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1953 Mack W-71 Integral Sleeper (AITM Cab) & Canvas Top Trailer (Scratch Built)

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This is my third finished AITM cab (nine more still in the stash).


Most things said about my preceding

GMC 9500 Short Hood http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=74735

Mack F http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=85208

apply also to this cab.


A few peculiarities, however, should be mentioned:

  • The original W-71 cab had no grille as the GMC and the F but a radiator shutter. Opposite to the unsatisfactory resin grilles of AITM's GMC and F the radiator shutter of my W-71 was well-made and required only minor work.

  • While the casting quality of the GMC and F was mediocre to poor the casting of my W-71 was abysmal. Actually the surface of this cab was not much poorer than the surface of my F cab. The W-71, however, has a lot of moldings. I found most of the numberless (often deep and large) surface flaws close to these moldings or even worse in the confined areas between two moldings or a molding and a raised hatch. Finally I found it impossible to achieve an acceptable surface, so I removed nearly all moldings, finished the cab surfaces and then made new moldings from styrene.

  • The recessed areas around the door windows varied in width and depth conspiciously. I had to make a pattern from sheet metal, fixed it on the doors and scraped the recessed areas with a chisel-like blade.

  • All panel lines and gaps were either not straight or not angular but crooked and/or sinuous. I suppose (I am no casting expert) that this happens if the silicone mold is insufficiently stabilized while casting. Moreover these panel lines and gaps varied in depth an width, so I closed them all and rescribed them. Whatever I used for filling the lines and gaps was harder than the rather soft cab resin. This made rescribing difficult and required several attempts for achieving an acceptable result.

As mentioned above I can compare the casting quality of nine further AITM cabs. The casting quality of my W-71 was the poorest by far.


As usual I built a complete new interior and my own Alcoa wheels. The trailer was scratch built.




Edited by Plastheniker
Fotki links replace PB
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Thanks for the comments so far!



Absolutely gorgeous! The W71's are my favorite coe and you have done this one justice! I have a couple questions though, how did you make the door handles and guages? Also, what frame did you start with?

Superb, again. What did you use for the instrument bezels?

Sam, Skip,

the door handles were nicely done separate resin parts included in the box.

I converted a now unavailable AMT Cruiseliner chassis. The chassis of the recently  reissued (former MPC/Ertl) DM 600, however, is much better.

In the nineties (I think) I wrote an article for FSM about detailing car interiors and making better gauges. If I can find the issue I will PM you a copy tomorrow. If I cannot find it I will post a description here in this topic next weekend.



Fantastic job on the old Mack.  It looks perfect.  What did you use for the tarp & tie-downs on the trailer?  It looks so realistic.


the tarp is made of styrene sheet and a lot of putty.

The tarp loops are bent strips of thin styrene.

The cord that holds the tarp down is 0.3mm nylon monofilament fishing line. It is sold in black and clear.

Black doesn't look convincing on the model, and any paint doesn't adhere very well on nylon. Therefore I used transparent fishing line, and pulled it several times through a piece of folded sandpaper in order to achieve a milky surface. This gives a better appearance when painted afterwards with a yellow permanent marker.




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