Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum

Recommended Posts

When I bought this at a flea market a few years ago I wasn't aware of this release and thought it was a collectible. It's not really because even though it was a custom order for Bell Systems, they made plenty. Perhaps someone has the run number.

2v2vSePhHxfGubg.jpg

I started it around the holidays and until now it may be the most enjoyable model I've built. Like the times it represents, the kit is uncomplicated (65 parts), goes together well but is not perfect. It's essentially the same tooling as the other classic old AMT Model T offerings but with the box van body. I love the wheels but was disappointed with the alignment and offset of the spoke halves.

 

PaintedParts_zpskg48i5km.jpg

 

The engine is a delight. Detail is decent but, like the rest of the kit, prefitting is mandatory because many pieces don't have obvious contact points so alignment is "best guess" which can bite you five steps later.

2v2vSekWuxfGubg.jpg

2v2vSeiZ9xfGubg.jpg

 

The paint I bought for engine color was a let down so I ended up mixing my own grey/green, which was a lucky accident because it was closer to the color I wanted. Photo lighting doesn't bring that out well though.

Edited by Lunajammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted the body to be grey/green with and antique ivory billboard. To get the light color I mixed some brown into the Ivory and airbrushed.

2v2vSekQUxfGubg.jpg

The cap of the grey/green Humbrol paint looked exactly how I wanted the body color, but was pretty disappointed with how green it came out. Cap had probably faded from sitting on the LHS shelf but I'm forging ahead. I also failed to notice it's a flat color, but that too may be a happy accident.

2v2vSekBUxfGubg.jpgHosted on Fotki

I want the hood to be displayed open so I cut it at the hinge marks on the right side. I gotta admit I love the surface texture and am considering not painting it.

2v2vSek22xfGubg.jpg

Then shaved the contacting edges so they can be glued in the open position without looking fat and clunky.

2v2vSekvvxfGubg.jpg

 

Edited by Lunajammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know most of this deck bed will never be seen once it's inside the box, but I took great delight in weathering it. For one, I need the practice using Vallejo washes and pastel chalks, and secondly I like the molded texture, justing waiting to be brought to life. I imagine this is what it might have looked like in the spring of '24 after the thaw.

2v2vSekD9xfGubg.jpg

The underside is no exception. Fun to detail. I apologize for the annoying blue bkgnd on some of my photos but my camera color balances to that better than white.

2v2vSekSoxfGubg.jpg

Edited by Lunajammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Real nice so far. Something very different and very interesting...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The wheels took me several evenings. They were airbrushed with Model Master Wood, as seen in a previous photo. The rims were painted black around all the spokes, then the retaining rings painted flat silver. Lastly they were weathered using Vallejo washes and chalk pastels.

2v2vSehwzxfGubg.jpg

Edited by Lunajammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can tell the story behind this kit release. The order to make them came from the Bell Telephone Pioneers, an employee social and service organization that did charity work, etc. They did a lot of fund raising on the AT&T Bell Labs properties, within their corporate and research facilities. The company was huge at the time, the Holmdel, NJ R&D facility had over 6,000 employees. My wife worked there for 14 years, I consulted there for a year. Today, that enormous facility has been vacant for ten years. All those jobs just went away with the government break up of AT&T.

Anyway, the Pioneers did an annual phone truck for the Christmas season. Think Hess truck, same kind of program. The trucks were made by a Yorkshire Company, and there was a series of six trucks, several Model T based, several Model A based and one Dodge Powerwagon. These were finished diecast trucks. The final finishing and paint on them wasn't the greatest. But my wife would bring home the next version every year for me.

MVC016S-vi.jpg

MVC006S-vi.jpg

MVC009S-vi.jpg

This is not to say that the Pioneers didn't do other vehicles by other manufacturers, and the local Bells did vehicles as well over the years. A bit o' trivia... Dean Milano had a hand in these way back then! I've also seen these in red, produced for Bell Canada as well. Note that a search for "yorkshire" on eBay will regularly uncover a bunch of these. Some sellers think they're gold so there are some with enormous prices on them. And then there are those for $10-20. Buy those!

So back to our story. Apparently who ever did the ordering for the Pioneers, who did the AMT order, didn't realize they were a model kit, instead of a finished diecast. They did accept part of the order because I remember seeing them for sale at Pioneer events, but AMT got stuck with a load of kits that they then sold to the model dealer network, rather than to retail shops. Quantity? Probably a huge number since the Holmdel Facility was 6000 employees and they had like facilities all over the country. And that's why these kits are still plentiful at shows today!

Edited by Tom Geiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting story, I appreciate the insights Tom. I've always wanted to know. It's amazing to me that thousands of these were produced based on a misunderstanding between built diecast and unbuilt plastic. I'd think there would have been some proofing at some step of the order before production and distribution. Just curious what scale the diecasts were?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just curious what scale the diecasts were?

They are 1/25 scale. Aside from the trucks done for AT&T and Bell Canada, there is a Model A postal truck (same style as the Danbury Mint one) and a small tanker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a screenshot of the decal I'm making to go on the side. The logo is inspired by a piece of a label I found through some archival info put on the net by the Institute for Regional Studies at NDSU. I recreated it in Adobe Illustrator. Logo fonts are not exact to the hand lettering of the original but should be period appropriate.

2v2vSeCSoxfGubg.jpg

Edited by Lunajammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chassis pieces have come together and it's got its shoes on. The kit windshield, like most kit glass, is about three scale inches thick. Really disrupts the believability of the rest so since the front is such a flat piece, replacing it with clear plastic sheet was a no brainer.

 

I also tried to continue with the chalk pastel weathering up the front panel.

2v2vSehDvxfGubg.jpg

2v2vSehjjxfGubg.jpg

 

 

Edited by Lunajammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love that decal Mike! Remember that you cannot print white, if you are using an inkjet. So you would see the green of the body there. One way of doing it is to either put a blank white decal behind it, or mask off and paint the area behind the decal white. You'd want to do a test to see how the yellow holds up as well.

Never mind... I just scrolled back up to your photos and it seems you have made that panel white!

Edited by Tom Geiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I had clear decal paper in mind when I laid my plans. I just hope my "antique" white isn't too tan. I guess we'll know after I get my hands on some BMF laser paper. I have some old Microscale stuff but it seems to have gotten brittle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, get the BMF brand. It works really well. I coat mine with the Testors Decal Sealer too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great job Mike! I really like the '23 Model T kits. I am working on a few converted into ambulances. I really enjoyed following your step by step photos! Excellent weathering!

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good looking owrk on this so far. I like your weathering. And yes I do remember a couple of the other diecast models. Your flat paint can be a bonus as it will weather out nicely.

Be Well

Gator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ David and Gator, thanks for the kind words and encouragement....

 

I didn't relish the idea of masking around all the trim work to paint it black, but I started doing so using BMF for masking. I didn't get far before stopping and re-thinking it for a better way.

2v2vSeCpzxfGubg.jpg

After some testing I chose to use a Sharpie. It actually worked better than I expected. The finish was decent semi gloss and gave me razor straight lines. The only downside is you can't ink all the way down to the groove.

2v2vSeCkNxfGubg.jpg

Edited by Lunajammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is where the project lost its luster. In all my fine detailing I failed to take notice of how warped the body sides were until I was assembling the finished panels. It's creating problems with the fit of the floor, roof, and front panel and created a noticeable gap at the floor.

 

Really disheartening because it's my own fault for not paying closer attention and its too far along to find the will to backtrack and correct it. I think the overall piece will view fine since the faults are mostly out of sight.

2v2vSeCW8xfGubg.jpg

Edited by Lunajammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when the roof is on and sides lettered, i don't think it will jump out at the viewer.

superb job on the wheels, too.

if the tire treads are directional, the front passenger may need to be flipped. these old tired (!) eyes can't tell from here.

Edited by southpier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike,

Don't give up - you've done a great job! Don't know exactly what fit problems you are having, but you could use some thin Evergreen strip to "shim", or Tamiya tape to hold things together to correct them. I noticed that you had a regular nib Sharpie. I don't know if an ultra fine nib would allow you to get "all the way into the groove" as you mentioned earlier. Just a thought...

David

Edited by hooknladderno1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if the tire treads are directional, the front passenger may need to be flipped. these old tired (!) eyes can't tell from here.

Ooooh, good eye. I hadn't noticed that they might be directional but they sure like it in the pic. Thanks for the catch, I'll look again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike - Be careful with the Sharpie. Don't clear coat / dull cote etc over it. It will melt into the clear. Ask me how I know!

I had the same issues with getting my box square on the Heller Borden's Milk Truck. I wish I had assembled it and fit it prior to painting... but noooo, I listened to the instruction sheet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


I noticed that you had a regular nib Sharpie. I don't know if an ultra fine nib would allow you to get "all the way into the groove" as you mentioned earlier. Just a thought...

 

 

I have a narrow tip in my tools, but it's the side of the large nib that draws the lines. I suppose a guy could sharpen a narrow Sharpie to get into the crevasses.

 

Thanks for the overcoat warning Tom. I don't think I have to ask. ;)

 

I made my decals on the printer at work. Unfortunately, in the name of haste, I bought the Microscale decal sheet from our LHS. It's all they carried and I didn't want to wait for BMF decal sheets for this project. So far so good, of course I haven't transferred it yet.

2v2vSeCF2xfGubg.jpg

This weekend I wired the engine. Meh. <_< Could be better, but I'm forging ahead. You can tell I also got the fenders on.

2v2vSeLU8xfGubg.jpg

Edited by Lunajammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice work, Mike.

What program were you using for the decal? I've used Open Office Draw to make graphics with reasonable success.

Charlie Larkin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...