MODELING: Tribute to Navy Seabees by Lee Turner

 Here’s one dedicated to all you Navy Vets and especially the Seabees.  Lee Turner was asked to build this Bates bulldozer as a load for a yet to be painted Car Works forty-foot PRR class FM car. Bates was a real company that ceased production in 1937. The customer’s railroad was set in 1954 time period.  Lee had to find a rational way to make this model realistic for this time frame.  After some thought, the idea came to him. Before WW2 the armed services were starved for funding and perhaps the Navy got a good deal on the last production from Bates.  During this period when the Seabees were intensely building island bases the Bates dozers were kept stateside due to concerns about spare parts.  After the war, the crawlers were sold to an auction house with limited or not running time.  The machines were sold at very low prices to new owners that took delivery by rail.

So that is Lee’s artist license.  It sounds good to me and it looks fantastic to boot.


For those of you who are armor modelers will recognize some of the weathering techniques used by Lee on the blade and tracks.  It is amazingly time consuming to create the weathering effects on this model.  The dark rust is very convincing with the look of old rust. The standard Navy Gray is weathered down to look like it has been sitting in a storage yard for some time exposed to blazing sun.

Might just make an interesting project to do.

Build something!


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3 thoughts on “MODELING: Tribute to Navy Seabees by Lee Turner

  1. Really nice! I would love to get on his waiting list but cannot find any contact info! Can you help?

  2. Dear Gene,
    I am still trying to email Lee Turner but need his email or a way to ask this. Recently I have seen 2 photos of a Milwaukee GP40 and a GP38 that have been heavily weathered with the Milwaukee blacked out on the sides and nose. The nose then has “SOO” on the nose. There was the 38 at Chicago March of 2016 out in the lobby. I would like to duplicate the model but would like some help with this.

    If he does not want to give out his address could you act as an intermediary between us?

    Thank you so much.
    Dick Donaway

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