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Scratchbuilt flatbed

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5 hours ago, Rockford said:

I've got a few things to do before paint but I'm torn between black, which seems to be the modern colour, and a brick red, not quite red oxide but not a bright red. 

That is a tough call. What I usually do when facing such a dilemma is look at lots of online pictures of my subject. Doing that usually helps to inform my decision.

David G.

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Time to make the deck. I'd bought a pack of what we'd call lolly-ice sticks in GB, would that be popsicle sticks in the US? 


I sifted through finding the straight ones in both axes and squared them at then end, then cut the narrow filler sections. Got it all to fit but every time I moved the thing a piece popped out. What to do? 


I laid some duct tape across my large set square and transferred the pieces onto the tape, starting in the corner and working out to keep everything square(ish). Then I trimmed the tape leaving a single piece of decking for each run. I sanded each section of deck to get it all uniform, and then installed each section. Now I can remove them for painting without any messing around. 





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A few other little things. Made a handle for the sliding bogie out to f aluminium tube, crimped the ends flat. Also the bracket out of ali sheet. 


Using discarded bits of angle and plastic tube I made the gladhands and electrical socket. Quite pleased with the result. 



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I'm almost at the paint stage now. Did a little detailing of the slider locking mechanism, used a carburettor of the Revell Z28 kit as a brake relay valve and plumbed in my brake chambers, adding the hoses that move with the sliding bogie. I made some spacers for the hoses by drilling a piece of scrap strip and then carefully cut the two lines to the right length so that they dangle right in the forward or aft position. 





I'm going with red as a chassis colour, so you can see some of the detail I've built. Post Office Red over red oxide primer, so it'll be a little darker hopefully. 

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I was hoping to get some paint on the trailer this weekend but I decided to do something with the awful AMT wheels. They're featureless, toylike pieces that irritate me. They're a flat rim, probably posing as split-ring tubed-tyre wheels but there's no hub in the middle and I wanted two hole Budds, not ten hole. I do have to say, the tyres are excellent though. Little masterpieces. 

In order not to inundate the wheel nuts with putty I filled six holes on each wheel from the back, making sure it was proud of the hole in the dish. Then I used my motor tool to run the remaining holes together. A butchered sanding stick was used to rub the putty down smooth. 



I also cut 2mm strips of styrene sheet, chamfered at the edge and fitted it into the dish to make them look more like tubeless wheels. I had to trim the end of these just enough so that they butted together and made a slight interference fit into the wheel, that way they pushed themselves round with no gaps.  I also drilled a hole in the middle of the wheel dish to form the hole for the hub assembly. Two axles from Ali tube poke through as would the real thing. 





Was it worth an afternoon's work? I think so. Makes me feel better about the model. Now, I can get paint on it, weather permitting. 

Edited by Rockford
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Brush painted the wheels with Tamiya gloss white. They look ok from most angles and the strip I added around the inner rim does the job appearance wise, making them look like pressed steel dishes. I haven't done the hubs yet because these wheels are going to be on and off so many times during the paint process. Supposed to be hot and dry this week so you never know, might get it finished! 





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I DID IT! I GOT IT PAINTED AND IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE I USED A STICK! In Liverpool today all the planets aligned to allow me to paint the trailer. 

1) I had red primer and Post Office Red topcoat. 

2) It was sunny, warm and not too humid.

3) I had the afternoon off.

4) I'd washed the trailer during the week and given it a quick going over with a Scotchbrite pad. 

5) My darling wife wanted to do her own thing.

I got the car out of the garage, set up my painting table and put the trailer on a turntable. I need to have the job facing the light because of my cataract, otherwise I can't see where I'm painting or if I'm spraying too wet/dry.

I sprayed the lower surfaces first, let it flash off for 15 minutes then turned it over and shot the top. Two coats each of primer and then 2x topcoat so it took a few hours. Got the deck chair out and had a good read while I waited. There was still some topcoat left after two coats but it looked so good I was scared of ruining it with a third, so I left it there. 

I'm stunned by the results. The stress is now to leave it alone for a least a week. If I start fiddling around and moving it I'll damage it so I've got to be strong. I still couldn't resist sitting the wheels alongside it to see what it looks like. 

I know it doesn't bear comparison to some of the scratch building that you see on this site but it's put a smile on my face. I've never enjoyed doing anything as much as this. 

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to look at my trailer again....






Edited by Rockford
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On 7/21/2022 at 2:02 AM, Mopar - D said:

Steve that’s awesome looking with the red paint! Are you going to stain the wood deck?

True answer Dan, I really don't know. I'm wondering whether I should rethink the deck but I really don't know what I could use as an alternative. Also, I'm wondering whether I should weather the deck somehow. 


Thanks for the kind words gents. 

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Today it all went together. I painted the hubs and the wheel nuts with Tamiya red. Painted the air lines from the chassis to the tandems. Left the lines to the brake chambers red because we never bothered masking the hoses when we sprayed a trailer. 




Fitted the sliding bogie and lubed it with some dishwashing liquid. Made my mudflaps out of white electrical tape.



Painted the rear lights and markers with silver, then used clear red or orange or red as required. 






I also downloaded some insignia and reduced them. Here they are on white decal paper. I'll clear them to seal the ink. 


I simply cannot believe I actually built this. It looks like a trailer, not a shapeless twisted blob. The tandems still slide. The wheels look right, not too far apart. 


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