Sunday, 22 July 2012


Making Cargo Lifting Easier!

For those of you who know my style of modelling, Gerry Anderson-related for the past few years, you'll be aware that I rarely do anything remotely "warlike". While I have been known to create models with "rockets, bombs and guns", to coin a phrase from our local Mackay Scale Modellers Club, almost all of my creations are basically civil in nature - trucks, airliners, observation towers and the like. While some of my aircraft models sport some kind of weapons array, I have very few plans for "models of mass destruction" or "conversions for world domination". I find that, by not limiting my model making to military vehicles and aircraft, it gives me a sense of freedom to do all sorts of creations that one might see on an everyday basis, albeit in the near future. And so it is with the Heavy Loading Vehicle featured in this blog.
The idea came to me when I was awaiting inspiration while playing around with some kit parts from a 1/35 scale Revell Mittleres Artillerie Raketensystem or MARS for short. I had picked up this kit for just $16 and was trying to see what I could do with it to create some sort of tracked machine. The very first thing that sprang to mind was to turn the whole vehicle around, back to front. And it just grew from there, as they say. What follows is a little writeup that I originally did to explain the conversion process and the rational functionality that must accompany any model in the SF genre. 

I approached this kit with the intention of converting it to some form of civil vehicle that would be used to load and unload machinery and equipment from airliners and futuristic shuttles. Because the base rotated and the hydraulics were functional, this gave me the idea for some kind of platform that could be repositionable. The first step was to assemble the chassis and relocate the cabin a full 180° from the original orientation of the kit.

Using sheet styrene and a quantity of kit parts, I rebuilt the cabin facing in the opposite direction. Styrene was also added to the original windows at the “front” to disguise them and details were used to fill in these areas. I used the original base and roof of the missile-firing unit to construct the platform.

Side skirts of styrene were added and detailed with aircraft drop tanks and other kit parts. Two, small hinges were purchased from a local Spotlight store to allow the platform to pivot on the extending framework which used the kit’s original rotating system.

Grey primer became the cabin colour, while details were picked out with a brush. The interior of the cabin required painting prior to the final assembly of it could begin. The underside was sprayed a dark green colour, while the tracks themselves were painted in Gunmetal and drybrushed for weathering.

The base coat of the vehicle was Golden Wattle, while the platform was sprayed in Venetian Red, both acrylic car colours. Drybrushing was added to all areas, along with the necessary airbrushing and decals to give the vehicle more detail. The hydraulic rams for the platform came from the original kit. A half scale, 1:72 version of the vehicle was converted from a toy at the same time, using the same techniques and colours.

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