' as well as missing some trim, and adapted the front clip from a cheap MotorMax '58 pickup (one that I'd already cannibalized for the Fleetside pickup box on my previous model...a Custom '58 pickup). The original dog-leg door hinges have been replaced by fabricated 'tight-swing' hinges, and the original windshield has been replaced by a fabricated polycarbonate version that tilts back slightly to have the more accurate small roof peak that was missing on the original '57 Suburban diecast. 
The basic Napco 4x4 front axle and transfer case was from a $19 Walmart M2 GMC pickup that also contributed some of the Suburban's missing trim as well as the 4-speed standard transmission. 
The paint is basecoat/clearcoat mixed to approximate the original factory Granite Grey.

These 4 wheel drive Chevies weren't expected to be overly pretty, but I really like basic work trucks just as they came off the assembly line by the truck manufacturers in the '50s, etc., and the Napco Suburbans are particularly interesting to me.















'37 Studebaker traditional Hot Rod Pickup

16 January 2015 - 07:45 AM





I've just completed this '37 Studebaker hot rod pickup using a NAPA promo diecast toy/coin-bank as starting material.  I've tried to keep it all Studebaker by using an Avanti R2 (Paxton supercharged) motor, transmission, and rear axle....pirated from an old Aurora plastic kit that was languishing in my parts bin.

The custom 'roll and pleat' interior uses a '51 Studebaker dashboard and steering wheel, also from my parts bin, as well as felt carpeting.
Some of the other modifications to the model include:  removing and filling the fender mounted spare tire cavity, reducing the diameter of the front fender openings, lowering the headlights, smoothing the running boards, reshaping the original's crude windshield opening (including the addition of new glazing and wire trim), lowering and tapering the engine hood, rolling the rear pan, adding louvers to the hood and tailgate, brake-forming a custom tarp, adding a discrete handmade outside rear view mirror, lowering the suspension all around, and finishing the car with custom mixed 'pearl sea-foam'  basecoat/clearcoat. The traditional wheels are chrome 'steelies' with wide-whites. Exhaust is polished aluminum tubing, and the simulated mylar fender welting is plated jewelry wire.

Larry's '47 FARGO 2Ton Beverage Truck

15 January 2015 - 10:11 AM





My twin brother, Larry, just sent me photos of his latest beverage truck project which took about 2 1/2 months to complete...mostly because of an unending number of fabricated wooden drink crates (22 parts, each). The truck is a two ton 1947 Canadian Fargo FL60 (Chrysler, Canada) with an 'era typical' open bottlers body.
 The cab started as a Danbury Plymouth but required widening of the fenders, spreading, shortening, and lowering the running boards, straightening the rear of the cab, tighter mounting of lower hood side hinges, and fabrication of accessories...mirrors, marker and directional lights, interior Mopar heater, all Fargo nameplates, etc. 
 The chassis, including the steering front beam axle, is all brass other than the scratch styrene 2 speed rear axle and front/rear brake drums.
 Using many parts bin items, the engine replicates the appropriate flathead 251 cu.in. 6 cylinder coupled to a fabricated 5 speed transmission with attached drive line style safety brake assembly. 
 The bottler's body is all brass with the exception of the opening styrene door panels...lower ones for the brass hand carts, rear doors for marketing graphics (posters, etc.) and much-modified diecast rear fenders.
 Wheels are reworked Yatming items with Ertl tires and scratch inner rims. Center front hubcaps are lathe turned items to depict unpolished aluminum parts that were production items on front wheels of all larger Canadian Fargo trucks. 
 Vinyl graphics are printed from line art Larry supplied using accumulated reference. Paint is automotive basecoat/clearcoat.
 The now defunct KIK Cola brand was a unique, award-winning, local, quality cola, marketed mostly in family size bottles for the Montreal area where Larry and I grew up. At age 4, we would sit on our coaster wagons a half block from our home to watch trucks loading up at the actual bottling facility. That nostalgia from over 60 years ago sustained Larry while he mindlessly fabricated basswood beverage crates, with metal corners (from aluminum pop cans), and 1/16 acrylic rods (12 per case) representing the family size bottle necks. He has asked me to simply shoot him, no questions asked, if he ever contemplates another project requiring such tedious repetition.