Saturday, May 31, 2008

Brockway Trucks - Gone But Not Forgotten

Just up the road from where I live is Cortland, New York. For many years Cortland was know as "Huskietown" because of the trucks made there -

For many years, Brockway Trucks were the truck of the northeast. If my memory serves me, fifty years ago the first school bus I rode was a Brockway.

I also remember the snow plows of the 50's & 60's, also Brockway Trucks. The name Brockway meant quality.

Now, you can consider yourself lucky if you see a Brockway on the road. They are there, but getting fewer. Every year, Cortland still holds a Brockway Owners Reunion. Here are some pictures of my favorite Brockway Trucks.



Revell / Germany Peterbilt 359 - "Old Yeller"

Prior to the build of the AMT Peterbilt 359 mentioned in an earlier post from this site, I just had to have an example of a Peterbilt 359 - even if it wasn't the "narrow window" type of 1969.

I chose the Revell / Germany kit. I made a photo copy of a page from the instruction sheet and did up "my paint scheme"
in Adobe Photoshop.

This was a fun build, could have done even more detailing. Doors open, engine hood too. I left the top of the sleeper un-glued so it can be removed to show the bunk. I did not like the air-dam above the sleeper, so my Pete doesn't have one.

The decals must be placed carefully, and I had to make new pins (from cut paper-clips) for the exhaust stacks.

This truck is now "hauling" a 1/24 scale tri-wheeled trailer.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Minicraft 1/16 scale 1931 Ford Model A Van


" Prior to WWII, few families could afford to own two cars in spite of apparently low cost, and deliveries of necessities of life were frequently delivered door to door. Ford commercial vehicles were ideally suited for the small businessman, as the investment was low and the four cylinder engine was economical and reliable. The Model T was the first popular vehicle to replace the horse and cart.

The pre-production run of the Model A in December of 1927, was sold out before the end of the month. Although similar to the Model T in basic design, by today's standards, it had a more pleasing and comfortable look and the design of the engine and transmission was more advanced. It remained in production until 1932, a production life of five million vehicles, compared to the Model T's fifteen million.

The Model A was replaced by the Ford V-8, which was the beginning of the end of strictly functional vehicle styling. The Model A deluxe delivery van was one of the finer examples of its era."

from: Minicraft Model Kits Instruction Sheet - kit # 11214


I must admit my excitement when I first saw this kit at a hobby shop in Ithaca. I liked the subject of the kit and had built other 1/16 scale
Minicraft kits - my favorites are the 1948 MGTC
and the Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing.

I have encountered few problems with Mincraft kits until this one. The first was a missing part for the interior - the shelf for the left
interior wall. The second problem was a molding error that couldn't be fixed on the firewall cowling.

An e-mail to Minicraft resolved these issues and they replaced both parts at no cost. That was the easiest of my problems. The instructions were somewhat confusing in that they portrayed parts in a different manner than they actually were - as in step 22. The door fit was another area
of concern. I attached the rear door first - doing some trimming of the hinge pieces. I then fit the main body to the chassis and built up the side doors. A "test fit" showed that they would not close properly - leaving a gap at the bottom corner below the exterior door handles. This was fixed by building out the floor area just in front of the rear fenders about 1/4 inch using Evergreen plastic sprue. That accomplished a near perfect fit and door closure - be careful with the hinges!

The last problem was the engine bonnet (British slang for hood). I like the way the MG I built used metal hinge pieces, another kit I built in the past from Minicraft also used this type of hinge. The hinges in this kit are plastic, so be careful here - they are fragile!! Also the hinges require trimming for better fit.

Overall, this is a good model, not one for the beginner but certainly one that could be detailed by a more patient modeler than myself.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Dodge L-700

Another of my early truck model memories is from the 1970's. That was when IMC came out with a model of the Dodge L-700 Tilt Cab. They also offered a few trailer options. I built this kit up twice in the 70's, but all those truck models from back then are long gone.

So, when I discovered that Lindberg / Hawk was going to reproduce this model, I was pleased.
That, I am sorry to say, did not last after I purchased the kit and found it to have severe mold problems resulting in lots of flash and miss-shaped parts. I am happy to say that L/H was very accommodating in replaceing parts and went so far as to send me another whole kit - so now I have built their kit twice.

Ernie Petit, president of L/H listened to my complaints with patience and understanding - a modeler himself he understood my concerns and made corrections in the new kits. The kit he personally sent me was one of those - 100% better than the original.

As said, I did manage a build of the first kit - with the short bed version of the trailer:

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Jeep FC-170

There is a truck in my past that I would love to own. In late 1957 my dad bought a Jeep FC-170
stake body truck. He "customized" it by adding a Cantastoga top he built himself. This truck brought my newborn sister home during the winter of 1958 - Feb 14th. My mom drove it to church with me and my brothers in the back. My dad hauled milk in the days of milk cans, later he would carry construction supplies. I remember riding with him, sometimes on the engine hood placed between the front seats. It was a neat truck, white on blue cab - black stakes, and that white top covering the rear.

I have looked online to find one - only to come up with this picture:

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"Cannonball" GMC 950

I believe the year was 1958. I was six years old, yet in my minds eye I can still see that GMC 950 driven by Mike and his friend Jerry in the long lost TV series "Cannonball" .

Few remember this show that aired from our Canadian neighbors for three seasons. I do remember the truck, which can be seen here ---

This show would latter spawn such trucker shows as "Movin On" and B.J. and the Bear. Both these TV shows were good, but nothing can match the original. It might have been due to "Cannonball" that I now have a love of trucks. I know that it was because of this show that I did an internet search for a model of the GMC 950 - best I could come up with was a 1/25 scale 1954 GMC series 950 by ERTL. It is die-cast, but goes well with with my other trucks. My wife got it for me as a Christmas gift two years ago.