Off Road 1941 Chevrolet Canopy Express

Well guys,

It’s been a while since I last posted anything. I took off on a pretty out there diorama (that is still not finished!!), then as covid began to calm down, work came on strong. Nonetheless, I have built a few car and truck kits, but this one really stands out.

It’s a pretty highly modified 1941 Chevrolet Canopy Express. As those of you Chevy enthusiasts likely know, there is no such kit, so I got after making one.

So what is this? Well, some time ago, I took a picture of the truck on the lower right - I’d never seen anything like it, and after some research, I discovered these neat little rigs were built in the mid thirties and forties, for use by neighborhood green grocers and so on - while talking with my dad about the truck he said that as a boy living in San Francisco during world war II, scavengers driving these would come through his neighborhood calling out “bottles, cans, and rags!” - as this was wartime, all part of the recycling effort.

Ok, back to the project - I really liked the looks of this and decided to build on, and to make it a four wheel drive - naturally - lol. The white kit is indeed a 1941 chevy pickup (I think it was the Revell kit) and the yellow part is from a 1939 Ford panel delivery. So, I built up my confidence and went about cutting, gluing, filing and sanding.

At the time, I watched several videos of some pretty neat rock crawler Jeeps and trucks - and as I paid attention, realized they were not running on leaf springs, and instead, long travel four link setups front and rear - AWESOME! So, a guy decided it would be fun to make the four link setup, and while not operable per se, it is posable - which means the axles flex and front steering is also posbale. No, I wasn’t in the mood to figure out spring rates - I drew the line there - lol

Oh, and many of these guys run Chevrolet LS3 engines - New Process transfer case with “doublers” whish are like underdrives, and trussed Dana 60 axles - perfect, lots of scratch building there.

Ok - enough rambling - back to the build:

This project was a lot of fun - and a great challenge. In the last picture, you can see what I meant by posable suspension - funny enough, when this was done, I did not use those tires - Matt from the forums 3d printed up some real beauties for this -

And I just kept building…

I like the way the engine turned out, but, it’s hard to see - of course, lol

And the paint - trusty Vallejo acrylic and their metal colors. I scraped off all the “kit” chrome, and used Vallejo’s instead - sort of funny, I never get these results on an F1! :smile:

As I was on a bit of roll, I decided this needed a nice base for photos:

While I was really focused on my dio project, I began fooling around with ways to get better pictures - in this case, built a little base and took lots of outdoor photos. Then went into something called “Photoscape” which lets you crop images and even make cutouts - then, found good background pictures and imposed the project over them - and here you have it!

I started doing the same on the Italeri 1/24 Toyota BF44, converting it to an FJ45 - the pickup, with the same suspension - but - ran out of energy!

Thanks for having a look -

Cheers
Nick

13 Likes

Impressive work as always Nick. As a crawler, I’m surprised you didn’t three link the front for even more articulation. LOL

It’s an old Chevy, what’s not to love here? :heart_eyes:

Awesome stuff Nick, another great project with neat drive train conversion and body modifications. The photos on the base look amazing.

Cheers, D

Nice to see you back, great build. :+1:

Hi Nick! Good to see you slingin’ the styrene again!
I really love your early crawler conversion. And love what you’ve done with the place — looks just like Moab, UT during Jeep Jamboree.

Cheers!:beer:
—mike

Hi guys, thanks for having a look -

@dixon66, well, I thought about a three link - but, as you’ll see below, this was tedious enough with the four link!

Lots of small parts to be made, then made to remain moveable. I squeezed in as much as I could figure out how to - pitman arm, panhard bar, drag link, knuckles…and on and on - and of course, getting the axle clocked with those trailing arms…as you might imagine, it did not work the first time :smile: the goal was to get as close as I could figure in scale, which meant the arms don’t hit the driveshaft, steering doesn’t bind, and wheels in camber…did I say it took a few tries to get it right??? :smile: and the frame…it started as a Ford F-150, but it became pretty clear early on it would not work if left alone, so it was hacked up and rebuilt - the front end - the towers for the shocks, range of travel for the axle, keeping the headers inside the frame and so on.

@AussieReg , Hi D, thought you might like this - I’m a Chevy fan at heart. Glad you like the photos. Pulling them together was good fun!

@Tank_1812 thanks! Nice to be back - it’s funny I posted this well after midnight - I spent the rest of the evening working!! and just felt like posting - a bit like before, model building being a fun not work distraction!

@justsendit Hi Mike, thanks! and yes, many of those images are from Moab - in fact the truck that inspired this build is based on a guy on the Fab Rats youtube channel built. He gives a step by step instruction in a few videos showing how these go together, and he lives in Utah, and take his truck on those trails. The other backdrops - range from the California to Saudi Arabian deserts - lol -

Ok, thanks again guys,

Cheers,
Nick

3 Likes

Hi Nick, Good to see a build from you on here again. And of course another one of your signature scratch built creations that can articulate for posed photos as well.

@kosprueone , Hi KSO, thanks - this was a fun project, glad you like the photos too.

Cheers
Nick

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