Vintage fire engine WIP

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Lately I've posted a lot of my models from the "brass age" and even earlier, the most recent post being the 1886 Daimler Motorkutsche. These have all been "Under Glass" type posts of the finished product, but this time I'm going to do a pretty detailed WIP.

The subject: a 1/16 scale Dennis fire truck I bought on ebay. Dennis was a British manufacturer of commercial vehicles including buses, fire trucks, airport service vehicles, and more. The specific subject of this thread has been issued under various brand names over the years... this happens to be the Entex version. The kit is very nice... a lot of detail, a lot of working features, and a lot of parts... more than 500. The kit is molded in black, red, white, blue, brass plated, matte chrome (aluminum) plated, brown, and clear, and includes wiring, tubing, steel grommets, string, gears, chain, and all sorts of various other detail parts including four fireman figures in vintage uniforms (two seated and two standing). The finished model is about 17 inches long. Here's a shot of the box cover:

box-cover_zps691b5b21.jpg

And here's a shot of the real thing:

real-one_zpsc5317909.jpg

I plan to chronicle this project fairly intensely, step by step, and I will explain my techniques and procedures as I go along, including what is for me a "first," painting the firemen figures.

Yeah, I'm going to give away my detailing "secrets!" :D

Stay tuned...

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I definately be tuned in to this one, I know it will be first class, you build great stuff, so get the party started!!! ;):D

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Looking forward to this.

Ben

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So glad you are doing a wip. I look forward to seeing how you improve the kit parts or scratchbuild. BTW did you ever finish that plane you were working on ? I may have missed the final photos.

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So glad you are doing a wip. I look forward to seeing how you improve the kit parts or scratchbuild. BTW did you ever finish that plane you were working on ? I may have missed the final photos.

No, the plane is still in progress. It got kind of sidetracked by other stuff, but I will add new photos.

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I've been keeping an eye out for this kit,so I'll be checking this out for sure.Can't wait to see what you do with it,as I have the Heller Delahaye Bonneville in waiting,which is somewhat similar to this.Show me the way!

post-8897-0-57836100-1382065792_thumb.jp

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Posted · Report post

Sounds like an amazing kit and it's in the right hands.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Are you going to swap out the wheels? The kit wheels look more period-correct than the real one.

Edited by sjordan2

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Are you going to swap out the wheels? The kit wheels look more period-correct than the real one.

The one in the photo is a slightly later model year, I think. I'll be keeping the kit wheels.

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OK... let's start some actual building!

When it comes to small parts, I have a specific way of doing things. I don't paint small parts while still attached to the sprues, for two reasons: First, almost every kit part has some sort of flaw or imperfection that should be taken care of before painting... like mold seam lines, ejector pin parks, sink marks, etc. It's virtually impossible to take care of these things and properly prep parts for paint while they're still attached to the sprue. And second, if you do paint the parts while on the sprue, you then have to clean up the attachment points on the part after you cut it away, meaning you basically have to repaint the part anyway. Better to clean up the part first, paint it, and be done with it. In the following photo you can see how I deal with all small parts. These three engine water pipes were cut from the sprue, sanded smooth to remove the mold seam lines, then attached to scrap pieces of sprue with a tiny dab of crazy glue. I attach the part to the sprues either at the point where it will eventually be attached in final assembly, or at some other point that won't be seen after final assembly. The sprue sticks are my handles while I paint the parts. These water pipes will eventually be sprayed copper:

water-pipes_zps5761e3b2.jpg

Here are the exhaust and intake manifolds after being painted and "aged." The exhaust manifold was painted with a mix of acrylic craft paint (red oxide, stell, and black) to simulate rusted iron, and the intake manifold was first sprayed steel, then sprayed with Testors Transparent Window Tint (which is a transparent smoke color) to add depth to the part. The window tint spray does two things: It darkens and "dirties" the part, and also collects in the "nooks and crannies," acting as a blackwash to bring out molded-in details:

manifolds_zpse68d77e7.jpg

The basic engine block has the cylinders molded in place. Here the basic block has been detail painted. The cylinders and the fan support on the front gear case were brush painted Testors Red enamel (the little square bottle) per my reference photos:

engine-detail-painting_zps8242d8bf.jpg

And here is the engine a step further down the detailing process. The molded-in details on the tops of the cylinder heads were brush painted a "dirty brass" color (brass plus black), the molded-in exhaust manifold flanges were painted to match the manifold, then the entire assembly got a coat of window tint to bring out the details. Compare this photo to the one above to see the difference the black window tint makes:

engine1_zps6bc8ed66.jpg

More to come...

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Posted · Report post

I have to try that window tint idea. I really tones things down nicely.

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The one in the photo is a slightly later model year, I think. I'll be keeping the kit wheels.

In looking it up, one very much like the real one you show was identified as having changed from hard tires to pneumatic tires a few years later, which could explain a wheel change.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Awesome, Harry! I'll be following along intently. Good to see you venturing into the "red side" of the hobby. I'll get your official fire buff credentials ready.

I have a couple of these kits and always thought they would be great material for an IPMS-qualified 'out of box' build. I also have a couple of the 1/32 versions of the same rig. Also thought it would be cool to build one of each and display them together.

I'll get to those ideas . . . some day.

Build on, bro! B)

Edited by Danno

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I have a couple of these kits...

Mine has a missing rear tire. The ebay seller conveniently forgot to mention that. But I got the kit for a good price, so I don't want to return it. Any chance you'd be willing to part with one of the rear tires? Or are you actually going to build that kit some day?

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Mine has a missing rear tire. The ebay seller conveniently forgot to mention that. But I got the kit for a good price, so I don't want to return it. Any chance you'd be willing to part with one of the rear tires? Or are you actually going to build that kit some day?

Lemme see what I can do for you!

Is that the tire you've been ... ahem ... casting about about getting it cast? :P

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Lemme see what I can do for you!

Is that the tire you've been ... ahem ... casting about about getting it cast? :P

Yup.

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Looks like a "Tuturial" build so far and it's only page one.

Third subscriber....

never too old to learn new tricks as the saying goes.

Thanks for the Work In Progress pixs ....very informative.

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Posted · Report post

Interesting trick with the window tint. Is that the Testors spray stuff that doesn't actually tint windows?

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Interesting trick with the window tint. Is that the Testors spray stuff that doesn't actually tint windows?

It's supposed to be used to tint windows, but I've never used it for that. I use it as sort of a spray-on black wash.

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always like looking at your builds, harry. your models ALWAYS look very realistic and so much better than the box art.

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This should be a lot of fun to watch. Notice Harry isn't building something that has either rear view mirrors or alternator brackets...LOL :rolleyes::lol:

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This should be a lot of fun to watch. Notice Harry isn't building something that has either rear view mirrors or alternator brackets...LOL :rolleyes::lol:

Funny stuff Rich... :lol:

Looks like a stellar start Her Pristovnik. I'll be watching.

Bob

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The spark plugs on the real engine are very visible, but there are no plugs in the kit, just the "stick the wire into the hole" approach. That's not gonna cut it. In the photo below you can see how the spark plugs stick out vertically on top of the cylinder heads on the real deal (they're partially hidden behind the horizontal cooling pipe in this photo):

sparkplug1_zps18612bd9.jpg

I made spark plugs using three different materials. First, the insulators are just short lengths of plastic wire insulation stripped off some fine copper wire (I didn't have any white insulated wire so I used yellow and just painted it white. The electrodes are small brass nails (actually leftover planking nails from a model ship kit), and the terminal ends that the ignition wires will be glued into were made by taking some 3/64 aluminum tubing and crimping the end flat with needle nose pliers. Then I drilled a tiny hole in the flattened part with a pin vise, filed the flattened end to a rounded shape, and cut off the tube, leaving a short length of round tube to accept the ignition wires I'll glue in later. These aluminum terminal ends were then painted brass. For each spark plug I slipped a terminal end onto a brass pin, then the length of wire insulation. The ends of the brass pins will eventually be glued into the holes in the cylinder heads.

sparkplug2_zpsf1ea4499.jpg

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I like this build, and will state for the record these are also the kind of builds I really like to follow as well. Harry, you got a viewer here. Keep up the great work!

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A little progress on the engine. The wiring harness was scratchbuilt. The open ends are lengths of aluminum tube, while the "rubber" section is actually black sprue that I bent to shape by heating the sprue over a candle flame until it was soft enough to bend. I got lucky and got the bends correct on the first try (that does not always happen!). The various engine parts have been detail painted (like the silver bands on the magneto) and I added a black wash to all the seams and joints to give the engine some depth and a slightly dirty, used (but not abused) look. I do not want the engine to look factory fresh and as it had never even run. I might tone down the gloss on the cylinders a bit with some Dullcote... not sure yet.

engine3_zps7db87792.jpg

On the real truck, the ignition wires have that old-timey woven fabric covering, so I tried to simulate that by using thin string for the "wires" instead of smooth vinyl tubing or wire.

engine4_zps3d0ac727.jpg

And the intake side of things. I added a linkage to the carb which will be hooked up once the engine and firewall are installed on the chassis.

engine2_zps464ef8f9.jpg

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