While I do hope in the end to convert this kit to a WWII Army Fire Truck. This thread will basically be a S-B-S build of the new MiniArt kit right up to the point where you would build the load box. Which at that point I will depart from the standard build. (With a whole lot of 1940’s fire truck references thrown in along the way!
✮✮✮ And now for the the Chevy Campaign ✮✮✮
Picked up my copy of the new MiniArt kit just as soon as available from Brian at Scale Reproductions in Louisville, Kentucky. (Shameless unsolicited plug made here for the store for whom I am but a lowly satisfied customer.)
Been wanting to do an early Army “Crash Truck” Fire Engine for sometime now and rather than try to chop another Deuce down to a 4x4 I thought I would wait for this neat little offering to hit the market.
it wouldn’t be a MiniArt kit if you didn’t get a box crammed with lots and lots of little parts. Just looking at the MiniArt T-55 Mod 1970 in my stash is enough to give me nightmares at the high parts number count on it.
If I said the chassis was a labor of love I MIGHT be lying. It was more a personal challenge and a labor of angst.
Quote lifted from another thread:
"[Working on this kit right how - just a heads up here.
While the kit does have AMAZING detail . . . .
They don’t tell you on the box that they expect you to build up the front grill out PE etch with the help of several provided bending forms.
I really think they should have offered a molded plastic option as well. I would have reconsidered buying this kit had I known.
I will be substituting an AM laser cut version of the grill as I have several in my stash.
Also the leaf springs are so much to scale, so finely done, that you just might break them during assembly. The to-scale delicate quality is not necessarily a bad thing but you need to use an all new level of caution in this area throughout the construction AND display life of the model.
And have you ever heard of a model that has individually applied “U” shaped, stirrup bolts that hold the axles to the springs??? And the front axle has three different length bolts so Brother you had better get it right!] End Quote.
It only took a few small blocks to extend the front frame to accomidate the water pump. The bumper is an inverted Tamiya Deuce winch bumper from my spares box. You will see a number of front bumper designs on these fire trucks but the winch bumper definitly was one of the possible options.
The rear fenders and running boards look fairly much to be the same as the ones MiniArt will offer on their panel truck and radio van. But no point in wasting a good kit on that. I think I can scratch build these???
Many in the past have heard me rail against the HobbyBoss mis-proportioned Deuce cab they introduced a few years back and continue to spit out to this day with every new variant they offer.
Well, so far, at this point the MiniArt cab appears to offer no such problems and is itself a “tour d’force” of the injection molding art! (NOT exaggerating here!)
The basic cab consists of 7 major moldings - not counting the doors or the dash. There is a COMPLETE inner cab AND a complete outer cab allowing for detail both inside and out, plus the finished 2 layer cab will now display the proper flanged edges around the door jambs and the window frames.
I suspect NOBODY in the model industry is going to beat this cab for beauty and accuracy anytime in the near future. But they WILL most certainly copy MiniArt’s technique for doing similar cabs on other future vehicles!
MiniArt REALLY out did themselves with their precision CAD work here and their very exact injection molding! WOW!
My construction kind of got ahead of my photography. Sorry
And now here are the next three pieces: Firewall, [exterior cowl + windshield surround + roof] and finally the interior headliner with overhead vents.
And unlike most other manufacture’s cabs (can’t comment on the ICM) this one does not fight you while going together!
Here it is below sitting nicely together, just dry fitted and also precisely aligned on the chassis frame, no muss, no fuss, no fight!
For some reason MiniArt chose to mold the two 45º angle radiator braces as part of the cab assembly??? I found these to be rather a nuisance and in danger of being broken so instead I decided to carefully chop them off to then be added back at a later date. Sorry no before photo on that one. OK, here I faked one . . .
Before I go any further I also want to give honors and accolades to Tom Cromwell for his 3D creation of the Darley Champion water pump that I am featuring here on this model.
He endured many months of my encouragements and reference submissions while at the same time I provided NOT ONE definitive measurement for him to work from. I had the vehicle right in front of me at the MVPA show and it never once occurred to me to take a measurement! So Dumb!
A mistake I will not be making in the future!
First the firewall itself, then the voltage regulator, the cabling, the oil filter and finally the oil can with spout. I kind of thought they might do the oil can shelf itself as some small piece of PE but no dice! (I would have.)
POST EDIT: It would have been much, MUCH easier here to paint the voltage regulator and oil filter BEFORE installing them on the firewall.
Also I just now discovered that ID plate decals have been provided in the kit for both these items. WOW!
The regulator would have been delivered in a black crackle finish electronics paint and the oil filter in a semi-gloss/gloss black.
Hello, very clean assembly but I would like to ask you a question, have you already reached point 45 of the assembly, I have had to abandon it at that point, and the worst thing is that I will seriously think about buying a Miniart model again, I understand that they make them with a certain difficulty, but each new series they release seems more impossible.
Yes Pacerta, I did cover this aspect very early in this thread. However I agree with HeavyArty. Look for a replacement online or try to find just about anybody’s Deuce and a Half cheap at a Hobby Show and use that grill.
Do try your hand at the MiniArt grille, just as I plan to, but those grills that HA recommended do look really, REALLY good!
p.s. I have several grills from a Hungarian Company by the name of Limes Models that seem very nice.
I have a general idea how the rear half body of this early fire truck body would have been laid out: water tank, line hose bed, hose reels, fenders*, running boards, but no specific reference other than these two photographs shown above.
In later versions of this truck the rear body was much more complex but this is the one I have chosen to model because of the neat top mounted twin hose reels. However to have a rear view of this vehicle would be awfully nice!
If I understand correctly the standard Chevy 1.5 ton vehicle was delivered as a “cab & chassis” to Hollabird, the standard Darley water pump was added and the rear fire truck bodies were built there. Following these early models much variation occurred in the design of the progressing fire bodies produced.
Regardless I plan to forge ahead with a generalized fire body though I admit it will end up being a bit of a free-lance generalized design.
*Fenders & Running Boards. Those look to have perhaps also been provided by Chevy as they appear as an exact match to those that MiniArt will be offering in their new upcoming panel truck offering.