Slanzylvania Rebellion Armored Model T

Once again, from my own little imaginative world, I created a fictional armored car as built by some rebels fighting their oppressive government, using a 1912 Model T car as their starting point.

During one of my many searches for old time race cars, I came across armored cars built by (mostly) smaller countries or groups who suddenly found themselves under attack, and needing some sort of vehicle to engage in the battle with their enemy.

There are a lot of pictures of home built armored cars on the Google, a search for armored cars of WW1 will give you a lot of results. While most home built armored cars were built up on light trucks, there were even farm tractors used, and to my surprise, the American Model T Ford. My model is a slight variation of the armored Model T that can be seen on the Google, pictures of actual ones during the war years in Europe, and models made in 1/72 and 1/35. Might be one in 1/48 as well?

I started modeling most everything, anything, in 1/16 scale a few years ago, and had acquired a few of the 1/16 car models, and started making this armored car, by first using just the rubber tires from a Lindberg 1910-12(?) Model T kit, so I could make my own solid steel wheels. The above mentioned Model T armored cars, both real and models, used the stock wooden spoke wheels.

Well, while some of the home built armored cars were just for transporting and had no armament, other than the rebel’s small arms, the Model T, has a turret and machine gun, and that’s where I started too….

One of my favorite scratchbuilding subjects, a Maxim-esque machine gun, and mostly all styrene tube of three different sizes. Here I have finished forming the muzzle, by filing and sanding the taper, and have installed the front plate of the large jacket (background), which I punched out of a piece of .030″ styrene sheet, and drilled to fit over the barrel.

The completed mg in place in the first turret idea, made from body parts of the 1/16 Miniart Hispano Souza model car. I later redesigned the turret, and like to think that may have been how the rebels did things back during their building their armored cars.

And then the fun started ๐Ÿค— Using cardboard from microwave dinner boxes, cracker boxes, etc, to form the body. The cardboard is a nice thickness, stiff, and plentiful. I originally started using it to mock up model ideas, then transfer the pattern to styrene sheet, but on a whim I thought the cardboard looked as good or better, and being able to fold it made it a lot easier than gluing 4 pieces of styrene together. They both have their place in scratchbuilding.

And now, come the “rivets” ๐Ÿ˜„ Yep, all those toothpicks will soon be mere rivets, or an almost close representation of a rivet, as can be seen on the redesigned turret. I marked the rivet locations using a silver Sharpie, then, using a large sewing needle in a pin vise, poked holes to insert the toothpicks with a dab of Tacky glue to hold them in. Try doing that with styrene ๐Ÿ˜…

Turret in middle of the toothpick riveting process, and one of many paint layers. Basically, once the Tacky glue has set up, I clip the toothpicks off close to the armor plate cardboard, then just sand them down. I believe I sanded these down much more eventually. It doesn’t take much of a protrusion- of the toothpicks- to cast a shadow, and make it look like they’re rivets.

A bit more of the riveting work, and more paint layers- more like primer than anything, and maybe searching for a final color. I get so stoked on each color, that I want to make more of the same thing so I can have one of each color….

Well, eventually I gotta settle on a final color/camo so the guys can start fighting ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜… and again, just trying to paint it up like they might have done.

Almost 200 WIP pictures in my Fotki ๐Ÿ‘‡

And as the photos show, I really need to make a dedicated photo lighting setup. Maybe a diorama sometime in the future? We shall see. Thanks for looking ๐Ÿ˜Ž


1900 Eder truck (fictional)

Having spent some time researching and (trying to get around to) building some early 1900 race cars in 1/16 scale, I came across some pictures of the trucks from the same era….. and lost my mind! Talk about cool stuff! And ELECTRIC trucks too! Well, that helped me to decide on my TBNL RR layout in the large 1/16 scale, so I would have a legitimate excuse for scratchbuilding some cool old trucks for it.

I prefer to not try to make an authentic copy/model of any vehicle, rather I look at the vehicles of the era, the variety and the similarities, and (as many small car/truck/crane/train/plane makers did) design and make a relatively “realistic” vehicle as if I were one of those people with an idea, and just go ahead and build it! Seeing all the pictures of the different guys standing next to, or sitting in, their creations, with the looks of success, failure, or “hmmm….” on their faces, just encourages and inspires me to do the same.

I do enjoy making up the names as well. I Google different nationalities surnames for ideas, and if I remember correctly EDER is Austrian for hermit(?) Only 4 letters too ๐Ÿ˜„

Ok, this truck started out using the chassis/floorboard of a vintage Aurora 1/16 scale Stanley Steamer buildup in poor condition that I got off Ebay. Eventually, all I used was the aforementioned chassis, part of the louvered hood/bonnet which I rotated, and the front wheels and tyres, and the floor pedals. Everything else is basswood, balsa wood, coffee stirrer sticks, and styrene.

In progress, with the wheels ready for paint.

‘Done’ with the EDER name stamped in the radiator brass.
A man’s truck, with the early wagon type steering arrangement.
Lots of the early trucks were just like this. Driver sat very high and with no roof, no cab, no windshield, or lights. A lot of them also had the radiator positioned like this, behind the engine.

I like how many of the trucks were built, designed, hurriedly, to fill an immediate need, and also before certain technologies existed. This is a simple hauler, that men would unload by hand: coal, stone, dirt, sacks of feed, etc, with no dumping or swinging tailgate. Also, the tread (width) of the wheels varied, probably until they had to fit on certain roadways. Port city narrow streets most likely helped “standardize” certain dimensions of the trucks.
On the TBNL RR layout benchwork, all shiny and clean. We’ll be changing that sometime in the future.
With my 1903 ROTH delivery truck WIP destined for some small city street scene on the TBNL RR layout. The ROTH started out as another Ebay 1/16 built up model in pieces. It’s the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost frame, running gear, wheels, and not much else. Very representative of a lot of merchandise movers back then also. Another seperate thread on the ROTH is in the works.
Hmmm…. I’m inspiring myself here to get this finished.

More pictures, mostly WIP pictures of the EDER are on my Fotki:

Thanks for looking ๐Ÿค—


Scratch built radial engine, using straws

For an upcoming project, and just for the absolute fun of scratchbuilding, I made this 9 cylinder radial engine after being inspired to use pieces of flexible drinking straws for the cylinders.

Starting with a stiff paper, from a microwaveable dinner box, I carefully layed out a pattern, with 9 rectangles spaced every 40ยฐ apart (the center lines) around a circle sized to a proportion from a typical radial engine. The rectangular “arms” or “spokes” are sized so that the plastic drinking straw sections slide tightly on to them. Once I had that all figured and tried out, on the brown paper pattern, I traced the pattern onto a piece of .030″ thick styrene sheet. The #1 is for knowing where you started working, as you work your way around the pattern.

Ok…. I Photoshopped two pictures together here, to show the drinking straws with the flexible section compressed [top, green], and the straw with the flexible section opened up, or extended [below, blue].

I will probably be making a 6 cylinder inline airplane engine, like the WW1 era Mercedes D engine using the same method, as can be seen at the top of the photo, and using straight, non-flexible sections of the straw for the cylinders.

A bit of information. After sliding the straw sections onto the styrene form- with the holes drilled at the center top of each “arm”- I glued a piece of styrene rod in the hole, cut long enough to extend beyond the diameter of the straw, to hold it in place. Not being sure if the straw plastic being compatible with my glue, I find ways to make it work, without CA or Super glues, as I am extremely sensitive to those fumes.

I cut a balsa wood disc out, thick enough to extend beyond the cylinder depth, front to back, and glued it to the styrene using Tacky Glue. I followed that with a basswood disc, for a sturdier mounting plate, also Tacky glued.

I have Photoshopped some color into this picture to help explain some things….

The yellow domed section of the engine was cut from the Ping Pong ball in the background.

The red “hub” is 3-4 sections of styrene tubing glued inside the next bigger size, as a way of getting an absolutely centered hub.

The light blue seen at the ends of the cylinders is the .030″ styrene. I decided to not fill in the tops of the cylinders, as not needed for my purposes.

I used different diameter styrene rod for the valve rods, the exhaust (? I think?) pipes, and for the “bolts” in the top ring, which get cut and sanded down later. The exhaust pipes, I made by heating and bending the larger rod, then sanded the curved end to taper them.

The valve rocker arms were cut from the same .030″ styrene sheet. I use double sided tape to stick the 9 pieces-blanks together, and cut & shape them all together before separating them and doing final touch up.

The wooden base/block here is the solid wood base from a sports trophy leftover from my time coaching my son’s soccer team. It is a fixture on my workbench, and used quite often.

Finally, in primer. I thought maybe flat black instead of this gray, as a better under cover for dry brushing silver and other metals on, but figured I would give the gray a try.

And here’s the final, ready for installation on something. Not sure what yet, but a propeller driven sled in this big 1/12 scale is currently top of the list.

I pretty much use only craft acrylic paint anymore, for all my modeling. Even the cheapest acrylic craft paint from Walmart is good. Nothing like the early days, when craft paint began. Painting the metallics does take some learning. Basically you paint them on top of a black, and you paint layers, building up the eventual opaqueness and color of the metal you’re after.

I really haven’t yet found a good acrylic brass or bronze paint, so I used the gold acrylic paint I got at Walmart- (one of 3 shades) and I mixed some gloss orange and flat red & yellow to the gold, until I was satisfied with the look. I then added a little more yellow, and/or white to lighten it, or black to darken it.

Thanks for looking. Hopefully we’ll see a propeller on this soon, and it on some sort of funky sleigh ๐Ÿ˜Š


I do build “regular” models too

I found an interesting plane model on, which I frequent a lot, both for model kits and interesting information and commentary by Alan Bussie, the owner/operator of OMK. Ok, enough praise for Alan ๐Ÿค—….

I noticed a 1/48 kit of a Polish aircraft, and upon reading the kit info, I saw that it could also be built as a floatplane! I hurriedly did the necessaries, checked out, and waited to receive it in the mail. As usual, Alan did not let me down.

The model in question: The Polish Lublin R-XIII with floats.

View of the side panel of the box, and unfortunately, I don’t speak or type Polish, as the kit is made by a Polish model manufacturer. A nice kit, with the white plastic having a matte finish making me wonder if it was resin- but no, it’s plastic. Not sure what year it was released, and also not sure if my kit was a later release or what. I only say that because of the poorly cast exhaust pipes, which were usable, but noticeably off alignment.

At 1/48 scale, it was my self imposed minimum limit for aircraft models, and the wing stuts at the top of the fuselage were very trying for me. The struts for the floats, to the fuselage were equally challenging, but I managed, and wound up with a nice little model.

In researching the Lublin, I saw a nice looking version on, of one without the cowling around the engine, which I really liked and decided to go with on my model. Incidentally, the cowling in my kit was exquisitely cast with a near razor thin trailing edge on it. Still on the sprue if I have a need down the road.

While I built it pretty nearly 100% OOB, changing only the decaling, I did add an access hole with cover to the top of each float and deepened the panel lines a bit. I also changed the area at the bottom front of the fuselage/engine area- opening it up to represent an oil cooler vent (?) and extended two of the exhaust pipes, then positioned the engine so they straddled the vent .

Not being sure of the condition of the decals, I applied a coat of MicroSol decal film, and not sure if that made them thicker, or if they were thick to begin with. Pretty straightforward with the decals, with the exception of the red/white shields- don’t know what was up with them, but each one took almost 5 minutes of soaking before they came loose from the backing paper!

Did some minor weathering, using just pastel dust brushed on. Considered spraying the model with Dullcoate, but didn’t feel like masking off the aluminum engine cover and prop. Then drilled some holes in the top of the wing to hang it….

Then shot a bunch of pictures…. (really need to make a plane specific area for photographing my model planes ๐Ÿ˜จ) and put this one through Photoshop ๐Ÿ‘‡

Oh well, I did enjoy every aspect of the build, and I do like how it came out. As a wonderful bonus, while building it, I thought how nice a bigger version of it would be, and…….

…. I layed the main component halves on a piece of paper and traced the outlines- full size for 1/48- but with the idea of maybe blowing up the plans 3 times to a 1/16 scale scratch built model! I almost didn’t bother finish building & finishing my Lublin in my excitement!

That inspiration led me to another one. I could trace the parts from a couple 1/48 WW1 biplanes, say a Nieuport Bebe and a Pfalz diii, into the large 1/16 scale, make patterns out of poster board and make a squadron of each, so I could have fun painting them all differently then hang them from the ceiling in a dogfight!!!

Well….. yeah, then as usually happens, my OCPD reminded me that all those biplanes would need ENGINES…..๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿค”…. So…..

…..I thought and thought and thought some more, of how I could make some fairly simple, easily made representatives of the radial and inline engines needed, and it wasn’t long before I thought of all the flexible straws I have in my scratchbuilding supplies. As luck would have it- I found the perfect size (pictured here) for 1/12 scale (or so….. lots of scratchbuilding is “or so” ๐Ÿ˜„) and I hurriedly dropped everything to come up with a plan.

Quite simple really, for both the radials and the inlines. Just some sort of “spine” for the sections of straw to slide over, and then add all the parts as I did with this radial.

I did consider maybe making my dogfighters in 1/12 scale, but that’s just a little too big….. ๐Ÿ˜… No, 1/16 will be their scale, but ๐Ÿ˜ฎ, this big 1/12 radial would be nice for an AEROSAN….. Oh yeah! I think I will do some looking in Google-land for some cool looking old time propeller driven sleds๐Ÿค—

That’s all for now. Thanks for looking.

Later & God bless. John

Trying again….

How I detest so called “upgrades”, “fixing” things that aren’t broken…. like these WP peeps changing how photos are inserted in a post, while I was AWOL (apparently judged so by some WP bigshot).

Well, whatever, I am going to try again here, more as another step on another day in this, my ongoing battle with depression.

Hmm…. ok….. let’s see…. LET US SEE (??) What? Who are we (am I) asking permission to see? Why do we have such moronic ways? Sigh…. and I wonder why stuff like blogs, forums, etc, randomly seem to just change things – just as we (let us alone!!!) get used to them, and excitedly gush about making things easier or mo’ betterest for us…… Yeah, right.

No apologies for the preceding, as I am a bit leery of trying to publish this, lest I wreak unfathomable slathers (thanx & apologies to Oswald Chambers for that word ๐Ÿ˜‰) upon any soul unfortunate enough to stumble upon my upgraded WP post here.

Ok, I am going to just go ahead, in faith, and say somethings about the two pictures I have posted here, hopefully that appear as inserted, when I tap the PUBLISH button. Way, waaay up near the top of this post, I inserted a picture of two 1/16 scale model cars I got off Ebay recently, and with a Lionel “Ready to Play” battery powered John Deere train set loco, tender, on some track, to see how the cars & train might scale together. Obviously to those who know, no, the loco is not 1/16 scale.

No matter, because, I came up with a plan for a 1/16 scale narrow gauge model railroad layout, using the train set trackage to scale down to a 32″ narrow gauge, and looking forward to much scratchbuilding of pretty much everything needed for such a railroad. And so, I went ahead and drew up a scale plan of the railroad to run along the walls of a 12’x15′ room in my house. My model room workspace is adjacent to the 12×15, and I plan on setting up a temporary “U” of track therein if I desire to let the train run continuously.

With those plans, both visible and not, I took steps to see what I can do with the parts I have….

One issue, besides the non 1/16 scale size of the Lionel steamer, is it’s high running speed. Haven’t figured out a good way of slowing it down yet, but…

….using the full size measurements and layout of the Lionel loco running gear, I drew up a Porter-ish looking wee steamer with enclosed coal cab(?) from a picture gleaned from that magic universe surrounding us all.

Alrighty then….. Publishing — NOW

Continuing on…

Let’s take a closer look at this fictional industrial towmotor-ish thing on my bench, shall we?

Here we see the left side, showing the start crank, below the air vent screen through which the exhaust pipe is protruding, with a custom spark arrestor atop, made from styrene tubing and the screening from a small coffee making cup for the keurig (?) coffee makers.

First step in dismantling, removing the starter crank and exhaust pipe, so…..

….I can remove the rear body unit, covering the engine and gear drive unit, drive wheel, etc.

The idea is (was) that a certain Mr Zimmerman had an idea for a gear driven vehicle, and in his building one, it became very obvious, very quickly, that it would not make for a comfy nor quiet touring kind of car, and certainly not a fast thing, but powerful? Oh yeah! And able to move precisely mere millimeters…. with an experienced operator, of course…. So Mr Z worked towards supplying the many young industries and transportation companies springing up everywhere with a replacement for the horses and some big burly men & women, to push and pull the manufactured goods and supplies for same- onto, and off of, here, there, and over there…… wherever the goods needed to be.

And his SCHLEPPER was born. The Zimmerman gear driven industrial tractor. This may be the first Model- the ZG1……

Time will tell, and we shall see. Until next time, thanks for spending some time here with me, at the bench. Later, and God bless.

Hello… I am John, and I scratchbuild things.

Here and now, I am trying desperately to make my first post, and haven’t yet figured out how to get my words below my picture. My little plastic buddy is no help. He’s having his own issues, ever since I took him from his happy home: a Lindberg Civil War Union Army horse drawn field artillery kit in 1/16th scale.

Ok! Finally! I think I need a nap now… LOL!

Haven’t given him a name yet, but soon methinks, I will have to, just to make things a wee bit easier here. He’s supposedly operating a What If? sort of industrial tractor/truck I dreamed up while dabbling in modeling the early 1900 cars, and seeing all kinds of very cool vehicles whilst doing internet searches. So many of the wonderful pictures of the early inventions just seem to say (to me anyway…) that the inventor, or the person (or persons) involved in changing or “improving” the invention or it’s use, literally said to themselves, and others, “Hey! What if we _______________?” And the rest is history, so they say.

Time for another picture methinks…

Bit of a look at this fellow’s driver’s area. All scratchbuilt from styrene, except for the yellow straight pin ball, and the carved balsa wood seat he is seated on, and the flattened bit of florists wire that is part of the brake lever assembly.