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This is one awesome build! Your craftsmanship, your accuracy, your weathering, all are excellent! I’ve been wanting to build a semi wrecker and sling. I have a lot of experience using a 1ton sling, and you pretty much nailed it. I may take some notes here and try my semi wrecker project soon.

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1 hour ago, DRIPTROIT 71 said:

This is one awesome build! Your craftsmanship, your accuracy, your weathering, all are excellent! I’ve been wanting to build a semi wrecker and sling. I have a lot of experience using a 1ton sling, and you pretty much nailed it. I may take some notes here and try my semi wrecker project soon.

Much appreciated! I knew pretty much nothing about tow rigs when I began this, plus the fact that I normally build aircraft, and you can see I was in over my head when I started.  Lots of advice from the folks in this forum kept me on the straight and narrow, with patience with all my questions.  Without the advice here, this wouldn't have turned out as well as it had.  I'm very grateful! 😎

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1 hour ago, AmericanMuscleFan said:

Perfect details, I love it already!  Can't wait to see it finished but take your time, it's so nice to follow your progress! 👌

Thank you! It's actually already finished, I just wasn't going to post photos 'til I was certain this was going to work.  I almost gave up on this more than once over the years (yes, years!).  

By next week the completed photos should be posted 😎

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Now for the rotating beacon atop the rig.  Found something very similar from Tony's Custom Squads.  Still needed some cleaning up, and the finish redone in Alclad Stainless Steel (although Polished Aluminum perhaps might have been a better choice).  

License plate was made by cutting a piece of aluminum turkey roasting pan to match the size of the license plate decal.  

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Now for the rear view mirrors.  I discovered from my photos that there were two similar yet different styles used, probably meaning two different trucks used for filming the series.  I settled on one and started work.  Once built and primed, they were finished in Alclad polished aluminum and Bare Metal Foil for the actual reflective surfaces.  I definitely should have cleaned them up a bit more after priming....

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Now gotta add the last of the lights.  First the tow rig has six small rounded-rectangular position lights.  To make them all as uniform as possible I made a master shape from styrene, then made impressions of it in moldmaking material.  I made a lot of extras since I wanted a lot to choose from, and would only take the best 6.  This ended up being a very wise move.  Clear resin was poured into the mold impressions and thank God there were 6 decent ones to use from the resulting blob.  They had to be right the first time since trying to clean up and reshape anything that small would be a nightmare.

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Now the grill/headlight assembly.  Chrome was removed by soaking in bleach, and damage done by previous owner/assembler was repaired.  Headlights were drilled out completely.  Whole thing primed and painted in Alclad Stainless Steel (more of a workhorse appearance than chrome).  New headlights fashioned from acrylic gemstones/rhinestones, with the facets sanded smooth and then polished to shine.  The result is far more convincing than chrome headlights the same color as the grill & bumper.

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Andrew, this has been an incredible read so far.  I have three tow trucks in my collection, one a resin conversion and the other two largely scratchbuilt like your own.  I went through EXACTLY the process you have gone through here, except that I was fortunate enough to stumble on the exact style I wanted to build in a car park one day and got a whole bunch of close up photos, so I didn't have to photograph the TV but, hey, what a great solution to a problem.

I can't wait to see your finished photos because everything I have seen so far has been amazing.  Your dirty interior is easily the best I have ever seen! Congratulations on a beautifully executed model.

 

Cheers

Alan

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Thank you Alan, very kind to say!  I'm wondering if I should go back and put a box of donuts on the passenger seat....

Okay, almost there...I learned from y'all that the front bumper is probably made from quarter inch steel coated in thick black rubber.  I also noticed there were two styles that showed up on the GMC truck in the series, again probably indicating two different vehicles masquerading as one for the filming.  One of them was straight and flat, and the other curled around the corners of the fenders.  I opted for the curled type.  

Made it from .020" plastic, carefully curled, then added three wire mounts, disguised from the front as the actual bolts that hold it on.  Then added fake bolts for the rest.  I tried to match the same pattern I saw in a couple of my photos. Then some drybrushing over the flat black with dark gray.

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Then the final touches with the antennae.  The last one was the one that clips on over the driver's window.  The aerial for that one was made from a bit of metal guitar string (the high E-string).  The aerial on the tow rig is only slightly thicker, from a B-string.  Also used B-string for the four other lengths of thin cable on the tow crane (totally different from the thick, braided tow cable).  

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Edited by Andrew D the Jolly Roger
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In the episode "Daisy's Close Call" (S6 E19) Cooter is seen using a tool box from the rig.  I can't see it in any other episode, so, being Hollywood, it probably wasn't there at any other time, not being a true "working" rig.  Still, I thought it would be a great, even necessary, addition.

I estimated the size at about 20" x 8" (when he carries it to the truck it is indeed fairly slender).  From some angles the grime from being handled by a mechanic is visible.  Appears to have a silver or light colored handle.

I scratchbuilt it in an evening, primed it and painted it the next day. 

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The same day I scratchbuilt a crowbar, and added a hammer and a wrench that came with the two junkers from which this project began.  The wrench was finished in Alclad stainless steel, then grime strategically added.  All the tools were made to appear worn and heavily used.  Finally all this was added to the wrecker bed, including an extra length of chain visible in the episode "Happy Birthday General Lee".  

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On 2/23/2021 at 10:33 AM, Andrew D the Jolly Roger said:

Thank you! It's actually already finished, I just wasn't going to post photos 'til I was certain this was going to work.  I almost gave up on this more than once over the years (yes, years!).  

By next week the completed photos should be posted 😎

It doesn't take away from the quality of your build Andrew and a job of this caliber can't be done in a matter of weeks.  I myself am at the end of my third year working on my '64 D100  pickup and I have not yet gotten to painting so I am in a good position to understand!  You have done work of exceptional quality sir and it will serve as a reference for those who will have the courage to invest in this kind of long-term project... 👍

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1 hour ago, AmericanMuscleFan said:

It doesn't take away from the quality of your build Andrew and a job of this caliber can't be done in a matter of weeks.  I myself am at the end of my third year working on my '64 D100  pickup and I have not yet gotten to painting so I am in a good position to understand!  You have done work of exceptional quality sir and it will serve as a reference for those who will have the courage to invest in this kind of long-term project... 👍

Thank you for the kind words! I took a look at your D100 and it is absolutely jaw-dropping.  I'm pleased with my ability to scratchbuild in plastic, but what you do in metal is just astounding.  Closest thing I can think of to match your enginework is what I did with my General Lee engine bay, but it's still a different bit from what you do. 

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Incredible job on this, Andrew!  Your fabrication skills and accuracy are second to none.  The thread was a blast to read.  I couldn't help wondering if that was the GMC stepside kit I built back in the early '70s.  I sure wish I had all my models from back then.

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59 minutes ago, Kromolly said:

Incredible job on this, Andrew!  Your fabrication skills and accuracy are second to none.  The thread was a blast to read.  I couldn't help wondering if that was the GMC stepside kit I built back in the early '70s.  I sure wish I had all my models from back then.

Thanks for all of that!  As far as the kit, I started with two junked built kits I got off Ebay, and I do believe one of them was the GMC stepside, or at least part of it....I think it was missing the truck bed, which I didn't need anyway, so it was a win-win.

Wishing we had the models from our youths is similar to whenever I watch reruns of Emergency! and Adam 12; all I keep thinking in every driving scene is, Boy, I wish I could get my hands on just some of those "everyday cars" all around them!

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