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Scott Colmer

FXI Trucking Hot Rod Peterbuilt.

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A couple years ago a friend at work said asked me if I wanted to replicate a truck that a friend of his was building. I had other projects going on, but I agreed. The other friend was Louie Force. I met with Louie at the FXI shop and we struck a deal for me to build a 1/25 scale version of the truck he was building for FXI.

When I started the truck was in rough mock up. Now it is nearly completed. I'll do the WIP thread from the beginning.

Here is the truck in rough mock up of the 1to1.

1to1earlymockup-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

I started chopping off the roof of an AMT Peterbuilt then opening and hinging the doors. If I remember right, I might have found the source for the hinges here in the trucker's lane of the forum.

Modeldoorhinge-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Then I figured I would start with the chassis. The kit front axle had the center dip added to match the 1to1 axle. I'll save the drilling for in Canada in the build. I also started on the steering knuckles.

1to1frontaxel-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

modelfronaxle-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Thanks for looking.


Edited by Scott Colmer

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Very cool. Any tidbits you can add on how you made "this or that" are greatly appreciated for us novices at scratchbuilding.

Thanks for posting and looking forward to following.


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Clayton, and Bill. Thanks for the interest. This is the first big rig I have ever build, so this is all new territory for me.

Jesse, I do not have a lot of detail pics about making some of the parts, but I'll share the one's I do have.

Time to make the front leaf spring.

I measured the 1to1 spring and scaled it to 1/25 using an on-line scale calculator and dial caliper.

I started with brass strips cut from K&S Sheet.

leafspring1-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The hardest part of making a leafspring is making the eyelets and getting the distance between the two correct. Start by bending one end around a form. I used a drill bit to match the size of the sleeve I was going to use. Allow for extra during the bend that can be cut off before the end is curled under the bit. Pliers will be needed.

The second bend is the one that takes measuring and planning. Be sure to plan allow for the reduction in length that will happen when you add the arc to the spring. (You might want to bend the arc when taking the measurement.) Mark where you need the second eyelet to be and know that the bend will happen on the outside of the location.

leafspring2-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

leafsrping3-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The hard part is done. Now to put the arc in the rest of the leafs.

leafspring4jpg-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The retainer brackets are made from aluminum. The trick to a tight fit is to drill the first hole, bend the bracket around the spring, then use the first hole as a pilot for the second. The bolts are home made.

leafspring6-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki


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In the last installment you can see I started the chassis. This time I get the major work on the chassis done. If you are going to replicate a 1 to 1 vehicle, you have to take LOTS of measurements. I have a sketchbook full of measurements of the chassis with the 1/25 conversion by each note. That includes the thickness of the rails, connectors, mounts. I had to do a good amount of remeasuring too. I also had lots of photos to help keep track of all the details. One trick is accounting for the thickness of the body. Body mounts have the moved inwards just a bit.

So here is the finished chassis before it went out to paint.

1to1frame-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Phase 1 is the main rails and the stringers that are used the stiffen the chassis. If you look at the rear kick up you can see it is not boxed. Just like the 1 to 1.

frame1-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The basic chassis is done. Still a lot of bracket work to do.

frame2-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The brackets that hold the real radius rods are unique in the they create a box of sorts. The outer bracket is chrome. The inner is welded to the frame.

brackets-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

To make a set of matching brackets, I usually make the first one, with guide holes at the ends. Then I make the number of roughed out brackets I need. All the pieces are slid onto straight pins with a thin dab of CA glue between the layers to hold them in place while I match the rough brackets to the original master. One trick I use it to run a black sharpie around the edge off the master so it shows when the other brackets have reached the same size. Also remember to keep the edge of the bracket "stack" as square as possible when shaping.

brackets1-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Once the brackets are shaped, douse them with debonder and carefully pry them apart. If they are stubborn, use a little more debonair, but be careful it will soften the surface of the plastic,

brackets2-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

I decided to add the styling holes one bracket at a time because did not trust myself to make them match by drilling through the bracket stack. I like to start them small and the work out to the final diameter. File, check, file. It allows me to slightly adjust the placement of the holes as I go along.

brackets3-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Hope you like it so far.

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Thank you SO much for taking time to walk an imbecile like me thru the process. Your willingness to take the time to detail even the simplest of stuff has taught me far more than you could imagine.


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Time for round things. I did not think I would be scratch building so much of this project. There are just not that many parts available.

So I had to make the disc brake rotors, front rims, and rear rims and tires.

rearbrake-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

1to1frontrim-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

rearwheel-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

First up - The rotors. I counted the fins on the 1 to 1 rotors because, well - because. My first set were eyeballed and the finished product did not look great. Fin spacing and angle was inconsistent.

badrotor-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The second time I used some measure'n tools. The pictures tell the story. (The cut out thing on the far right gets explained further down.)

goodrotor1jpg-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Careful placement and less glue make for a cleaner finished product.

goodrotor2jpg-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The sharpie trick again. This time for even fin height. I am always reaching for that flat file. (Left to me by my Grandfather.)

goodrotor3pg-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Rotors look good. What you also see here are the hubs and the front rims under constructions. It really a matter of making shapes. Notice I marked the slots, drilled the holes on each end, then carefully connected the holes. Then the center plate for the rim was cut form the sheet.

goodrotorandrim-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Finally I had to widen the kit rear rims and tires. Fortunately, a big rig kit has LOTS of rims and tires to combine. The trick for the tires was finding an inner tube that was wide enough to support the tire. It came from a plastic candy cane that held little bottles of booze. That's the blue thing. I used masking tape for the final tweaking in the tread height.

rearrimsandtires-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

That's it until next time.

Edited by Scott Colmer

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Ben and Steve, thanks for the comments!

I am almost out of pictures of how-to's.

At this point we are up on four wheels. All the radius rods are from K&S Tubing. The rod ends are scratch built by flattening and shaping one end of aluminum rod. Threads are made by rolling the rod under a sharp blade. It takes practice. The final trick is to thicken the joint ends with epoxy steel so they are not so flat.

DSCN2440-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

There are still more parts to build.

Rear end and third member.

1to1rearendjpg-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

1to13rdmember-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Making parts is really about identifying shapes and replicating them. Here is the beginning of the third member.

3rdmember1jpg-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Here is the finished product. The kit housing has been widened in all directions. The third member took a lot of shaping and additional shape elements to replicate the 1 to 1 part.

3rdmember2-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Now the master cylinder

1to1mastercylinder-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Again, another assembly of styrene shapes.

mastercylinderjpg-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

And finally the steering box.

steeringbox-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

steeringbox-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

That's all for now. Next time we build the roll cage and do the body modifications.

Thanks for lookin'


Edited by Scott Colmer

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Man, this is a nice piece of work.....Way to go on those discs....Wow....That's a lot of work for just a few parts.....Very nice.....

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Thanks for the encouraging comments Clayton and JT.

Time for some larger parts. First the body.

I thought the AMT kit body looked OK. But when I dropped it on the chassis it did not meet the mounting points. Hmmm. I headed back to the FXI garage and measured the body. When I scaled down the measurements to 1/25, I found the kit body was smaller that I needed. So out came the saw.

First the back was widened.

body1-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Then the front got it.

body2-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Then it all went back together. I also added some material between the back of the cab and the rear of the doors.

body4-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Time for a mock up. The stance is a match to the way Louie set up the truck by this time. Nothing like the first mock up.

body6-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Before I started on the cage I needed the floor in place. I also made the grill shell.

floorpan-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Here is the 1 to 1 shell for reference.

1to1shell-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

OK here is what we are making. ...A 2" OD tube roll cage fitting of a hot rod Peterbuilt

rollcageonchassis-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Well, heating 2" scale rod did not go well. Hat's off to those who can do this. Not a skill I have.

badrollbar-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Soooo. I went the aluminum rod in the tube route. Just the right amount of masking tape made for a sung fit. Also, instead of filing the entire tube with the rod, I pushed it up to the bend area using the depth sitck(?) on my calipers.

rodinbar-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

There's the finished product. This was actually pretty fun. If I made a piece too short it was was easy to splice in a section using styrene rod to join both ends.

finalcage-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

OK. Next up is the rear wing and the supports. AKA juggling spiders.


Edited by Scott Colmer

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Wow Scott! You have great building skills. Thanks for the tip on bending the roll cage tubing :)

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Scott what a fantastic scratch build you have going on here. Thanks for sharing your build and the how to tips to build this. Looking forward to seeing more progress pictures.

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Wow. It's been February since my last update. I'm going to school to be a teacher while I work my regular job. So time is not always there. I'm between semesters, so I got a little done.

Here's the 1to1 wing. Note all the rod ends and the cool pattern in the paint. Following is how I replicated the structure. For the paint I am going to try scuffing bare metal foil before laying on the candy blue.

1to1wing-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Note that little clevis joint that's not attached. Those became a pretty tedious part of the wing project.

1to1wingdetail-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The support bars are a mix of K&S aluminum tubing for the larger diameters bars, and stainless steel for the smaller bars. I did not want to mix metal types, but the brackets on the main bars had to be inset for strength. I had no way to cut the tiny receiver slot in the much harder stainless, so I went with aluminum. They do not make an aluminum rod in the smaller diameter, so I had to use the stainless for those rods. A very good polish will help the two metals have a similar shine.

rodends1-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The bolts are from Scale Hardware and the rod ends are from the tuner supply package on the far right. They are larger scale injector fittings that I flattened on both sides. The stems are a little thin so I had to add styrene sleeves to the aluminum rod. Luckily, that replicated the look of the real thing. Note the drill bit size is written on the package. The jamb nuts are hex styrene.

bolts-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

There was no easy way to replicate the clevis joints so I had to make 6 of them by hand. I started by using a fine miter saw to cut the slit in aluminum rod and then shaped the joint around that.

clevis-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Ready to bolt in place. The actual wing started out as a Revell 70s dragster piece. The end plates are styrene.

This entire assembly bolts together. Getting all the those bars to cooperate was not easy. Small dabs of liquid tape helped keep them in place while I bolted the other bars on. I used a piece of aluminum rod that was smushed over one of the bolt heads as a makeshift wrench.

wingready-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

And there it is in place.

winginstalled2-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Next is to complete the bed and get it mounted.

Thanks for looking.


Edited by Scott Colmer

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That is incredible! Way beyond my comfort zone. Awesome scratchbuilding and fabricating here.

be Well


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