11 March 2016

West Hill Fence Co. Truck, Version 2 (1:25 scale model), Part 2


For details on the what, the why, and the beginning of this build, please refer to Part One.

Braced and walled.

The last photo of the truck in Part One was almost the same angle as above, but the wooden walls were just leaning against each other to stand upright on the flatbed.

Here, posts/braces have been attached with super glue and a wall with bars has been scratch-built and installed just behind the cab. The triangular bits reinforcing the wall are the off-cuts from the back panel where the tail lights are attached.

The bars atop the styrene wall were originally attached to the front bumper of the wrecker (see box art in Part One), but I snipped it off because my uncle's truck didn't have such a structure, and then I noticed it would work well on the flatbed, so on it went. I broke one of the bars (on the right) while trying to separate the bars from the bumper, so I trimmed another one to look like the bars had been damaged through regular daily use over time.

I cut thin strips from a Coke can to hold the braces onto the flatbed's sides and back. Later, they will be glued down for stability.

Walled and braced.

I'd cut some fence posts from aluminum tubing and threw the lot in the back for fun. I have about 50 of them and I may eventually divide them between this truck and the next one (Version 1) when I build/assemble all the fencing gear and supplies.

A bouquet of walls.

The walls made of stir sticks got a bit of a watercolour wash with blues and oranges and browns to age them a bit. I also went around with a knife and a metal file and scuffed and scratched them up to indicate wear and tear.

Primed and painted.

The cab here is now primed with Tamiya light grey spray primer, the same used on the flatbed, which you can see has then been painted with Tamiya spray flat black. The interior of the cab is just dry-fitted to see how things look together at this point. I experimentally painted one of the wall planks green and scuffed it with a metal file to wear it down a bit, and while the idea worked well, I would later scuff it a lot more for more realism and scale.

Gaposis.

It wasn't until I cut the brackets and slid the walls into place that I noticed the back left side was too short, leaving me with what model builder Lou Dalmaso calls "gaposis" (usually referring to plastic parts not meeting together perfectly, leaving a gap that needs to be filled).

For a long time I thought I would either just leave it like this (not road safe!) or rebuild the back wall to close the gap. I came up with and used a third, and much better, option you'll see further down.

Lights.

I painted the red brake lights (former tank kit parts) with Tamiya Titanium Silver (from a jar), then used Tamiya Clear Red over it, giving them a slightly luminous quality. The reverse lights are unused clear part "lights" from the snow plow truck (to be used for Version 1). I painted the backs with the same silver then drilled holes into the back plate and, after installation, secured them with glue.

I also used some of that silver using dry brush technique to simulate where the paint's been worn off through use. It's not perfect, but I think it works particularly well on the foot-hold at the bottom and on the Coke can wall brackets.

Patched.

I don't remember my uncle's truck being as beaten up as I've made this model, but, without any photo reference, I'm employing artistic licence (and practicing weathering, among much else). I painted some green painters' tape with that Titanium Silver and then cut strips to look like scale-appropriate duct tape to make it look like some tears/rips/holes in the seat have been patched.

Patches of rust.

Like I said, my uncle's truck didn't have this much rust on it, but it'll all get toned down later on, with all the dust I'll be adding. I used Tamiya Hull Red for the dark brown and mixed some red and yellow for the orange bits.

The orange turn signals are just some Tamiya Clear Orange over the chrome of the front assembly (I dulled down the chrome with some Testors Dull Cote and a light black oil wash I mixed myself). There were decals for these, but the clear paint looks amazingly realistic.

That gap you see through the openings in the grill bugged me so I looked around for some kind of scale-appropriate mesh material to install behind the grill. Krista gave me some gold mesh fabric that I doubled-up (it was quite thin), spray painted black, and super glued to the inside of the grill (which you can sort of see in the very first photo of this post).

Salty and blue.

I wet small portions of the rust-painted areas and applied some table salt to act as a resist for the body colour. When the salt was totally dry, I applied multiple thin coats of Tamiya Pure Blue from a spray can. I'd tested this colour months before to see how accurate the blue was, but it's a little dark and red compared to the blue my memory of my uncle's truck says it was. The eventual coating of dust will decrease the saturation and bring it closer to being more accurate.

Rough assembly.

The cab, flatbed (which had gotten some acrylic weathering, see below), and walls aren't glued here, but dry-fit for a quick peek at the progress. You can sort of barely see that I added some more structure underneath (look between the mud guards and the stepping bar) to "support" the flatbed with a part left over from the snow plow assembly from the kit for Version 1. You can see it a little better in the first outdoors shot below.

Rust detail.

All the rust looks good –especially after using tiny applications of silver within the brown areas to indicate bare metal– but I feel there's twice as much as there should be. Still, this door looks pretty good!

Weathered bed.

I used a combination of Tamiya Buff and Orange jar acrylics to weather the bed, fading and blending areas with water while the paint was still wet (like I do with my watercolour paintings), then dry brushed some silver in various areas afterward for extra wear and tear. Much of the bed will be covered up by fencing gear and supplies later on, but I wanted a nicely weathered foundation to put all that stuff on.

Also note I added paperclip handles on the back wall (again, improvised from my incomplete memory of the truck, but we had to remove the tailgate somehow...).

Fixing the gaposis.

Rather than rebuild this part, or worse, leave a huge gap (not road safe!), I decided to add some more wood, filed down to look like a scrap off-cut attached with a few nails (painted using Hull Red) as though fixing a problem that might occur in the real world. I attached this piece simply with super glue, but chose not to stain it so that it would look like a new and recent addition.

Weighting game, 1.

I'd recently bought some squaring tools which came in handy when I was installing the interior of the cab by making sure lots of weight was put on to keep the parts in place while the glue set. The "glass" is being secured with clothes pegs. I used super glue for the interior and clear parts glue (AKA canopy glue) for the windows. You can see some chalk dust has been applied (and secured with a dull coat) all over the blue parts.

Also in this shot: in the flatbed you can see the fence posts and a test roll-up I made of some fencing material I'd ordered online which I'd tied up using the wire from a stripped twist tie. And what do I listen to on those ear buds while modelling? Saga. Other bands, too, but lots of Saga (whose greatest hits I listened to extensively while building my A-Wing fighter in 1993).

Weighting game, 2.

I also used the heavy steel blocks when I finally glued the flatbed to the chassis.

I applied a light black wash to the wall posts to separate them visually from the walls (it's more noticeable in most of the shots below).

Spattered.

I used Tamiya's acrylic flat Buff and a toothbrush to apply some mud spattered behind the front wheels and on the mud guards. I also applied some to the chassis underneath, but that won't usually be seen.

Shooting models outdoors really adds to their realism, depending on the angle and the camera/lens used. I set the truck onto our well head (less than a metre high) and used Krista's point-and-shoot to get that low angle but also for the depth of field its lens provides, making it almost look like the truck's parked in front of our house.

No plate.

I still need to make a few more details like the front and rear licence plates, a cooler, and a bunch of fencing gear and supplies, and their build log will be documented in the build log for Version 1 of the West Hill Fence Truck project.

You can see the two ejector pin marks on each of the mud flaps, but I chose to leave them visible because they kind of look like they're holding the "rubber" onto the "metal" frame.

Streaks.

I filed and sanded off the bolts on the front bumper (see box art in Part 1) and painted it first with Rustoleum red primer, then I applied salt to areas I wanted to be "rusty," then used grey primer over top. While the primer was still slightly wet, I scratched it a bit with a knife. After everything was dry, I added rust streaks using burnt sienna oil paint and some thinner.

Dusted: front.

Before installing the clear windows, I masked off the areas of the windshield where the wipers would wipe with some green tape, then sprayed it with a dull coat to fog it a bit. I added a tiny square from a larger decal from the food truck model I used for my Puppet Wagon to simulate some kind of parking permit or something. Or something.

The only aspect of this build that completely stymied me was the rear-view mirror. There was a fully-chromed rear-view mirror included with the kit that I prepped by painting all of it black (except for the "mirror" and where it would be glued to the windshield), but I forgot to attach it before installing the windows and attaching it through the sides was ultimately too difficult (you can clearly see where I tried), so I abandoned it entirely. I thought about gluing it to the dashboard as though it had fallen off and awaited reattachment, but I just tossed it out of frustration. Maybe I'll retrieve it and put it on the dash after all...

The chalk dusting I applied to the blue areas got into some areas I didn't want it to, like the door seams and the grills on the hood right in front of the windshield, so I used some black wash to redefine those areas.

The side mirrors came chromed in the kit parts, but, like the grill, they were too shiny, so I masked off the "mirror" areas and gently misted some dull coat for a pitted effect, then when that was dry, gently misted some grey primer, then, when that was dry, used an even gentler misting of red primer for a speckled rust effect. When I finally peeled the tape off the mirrors, I was quite happy with the overall effect (see below).

Dusted: rear.

I used a Q-Tip to clear off some of the dull coat in the rear window to make it look like it was awkwardly wiped clean through the bars that are in the way.

I made two post drivers (one for each truck) out of tube styrene (which I thinned out at the bottom with a sharp knife –for better scale realism as the walls of the tube were too thick– and closed off the top openings with some Bondo) for the main bit and some parts leftover from my Puppet Wagon build for the handles. Once assembled and the glue was dry, I primed them, then sprayed them with flat black, then I brush painted some silver "scratches" (and painted the insides silver) and gave them a misting of red primer while repeatedly adding chalk dust to weather them down. After a light misting of dull coat at the end, I was happy with the results.


Above: shot before the gaposis (not road safe!) was filled with the simulated off-cut.

Rainy day.
Shooting in sunlight looks good, but a rainy, overcast day is pretty nice, too –especially with the wet surface reflection on the well head.

Below are some shots taken around Picton:


Construction on Main St.

Stopping for lunch at Prince Edward Pizza.


Despite not having any photographic reference of my uncle's flatbed fencing truck, if I didn't build this model and you showed me any of the outdoors pictures I'd immediately recognize it as that truck (one of the several he had and with which I worked in the summers of 1986 and '87), and so do my family members who've seen some of these photos. I'm quite happy and satisfied with the way this truck turned out and the entire build was very fun and challenging.

What started out as a simple one-truck project turned out to be a complex two-truck build with more scratch-building and weathering than I'd ever done to date. This is a good thing and I've learned a great deal. Assembling a model and realistically painting it is one thing, but building parts from scratch is a very fun challenge that I'm looking forward to doing much more of in the future.



Finally, with plates!



Now: off to build Version 1!







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