MODELING: Trucks and Cars Redux (revised)

Finding model vehicles in our scale has always been a challenge.  Some modelers elect to use a more common 1:43 scale models.  They are useful in certain locations but tend to dominate a scene in my opinion.  Modelers like Erik Lindgren have exhibited a knack for placement in a scene to minimize the slightly larger size.

The above photo is the work of Erik Lindgren.  He is an extremely talented photographer and artist.  The diecast 1:43 models seem to blend well with the proper staging.

However, there are a few decent 1:48 models that can be built into fine scale representation for your rail scene.  The most useful kits to find are the Tamiya 1942 Ford Sedan and the whole Renwal/ Revell line of automobiles and now the Atlantis revivial of the old 1/48 Revell kits.  In addition, Mike George has shown us how to take the Menards diecast trucks and make an attractive addition to the layout.   Search back on the blog to find additional information on autos and trucks for 1/48 and how to enhance their appearance.

The Renwal ’32 five-window coupe is a shining example of what you can do with a some effort.  Lee Turner is responsible for this build.  He made simple modification to the front wheels turning them slightly.  A license plate and some weathering turned this plastic into an eyecatcher.

Next up is a 1930 Ford AA trucks built from a plastic kit produced in the Ukraine by Unimodel.   The truck design is a Russian copy of the Ford design. Lee Turner built this model and added weathering touches.  He used pin washes to highlight the details on truck. It is very realistic model.

I have showed you Lee’s rendering of the ’34 Ford fordor He built from a Unimodel kit. While the kits are not the most precisely tooled, they can be built into a nice model as you can see in the picture above.

Our other favorite vehicle builder is Mike George.  He has done some fantastic builds starting with pretty basic kits or diecast models.  His latest creation is a 1949 Ford tudor built from a Renwal 1950 Ford convertible.

Mike decided to build the Ford coupe using a new roof that was vacuum-formed styrene part.  He created a postive master using wood with some trim parts added.

Once the part was trimmed and fitted to the kit body, it creates a credible model.  Mike decided to backdated to the a 1949 version.  A new grill was fabricated to replicate the ’49 version.  Another important change he made was to make replacement tires on a lathe.  The new ties were fitted to the kit-supplied rims. The Renwal tires are undersized.  The actual Fords came with 6.70-15 which are 27.4″ in diamter and 6.7″ width.

This is a 1949 Ford Deluxe Coupe.


There was also a Club Coupe with a shorter roof line. Both designs were referred to by auto collectors as the Ford Shoebox design.  Not sure why they garnered that name.

The color panel for 1949 Fords shows a range of colors possible.

I have a bunch of the convertibles and wondered what to do with them.


I forgot to add information about a 1:48 vehicle that I found on

The model is of a Divco milk truck printed by Shapeways in their finest material.  The designer offered it in HO and S scale. At my request, he released it in 1:48.  You can buy other parts like wheels and a frame.  I opted to not buy these since the basic body was expensive.  I am still cleaning up the body which had lots of artifacts from the Shapeways printers.

There are other trucks available on Shapeways.  Ross Dando bought a modern 1970s International truck.  He opted to have Terry Van Winkle print the model.  Not all designers will allow this but it doesn’t hurt to ask.


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