Kitbashed Vehicles

This page contains photos and short descriptions of what modelers have done to create a unique vehicle model, given some commercial base model. If you have such a model and can take a digital photo or two of it, feel free to contact the webmaster (see below).

Contact person: webmaster

Carl McAbee's Dump Truck

The cab is a modified GearBox Collectibles' Kenworth truck, from which he removed the sleeper compartment, the air foil, and the decals. He added the CB antennae. The hardest part of the project, according to Carl, was matching the cab's paint, which in this case turned out to be pure black (not any other shade).


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

The dump body was from a Tonkin Replicas model. The cover mechanism is from a First Gear model. Carl then added the chains and pins to prevent the gate from opening too far when the content were unloaded. This model is designed to carry gravel.


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

Carl McAbee's Water Truck

Using many parts from his parts bin, Carl constructed this model of a water truck. The mirror and hose holders were made out of brass. Parts that are hard to see are the mudflaps and the pump to fill the tank. The large vertical "arm" around the body allow the truck to be pushed by heavy equipment. The water sprayers are visible near the bottom rear of the model.


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

Carl McAbee's Hartoy Super-detailing Projects

Carl modified this Hartoy 1948 Ford F-5 box van truck by adding mirrors, mudflaps, marker lights, and he shortened the box.


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

The next photo shows another Hartoy 1948 Ford F-5 truck which was modified by adding mirrors, and the addition of an Ertl utility body, but there is more.


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

The back of that model shows the addition of a tool box, a pintle hitch, and taillights.


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

A Hartoy Mack CJ truck was modified to become a working dump truck. Carl says that the only thing remaining on this model is the installation of mirrors.


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

Carl McAbee's Spec-Cast Trailer

Using a stock SpecCast Collectibles flat trailer, Carl added the drop deck and the angled back. After doing all that work, on the very day that he completed his model, Die Cast Promotions announced an identical model that was even more detailed! Of course!


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

Carl McAbee's Norscot Scale Models Log Loader Grapple

This was a Norscot Scale Models Caterpillar 950F Wheel Loader model where Carl removed the bucket and made into a log loader grapple. The wheels are from an Ertl machine. Note the single headlight at the top of the cab.


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

Around the back he added taillights, a slow-moving-vehicle sign, a screen protector for the window, and lots of chains.


(photo © Carl McAbee; used by permission)

Randy Griggs's Utility Truck

Randy's home needed a visit by the gas company, so while they were there, he took photos of their utility truck. It was a Ford F-650. Note the extended cab, and the drop in the glass of the door window as the newer Fords have.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

He chose an Ertl model as the base for his model. He could not find a model that had the extended cab, and the model's doors also don't have the drop in the window. All-in-all, the model is a very good representation of the prototype. The small backhoe was simulated using an HO-scale Norscott Case 850 Super M Loader/Backhoe (he scratchbuilt a new cab for the backhoe to make it S-scale).


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

The photo below shows the flatbed truck that was the start of the project. He replaced the wheels with more realistic ones, and removed one rear axle.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

The trailer started off as a SpeedWheels/Maisto trailer for which Randy also replaced the wheels, and extended the hitch to match the prototype. In the photo below, the original is shown on the left, and the modified version on the right.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

Next, Randy extended the hitch of the truck, moved the one axle further back, and used the flatbed of the original truck as the base upon which he built the body of the utility truck. He used ABS plastic for the body. The metal folds in the upper part of the body he created using the back of an Exacto blade held at a 45-degree angle, and then used a three-sided file to continue the creases on to the end sheet. He added small rectangular pieces of plastic to simulate panel doors and door handles.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

He created the diamond tread on the back lip of the truck body by applying some MEK to the top of the lip, and then clamping binding tape to the surface. Once the MEK was dry (doesn't take long), he removed the tape to reveal the desired pattern.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

The detail continues on the back of the truck, where Randy used Microsoft Word to create the doors' windows, the lights, the reflective tape, as well as the company logo on the cab's doors. He then printed them and applied them using Scotch double-sided clear tape. He later added a U.S. flag to the back of the truck, like the prototype had, using the same method.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

Randy Griggs's Bee-keeping Trucks

Randy's father was involved in the bee-keeping industry. He owned two Studebaker trucks (a 1950 and a 1949 model) that Randy always wanted to model in S-scale. The photo below shows his Dad on the left in "Madam Queen" (the name of the truck) and a hired-hand on the right in "Little Worker". Note the names on the bumper of each truck.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

The photo below shows Randy's final models in S-scale. The 1949 "Little Worker" (on the right) was built using a Shrock Brothers 1949 Studebaker pickup model. The model is labeled as "1:55" scale, but Randy found that it is closer to 1:64.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

The "Madam Queen" 1950 Studebaker model required more work. Randy started it with two donor models, the Dinky toys' Studebaker tanker truck's cab (left) and the Hartoy stakebed truck's frame (he didn't use the stake bed itself because it didn't match the prototype).


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

After cutting off the cab from the Dinky tank body, Randy scratchbuilt the back of the cab, simulating the folds in the rear panel (sorry for the low-resolution, but these photos were taken a number of years ago with an older digital camera). Additionally, he removed the paint and some flash and mold lines from the cab.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

An adaptor had to be formed to get the cab to fit the Hartoy frame. Randy built this from a tin can top, bending it to fit.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

The Hartoy frame was modified by adding larger wheels, shortening the tank, and the sides of the front fender liners had to be shortened to get the Dinky cab to fit.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

Randy scratchbuilt a new gas tank and a toolbox. These were added to the frame and glued to the original gas tanks on the frame.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

He scratchbuilt a new flatbed to correctly fit the frame.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

The stake sides were scratchbuilt as well. He made a jig by laying out the lines of the stakes on a sheet of paper. He then applied double-sided clear tape to the paper and built the sides on top of the tape. When the glue set, he was able to carefully remove the side panel. He notes that the left and right stake sides have to be built in mirror-image of each other. The next photo shows the main parts dry-fitted together. When all was as desired, Randy painted the models.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

He had LBR Enterprises produce the decals he needed for the trucks' doors. The texts at the top of the decal were actually printed in white (shown in black so that it is visible here). Similarly, the truck names, applied to the bumpers, were printed in white as well.

The two placards at the bottom of the decals could be used on the sides of the stakebed. Randy's Dad never used placards like that, but he created them for a "what-if" scenario.

The hive bodies load was designed on the computer, then printed on paper. He then folded and taped the paper to the shape shown in the photo below. Randy says that he can provide the PDF file for the load if anyone wants it.


(photo © Randy Griggs; used by permission)

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