Heavily motivated and desperately yearning to build something myself, I first thought about building a Millennium Falcon as well (it seemed like a rite of passage for current modellers), either going for a screen-accurate build or customizing it as though it's another freighter from the same universe. I also thought about adapting existing train scenery kits and making a diorama of Small Pond Arts, with our silo as the key structure.
After some research and quite a lot of thought, I felt making a Falcon (either way) would be fun and educational (all those parts! all that weathering!)...but impersonal. I wanted to make models that had a personal relevance to me in some way. Now, I did build a C-3PO, a Y-Wing, and a Red Barchetta (and if you click the links you can read my reasons for building them), but most of my other builds (Silver Angel and the Puppet Wagon, to start) have had and will have a more quirky and personal motive/connection. I'm not criticizing other motivations or other builders, just explaining why I prefer to go this way with my projects.
One personal thing I tried to find was a model kit of a Volkwagen Jetta from the '90s (I drove a dark blue 1996 Jetta for about six and a half years), but the only VW kits I could find were buses, Beetles, and Golfs.
I then tried to find a 1970 or '71 kit of a Plymouth Duster, my family's first car. I found an AMT kit of a 1970 Plymouth Duster 340 which is very close (I have some photo reference of my dad's car) but I felt I needed some aftermarket parts for better accuracy for that specific car, and these parts, combined with some scratch building, will make it a pretty close representation of that Duster. It'll be a while before I build it as I want to develop my modelling skills a bit more first.
Meanwhile, I've been working on those skills by building the aforementioned models, restoring my 24-year-old Starship Enterprise, and building a couple of other personal projects, this truck being one of them...
My aunt and uncle, Magda and Kiro Milenkovski.
While in high school, during the summers of 1986 and '87, I worked with my uncle Kiro and my cousin Bob (and various others in various combinations) putting up chain link fences all over Toronto. The job was sometimes fun and sometimes challenging, but I have fond memories of driving around all over the city, going to different residences, mixing cement, digging holes, installing the posts, stretching then tying the fencing to the posts, etc.
And I kind of have fond (if incomplete) memories of Kiro's truck, too. I remembered it as a beefy, blue (a bit lighter than the one on the box below, but not as red), late '70s or early '80s model GMC (I searched online for relative examples and found a real truck that looked close enough, then looked for a model to match it), but when consulting with Bob for details (to maintain accuracy) by showing him the pickup truck kit I'd bought for the build, he informed that there were two trucks: one brown, a standard pickup, and one blue, with a flatbed and a double wheelbase in back. Like I said, my memory is incomplete, but I must have worked on both trucks (at any rate, I'd have certainly seen both during our frequent family visits).
Anyway, my obsession with completeness and accuracy turned into compulsion and this now meant I had to build both, so I picked up another suitable GMC kit that I could convert into the appropriate flatbed: a Revell 1977 GMC Wrecker with the double wheels in the rear I would use as my starting point...
For my modelling posts I've been usually shooting a layout of the kit's part frames to show what I'm starting with, but I forgot to do so for this kit...but there's the top and side of the box for your enjoyment. Note that since I'm scratch-building the flatbed –apart from the chassis and wheels, of course– I won't need the back half of the kit at all.
Different scales, Revell? Why?
Both trucks will be built as "curbside" models, meaning the hood won't open to reveal the engine (which isn't important for these builds so I'm not going to bother).
Slight preliminary weathering.
It wasn't until I'd finished both and set them up for photography that I realized they were slightly different scales. It doesn't make sense since both kits are by Revell and were released only a year apart (judging by the copyright on the boxes; I'm not certain when the actual molds were originally made/released). It won't cause any problems and may actually work in the end since the flatbed I've built is much bigger than the original back part of the wrecker.
Closing the roof.
You can see on the box art that the four locator holes in the part were meant for chromed horns, but that's not accurate, either, so I filled them with Bondo. All unused parts from all my builds go into a parts bag for future kit bashing possibilities.
Closing the wheel.
Some fencing gear.
Under the bed.
I desperately wanted to use diamond plate sheet styrene for the flatbed's surface, but, after extensive searching online and in hobby shops from Kingston to Toronto, I couldn't find any in the right scale –which turned out to be okay, since my cousin assures me the bed was smooth, which must be true, since I don't remember shovelling sand (to make cement) and scraping and/or catching the shovel against diamond tread bumps. Nonetheless, I took a bit of artistic licence and used thinly-ribbed sheet styrene for the surface, to give it some texture, yet still make it easy for "shovelling," conceptually speaking.
That other parallelogram-shaped block was meant to support a long square rod that would maybe serve as a base for a trailer hitch or general structural support, but I decided not to go with that idea because various other bits didn't line up satisfactorily; the block was already glued down when I changed my mind, so it'll remain (but it'll be rather hidden in the end and just look like it belongs among all that support structure).
Test fitting the walls.
So far, so good.
Read about the rest of this build in PART TWO.
And work on the Enterprise restoration continues as well.
Oh, and a few paintings, too.