Why is that odd, was the V-8 a large expense for the time? These trucks carried 300 gallons of water and a crew of 5, plus a couple hundred pounds of tools. I would think weight was probably getting to be a bit of a load for the I-6 if you were in any kind of hurry to get somewhere. Fords were much more quite commonly used in the 40s than Chevys and they had V-8s. The later 1950s and 60s are much more evenly divided between Ford, Dodge and Chevy who all offered a V-8 by that point. Oddly GMCs are quite rare, maybe GM prefers to bid Chevrolet on government contracts?
Also I was wrong, it is the 4400, in one photo it looked like it said NAPCO, but other photos it is clear that it is just the 4400 at the end of the side spear.
Thanks, so '56. I did find a photo that claims to be a '56 IH in the dark green, and another photo of a Chevy 4400 flatbed in the light green that appears to be a 1956 based on the hood and side emblems (also a NAPCO badge), although possibly the same truck with the pumper unit removed. They were designed to allow relatively easy conversion between a flatbed truck and fire engine as needed. I think it is fairly safe to say the change in paint happened at some point in 1956.
Are you talking about the flip down type inside the car or the large exterior brow type over the windshield? If the second the Revell '41 Chevy truck, and AMT '50 Chevy truck have them, not sure if they would work on the Olds or not.
I had not seen that one, but it actually does help with another detail, the door markings which I believe changed in 1959. Even if it is a '59 instead of a '58 it would still show that they were in transition since other '59s show the later markings. These smaller changes were usually not immediate as the stock of old material was often used up.
It is weird I have a couple hundred vintage photos of USFS vehicles including dozens on either side of these three years, but I only have two period photos of vehicles from 1955-57, this one, and a Chevy flatbed (a side view so less helpful than the one I posted). Based on photos I know the change occurred after 1954 and no later than 1957, just looking for that elusive photo of a 1955 or 56 to find the exact year. I don't trust restorations for stuff like this, there are a few that have been really well done but most have minor to major accuracy issues. I'm pretty sure I know the '55 Panel truck you mentioned, not the most accurate restoration / clone out there...
I forgot about the grill. To further complicate things, I'm actually looking at a photo of a larger Chevy truck, a 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 ton which has an entirely different grill...
Maybe this will be easier, can anyone identify the year of this truck? The US Forest Service switched from dark green to light green in the late 1950s. This is the oldest original truck (I'm not trusting modern restorations) that I've been able to find in the light green paint scheme. I have photos of 1954 / 1st series 55 Chevrolet trucks in the dark green paint scheme. Clearly the switch was made between 1955 and 1957, just trying to nail down the year. The photo says it was taken July 4th 1959 at a parade, so the truck is quite new in the photo and most likely delivered in that color. Photo is from USFS achieves, edited to better view the truck.
Very cool, I think scratch building the bed sides is a good choice after trying to do the same with the kit sides.
I do have one bit of possibly bad news for you though, I don't think the bed sides are actually taller, at least they don't appear to be on the 1948-52 trucks. I was under the same impression but found the bed height appears to be the same as the 1/2 ton. The whole bed sits about 2" higher due to the trucks ride height which makes it appear in many drawings to be taller if because they measure from the ground to bed rail. Looking closer I found the bed floor was also higher by the same amount.
So I did some work on the tow boom. What comes in the kit is rather toy-like and unlike any commercial boom I could find. I found some photos of wrecking cranes from the 1920s and 30s. I took the boom in the kit and added some styrene strip and rod to detail this into something vaguely resembling one of those units. In addition to some reinforment, I added a little gear system to the winch and replaced the winch handle with thinner rod. The handle in the kit would have scaled out as 2 or 3" in diameter.
I also built up a little base for it to sit on, I just can't see placing the ends of the girders onto a wooden bed without some sort of support or attachment point.