You can buy 8' sheet at places that sell plastic exclusively various thicknesses, they will also cut to size for a fee. Some places even sell the scraps they have left over from projects.You just have to think outside the hobby stores.
Thanks for the kind words guys. I really need to get back on this. I have kind of lost my mojo. It is what usually happens to me sadly. I will get back going on it. I didn't realize I missed the may update. So I am disqualified for the TAT I guess ,oh well. Not a big surprise as a year for me to finish something is always pushing it. Sometimes you need to drive stakes to see if I make progress. I haven't been building anything so i guess that is a plus.
Time for the March update. I am going to call this one the "Air Tank Madness Edition" So I had been pondering the best way to replicate the brackets that hang the air tanks on the frame. All pictures I could find of new Freightliners showed a stamped metal bracket with rolled edges for rigidity. Pictures of detail on trucks from the 80's are hard to find with that "money" shot. After hours of research I finally found that the ones from the mid 80's used what looks like just plain old everyday channel iron. Perfect, now I can move on with this project, or so I thought. Italeris offering is a blob that you glue to the frame rail bottom already attached to the tank, not even close. So my first thought was to make the from brass for two reasons. First it will help me figure out how I am going to do the fuel tank straps, second brass brackets will look cool before primer is put on. My soldering skills are pretty good I can solder some really fine pieces together, I have lots of tricks to make stuff work. So I found the right size channel started cutting up parts. I heated the brass to make it bend easier, made some nice looking pieces.
Then I sized them to the frame using double sided tape to hold them in place.
Found some really thin brass .008 I think, to make straps out of. Make some pins for the retainers to go through the brackets. Everything was looking pretty good until I got to the end. I put the air tanks back on the frame, and the one thing I didn't do well enough was plan out drilling holes for the strap pins. Well wouldn't you know it the tank was hanging very crooked. And short of making them again from scratch no real way to fix it. I could have soldered the holes closed and tried to redrill but solder being much softer than brass the bit would have just found the holes again. So much for that idea. No pictures of the tank on frame as was a little irritated to say the least. But as with all things I now know what I would do different and gained some insight for the fuel tank straps as well. Learning experiences are priceless. I wanted to share the pictures of my work on the brass just to help others with ideas.
So with the experiment with the brass I got an idea on how to do it in styrene. If you look in the background of the first picture of this post you will see some mangled white styrene channel. It was my first attempt to make these brackets. But I couldn't get any consistency with either my heat source or the angles. I tried using candle flame and soldering iron to soften the plastic. Candle was to uncontrollable, soldering iron was working much better but then I couldn't get any consistency in the bends. I only need 4 it can't be this hard. Then I had a thought, the brass ones I had bent would be a good pattern. So I rigged up a helping hand with an extra clamp I had that fit the channel perfectly. Cut a piece of channel and clamped it in on top. Basically like this ][ then applied the soldering iron to the brass to heat the plastic from the bottom. I kinda worked but it was really hard to soften the plastic evenly, but i knew I was onto something. Then I remembered that I had a heat gun around here someplace . I moved 4 years ago and hadn't seen it several years before that. So my wife just go a brand new high tech hair dyer I thought doubtful, (but it's easier than looking for the heat gun) they just don't get hot enough. I was right. So the hunt for the heat gun was on, much to my surprise I found it in under 20 minutes, that never happens. Heat gun applied on low softened the plastic very evenly it laid down on the master form nearly perfect. The rest they say is history. I used .010 x .040 evergreen for the straps and Meng bolts for the details.
That's all for now. Sorry it takes me forever to get things done.It will probably slow down even more as I took a part time job driving truck again, on my normal day off. Just so I could be closer to some reference material (ok well maybe some extra money too). I will get these tanks plumbed, and drain valves added and that should, for the most part finish up the rear half of the frame. I still have to add all the crossmember bolts but that will be done just before primer.
Thanks for checking it out. Please if you see anything I need to do different or have forgotten please let me know.
Time for an update. I finally finished the air dryer. At the speed I model I may never finish this truck.
Oh what the heck lets make two.
If you make two you have a master for casting later. One thing I did find was that the ribs and bolts around the out side are not symmetrical. And my attempt may be a little exaggerated but i think they will look the part when they are tucked up next to a frame. Now to work on the bracket to hold it on to the frame.
Time for the first update in February. I have been working on plumbing the rear half of the frame. Brake lines and air suspension lines. My materials of choice are lead wire found at the sporting goods stores in the fly fishing section. The rolls come in threadlike spools and are available in sizes from .010 to .035.The wire is soft and extremely flexible great for making any kind of lines you want.It's a hold over from detailing landing gear bays on aircraft, all kind of plumbing in those. Also magnet wire of various sizes the one used here is 38 gauge so its tiny. First up the air lines for the air suspension. Disclaimer: All lines may not be 100% correct in the routing as some picture angles eluded me. So guesstimates were made.
Then I decided that the Meng NBW looked like a good match for a sending unit so I made differential temp sensors and wired them as well. I haven't trimmed the excess in the photo.
Shot of the wire loom so far. i think it is starting to look the part.
That's it for now. I have to make brackets for two more air tanks and build the air dryer. Also have bee working on some smaller details like dressing up the steering box and power steering fluid tank, the fuel water separator.Which turns out Italeri has wrong on the instructions, placements are incorrect.
Again thanks for checking in I appreciate the feedback.