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Scale truck modeling topics.
Hosted by Damian Rigby
Chevy Off-Road racers
Stickframe
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 09:51 AM UTC
Hi gents

I have a time compressed, mix bag update today.

Gabriel and Damian, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment - yes, scratch building....for me, a certain willingness to proceed, even without absolutely clear direction is required, and you just have to live with what you make - and, as it's a hobby, if things don'tr go as well as hoped, well, there you go!

I'll cook up a design concept and establish an approach, but as I'm not working to drawings (though I do look at lots of reference images), or have machining tools beyond a knife, file and hand drill...well, I wouldn't get anything done if I tried t make things perfect...And unlike both of you, my painting skills - well, let's say I have room to improve! I only use acrylics - which on one hand are easy to use and clean up (and, indoor OK, no smell etc - which is relevant to where I live), go on smoothly, and so on but - they are not as ideal for achieving a mirror, auto quality finish!

So, for today - some progress on the red bull Ford, a surprise new Chevy + engine, and...an idea for another, but altogether different Chevy!

Ok, here we go, take a look see:





As you can see above - the first Chevy build on the left - a new, more full-on body work, WIP Chevy, and the Ford primed - and, next a few of the Red Bull chassis, waiting for paint:









If you haven't been following this build that closely you might miss the differences between above and the last post, which is fine...the changes are bolt heads here and there, a few gussets, shock reservoirs - and so on - but, It's done getting worked on -

I've also hit the paint shop:



Wheels! my own blend of Vallejo model air Ferrari red and Signal orange, plus, a gloss clear coat and light polishing - looking good!

As for the body....all sorts of paints, overlaid, mixed, ghost tinted, kitbashed decals, layers of gloss coat - and...it's getting there - If you look at the prototype, it has a multilayered geometric pattern - so, I tried to match it.

I haven't decided yet this is an "also ran", or if I'm going to keep polishing and try and make it a winner...likely the latter! Considering the uncharted painting territories I boldly stumbled through, it's ok...in fact, the paint and ghost tint is great - the inability to sand acrylics...especially with the tint, less great - take a look:







so, while I watched and wondered about paint and clear coats drying, I worked on the engine for the surprise Chevy - take a look:





And the constant questions - why do this? very rare that anyone in real life will ever see any of this - even with the giant fender openings, and generous space around the front wheels....why not? It's fun to give it a go -

And, last but not least - walking to the bus this AM, this guy rolled up yes, there's a V8 packed in to go with the 4x4 conversion - looked and sounded good:



Nice ride!

Model on -

Nick





AussieReg
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 10:28 AM UTC
Great update Nick, I really enjoy checking out your scratchbuilding and detailing work. It's something I haven't done a lot of but I have grand plans for several builds in the near future.

Keep up the awesome work and keep the updates coming.

Cheers, D
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 04:44 PM UTC
Hi Damian, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment - appreciate it!

You might like doing scratch building - you already take on some pretty complicated modifications and repairs. Itís funny, every now and then I read people suggesting a good ďfirst projectĒ, which is to build a ďsimpleĒ 1Ē cube from styrene - ha - 8 corners of misery! Oddly less easy than it sounds, and from my experience, not a great way to start - even a bit discouraging - lol....maybe easier to just start a modest project and keep going. There are some great builds over on the current Armorama scratch builders campaign - Angelís work is something else!

As for my progress - Iíll paint the rolling chassis for the Red Bull, and will keep going on the super Chevy - cabís about halfway done. The basic tub is done, engine installed, and early steps on the rollcage are underway.

For the body, Iím at a standstill - I have a photo etch grill for a 1970 Chevelle - which I think will fit and look perfect - uhh, except, I canít find it!!! I could, and may eventually just make it from styrene - but I have an image that the lost part would be perfect! That said, my track record for visualization versus reality is sometimes spot on, and other times, altogether wrong! Lol I guess weíll eventually find out.

Model on,
Cheers

Nick
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Monday, February 18, 2019 - 09:53 AM UTC
Hello model builders, I have an update today - all on body work -

First, the mystery Chevy, the plan is that I want it to be closer to the initial truck in this thread - and, I'm trying to do that, but it is requiring lots of body work, to get a Chevy that doesn't look 20 years old, like my first version of this did - and second, the fender openings - are about the same diameter as before, but cut much higher into the body - almost meeting the hood up front, and close to the top of the bedrails in back - and finally, in the back the fenders are extend inward over the bed area, as well as outward over the wheel. To start, some prototype pics:



I start with the above, because it shows the body and suspension



And above, you can see the fenders projecting inward over the bed area, and below, the grill and front suspension:



and my attempt, beautiful work in process (haha):



Yes - lots of putty and styrene....and with primer, not bad:



some sanding needed here and there, but I think pretty good - also, notice, I found the 1970 Chevelle grill and it worked as well as I could hope - and one more:



As above, you can see, a lot of modifications happened to the bed area - to my happy surprise, you can't see that the flat surface on top of the fenders is actually many pieces of styrene, including the model kit bed, and extra material extending inward and outward, and that the back is reworked (I cut off all of the kit's rear parts) - and there just aren't too many areas where you can see a gap or transition.

Next, for those of you looking carefully, you might note the rear fender meeting the cab has a big gap - it's supposed to:



I'm betting this gap is there because the rear fenders are easily removable -? well, that's my story and I'm sticking with it -

And, finally, the red bull Ford, I'm still polishing away:





So, interesting lessons learned here, I used Testors gloss clear coat - not a great idea - the finish seems to always look wet - I've polished and polished - it looks better than before, even more so in real life than above. Unfortunately I didn't have my Tamiya clear - that's what I should have used - oh well

That's it until next time -

Model on -

Cheers,
Nick





165thspc
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Posted: Monday, February 18, 2019 - 02:44 PM UTC
Nick, I've not posted anything in awhile mainly because I am usually speechless looking at you builds WOW!

It is not a Chevy but I can say I saw this Taco and totally thought of you. Probably made for rock crawling rather than desert racing but hey this IS Kentucky!

Again I love your work and I love going under the skin to inspect all the very accurate mechanisms you produce - SUPER!

Regards
Mike K.



While not much in the paint department I think the guy has done an outstanding job on that exoskeleton roll cage and how tightly it conforms to the body!
Stickframe
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Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 06:14 AM UTC
HI Mike -

Thanks for taking a minute to drop by, and for the words! Funny enough, I think looking at one of your projects made me think about adding a representation of fuel injection racks on this build - On your post, you pointed out that while hard to see, you know it's there - and having seen enough of your work, I know you're both good at doing that sort of thing and usually pretty accurate with what you build! So, a tip of the Xacto to you for the motivation to add those bits to my Chevy!

As to that Taco - wow - those rock crawlers are something else indeed - in addition to all the suspension and chassis mods, the axle gear reduction on those rigs is crazy - I remember having Ford 4x4s with the 3.73 gears and wanting 4.11s - in these trucks, the ratios are commonly above 5! wow!- I'll bet they only reach a top speed of 30 mph, but in the rocks, another story -

Speaking of other stories....as I proudly began fine sanding on my "fantastic" Chevy body....I kept thinking that I saw a seam along the roof..and then not...Hmm?? what's that all about..?? ahh - as you might recall, I cut the cab into several sections before gluing it all back together. I also built my driver's cabin to match the contour of the truck's body...Beauty once together - but, to mate the cab/chassis to the body, I needed to flex/stretch the body to fit it together. This is common enough - but, I really needed to stretch the body to get that cabin to fit...hmmm?? stretching a body shell that has had lots of modifications, and doing the stretch/test fit over and over again, what could possibly go wrong...?

Well a seam can open up and then close again depending on whether you're stretching the body or not. And no, just because you cant's always see it doesn't mean it goes away...you just can't see it - but, it's still there...darn.

Problem fixed - I carved out relevant putty along, reinforced this and other "imperiled" seams, re-puttied as needed and now, no more flex. Next, I shaved down the width of a portion of the driver's cabin a bit to make for an easier fit. While not as snug as before, it's less prone to cause other problems, and honestly, it's next to impossible to see the difference anyway...

OK -happy model building

Nick

165thspc
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Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 08:12 AM UTC
I really like the "tip of the Xacto" expression!

As far as the "Ghost Seams" go Matter says reenforce the underside if possible, then re-do the putty and sand again. Try not to bare down too much while sanding as this can open up an all new ghost!

Go ride a Cable Car for me. (Don't call em trolleys) Gosh I miss your city!
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Friday, February 22, 2019 - 01:26 PM UTC
Mike - yep, my office is in downtown, and the cable cars roll past every day! Believe it or not, local folks commute on them - as do the touristas who enjoy the ride! And no, we have cable cars and street cars - no trolleys - lol - I guess like anywhere, local phrases and vernacular are part of the deal -

Another local subject - scratch built trucks - As I'm short on time, not many words, except, I've been working on the new and improved chevy - with more detail in general than the previous chevy, or the red bull ford. I've added steering booster and rack, tranny cooler, rear axle break, and even helmet fresh air/air conditioner in the cab, and so on - have a look:













and the new chevy and red bull side by side - what you cant really tell in this pic is how much wider and taller the chevy is - the ford was a built promo model likey 1/27 or so scale - the chevy, actually 1/24 or 1/25 so it's a bit bigger.



Finally the red bull with tires/wheels:



Ok - need to catch a bus - model on!

Cheers
Nick



Szmann
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Posted: Friday, February 22, 2019 - 03:54 PM UTC
Nick, my friend, I think you have created a category of your own . I'm hardly understanding what is under those hoods of yours, but they look darn good. And the amount of detail you manage to squeeze between the "stickframes" is unbelievable.
Definitely I need to follow your builds more consistently, because there is a lot to learn from here.

Cheers!
Gabriel
Stickframe
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Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 05:35 PM UTC
Hi Gabriel,

Thanks for the note, I appreciate you leaving it - in response - if I could just paint like you!! - itís obvious enough - Iím not there yet! Haha -

As to the nature of building these trucks - they are officially defined by SCORE Intl as ďTrophy TrucksĒ, for use in off road races, like the Baja 1000. They are an unlimited class - leaving racers (and me!) with latitude. As Iím feeling more confident about what I think I can build, and thanks to google, Iíve been trying to gradually get closer to the real thing.

Several key problems emerge: the engines, well they are generally between 750 and 900 HP V8s, but, they run carbs, fuel injection, even throttle bodies...and can be big or small blocks, or something else - so what should I actually build?; next, the bodies are only shells that loosely represent whatís sold under the official emblem - as Iíve demonstrated I donít have the skills to hit the exact look. So, I try instead to demonstrate ďconvincing realismĒ - heck, I know Iím not hitting each detail 100%, but this is a fun challenge. As itís not work (where detail and quality really counts!!) itís a hobby, so I can comfortably live with some leaps of faith - If I see something cool or interesting, Iíll give it a go.

Recurrent problems I run up against are: first, maybe not knowing exactly how a part works, itís precise size, and what it looks like on all sides; and, the scratch buildersí enemy: asymmetry (unintentional) - try as I might to avoid it, this just happens (think, no plans or dimensions, scratch and kitbashing) which can equal not always parallel, perpendicular, evenly spaced etc - but, Iíve got to keep moving - so adapt along the way. I can live with all of this to a point - if it flatly looks wrong or wonky, itís not that hard to tear it out and try again - yes, speaking from seeing it, not liking it, redoing it!

Ok - happy model building gents!

Nick

Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 11:48 AM UTC
Hello model builders - I'm calling the red bull Ford, done!



I think this turned out better than I expected - I was worried that the paint just wouldn't pass even a low quality "eye" test - I think it turned out fine, and I learned a few things. On to the full build:











Above, the chassis etc worked out well - you can see some of the instrument cluster in one image - the full dash received a similar treatment. I experimented with some panel cover colors and like the results. In real life, these panels are kevlar - so tough and heat resistant - just styrene and acrylics here...

On to the body:









I mentioned my attempt at the multi layered paint scheme in other posts, but here you can actually see it, and the good and less good attributes of the finish and the ghost tint over it - the good, it's a bright, candy finish - the less good, it's not a perfectly smooth surface (the ghost tint doesn't, I've learned, dry completely smooth), and, it's not sandable. As a whole though, I like the way it turned out.

Next, a few in the dirt:





And that's it - the bright sunny day certainly helps with a crisp, clean look - it also makes the various flaws jump right out - lol - back to the good, I'm pleased with the overall look and stance of this truck.

And, I haven't forgotten about the other big Chevy - it's about ready for paint - I'll post some progress pics of it in the next few days.

Happy model building -

Nick




AussieReg
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 03:04 PM UTC
Hi Nick. That is one tough looking rig mate, great job! Like Gabriel said earlier, these builds are in a category of their own, I'm having trouble getting my head around the planning and measuring and trial and error that goes into this type of build.

Looking forward to progress on the big Chevy.

Cheers, D
Stickframe
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 02:42 PM UTC
Hey Damian - thanks, yeah this is a strange subject and approach to model building - fun tho! Yes, I plan to get the big Chevy wrapped up soon - so far so good.

Iíve got a few kits lined up - but, not for the next build. My hint about whatís next: it doesnít qualify for the Blue Oval campaign...per your criteria - and Iím looking forward to it. And, no, it doesnít throw dirt and if all goes according to plan, will be complicated.

Thanks for checking it out -
Cheers

Nick
Stickframe
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Posted: Tuesday, April 02, 2019 - 08:44 AM UTC
Howdy gents -

Sadly, this marks the end of this series of off road race vehicles. Sort of a self imposed, one participant campaign I suppose. The last truck finished is a redo (to be clear, altogether new build) of the first truck shown on this thread.

The purpose? well, I built a version of this truck once before - but, It had flaws - ranging from out of date/era truck body, to the way the truck sits - the relationship between axle/spindle center line and chassis ride height. I wanted to fix either or both problems

So, for now, a newer, almost Chevy body - it's a Cadillac Escalade from the early 2000's - which while still wrong, is fully at least a decade newer than any choice I could find for an actual Chevy or GMC - so, I'll live with it!

Next, I took a significantly more dramatic approach to the body modifications - specifically raising the height of the top of the front wheel opening and reworking most of the bed altogether. This is relevant on the real truck because it allows for a lower center of gravity (chassis ride height) while still allowing a full travel suspension, front and rear. You might recall from earlier in this thread I included a sequence of photos showing rear suspension travel from a dead stop on to a jump. These trucks have a lot of vertical wheel travel.

Finally, the paint- it's still wrong - it should have been more of a turquoise. I couldn't find a Vallejo match, so I settled on a light blue - similar tone, wrong shade.

OK - please have a look - first up, the real deal at the Parker 425 - not in the open desert, but on a city street you can still get the point - lots of horsepower, and long travel suspension getting torqued - by the engine, and not the terrain:



and mine:





























So - As a whole - I like this build quite a bit - that said, I would really rather it be based on a newer Chevy body! this is close enough, and was certainly a challenge to build.

And a parting image of the off-road results of this project:





Not a bad stable of horsepower - lol. Happy trails.

Nick