Backdating the hood on this kit isn't as tough as one might think. With the proper tools, and a little patience, this conversion is quite simple.
First is to prime the hood to see the markings for the cuts, I drilled two holes in the top of the fenders for corner location. The first cut with a razor saw was along the hood upright on an angle to the bottom of the headlight buckets. Second cut came in from the side, at this point you should be meeting with the drilled holes.
The first cut with a razor saw was along the hood upright on an angle to the bottom of the headlight buckets.
Second cut came in from the side, at this point you should be meeting with the drilled holes.
Now that both buckets are gone I lined the inside of the fenders with sheet styrene cut to fit, this creates a foundation for the putty to lay on. Everyone has their favorite brand, mine just seems to be squadron green and white.
Starting with the green, put more than enough on and go past the ground zero, this will help in the end results.
After the green is sanded off, you should have noticeable low spots.
Now comes the white, I'm using two colors as a guide to see how deep I'm going into the fender
Once this is sanded off, do a quick mock up to check your work. At this point more primer will be applied and small defects will be cared for prior to paint.
I'm sure that I'm not the first one to do it this way but I was looking for an alternative way to stretch a frame versus butting the ends of the cut frame rail sections against one another and lapping a strip of styrene over the joint. Here's that alternative:
At the Joint of the frame, remove the shaded portion of the frame rail ends as shown below.
On one frame rail section, remove the center of the vertical portion of the rail leaving the horizontal portion intact (left). The length of the portion removed is not critical, 3/8" or so should work.
On the other frame rail section, remove the horizontal portion of the rail leaving the vertical portion intact (right). The length of the portion removed should be the same as the length of the portion removed from the other frame rail section. Note: Do not remove the horizontal portion by sawing along the inner edge of the horizontal portion of the frame rail, you will remove too much material from the tab. Carefully cut the horizontal portion out with an Exacto knife, etc.
Connect the two sections like puzzle pieces and glue. I use a straight edge (in this case my miter box) and a flat surface to align the sections and keep the rail straight while the glue dries.
Once dry, you should have a strong, straight joint that requires very little filler and is more realistic than the lap joint method.
Hope this helps,
Disclaimer. I am not professional and there is a possibility that I have no clue what I am doing. I hope that I have put enough info together to give you a good I idea of the steps that I use to create single hump fenders. If clarification is need, please let me know and I add info/edit as required. Sorry for not taking a few more/better images. Hope this helps!
1. Begin by cutting a 1 15/16" round disk from a sheet of .040 sheet styrene. I used a bow compass with metal points on both sided to get the job done. If you use this method be sure to make the center hole the same size as the compass point; if it is larger you will not get a symmetrical disk.
2. Mount the disk on a Dremel cutting wheel attachment. (The image below shows two mounted but one is fine.)
3. Begin to round the outer edge of the disk using a rasp of other coarse file, sanding stick etc.
4. Fine tune the chamfer of the outer edge of the fender with a sanding block. I used 220 grit sanding paper.
5. Finished disk on the right.
6. Before performing this step make a mark that divides the disk into two equal halves. Then cut the center out of the disk leaving a 5/8" circle and then cut the circle in two. You will then have two "C" shaped pieces as seen in step 7.
7. Glue a .060 x.040 styrene strip (SS1) around the outer edge of the "C". One of the .040 sides should be glued to the "C" and the strip should extend beyond the end of the "C".
8. Cut a hole with the same diameter as inner hole of the upper fender wall (UFW) above from a sheet od styrene and layout and cut the lower fender wall (LFW) as seen in the image below and the image in the next step. (Sorry for not taking better pics of this part)
9. Glue the LFW to the UFW and SS1, and cut the ends off SS1 off at the lower edge of the LFW.
10. Cut the lower portion of the LFW to achieve the desired fender height.
11. Glue a .030 x .250 strip (SS2) inside of SS1.
12. Make another side just like the one above.
13. Cut two strips of .020 styrene to the desired fender width (don't forget to account for the width od the sides) and long enough to wrap around the outside of the fender.
14. Beginning at one end, glue the first SS3 to SS2, wrapping it around the outer edge of the fender as you go. Be sure to keep the seam between SS3 and SS1 on each side as tight as possible. Cut the ends even with the lower ends of the fender side walls.
15. Wrap the second SS3 over the first SS3. Again, keep the seam between SS3 and SS1 on each side as tight as possible and cut the ends even with the lower ends of the fender side walls.
Fill and Prime
If all this seems like too much work, you can purchase a resin set in the Parts Store.
And here's the finished result of my work. With the license plate and IFTA decals on, and outside pictures in decent weather, I think I can call this truck done. All that's left is the Build-Off judging itself...
The Beast is done! In the last week I finished up on the big Peterbilt, scratchbuilding a deep bumper and adapting the rear fenders. If you look closely, you can recognise the fenders from the Revell of Germany "Canadian Hauler" kit in them. Also the mirrors are one, as well as the license plates. IFTA decals on as well. Now only I have to wait for decent weather to make outside pics; at the moment nature's not really cooperating...
The Build-Off Peterbilt is getting close to completion! I have the hood functional, the mirrors are on and I made a big bumper from styrene. All that's left is the fenders over the rear wheels; I'm still not sure about the definite style and way of attaching them, but I have some time left to figure that out. License plate decals and IFTA decals are last. The stack tips are in place as well, but I'm not really sure If that was smart. I might have to work on the underside of the truck a little for that. Oh well...
A little progress on the Build-Off Pete. Not much, but haven't had much time to tinker around.
I'd say the truck is on the home stretch here; mirror brackets are on, rear mudflaps and tail lights. The exhaust tips I have ready as well, just waiting before I have put some work behind me that could snap them off again. The hood is done and waiting as well, I just need to figure out the hinges since the resin aftermarket part isn't prepared for the kit's hinges. Also I fear that I might have mounted the cab a little too high (talking about halves of millimeters) so I need to set the hood just right. With all the effort on the C15, I try to make the hood functional.
After that it's off to the upfitter, for the custom bumper and rear fenders. Mirrors will be the last items on, last decals will be the license plates.
Some work has been done on the big beast. I completed the engine setup, which means that I put on the exhaust system. For that I had to attach the cab to have the exhaust stacks in place. I cut off the exhaust tips, I want different tips. And while I was at it, I also put on the sleeper.
Wheels I put on the axles; I used chromed 10-holed wheels with round holes from an Italeri Western Star kit I had saved, because I ran into a little issue with the lift axle. The rims I ordered fit the axle hub, but they are too wide for my taste; the tires that came with them have a pretty rough thread, more fitting on a dumper I think. It took some consideration, but my buddy Patrick Tompkins gave me a tip about using AMT wheels. They're a little smaller, like 22.5", and they would do well. These wheels come with round holes, and to keep the wheels more or less looking uniform the Western Star wheels were to go on the other axles. I put Italeri trailer tires on the front axle, they're a little wider than the standard truck tires. I do need to remember to put on the axle hubs on the front axle, though...
With the battery boxes and tanks in place, the truck has now entered the "Roller" stage; she should be able to move under her own power now. I'm getting more and more happy with how this truck is turning out!
As you might notice, the truck has two extra air tanks inside the frame, right about where the lift axle is located.
Now I'm wondering if I posted updates on the cab of this monster…
I decided to build a visor from scratch. I wanted something a little more ominous than the standard Italeri item over the windshield. From styrene I made this item; it was a little harder than I anticipated, but I got it eventually.
It looks great after sanding, painting and fitting on the cab I think! Yeah, the marker light placement is a little Old School I think...
Been a while since the last update in this blog, but again work has kept me busy, as well as other stuff in my life. That doesn't mean I haven't worked on the big Pete though.
Initially I made the engine and radiator assembly. I adapted the tubing from the original kit, and I was pretty pleased with it. It all fit well, the fan lined up with one of the pulleys and all. Yeah, this was gonna work!
Also I (finally) got the keel laid for this big beast. I was waiting on a lift axle from Jamie Rahmoeller (moluminum.com), and I wanted to take good measurement for placing this fine piece of work. I happened to have picked up a spare set of frame rail; actually two whole part trees for this kit, with all the stuff that comes in it. These came in very handy in adding the belts, pulleys and plumbing for the mighty C15 too. I managed to get a nice frame stretch with them.
I painted the frame red. Then came the placing of the engine in the frame. And that's where the brown stuff hit the ventilator, so to say. When I put in the complete powerplant, I found out that the engine would list too much, and the air duct on the firewall wouldn't clear the engine head. Nice going there, Joris…
Again I had to adapt the plumbing to make the powerplant air- and watertight. Took some cussing and swearing, words I won't repeat here because this is a family-friendly site and all, but I got 'r done, so to say.
Even the air duct fits over the engine again! And I got the placement of the cab supports right; this was a little worry for me, but I guess this will work. I had to modify the air duct to the turbo, but this wasn't such a problem with all the spare parts I have.
Now I do have some fears that the big hood won't be able to open; Eric Jones from P&P made a wonderful item (or perhaps it was Tim Ahlborn who made the master) with a realistic inside, but it rubs against the air intake duct. I so hope I won't have to glue it shut…
From Wikipedia- "The Republic Motor Truck Company was a manufacturer of commercial trucks circa 1913 - 1929, in Alma, Michigan. By 1918, it was recognized as the largest exclusive truck manufacturer in the world, and the maker of one out of every nine trucks on the roads in the United States. It was one of the major suppliers of "Liberty trucks" used by American troops during World War I."
Republic eventually found itself in trouble and merged with American LaFrance to form LaFrance Republic in 1929. Three years later, LaFrance Republic was bought out by Sterling, and the Republic name disappeared from the marketplace.
But what if...
I pondered what may have happened had the merger with LaFrance still happened, and while ALF continued its focus on emergency vehicles, Republic would handle the commercial truck/tractor business. This thought, and an incomplete AMT ALF pumper kit were the beginning of the project. I assumed that ALF and Republic would share major components to cut costs, so that the trucks might strongly resemble each other. That made my task a bit easier, too, as about all I had to do was rework the existing ALF parts.
The CTC (Compact Tilt Cab) series was introduced in early 1958, and was designed to be a direct competitor to the tilt-cab White, which was quickly becoming a popular medium duty with several operators. It was also in competition with the Ford C-Series, though Republic execs realized that making a dent in the then one-year-old Ford design would be a tall order. The CTC quickly found a following among urban fleets and in the refuse industry.
At launch time, the CTC could be ordered with literally any engine the customer desired. A few early models even left the factory with Chrysler Firepower Hemi V8s! As time wore on, though, more customers requested the availability of the Detroit V8. Though ALF did use this engine in their 800 series units (upon which the CTC was based), due to the way the Republic tilt cab was laid out, this engine would not fit in a standard CTC. In late 1972, Republic plucked an unfinished CTC-8500 from the line, painted it in the traditional black/yellow/green paint scheme, and, after several modifications to the doghouse and raising the cab approximately 4", installed a Detroit 8v71 engine. This prototype was then sent to the Lansing, Michigan terminal of Outward Bound Truck Lines for "real world" testing and evaluation purposes. There it would be subjected to a great deal of urban driving, punctuated with several open highway jaunts. Once a week, the CTC was driven from Lansing to the Republic factory in Alma on US-127, and Republic's engineering team would perform a series of tests and inspections. Then, it was back to work in Lansing. After one year of testing, the Republic engineers had amassed a great deal of usable data.
Drivers complained of the tractor's nose-heaviness, and the cramped interior. Republic determined that both problems could be solved by adding an additional 10" in length to the cab behind the doors. This would allow for a smaller doghouse, as well as enabling Republic to install the engine/transmission further to the rear. Raising the cab another inch would be beneficial as well. These changes made their way onto all CTC series models beginning in late 1974, at the same time the 8v-series Detroit diesels became a regular option.
The CTC Detroit prototype's power and light weight combined to make it quite a sprightly performer, too. After only a week or so at the Outward Bound terminal, the OB drivers had nicknamed the tractor the "Hemi Cuda" on account of it's impressive power-to-weight ratio.
Here is how the Detroit-powered CTC-8500 appeared upon it's return to Alma after it's one-year test run with OB had ended. A little dirty, a little beat, but otherwise no worse for wear. Nobody knows what became of this CTC after it had done it's duty. Some people say it was scrapped, some people say it's still tucked away in the warehouse on the outskirts of town. There are even claims that a local truck collector has it stashed away in a dark shed somewhere in the Saginaw Bay area. Wherever it is, or isn't, the Detroit CTC-8500 was an interesting story of a small company doing what it had to do to stay afloat in a cutthroat market.
Here, the resemblance between the Republic CTC Series and the ALF 800 can be seen.
Republic's engineers mounted the prototype cab several inches forward of it's normal position in order to fit the Detroit 8v71 engine. Though not the most aesthetically pleasing solution, it did help. Production models had a longer cab and revised mounts and hinges.
Republic trucks never were meant to be pretty... other than the customary Republic paint scheme this one is all-business.
All CTC tractors ordered with a single fuel tank came standard with a 24" square tool box mounted to the passenger's side.
We're all here because we share an interest in building scale models of "big rigs".... semi tractors, straight trucks, wreckers, transit mixers, logging trucks.... or whatever particular subject(s) may light your fire. But for me, a lot of this is new. While I've always had an interest in pretty much all types of machinery, and have been building scale models since the age of six (which was a time much further in the past than I'd like to think about), I have only really gotten into modeling the subjects we showcase here in the last few years.
In fact, it was not until 2009 when I built my first semi tractor model. That's just over one decade after building my first model ever. Sure, I'd dabbled with a few, and I'd done a few medium duty truck models, like a Ford C-600 stake bed, but I'd never built an honest-to-goodness semi until I picked up the reissued White Freightliner Dual Drive kit from the now-defunct Hulings Hobby House in Alma, Michigan. I don't know why... the box art makes the WF look so unappealing with it's yellow and brown color scheme, but something about it just jumped out at me. So... home with me it went. Wasn't too long before I had it built, and even though it's a mess of a model, it still sits on the shelf, and I'll never change it or redo it unless it gets damaged somehow. It was Numero Uno, and it was what got the ball rolling.
Here it is... in all it's glory. I learned a lot on this one, what to do and much more importantly... what NOT to do!
It wasn't until 2012 when I really got serious about them again, and that's when I started accumulating kits at an alarming rate. I have to say there was a method to my madness. I thought "Truck models cost more, and take up more room. Maybe that will help me keep tabs on the stash, because I won't buy as many kits due to those factors." I couldn't have been more wrong! I've finished quite a few this year... more than at any point up to now. I even did a second Dual Drive as a Michigan Special. Since I was never happy with the first one, I always vowed to pick up another DD and "do it right this time".
And I have to say the Dual Drive isn't my favorite subject, in 1:1 or small scale form. But here I am, with two built, and two more in the "I'll Get To It" pile. If I actually like the subject? Forget it. I can't tell you how many Internationals and Diamond Reos I have accumulated. I don't have as many Transtar Eagles as I have Moebius F100s or Hudson Hornets, but give me a few more months and we might just see!
What got me into semi models, at first, was the challenge. I kept hearing about how fussy those old AMT truck kits were. But I have to say... I don't really see the big deal. A few truck modelers have this kind of superiority complex, and seem to think that they are better modelers who build other types of models. That's pure malarkey. Any model is only as challenging as you make it out to be. The only real difference between a kit with 300 parts and a kit with 30 parts is that on the 300 part kit, you're gluing more stuff together. Really. That's the only difference I see. Yes, some truck kits can be a pain in the bum to wrestle together, but some are an outright pleasure. Same as with any other type of subject I've built. So, while I expected a challenge, I stayed simply because I enjoyed it. The experience was a lot of fun.
A kit of a big rig subject inherently includes more detail, just on account of it's size. While a kit manufacturer can get away with a one-piece "plate" chassis with everything molded to it if they're doing a '70 Chevelle, they can't really get away with that on something like a Peterbilt highway tractor.
But I have to say the real appeal (for me) of these kits is variety. Yes, you can build, say, a '67 Mustang in a variety of ways. But with a standard semi tractor, you can pretty much go in any direction you want. That AMT California Hauler could, with a little work, become practically any Unilite-era Peterbilt you want it to be. There are so many choices as far as engines, axles, wheel and tire combinations, etc.. Most manufacturers had more than one BBC (and thus more than one hood length), set back axle configurations, sleeper options, and the like. And what do you want on the back? Anything from a simple fifth wheel to a two-bedroom combination car hauler is possible. There aren't as many limits, and that's before you consider building something custom. And in that case, all bets are off.
If you don't let the complexity scare you away... like I said, you're just gluing more parts together... a big truck model is an impressive addition to any display shelf. The same basic modeling skills and tools you'd use to build a 1:25 Corvette, 1:48 P51 Mustang, or 1:35 Abrams tank will serve you just as well on a 1:25/1:24 truck. Try it, you might like it!
I think everybody has that one special truck or tractor that just jumps out at them. When talk turns to "all-time favorites", we all have one that stands out above all the others. For me, that bogey is the Diamond Reo Raider. While I like both versions of the Raider, I tend to lean more toward the set-back front axle type. There's just something about that broad, tall grille, blunt bumper, and the slope of those square-ish fenders that just "nails it" for me.
Think of the Raider as kind of what the International LoneStar is today... basically, the LoneStar is a ProStar with a unique hood, bumper, and more lux features, right? Well, that's essentially what the Raider was. Underneath the skin, it was standard fare Diamond Reo, but offered a unique look and exclusive options.
The Raider was the flagship of the brand during the years it was owned by Alabama resident Francis Cappaert, who had purchased Diamond Reo from the White Motor Company in 1971. However, the company soon found itself in financial hardship. Just around the time the Raider was going into production, Diamond Reo filed for bankruptcy. The following year the company was taken over by Pennsylvania's Loyal Osterlund. The Raider disappeared, along with the compact tilt cab Rouge model. Fewer than 50 Rouges were ever built, and the Raider was in production for less than a year. Under Osterlund, Diamond Reo focused on custom-built heavy trucks and tractors, and it was during the Osterlund years that the iconic Giant was released. Some 150 trucks were produced each year, to customer's orders, until 1995, when the Diamond Reo name ceased to exist.
Today, when you mention the name Diamond Reo, most people will respond with either a blank stare, or "Yeah... aren't they a country band?"
Anyway... back to the story at hand. Like I said, I just love the way the set-back Raider looks. That front end, the classic lines of the Driver Cab (originally an Autocar design dating back to 1950) are great enough on their own, but set it up on spoke wheels and a short wheelbase, and all those traits conspire to create one brutish looking machine.
I have only ever seen one Raider in the flesh. It is owned by a local salvage yard- they use it to transport their auto crusher. The owner of the yard had a Diamond T many years ago, and when the opportunity came to purchase the Raider, he jumped on it.
This Raider is a typical Michigan Special. Okay.... I hear some of you saying "What is a Michigan Special"? Basically, it is a short-wheelbase tractor, set up to haul heavy loads.... up to 75 gross tons on eleven axles. Years ago Michigan law dictated a short wheelbase for certain applications. Now, there are no restrictions on wheelbase. But during the years of more stringent laws, the short, dual-drive tractors were a common sight. Front axle capacities of up to 20,000 pounds were allowed, so in many cases flotation tires were used on the steer axle. Many had cast spoke wheels and double frames, and more than a handful had hand-painted scrollwork and numbered flags. In fact, I'd be willing to bet quite a few truckers would argue it's not a "real" Michigan Special without such graphics, regardless of how it's spec'd out!
Of course, I've always wanted to build a model of a Raider, in set-back, Michigan Special form. I always have an AMT Diamond Reo kit or two on hand, and I recently obtained a very old Frank Gortsema resin casting of a set-back Raider. And after spending a few minutes poking around the salvage yard's Raider, I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted...
I opted not to do a full-on replica, more of a lookalike.
The old slush-casting had a weak roof, so the cab was cut away and replaced with an AMT piece. The inconsistent thickness and sheer weight of the hood led me to attach it to the cab, rather than try for a tilting hood. Another detail is the grille- on the real Raider, the grille frame tilts with the hood, while the vertical bars and diamonds (insert) stay vertical, attached to the radiator core support. The casting lacks the holes in the bumper- given the nature of the old, brittle resin, I opted not to cut them into the bumper for fear of shattering it. I think the fact that this was built using the vintage Gortsema castings adds to the overall "feel" of the model... almost like it has a little scale modeling history built right into it.
In this picture the "stubby-ness" of a Michigan Special tractor is evident. The kit battery boxes and tanks were used, just re-positioned a bit. I don't recall how much I cut out of the wheelbase- I just eyeballed things and hoped for the best. The front axle was also moved rearward. I robbed the exhaust stacks from an Italeri parts set. The entire model was weathered to appear as a tractor that was showing its age, but had been mostly well maintained. Also note it's wearing three different types of tires... Michelins on the front, Goodyears on the forward drive axle, and Uniroyals on the rear axle... apparently nobody told this Raider's skinflint owner about the dangers of mixing radials and bias-plies! This was done for two reasons. One... old rigs like this never have the same tires- the owner will typically run whatever is cheapest when the time comes to buy a new tire. And because the Michelins are just a bit taller than the kit supplied Goodyears, the middle axle would have been off the ground. This is also why I used the Uniroyals at the rear, they are just a tad shorter than the Goodyears. So, by going from tallest to shortest as I went rearward, I ensured that all ten tires would sit flat, and gave the tractor a slight tail-down stance... just perfect for a loaded trailer!
The flags were made from white decal film, hand painted and topped with a dry transfer number. I've had the door lettering for years, the decal graphics came from the original 1999 run of the Revell '41 Chevrolet pickup. Unfortunately, these graphics are not in the current "Trucks" reissue. Killins Gravel Company actually did exist at one time, and I've found quite a few old photos showing the site. No idea if they were still around in the '70's or if they ever had a Diamond Reo, but it's a model, so why can't I suspend reality just a tad?
During test fits the cab tilted to the rear a bit. I decided to keep the look- it gives the impression of broken-down cab mounts. I also went with a flat rear frame... the frame just plain ends after the mud flap brackets. It looks a little bare with no trailer lines back there, but I might get to that when/if I ever build a trailer for this. As a Michigan Special, it could pull pretty much anything, from a flatbed full of coiled steel bound for an auto plant, to a pair of end-dump gravel trailers. Seeing as how it's lettered up for a gravel pit, I'd imagine I'll have to gunk up a gravel dump for it. I guess we'll see.
Anyway, that's about it, I hope you enjoyed reading all that drivel. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a forward-set Raider I need to get around to building....
Tuesday, November 10th 2015
Been a while since the last update, but work has kept me busy. However I found time to tinker on a little. The work on the hood, cab and sleeper continues diligently, although there have been some SNAFU's along the way. A little bleed-under in the painting process, which has been mostly corrected. I tried the pinstripe decals from KFS as a demarcation line, but they were absolute horror! So it's fallback to Plan B, masking tape and paint. As soon as the results are satisfying enough, pictures of the bodywork will come. Then the livery is being revealed as well. Also it seems that the hood hinges from this particular kit are missing (funny, I do remember all the bags were sealed…) so I have to improvise a little.
As you can see, I finished the big CAT C15. The way I put on the belts and pulleys might not be the 100% correct way, but then again I'm not a rivet counter and I had to make use of the stuff I got. For me it works this way at least. For the colors I went a little Old Skool; transmission in frame color and I put a twist on the 'white" engine Peterbilt featured back in the Olden Days; I used Tamiya's Pearl White, since that color comes back on the bodywork on this truck.
The cab needs a dash too. Since I'm building a Post-'05 Peterbilt, the new style dash is needed. I've painted the dash a little custom too. Red dials and switches on a gunmetal background, while the upholstery is supposed to look like white leather.
Friday, October 23rd 2015,
The other day I got a pm from Casey, if I wanted to do a blog about my current building project. For a Build-Off on a facebookpage I'm planning to build a Peterbilt 379-127. I was surprised by Casey's message, but also pretty honoured. I don't consider myself a so-called Master Builder, but I'm not a complete dunce either. So I figured: yeah, why not? Please bear with me, while I'm also trying to figure out how to put up this blog as I go...
First of all, for those who don't know me, I think introducing myself to you all is the decent thing for me to do. My name is Joris Scholte, born in The Netherlands in 1977. I emigrated to Switzerland in 2012 for various reasons, none of them really matter for this blog. Met a nice girl here, coincidentally she's Dutch too. I've been building 1/24th and 1/25th scale trucks since 2005 or so. In my pre-teens I have built models before, mainly military aircraft. Pretty cumbersome with the wings sticking out, and sooner or later you run out of possibilities.
Restarting this hobby, almost right away I got into contact with Tim Ahlborn through email. As you all probably know, Tim has a Peterbilt fascination and builds extremely good trucks. I happen to like the Peterbilt trucks too, the main reason why I focus on building them. Tim has been giving me background info on the real Peterbilt trucks and tips how to recreate them in scale over the years, he's a great guy! Back in 2011 he even helped me get a tour of the Peterbilt plant in Denton, Tx, when I went over to Dallas for the Great American Truck Show. Nice!
Anyway, back to this truck I'm going to build. On the (closed) facebook group "Building Big Rigs..Tips and how did you do it.." a build-off for members got my attention. Participants have from October 1st 2015 till March 2016 the time to build their truck. One of the 4 classes to enter is Custom. Basically, not building the kit exactly box-stock. Since I bent the rules a little on a previous Build-Off, the Custom-class would be where I'd put my entry. Furthermore, for the contenders not in Rebuilding-class, a fresh kit has to be used. Sounds logical, but okay…
Thinking about what I have in stock for kits and parts (and yes, I have quite a lot), I remembered I had some nice resin stuff from P&P Vintage kits. Actually all the conversion parts to turn the Italeri Peterbilt 378 kit into a nice Ultracab Peterbilt 379-127, with the newer door and dash (post '05). In this blog I will post updates as they come on the build, progress and the issues that will (undoubtedly) arise during construction. The final result will be shown here, as well as the result in the Build-Off.
So why a Peterbilt 379? For me, the non plus ultra American truck is a Peterbilt 379. The way it looks, the reputation and all. Also, if you consider that for the aftermarket parts market there are supposedly more items available for Peterbilts alone than for all the other brands combined, you can build a scale Pete any way you like.
The truck I'm building has no definite plan yet. The kit I'm using is an Italeri kit, the so-called Long Hauler (#3857). Comes with the 63" Standup-Sleeper, and a Detroit Diesel 60 Series under the hood. The truck the Italerians offer is not a 379 model, but a 378. Cab sits a little higher and the hood is different. I don't like the terms "Short Hood" or "Extended Hood (or EXHD, which I dislike even more) so I try to refrain using them. There are 2 ways of making the 378 into a 379. The first is lowering the cab a little and adapting the hood. Tim Ahlborn gave me that tip many years back, and it works great! This way you'll turn the truck into a Pete 379-119 aka Short Hood. On Tim's site (http://www.timstrucks.com) you can find the instructions how to do this if you are interested. I have done this several times in the past with what I think great results. The other way is making or ordering a resin conversion kit; I have ordered in the past lots of parts from P&P Vintage kits and a 379-127 hood conversion is one of them. Now of course there are many sellers who offer them, I'm sure they are all good. I stick with P&P because I had good experiences with them in the past. Also I have a resin cab with the newer doors and a raised roof (the so-called Ultracab); this cab has a true Unibilt sleeper transition too. I picked up an extra set of frame rails too somewhere in the past; actually it's the whole sprue, with engine parts and stuff. Since I have to alter the cab supports anyway, I figured a frame stretch using the extra rails would be great. And here comes the first dilemma: do I make a Large Car, with custom fenders and cowboying it up, or do I make a heavy hauler with a lift axle? Both of them are appealing… At the moment I'm working on getting a lift axle through Jamie Rahmoeller from Mo'luminum.
The Detroit Diesel I'm definitely not going to use. Don't get me wrong, it might be a fine engine and the Italerians did a fine job in moulding it, but I want something different. Through my friend Patrick Tompkins I got a Caterpillar C-15. A nice resin kit, comes with lots of detail. Should be a nice engine for my project. But then again, if I can pick up a Cummins ISX again, I might put that in...
Also I have tons of spare parts accumulated over the years, so I plan to put on lots of extras. Since the 379 I'm building is a newer type, with the new door latches and window sills, I need a newer style dash too. P&P has them as well, and I got 3 sets back then.
The cab is already primed, I'm working on the Unibilt transition in the sleeper front panel.
Saturday, October 24th 2015,
I got the panels on the sleeper together, and cut out the opening for the Unibilt sleeper transition. The cab and sleeper make a flush fit. Also I shaved off the door handles on the all the doors. Either I'm going to make 4 matching ones, or perhaps I'm keeping the doors like that. Customized, opening by remote or something...
Ahm, I seem to have forgotten to put the doghouse in the firewall on the front of the cab. Let's get that corrected...
I just wanted to make a quick note to say thank you to the admins at Model Truck Discussion, Model Truck Mafia, Building Big Rigs Tips and how did you do it and Model Trucks Other Than Pete or KW for allowing me advertise MTB.com in their Facebook groups. Thank you to those that have given me permission to post images of their builds in the gallery, to those who have added their own images and to those who have posted in the forums. Finally, thanks to all who have visited and/or registered. I hope you find your way here often, contribute content when and where you can, and most importantly, find the site useful and enjoyable.
Please do not hesitate to let me know what I can do to make MTB.com better.
Who am I and why have I created MTB.com?
I guess the first thing you need to know is that I am not a skilled writer/blogger so please forgive me if what follows is a bit clumsy. Second, I am not an expert model builder. In fact, over the past 20 years, I have only completed two model trucks but I have just recently started two new builds. Third, I am not a truck expert but I am a huge truck fan.
My uncle is an owner operator and from an early age until I joined the Air Force at age 18, I spent every moment I could on the road with him or at the garage helping him work on his trucks. He has owned many makes; Mack, GMC, International, Autocar, Ford, Freightliner, Peterbilt, Kenworth, and multiple models of most of those makes. I was bit early and I have never lost my love for trucks. I picked up some truck knowledge along the way but that knowledge is fairly limited. I know enough to sound smart to the complete novice and little enough to sound stupid to the experts, so I will spend a lot of time in the "Tips, Tricks and Help" forum.
Early in my career, I learned that models do not fair well during military moves and thus, I decided to save model building for a later date. However, thanks to the internet, I have been able to keep up with hobby and with the works of builders like Kuenn McClinton and Tim Ahlborn, I remain inspired to built my own model truck fleet. I completed what is likely my last cross-country move earlier this year and now it's time to get started!
I obviously don't need to operate a truck modeling website to build my fleet but having picked up some webmaster skills during my 8 years running C-130Hercules.net, I thought I would try to build a site for the model truck community. A site where builders can have their own photo album(s) to display their work, find reference photos, chronicle their builds (blog), download kit instructions, share their WIPs, get feedback on their completed builds, and get tips, help and more. Wish me luck!
Thank you for stopping by, please join and contribute to the community, and let me know if there is anything I can do to improve your MTB experience.
As you can see we are just getting started but with some behind the scenes work from the MTB staff and little help from you, we hope to make CHN the go to web site for the truck modeling community!
Since we are asking for “a little help” from you, we thought it only fair that explain why there is room in the truck modeling community for a new site and what our plans are for the site.
As you browse the web, you will find a few modeling magazine websites, some individual truck builder websites and several social media website relating to model truck building. We have been visiting them for years and they each have merit. However, they do have their drawbacks. Magazine websites predominately focus on models other than trucks and typically have a small truck section at best, individual truck builder sites are most often centered around one builder and do not allow others to join the fun, and with social media sites it can be very difficult to impossible to find old user posts. We are not looking to replace these sites and we realize that it would be impossible to offer everything that they do collectively. However, we do intend provide many of the same options and most importantly, we hope to provide several that they do not.
MTB will focus solely on model trucks. While many details are still to be ironed-out, below are several of the features we intend to provide.
Registered members will be allowed to create and reply to posts in the forums, participate in live chat, send private messages to other members, view/download gallery images, view/download hosted files, more.
Forums: finished model show room, WIP workbench, tips and tricks, reference discussion, general discussion and more.
Galleries: model truck gallery, reference image gallery and more.
Downloads: Kit instructions, decal designs, and more.
Personal Blogs for those who wish to chronicle their builds.
Personal Gallery for those who wish to show off their WIP/finished project images.
And you guessed it, much more…
Based on the info above, we hope that you will jump in, join the fun and help us grow MTB.com. Please visit frequently, join the discussion and tell your friends to
stop by for a visit!