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Rockford

ESCI 20ft Container trailer

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Never heard of ESCI until I saw this in Ebay. There used to be thousands of these trailer about in Liverpool because of the container terminal om the docks. They used to clatter and bang because of their short frame. They've all gone now, replaced with the more versatile [and more stable] extendable frames. 

This kit is very well made, no flash whatsoever and straight as a die, but has issues. From the box art you can see there's a ledge at the back which had to go, also a guardrail along the top between the twistlocks. I decided to cut the frame rather than move the container mounts backwards as the frame co es in two pieces, the top flange of the frame carries the crossmembers for the twistlocks and drops on to the chassis rails. I cut the frame down at a convenient crossmember.  

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Mocking things up I found the ride height was that of a crop sprayer, probably because of the snap fit design. I removed about 6mm by cutting off a needless top crossmember from the suspension subframe. I added the usual tubular crossmember between the front suspension mounts.

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The landing gear was too heavy, like something off a bridge structure! I ditched it in favour of the legs off the Revell Snap Tite tanker [the spare ones that are in the extended position] which I cut down and added diagonal braces. Fabbed up a gearbox and used the winding handle fro  the kit.  Looks a lot better. 

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The kingpin was too far back and didn't look right at all, but would also cause the landing legs to foul the tractor frame if left. I moved it forward, then covered the work with a piece of plastic card. I also added couplings for air and electrics at the front of the frame and added a couple of airlines snaking off from the couplings and knto the frame. 

The rear bumper is a European looking thing so I fabricated a new one. Using plastic card, the triangular mounts for the original bumper and some square rod. I cut the rear lights out of the bumper assembly and put them below the outrigger for the container.

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You can also see the twistlocks I built by drilling through the outrigger and into the container, then I used plastic rod to form a twistlock. I'll put wire through the  bottom se tion to make the handle. 

Now that the ride height is more realistic the chassis angles upward when coupled to the point that the front axle is off the floor, I'll have to adjust the suspension a little so that it accommodates the angle. I also want to fabricate a relay valve at the air reservoir with the hoses going to the brake chambers as it is all so visible when the container is not there.  

So, it's coming up to paint. Now, these trailers were never very well painted so I'm not too worried about the finish. The only thing is I'm not at all certain about a colour. I'm thinking of a mid blue, but the wheels are important too, do I do the hub chassis colour with full silver rims, or paint them all chassis colour with just the very outer edge of the rim painted white. 

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Great looking build Stephen! I saw a similar kit on EBay a few months back. First time I had seen the kit. I thought it looked really cool. 

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Thanks Dutzie. 

I've been rooting through my odds and ends box for something like a brake relay valve and I found this. A 1/25 carburettor, looks like a Thermoquad that became the Edelbrock carb. The body can form the diaphragm housing and the four corners of the flange can be the four outlets to the chambers. 

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Did a bit more on the trailer before it goes for paint. Shaped a trailer relay valve from the old carburettor I found. Drilled holes to fit pigtails in the brake chambers and the valve. Also did the same for the signal and emergency lines to the valve. I know it will all end up painted chassis colour but that's what happened with our trailers, we didn't mask the pipework it all got blasted with colour! 

I also realized the top of the axles are hollow so I fitted some plastic strip over the hole, that's the white piece in the photos. 

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That's amazing!
I use two of this chassis and stretch the to a kind of 1:24 scale for the itslery 20 feet trailers!
Fun build!!

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Thanks for the nice comments everyone. 

I managed to get paint on it yesterday, I shot the primer and I couldn't believe that when I went to pick it up it was soaking wet with condensation! As the solvents evaporated the surface temperature drops and the moisture in the air condensed onto it. I thought it was warm and fairly dry, but obviously not. I dried it off and later got the colour on. It's not the best finish but as I said earlier in the thread these units never got the best of finishes, as long as they were all one colour they were doing well. 

I'm leaning toward white rims for the wheels, leaving the hubs and spokes blue, but I wonder what just white on the very edge of the rim would look like. I think it's obvious that I should try the minimum first. 

Painted the box in red oxide primer. Looking at making some ACL decals for it. 

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8 hours ago, Chu said:

That's amazing!
I use two of this chassis and stretch the to a kind of 1:24 scale for the itslery 20 feet trailers!
Fun build!!

I'd be interested to see a picture of that

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On 10/20/2020 at 2:35 AM, DRIPTROIT 71 said:

Looks great! I thought that I was the only one who made air valves out of carburetors. 😃

Great minds think alike! It looks just right really. Worked out well. 

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Did some work on the trailer today. Built the wheels up. Decided to just add the white line on the edge of the wheel rims. Painted the mudflaps too. Need to accommodate the rake in the chassis from the fifth wheel. Do I lower the front axle or raise the back axle? I'll have a think. 

I'm aware of the irony that the trailer has bigger hubs than the drive axles of the tractor!!! Such is SnapTite life.

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