While I’m waiting for the decals for my previous build of the M35 Maintenance Truck from my first unit, 1st Bn, 2nd Field Artillery in MASSTER, from the period of about 1973-1975, I’m moving on to the next vehicle combo for my collection.
This will be one of the two M54 POL tankers that we had in Service Battery. I’ll be using the AFV M54 kit which is a new one for me. My previous M54 was a conversion of several kits and an aftermarket cab which was all that was available at that time. This kit should be much easier to build. I’ll be adding the Perfect Scale Model set of two POL pods for the truck, and also the PSM M105 POL trailer, along with the Eduard M35 PE set which should work fine for the M54.
As with my build of the M35 Maintenance Truck, I’ll be doing this in sort of “reverse” order. I’ll build the POL Trailer first, and the do the prime mover last.
As I said, there were two of these units in SVC Battery, and as one of these had a winch and the other didn’t, I’m just going to build this vehicle with the winch installed. Also since I know at least ONE of the two units had MOGAS in the trailer (I cannot remember if they both did or just one), the trailer pod will be for MOGAS.
After some discussion and research on another site, despite the fact that the trailer kit comes with Dual Wheels, (actually a better idea given the weight of a full fuel pod), these were NOT a standard feature at this time period, so I’ll build it as a Single Wheel version.
The first shots are of the kits I’m going to use:
I’m starting with the wheels which need to be slightly modified as in the kit the inner wheel does not have the lug nuts for the outside. Also the PSM kit comes with a solid axle which doesn’t allow the wheels to rotate, so it’s replaced with a styrene tube and a rod which fits inside the tube.
Holes are drilled in the wheel and then styrene rod inserted from the rear to protrude outboard for the lug nuts. Also a small disc with a hole the size of the axle shaft is inserted on the inside so that the axle shaft can be glued to the wheel.
Next the wheel ends need to be modified. First a hole is drilled through to allow the axle shaft to go through and the the small knob on the end is removed because this would have been inserted into the wheel, but now the axle shaft is going to go in the disc which was previously glued to the inside of the wheel.
And finally the wheel ends are glued to the axle tube and the axle shaft glued to one of the wheels. Now all that remains will be to insert the shaft through the tube and glue it into the disc inside the other wheel.
Next I added the details and skids to the pod. Since there are three of them and they’re all exactly alike, it’s just easier to do all three at the same time.
And then finally the trailer bed and tailgate are cleaned up and 0.020" holes are drilled in the hinges of the gate for later installation of the hinge pin. The pieces which will be used on the trailer bed will be scratch built.