Home | Scratchbuilt Scania-Vabis models  |Other scratchbuilt models
 Reconstructed factory models  | Building winks | Links | Contact | Feenstra Dokkum photos




Scania-Vabis models

Volvo, DAF and other scratchbuilt models


Reconstructed industrial


Feenstra Dokkum photo page




Building winks




Scale drawing

Building a truck model starts with getting a decent scale drawing. Some magazines for model making have published such drawings, these magazines are possibly available at a library or model making club. Leaflets of truck maufacturers often contain scale drawings and dimensionings. Older leaflets are mostly for sale at (model) car exchange marts. And on the Internet a number of drawings is available at the websites of manufacturers, enthousiasts and some haulage firms (please take a look at my links). Beside a decent scale drawing some (detailed) pictures of a 1:1 scale truck can be very useful to truck modelling.


click on picture for drawing




As a basic material for these models serves polystyrene, this is the same synthetic material as manufacturers of model kits often use for their model buildings, planes etc.. This model making plastic is for sale in various sizes and thicknesses (e.g. of the mark Evergreen) at good sorted model making shops and is easy to work on (to cut, bend, file and sandpaper). That's why it is very decent for making a chassis, cab or container.







There is also clear plain styrene (Evergreen) available from which easily windscreens can be cut. For curved windscreens saved up bubble (blister) packs can be a relief.

It is difficult and not necessary to make the wheels yourself because some model-truck manufacturers (e.g. Herpa) produce sets with different kinds of loose wheels and axles and at exchange marts you may find some loose wheels like from the rests of Kibri model-truck kits.
Herpa also produces sets with steering axles, mirrors, flashing lights, etc., so these parts you don't have to make them yourself. Mirror bars, angle bars and roof racks can be made of 0,3 mm brass or newlsilver wire.





The tools you need mainly consist of a solid underground (e.g. a plate of multi-plywood), a table cutting mat, a sharp hobby knife, a carpenter's square, a set of key files, a sandpaper stick, a pair of tongs to hold little parts, a bottle of plastic glue (e.g. the one with the needle of Revell is very useful) and a little tube of supergel for the fixing of metal parts to plastic.







For the necessary holes (e.g. for the fixing of mirror and angle bars) a minidrill with low number of rotations per minute and with drills from 0.3 mm is recommended. Beside that a portion of patience is essential, for a self-built lorry model cannot be finished in one evening. 





Building a truck-model happens, just like reality, by starting with the chassis. This can be built together of styrene strips. For all the styrene parts counts that these can be cut out of plain styrene plate along a carpenter's square or a metal ruler. The parts can be finished with a key file, but a nail sandpaper-stick can be useful as well. For the chassis-beams and connecting pieces I use 1 or 1,5 mm plain styrene for giving the whole enough strength. After this the spring-blocks (of the same size styrene) follow, they are placed on the outside of the chassis-beams. At the lower side of these blocks an opening is made where the axle is coming to hang. After placing the axle a little strip of styrene is being placed over the opening, so that the axle is locked up. Then the chassis can be completed with imitated rear-wheel drive, fuel tanks, air tanks, battery box and an attachment for the spare-wheel.








The most difficult parts are the cab, the possible present engine hood and the mudguards. Depending on the shape the model has to get, there are different methods to construct these parts. For making bended mudguards I choose for moving about a little plate of styrene (thickness 0,5-1 mm) just under a halogen desk-lamp and bend it at the same time (mind for not burning your fingertips!). Another possibility is building up the part (e.g. engine hood, cab roof or fuel tank) from more layers of plain styrene and then work it up with a sandpaper stick or file. Sometimes a combination of these methods can work out right.




composition of a mudguard, cabin door and engine hood





a cab with interior ready for painting




Become a little bit wiser by experience I make the cab, which properly spoken consists of 4 walls and a roof, as a removable whole, which is useful for the later painting and placing the window screens at the inner side of the cab. For loose headlights I use pieces of a moulding matrix, filed convex at one side and drilled at the other side. Then the front of the lamp is completed with a glass lens or filling it with a drop of epoxy glue at the front. A closed container (e.g. for refrigerated haulage) can be easily made of plain styrene of 1 mm thickness. A made of boards container (e.g. for open containers or cattle transport) can be made of V-groove styrene (Evergreen). For a tank truck one can use a piece of plastic pipe, but maybe you thought already of the plastic caps of spray cans.









When all parts of the model lorry have been built, one can start with the finishing. Before putting on a thin layer of primer the model has to be cleaned with lukewarm water with a bit detergent, then it has to be washed down with clean water and dried by air.
The primer can be put on with the help of an aerosol. When this is dry enough (24 hours drying at a dust-free place) the proper color paint can be put on. If you don't have an air-brush and you don't want to work with aerosols, you can try it with a paint-brush and thinned paint of Revell or Humbrol. This paint has to be put up in thin layers until it has enough cover. Then, when the paint has dried (see above), possible letterings can be put on and the whole can be finished with a coat of (matt) varnish (alkyd-based).






The final result




The best way of making inscriptions is designing them by computer. and printing letterings by computer. In order to make them precisely a good designing programme (e.g. Corel Draw or AutoCad) is necessary. With an inkjet printer and a Supercal or Testors decal set (possibly for sale in a graphic shop) one can produce his own waterslide decals, but it is also possible to let them print by helpful companies.