Menards has imported a number of true 1/48 scale vehicles over the last several years. Last year they imported a model of the 1953 Ford F100 pickup. I purchased a few when they were less than $5 each. Straight out of the box they can serve as a prop for the background scene. However, the model is pretty close to scale and has promise.
I started this project by doing a little online research. I found a dimensioned drawing for the truck and a few photos. Actual truck photos showed lack of chrome compared to the model. The other visual aspect that caught my eye was a rubber gasket surrounding the windshield. Vehicle models either don’t have windshields or one’s that don’t fit very well. This model has some gaps around the windshield. The other point was that the wheels are too far out. I haven’t fixed this since I tried to pull the rims off the axle with no success. I didn’t want to risk damaging the rims. I may go back and cut the axles and push them in.
This drawing shown above is for an eight foot bed. The model is shorter than this.
Start by removing the screws from the bottom and remove the cab and bed. I decided to see what I can do to improve the appearance of the grill. I am not entirely happy with it. I decided press on since it is a supporting actor and life is too short.
I painted this grill to cover the chrome. My choice of color was way off and changed it later in the build. I added a black wash to the grill openings. I also painted the space behind the grill black. Not sure how much it shows. Mike George did a quick check on books on old Ford trucks and found that the bumpers were not chromed at the factory.
The windshield gasket was made from .5mm lead wire. I purchased the material from UMM-USA online. Roll a length of wire to straighten it. I blackened it followed with a coat of black paint. The wire was pressed into the windshield opening. I used canopy glue to hold it inplace. Try not to get any on the glass.
The photo above shows an untouched diecast truck and my model that is in-process. I think this photo shows the effect of adding the black paint to the grill opening. It creates some depth to the model. The Ford crest is way oversized but I don’t have a simple solution for replacing it. The windshield gasket does add to the finished model.
I added a side mirror to the door of the truck. I found this Tichy part in one of my parts bins. I sliced one of the “insulators” off and added a piece of .020″ wire to create the mirror. A drop of thick CA created the mirror surface.
Here is a side view of the truck with the side mirror in place and a gas tank filler. This was made from styrene tube and a Tichy nut,bolt,washer casting. Drilling the cab casting takes some time will create a more solid mount for the details.
I need to add side windows to complete the cab.
A steering wheel was created out of a spoked wheel casting made by Tichy. The seat was painted a dirty gray color to show better.
The final touches included weathering the body and running gear. I started with an Vallejo acrylic black wash to highlight and darken features. I then applied a wash of Ammo Oil Brusher dust color. It help tamp down the shiny paint. Oh yes, the paint on the model likely contains lead some don’t chew on it.
The nearly finished ’53 pickup is parked next to the latest Menards release. It is a 1951 Ford F-1 truck. This will get a similar redo once a I get some more things done on the layout.