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Peterbilt 352

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I've always loved the look of the AMT Peterbilt 352 Pacemaker cabover. It's very compact and beefy looking. However, the prices are nuts and I've quite a fleet of 1/32 trucks now so I'd like to stay in that scale. 

I fell on the Snaptite double sleeper 352 for a good price so I'll have to cut it down and shorten the chassis too. 

First to reduce the cab to a single sleeper. I decided to cut around the locker door so I don't have a line going through it. It also keeps the air vent and the holes for the grab handles. Quite terrifying but taking care with my marking out and cutting it seems to have gone ok. 







Edited by Rockford
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On 11/13/2021 at 7:52 PM, trick my mixer said:

Nice job especially for working with smaller scale. Will look good when done.

Thanks gents, as you can see I tried putting both comments in the box and messed up big time. 

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Did a little bit more yesterday. The first time I built this kit was in full lockdown in the first wave so I could only work with what I had, and that was one rattle can of white about 10 years old. 

Tried improving things over that build. The steps are shallow depressions so I opened them up and put a piece of offcut behind them, just to add depth. Looks a bit better. 

Moved the fifth wheel back a little. 

Then I removed the deck plating from behind the fifth wheel and cut 33mm out of the frame. My brain was screaming WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? but it was right according to the sums I did so hopefully it will work out. 




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Glued the two chassis pieces together, always a worry making sure that the thing is straight. 

Took the saw to the driver's side exhaust mount and rigged a new diagonal brace out of copper wire. 

I've got about three weeks of filling and sanding on the cab and the chassis now. 

This is going to be a real chunky monkey. 



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I always loved the Peterbilt (et al) factory paint schemes. I couldn't believe that you could buy something like that straight from the factory. When I started serving my time as a truck mechanic we used to get Leylands delivered in primer only on chassis and cab. The operator then had to spend another couple of weeks partially dismantling, painting and prepping the vehicle. (Why did we lose the British truck industry I wonder?)

I used the old Microsoft Paint program to draw up some scheme number 104 stripes. It took about six goes to get the dimensions right but they look ok. I'll print them onto decal paper, lacquer them and then carefully cut them out once the job is far enough along. I'm thinking white cab with metallic red chassis at the moment. 


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The snap fit design of these kits dictates that function stands over form. For instance, the cab has a hidden locating slot at the front but the rear has two tangs that clip into the chassis. Monogram hid this with the exhaust frame and pogo stick mount but with me just having one stack it's all exposed. So, I took some I beam I had from another kit and rigged up some better rear mounts for the cab, then cut the old locators off, but that exposes the hollow gearbox, so I removed the moulded in piece of frame surrounding the gearbox and formed a lid and selector box out of sprue and plastic card. Looks ok. 


I also did my first pass with the stopper on the cab seam. I put masking tape either side of the cut so I didn't end up with stopper all over the cab. Not sure whether that was a good move yet. I'll see when I start rubbing down. 





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  • 2 weeks later...

Got a bit more done to the Pacemaker. Added a lower flange to the chassis, used a Camaro alternator for a brake relay valve, filled and profiled the rear axle and suspension arms and installed the exhaust bracket and pogo stick. Mocked up a stack to see how it looks. Still got my usual brake chambers and piping to add, also rear hubs on the drive axles. 

I like the way the gearbox hangs separately in the frame as it would in the real thing. 

Also filled and sanded the joint in the cab about three times. Lot more of that to come I think but looks ok. Going to add the intake pipe through the cab on this one. 

Thinking about fuel tanks now. Don't think I can use anything from this kit or anything else, I'd have to do so much cutting they'd be destroyed. I'm thinking of 20mm electrical conduit but not sure if that would work with any adhesive. 🤔











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I'm plodding on with this. Added slack adjusters and S-cams for the rear brakes, also turned some brake chambers to install later. Cut out and shaped some brackets for the rear suspension mounts on the chassis. 

Fitted rear shock mounts and made shocks out of aluminium tube that telescope like a real shock. I'll mount after paint. 

Bought some 20mm round electrical conduit to use for fuel tanks and made two up. Now drawing up brackets to cut out to support them. 

Filled the join on the cab and left it for a week before sanding it because it seems to shrink over a few days. Seems to be better this time. 






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As you'll see in other pictures the cab of this kit has a solid "mesh" in the doghouse opening to hide the empty engine bay. I wanted this gone to give a more realistic appearance but this left me with a dilemma. How to solve the problem of the empty "powerbarn". 

So, I made my own Cummins. Two plastic card boxes on top of each other to imitate the block, heads and narrower rocker boxes. Then I made an aftercooler from square rod and sprue. Rocker covers and timing cover from card. Then assorted sprue and rod to make the oil cooler, compressor, fuel pump, exhaust manifold, turbo, charge air cross over pipe, thermostat housing, breather and added some plumbing for coolant, fuel and air and it looks great.

I'll use my old friend Chubby Sprue to make some trunking from the airfilter and to the exhaust. 

I know some of the scratch building on here would put me to shame but I don't think this is too bad for a few hours' work. 












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9 minutes ago, Jim B said:

Cumins Beige will look nice, as would white as Peterbilt had their engines painted white through 1986.

I didn't know it was that late but I remember it was to make oil leaks obvious, ie: they didn't expect any, which my experience with Cummins is a fair expectation, they were very oil tight. 

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I intended to work on my fuel tanks today but when I looked at the brackets I'd drawn up out of plastic card I thought they'd be very fragile once I'd cut them out. I needed a sturdier solution. Then I had a moment of brilliance! I carefully cut out slots in the tank where the brackets would meet the tank. Then I fashioned tank straps out of plastic card. I glued a bracket each side of some 2.5mm square rod to form a hollow bracket, then slid the brackets into the slots either side of the installed straps. I think they look great. Need to fill the ends and tidy up, then fashion some tank caps. I mocked them up and they look right. 

I also wanted to use the Holland fifth wheel from an AMT kit. It's very bland and too thick so I filed it down and added some of the bracing underneath for a better appearance. IMG_20211218_151828934.thumb.jpg.574267bff9d42f0d4f2a14ca7a81e103.jpgIMG_20211218_151929955.thumb.jpg.20260ac959583ed9ad19e1c2c30f8f81.jpg







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