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Digger Style 1/8 Harley Updated 9/29/14

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I need to start building again and I think I found a project that piques my interest enough to get going. This style of bike was popular through the '70s. I still like it and it may be making a come-back.

I have been searching for this kit at a reasonable price for a long time with no success:

amf2_zps3ddfd1de.jpg

Most bikes of this style were based off the Sportster. There were some Big Twins too and I found this reference pic of a Knucklehead on the web. There were (to me) three big time builders and in order of my favorites they were: Ron Simms at Bay Area Cycles, Arlen Ness (who may have built the first???) and Dave Perewitz at Cycle Fab in Mass.

untitledbike22_zpsd5a32058.jpg

I bought this junkyard generator Shovel off feeBay, pic is before a purple pond soak:

ebayflh_zps10529d29.jpg

I am attacking what I believe to be the most difficult parts for me. They are the frame, tank, wheels and front-end. I have the frame about ready except for some clean-up/detail.

DSCF0211_zps8b010ceb.jpg

I will be making my own wheel centers. I need to decide what I want and that it looks right. BTW, the front wheel came from my parts box. HD dressers have 16 inch wheels front and back so they can be rotated. This front is 19 scale inches.

I have a post in the Q&A section about the gas tank. I tried in the .040 plastic I had and much to my fear, it split apart. I've never had any luck before regluing scribed parts. Not this time either. I will get it one way or another.

I can't say this will be a quick build but I try to work on it everyday.

If anyone has the above Sportster kit they are willing to trade or ???, please let me know. Unbuilt, built or parts/basket-case.

I may also be needing decals made down the road, if you make them please PM me and I can give you an idea what I am looking for.

Comments/criticism welcome.

Edited by DPNM

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Looks like quite a project Jim , I'll definitely be watching !

I met Arlen Ness many years ago at a show and he's not nearly as wild as some of his builds are , he's just another guy that loves bikes !

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this .

P.S. - Are they really called " Digger " style bikes ? I've never heard that before .

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ARRRRGH,

I spent the weekend trying to form the fuel tank. I redid it in plastic and again snapped it while bending. I tried on a piece of K&S tin and their brass. I just can't do what I want in these mediums. An industrial press would sure come in handy about now :lol: . I got frustrated and went back through the reference pics I took from the 'net to look for wheels that I like just to go on to something else. I found I really like this:

9544247389_03de46492f_z_zps033fe362.jpg

Hey, I'm talking about the gas tank!!! This design is much simpler and I think it will work better for me for a number of reasons besides it's simplicity. Gonna try to make one :blink: .

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That is a wild as well as huge undertaking. I will follow along for sure.

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Good luck with this ambitious project.

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Bob, Yes they are Digger bikes. I googled digger Harley (also digger Sportster) when I was looking for reference pics. There are a lot. I just did a quick search and found this:

http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3750

Kinda gives the explanation to the name.

Thanks for the link Jim ! Now you've really got me interested ! :D

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Bob,

I just love this style of bike. I liked them when they first appeared back in the '70s and it hasn't waned a bit since. Nice to see they may be making a come-back.

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Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I am having issues with cementing the pieces together. My glue joints aren't holding. I do not know if it has something to do with the age of the plastic or from soaking it in Purple Power. My guess is the age of the plastic. It seems a bit hard and brittle. I've not had any issues with Purple Power but who knows??? I have tried model cement (bottled) and super-glue. Neither will make a good bond.

It's kind of hard to make progress if the parts don't stay together.

I'm looking at finding another kit that was not started. Don't know if that will help but right now I am going nowhere fast.

Edited by DPNM

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I just picked this up off feeBay. Being the inner bags are still sealed I'm gonna see if it makes a difference. Getting ready for some, hopeful, progress over this week-end. My best friend and, ahhhh, helper is in the pic too.

digger004_zps6a53d325.jpg

digger003_zps393825a6.jpg

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Congrats on the Electra Glide kit , looks like some really nice parts in that one !

I doubt your problem is the plastic or the Purple Power , more than likely it's the type of glue you are using . Liquid cements work when there is a tight fit with no gaps , and they all are designed to work with specific types of plastic . Some work better on styrene than others .

And super glue or CA glue really doesn't make a strong joint , in fact it's very brittle and parts can be easily broken apart . It has its uses but not for anything structural like a frame !

If all else fails , use Testor's Model cement in the orange tube !

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Thanks Bob, you may be right. I am using Testors plastic cement (liquid/bottle). I'm not having an issue with the frame. It's the wheels and a couple other parts. I may try to find something else that works better. I'll try what I am using on this new kit and see if it holds. I need to make the front wheel so I can make the front end. I may not have put enough rake in the frame.

I am gonna have a lot of parts left over, to be sure. I have a "tribute" build planned for the built up dresser I started this thread with. I really don't like to buy models already built but I find myself doing it every once in a while. I usually end up wanting to kick myself and I tell myself to not do it again but then something crops up I just can't let pass and I repeat the process all over.

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Wowzer, I had to go to page 4 to find this thread. It HAS been a while. Some explanation in case anyone is interested. I work a lot and it gets tough to get home at a decent time much less try to build. Throw in I moved about 6 weeks ago and had parts to this build in two different locations, the parts in the thread I was working on and the rest of them somewhere else. Seems I "misplacedemot100.gif" them. I found them this past Fridayconfused.gif.

The beginning of this thread states that I've been looking for a right side shift Sportster for a long time. I found this yesterday:

sporty_zps3e144839.jpg

I'm rather stoked. Sorry I didn't take a before pic as it was assembled when I bought it. It will need work but I will probably start on this and save the big twin for later.

Besides working a lot I have two non model related projects I'm working on that I want to finish. This bike may take a while to get started on but I will. I will post pics of progress when I have some. It's got to go in the purple pond for a while anyway.

Edited by DPNM

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Hi Jim,

nice to see, that you come back again to the digger theme. I´ll take place in the first line to see what you are doing on it.

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Ulrich, If I'm not mistaken you are "HarleyBuilder" on another Large Scale forum. We talked Harley's there too. Good to hear from you here. I think I may change my build to the Sportster before I finish the big twin. I also have something coming in the mail to me that I might use instead.

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Yes Jim, you´re right with the Harleybuilder :) . I like to see the sporster as a digger before you start with the big twin ;)

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Uli, This was in today's mail. The 40 plus year old chrome is the best I have ever seen in that age model. And you can call me a bit strange but I am in love with the exhaust pipes. It's too nice so this one won't get chopped. I have another plan for it. It will need some tweeking.

Bronson001_zpse95936ef.jpg

Bronson002_zps355322ae.jpg

Bronson003_zpsdb32078d.jpg

Bronson004_zpse9e88338.jpg

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WoW Jim !! Looks like you have enough now for three or four bikes. :D

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Yea Sam, sometimes when it rains it pours Sportstersemot3.gif! Usually I'm a day late and a dollar short. I'm sure you'll agree, ya can't never have enoughGrin.gif.

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Hello Jim,

I think the Bronson Bike only needs some carefully restoration. But one of your Sportsters I like to see as a Digger.

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Loving this build and all your extras. I have a few kits here and I plan on making a replica of my own bike soon. It's strange that only the Tamiya kits have the rocker bolts on the shovels. All my asian kits lack this detail. I'll just drill and scratch em, but it seems an odd omission to me.

I also love that green chop/bob but I was always told green bikes were bad luck unless they were WLA or X models. Of course this is just old bike lore I picked up from the many biker types I have run into through my father and his various/nefarious dealings with that world.

Watching and waiting to steal some tricks.......

Bob

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Uli, I sent you a PM.

Bob, I don't understand how they could leave the rocker bolts off in this scale either. They are easy enough to replicate although it shoulda been done by the mfg.

I have the Sportster frame soaking in the purple pond. Gonna get it ready to hack and whack.

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