MODELING: Kitbashing a Truck

I wanted to pursue a diversion from freight car building for a while.  Over the years I have been collecting plastic and metal kits for 1/48th scale vehicles. So might as well try my hand on building up a truck using parts from one of my kit collection.

I reached in the bin and pulled out an old Revell gas truck kit.  The kit dates back to the 1950s with recent production coming from Germany. I have always liked the White 3000 Cab Over Engine (COE) in the kit but thought about making it into a flatbed truck for haul things like cut lumber or fruit lugs. I started by consulting Google for inspiration.  Didn’t yield much but a few gems popped up.

This yellow straight chassis is perfect to model.  I am not sure what was on the truck as a body.   The picture shown below is a good source for modeling the flatbed.

The bed is wood with a steel frame on the perimeter.  There are pockets in the steel frame to hold stakes to restrain the load.  I didn’t have any specific dimensions to work with but determined the bed was probably eight feet wide.  The bed was made twenty feet long so that gave me a starting point.  I used .040″ by .100″ styrene boards with grain applied with wire wheel and sandpaper.

I started the project by building up the cab following the instructions.  I did not put the roof on since I wanted to pre-paint the interior and cut out some clear styrene for windows.

I assembled the kit parts like tires, motor and frame.  The frame and components were used to experiment with Vallejo chipping fluid.  I increased the wheelbase to hold a long flatbed.  Since I assembled the frame I have cut the length twice.  The chassis was primed with Vallejo RAL8012 German Red Brown urethane paint.  I sprayed it on and let it harden for several days.  The chipping fluid was airbrushed on some areas of the chassis.  It takes a while for the chipping fluid to dry.  I shot some Vallejo black as a final coat.  I let this set then put the from under water and used a tooth brush to start chipping.  Well, like everything in the world of weathering it is a finesse game. So a more delicate approach will be used on the flatbed.

So the chassis starts to look like something with the wheels mounted.  The motor and the cab release are installed.

The cab roof is just placed on the cab for appearance.

I put pockets on the deck to accept the side stakes from another Revell kit.  The bulkhead was added to protect the cab from a shifting load. There is etched screen that was found in my junk box.  It seemed to fit the opening perfectly.

You can see the front of the bulkhead. I have to put side mirrors and other details once the cab is assembled.  The cab will be painted the same green as the wheel centers.

So this is what I have done to date.  There is more work to be done before final painting.

Thanks for stopping by,





9 thoughts on “MODELING: Kitbashing a Truck

  1. Gene,

    Like you, I have been collecting these old Revell kits at local swap meets when I see them. My stash includes the Ford Pick-Up, the Chevy Stake Truck and the Gas Truck. I have yet to find an affordable Moving Van kit.

    The major issue I find with the kits is that they lack windshield glazing. Probably the number one reason there are so many orphan kits still to be found on swap tables.

    I have created a balsa wood form to make a windshield for the 1950’s era Ford Pick-Up Truck using a Micro-Mark vacuum forming machine. .To date the results have two issues. First, I can’t get a tight/snug fit in the truck window frame without using Formula 560 Canopy Glue to fill the small cracks. second, the vacuum formed windshields tend to be a bit hazy once formed.

    All in all, I may just have to accept the results and move on to completing a few of these truck kits. I am open to suggestions about better techniques of vacuum forming that will achieve better results.

    Later, Dave Sarther

    • Let’s see if this reply to the current blog will have photos.

      Like you, I started collecting those old Revell kits whenever I came across them at local swap meets. One thing I learned about the kits was that they didn’t have front windshield glazing in them.. No wonder there were/are so many of the kits wondering swap tables as orphans! All my kit boxes say, “Manufactured by Revell Monogram, Morton Grove, IL USA”. Maybe the kits done in Germany have window glazing? Do you know if that is the case? I haven’t opened the gas truck kit yet to see if that has any windshield glazing. Will this kit contain glazing?

      Revell 1_48th Truck Kits.jpg

      About a year ago I began experimenting to see if I could make windshields for the 1950’s Ford Pick-Up Truck. I whittled a scale form out of balsa. Then I did some testing of vacuum forming clear sheets of styrene over the form. I was able to get a fairly good molded window to use. Where it wasn’t quite snug enough I filed the gap with Formula 560 Clear Canopy Glue. You can see from my test photos that the windshields I formed are a bit hazy. Guess that is a result of the material stretching over the form..

      Revell 1950s Ford Pick-Up Truck Windshield cr1.jpg

      I’ll certainly be following your build of the gas /lumber truck.

      I am open to any and all suggestions about how to get better windshield glazing results for the models.

      Later, Dave Sarther

  2. Gene,

    Can we leave photos in a response to your blog? Is there a “how to do” explanation of what to do to include photos?

    Thanks, Dave Sarther

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