Flatbed brush trucks

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I am building two 2 Weis Fire Safety Quick Attack 300 flatbed brush trucks in 1/25 scale. For more information about these types of brush trucks, please feel free to go to http://www.weisfiresafety.com and check them out, quite informative although technical specifications have been removed from their website in the last update. Anyway, I'm originally from Sandusky County Ohio and Helena Community VFD, Lindsey VFD, and Ballville Township VFD have have taken delivery of Weis brush trucks within the last 4 years, so that's where my inspiration for these builds comes from.

I have finished one flatbed assembly (11.0 cm long by 9.8 cm wide) while the other flatbed is halfway done (11.0 cm long and 9.7 cm wide), both are designed for a 60" CA chassis. Each flatbed features a firefighter walkway between the cab and the tank body so that firefighters can stand and use the 2 tank mounted hand lines to fight the fires.

Progress so far:
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The underside of the bed shows how I assembled it, not the best, but it works.
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The Dodge Ram 3500 is for mock up purposes only as I haven't decided on the chassis I want to use yet. Wish I could find a Ford F-350 in plastic, but I might consider modifying the '99 Revell Silverado into a Silverado 3500 4wd chassis since I have a handful of the Revell kits. There are some decent diecast F-350s near 1/25 scale, but there is a contest I'd like to enter these in which does not permit diecast cars or trucks, even if I do all of this scratchbuilding.

I'm working on 300 gallon water tanks, side compartments, and hose reels this weekend. I have to decide how I'm going to make the pumps, but those shouldn't be to difficult.

I know, it sounds weird to build the flatbed first, and then the pickup truck chassis, but that's how I'm going with these builds right now.

I'll keep you guys posted on this and hope to inspire you to tackle a truck like this.

Brandon V.

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Posted · Report post

Neat subject,I work on similar style trucks I'm 1:1,fire,construction etc. Can't wait to see more.

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Posted · Report post

Great looking project..

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Posted · Report post

nice indeed :)

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Thanks guys. I finished up the storage boxes last night. I'm leaving the doors off right now until I get around to painting the cabs, that way they match the cab. Each box is 30 mm tall, and 24 mm deep, the officer side is the same length as the tank, which is 62 mm, while driver's side is 76 mm long. Since I made 2 of each box at once, it was a good thing I had my NWSL duplicutter. On the 1:1 rigs, the diamond plate is going around the box and is flush with the edges of the doors, so that meant I had to adjust the measurements for the thickness of the Plastruct diamond plate, another good reason to use the duplicutter.

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Once the boxes were done, I moved onto the Hannay hose reels. I could have used the hose reel from the AMT ALF pumper, but I only have one set and need to make at least 2, so I had to cut some more out of sheet styrene.

The hose reel mounts face plates were cut from 1 mm thick styrene sheet, then, doubled up with carpet tape so that a 1/16 mounting hole would line up correctly. The sides of the hose reels mount feature 2 holes, so I decided to indicate this by using a hole punch to knock out 1/4 in holes. On the first one shown below, I didn't get the holes on center and had to adjust them a few times. I also used a hole punch to punch out 3 1/4" circles which I drilled a 1/16" hole through, these will act as the spacer.

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Once the crossmembers were cut to length, the reels were made by using 1/8" tube and 5/16" tube. Still have to work on those a little to make them not wobble when they rotate. As you can see, the overall effect is fairly decent. If I can find my sheet of Archer bolt heads, I'll add those to help raise the level of detail for these parts.

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Still need to make the electric rewind motor, but that's just finding a 1/4" rod and cutting a hole in it. Then come the guide arms, that will be some more engineering to figure out. I also need to remember to buy some 1/16" rod the next time I'm at the LHS, the metal tube just looks weird.

Overall, the rigs are coming along nicely. There is some serious sanding that needs to get done, but this is a good start.

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Posted · Report post

Great job on the hose reels might be able to find a resin f-350 on e-bay or something

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Posted · Report post

Nice, where did you find the plates with the tears on it?

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Looks awesome so far. The bed looks spot on so far. I wonder if someone out there has copied the matchbox f350 in resin. If I see anything out there I will be sure and send the info your way. Anyways, looking forward to seeing more.

chris

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@ mnwildpunk: Thanks. I'll keep looking, all I've found is the SSB resin's Ford F-350 quad cab for $100 and that's too much for a cab I'd have to chop in half.

Nice, where did you find the plates with the tears on it?

Thanks. The "plates with the tears" are the Plastruct 91687 HO scale (1:100) diamond plate sheets. At least that's what I hope you are talking about. If not, send me a PM and we'll figure it out.

Looks awesome so far. The bed looks spot on so far. I wonder if someone out there has copied the matchbox f350 in resin. If I see anything out there I will be sure and send the info your way. Anyways, looking forward to seeing more.

chris

Thanks. The other bed looks better, closer to the 1:1, just needs to get the headache rack finished. I don't see why AMT or Revell can't buy the Matchbox F-350 molds and release it in plastic, similar to how the recent Revell Jeep Rubicon was redone. Of course, I'd take any new pickup truck kit, even an extended cab, as long as I can make it a 1 ton or cab chassis.

I do have some more progress but it is going to take a few days to show up. Last year I had purchased an MPC Lotus turbine car with lawn tractor last year and started looking at the engine parts. I had made a copy out of styrene, but I just didn't like the way it turned out.

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Then I saw my Alumilite resin starter kit. Now I'm waiting for the RTV mold of the original parts (and some other things) to cure, fingers crossed that I did it correctly, then I'll be able to make a couple of resin copies of that engine and go from there. I know, I could have ordered a few from SEL, but I went this way to prove to myself that I can make a mold. Once I have that figured out, I might consider making a newer engine and pump to use on these and future rigs.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Double post

Edited by chris02719

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the info Chris, thatch exactly what i mean ;)

You are making good progress!

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Brandon,
Awesome work! I thought I was the only person who built brush trucks... Great job on the hose reels! I like your approach. I modified some of the AMT ALF hose reel mounts, just have to cast them.

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The angled arms are the toughest part in my opinion.This is a photo etched Hannay hose reel end that I made with the MicroMark kit.

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The Orange County, FL FD has some similar brush trucks that look great. I have thought about building one similar, but need to finish some of the pickup based brush units in the pipeline first. Look forward to future updates! BTW, build what you want. Don't let a single contest's rules stop you... : )


David

Edited by hooknladderno1

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Posted · Report post

Looking good!

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Posted · Report post

Very nice work!

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David, your parts look very nice. I have been looking at the AMT ALF kit for some more parts, just have to get the hang of resin casting first. While I would never let a contest's rules stand in my way of building a model, I don't have any more Maisto F series trucks but I do have a few of the Silverado kits in my stash...just makes sense to use what I have.

I found something this weekend that will help make better hose reels, a "My Jewelry Shop" 1 inch circle lever punch. It can take up to 0.020 thick styrene and punches a perfect circle. Will take some experiments to make see how well a hose reel with sides made from the lever punch will turn out, but that's for a future build.

After a few tries with the Alumilite kit last week, here's where the portable pump engine progress stands:

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Not bad for a first timer once I figured out how to weigh the resin and get a good thorough mix (far right never quite set up). Now I just need to figure out the extra parts to make it look more like a modern Briggs and Stratton engine for the Hale HP200 series pumps I'm trying to simulate. At least the impeller turned out okay.

Oh, that's the second body I've been working on, it still needs a lot more work which will have to wait for this weekend. I did spend some time this weekend looking for some chicken wire mesh for the top portion of the headache rack and ended up with Activa Activ-Wire mesh which might work. Can't wait for this coming weekend to get more work done on these utility beds.

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There is a nicely detailed 1/32 scale hose reel that was given to my by a good friend. I believe it came from one of the Aurora American LaFrance kits. The frame is pretty plain though... I also need to get the hang of casting down a little better... With a little flat brass strip bent to shape, the PE ends, some brass "L" angle, and the above mentioned hose reel would look pretty good. I like your engines! I have modified some Don Mills Models cast metal gasoline engines from his portable generator set. The impeller was made from sprue, epoxy putty, and Evergreen tubing. I will try to post some pictures of it when I am at home.

David

Edited by hooknladderno1

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Posted · Report post

A lot of real nice work on this , look forward to seeing more.

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Well, I wasn't happy with the engines for the pump. While the MPC kit is a nice engine, it doesn't represent a V-twin engine like the newer B&S Vanguard engines used by Hale for their pumps. Therefore, I took a couple of already cast pieces and an old motorbike engine and made something that looks like a 18 hp V-twin engine. I haven't found a decent way to make the overhead valve covers, but I sort of like this look without them. The exhaust system needs to be rigged, but I figure that will happen after I run all of the pump plumbing.

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Now to get some more castings done to make a couple more engines and pumps...then get back to the flatbeds.

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Well, here's some more progress. I'm making more progress on the flatbeds so I have to start working on the chassis.

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This is a serious project.....I like all of what you've done, here.....Excellent work, Man....Excellent work....

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Nice!

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Very clean work..keep up the excellent build

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Very cool! Nice scratch building!!

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Finally got these back out and started working on them. While I wait for some plastruct parts to arrive so I can start the plumbing work, I decided to cut one of the cabs down to a regular. Not perfect, and it still needs some work after the milliput sets up (not shown in these photos). I used some tape to trace the door curve, then carefully cut out the center section.

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Once that was done, I measured the cab and then cut down the interior to fit (yes, it still needs more work and some putty).

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Things to do yet, way too many. Now to work on the chassis and get both set up for a makeshift stock 4x4 wth dual rear wheels. Time to get a jig ready for leaf springs, then wait for Spring to arrive so I can start painting these trucks and maybe get them done by April.

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I did get some progress done on the chassis for both trucks this week. The frame rails were not that difficult to make, what took forever was the mounting brackets and rear leaf springs. The rear suspension will not be 100% prototypical since I'm not adding the helper leafs above the main leaf springs and will pin the rear mounts to the frame rails once I get the ride height correct. The front suspension on the extended cab is from the Revell Escalade kit and I'm currently waiting on the two part mold to cure to get it back. I will be using the solid metal axle wheels and tires from the AMT Silverado 3500 kit, so that part works just fine for me. Wish I could get my hands on a few more of these suspension parts as I hate parting out the Escalade kit just for that part.

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A closer look at the bottom of the chassis shows how I adapted my scratch built parts to the kit part chassis. Not pretty or prototypical, but the bonds better hold the weight of the model otherwise I'm up a creek without a paddle.

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My check list is slowly getting smaller. Need to make a trip to Columbus this weekend to get more resin, styrene, and sanity.

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