Carry on Trucking

I've just had a spell of vehicle building. These are all in 1:72 scale, and destined for various dioramas or layouts. From left to right, they are: a WWI Mack AC fuel truck; a WWI FWD 3-ton truck, those two both US; a British Daimler armoured car, late WW2 & post war; and an American post war Dodge truck, 1950s but used as recently as the First Iraq War. And there's loads of international feel with this group: the kitmakers are RPM (Poland), Roden (Ukraine), Hasegawa (Japan) and Academy (South Korea).

What have I learnt... For one thing, the early vehicles of the Great War seem to have had really complicated machinery underneath. See the chain drive of the Mack truck? And the FWD truck is interesting. This was the Four Wheel Drive company which did indeed produce the first such vehicles, initially for agricultural use. I've built it as an American vehicle, but it was procured in very large numbers by the British. The fuel truck is curious, to my eyes, for having that hefty piece of timber to protect itself in front, but no sort of fender at the rear, where that large container of combustible liquid is to be found.

As kits they have their points of interest too. RPM sell several kits of rare subjects like this, in 1:72 and in 1:48. If this is any evidence, they're really quite complicated for what they are, in terms of number of parts. With the Mack that enables a convincing engine compartment - see right - which you could leave open if you wanted. So why I took so much time over it I don't really know, but it all went together well and I was happy even if I did glue the hood on afterwards.

The Daimler is a very old kit; I don't think Hasegawa have added to their 1:72 range for many years. There was no interior detail which matters because the hatch on top is full width, and the inside is visible even if you use the little man they include. I didn't because he's waving in a somewhat camp and futile fashion. I did add that aerial, it's effective and very visible on any photos of the original. One quaint feature of the kit was the metal axles; you'd never find that nowadays, and perhaps it reflects the birth of model making in the toy industry, when they might have expected a modeller to want to 'drive' the car around once he'd made it.

I actually had to provide my own windscreens for both the Mack and the Dodge, which was surprising in both cases. But it's easy enough to do, using scraps cut from clear plastic packaging.

Anyway, nice to do some kits which could be finished in a few days, even with some of my usual fussiness. To be honest, you could do any of these in a day, mainly thanks to the fast drying time of modern acrylic paints.