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Stickframe

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  1. Hello, welcome and good luck! I have the 1/24 version, so will be interested in seeing how yours comes together. I don't know of threads for this, but there are several interesting threads of highly detailed builds of various other race cars. You might need to do some searching - including many in 1/20 scale which might be generally helpful to review. Looking forward to seeing your progress Cheers Nick
  2. Hi Ron, yes, understand and am eager to see your progress. I misunderstood your comment about the part (shock tower) - that is, do you need to relocate it or heavily modify it? Sounds like the latter. I’m in the middle of something similar as part of a conversion of a Toyota Land Cruiser from the enclosed body to a pickup, with scratchbuilt four link front and rear suspension. I’m about half way through the suspension, so your steps are interesting to see. Thanks for clarification cheers Nick
  3. Hi gents - thanks! Yes, those tires are pretty hefty - they're 38" (96 cm) tall! so well suited for some heavy duty rock crawling As noted above, getting the shock towers and rear end set up to accommodate them is proving challenging, tho they are the same size as those used on the '41 Chevy. Seems there are just enough differences between the frames and bodies that new challenges are emerging - for now, working on the rear four link set up and keeping the axle on the correct X and Y axis - then on to the shock towers.....and ride height. Thanks for having a look Nick
  4. HI Ron, I am a bit confused by what you are saying above - is the shock mount spatially in the wrong location, or, are you speaking in term of being in need of modifications to allow you to do what you want them to? As I was curious, I looked up the instructions and found this: I can see how it will not be easy to fit your solution (which I like) into the shock tower - you'll need two extra hands! But, I'm confident you will get it sorted! Looking forward to seeing your next update Cheers Nick
  5. Hats off to you Andy - very nice work! And, the victory of all sitting flat and square - congratulations Cheers Nick
  6. Hi Jeroen, You have made remarkable progress - and all of the highest quality! And, in short order - looking good Cheers Nick
  7. Wow Ron! You are taking this to the next level indeed! That tiny u-joint looks great - I did as you suggested, and looked them up. I found some that I could actually get in a timely manner (they were sold in bulk of 10, and were relatively inexpensive), but they are a bit too big for my FJ project (1/24), but the next project will be a 1/24 6x6 or 4x4 Peterbilt, and I'm looking forward to trying them out. How do the versions you are using attach to the shafts? The parts I found come preassembled and to attach them to the shaft, you need to install 2 tiny allen head lock pins - not looking forward to that. I am though looking forward to your next update! Cheers Nick
  8. Well guys, my progress for February was modest at best - real work took priority. But, last week some more parts arrived and I had sent out a deliverable for work, so back to the bench I went. Seems I put hours into this, and there's not all that much to show. I managed to make progress on the bed, but that went pretty quickly - the real time sink was on the front axle and suspension: My few weeks off conveniently allowed me to forget just what a handful this type of build is! As you can see, this is becoming a posable four link suspension, similar to what I made for the '41 Chevy. Some things worked better, while others - big headaches - like getting the steering to work - When I note "posable" I'm referring to the suspension being able to freely move up and down, and the steering to be adjusted. I've made practically no progress on the rear end, other than making it look more or less like a Dana 60 with a beefy truss - the rest still to be built..... Unlike this Chevy, this is intended to be a full on rock crawler, hence the front fenders removed, for now. I'll add something back. As to the stance, it will sit closer to level when I add the shocks - but not until the rear end is built. And the steering: \ There's a lot going on up here, and I seem to have forgotten the order in which construction should go! This time I did correctly clock the front axle, but I had a really hard time getting the steering to all fit - there's a tie rod, drag link and panhard/tracking arm all in front of the axle! That's a lot of moving parts - and the steering gear, drag link, and pitman arm...I must have built/torn down and rebuilt a half dozen times - I ran into clearance problems, limited axle travel, and steering bind! That said, now it all works as hoped - and the axle is still pretty close to being centered on X and Y axis! good! The next task will be making up some shock towers and fitting the generally operable (posable) shocks - the challenge with this will be the obvious - making a tower mount that is the correct height and centered on the axle - but also offset enough from the chassis to allow the fake shocks to move. I discovered the last time that if the shock towers are vertical to the chassis, the shocks bind! It's a challenge to get bolts and nuts into the tiny single and double clevis' that serve as mounts. You can just see above, the lower clevis' installed - of course, these are perilously close to the mounts for the upper four link connectors - I hope I have enough clearance! Particularly on the driver's (left) side - it was unusually difficult finding the center of the axle, as the diff is not centered, so there's an unequal width of the axle truss. This led to me using the "eyecrometer" more than I would like to locate the lower clevis mount. Should any of you decide to go for a project like this, I suggest you buy the appropriately sized nut driver - it helps more than you might guess to get nuts started! So, on we go - thanks for having a look Cheers Nick
  9. Well now you're just taunting us - lol - Yes, I'm looking forward to all of this! Am curious, for parts like control arms, will you retrofit kit parts with hardware or be making/fabricating new versions? In either case, I will be watching! Nick
  10. Hi Ron, Wow! What a great update. This looks like it’s sure to be an addictive build log (as yours always are!). I am going to look up those joints too. I recognize the Prime Miniatures parts, but not familiar with the eye bolt manufacturer - I’ll look them up too. Looking forward to your next update Cheers Nick
  11. Hello guys, Still moving with the FJ 45 - @keefr22, glad you checked this out! As for the engineering - yes - and it goes on. Some anticipated, some not at all - as you'll see below @Pete in Lincs Hi Pete, glad to hear you're on board with this conversion. The FJs are really remarkable, high quality rigs as is, and clearly NOT speed demons - not like a Jeep with a V8 - be it a traditional Jeep or a Cherokee- they have some get up and go! @JeroenS Hi Jeroen, thanks - yes, for better or worse, I'm currently stuck waiting for a couple of real work jobs to start up, so, have some time, but not unlimited time for the hobby. As awesome as on-site team meetings are.....well, model building is more fun! From the mundane and tedious to downright challenging - first up, making the grill look a bit better: Sorry about the tiny photo? - well - albeit tiny, maybe indicative of what I did, which you can barely see! but, you can see what I did by the tone of colors on the grill. The grill in the kit is a molded in grid pattern, which is fine - but, I wanted it to read better - so, out came the #72 drill and after about an hour, I drilled out the the spaces between the grid pattern. You can see on the left pic, the holes drilled in the upper and lower sections (which looks darker), and the stamped pattern in the middle section (which looks lighter) - and on the right picture, all drilled out! The following is not mundane, and challenging - converting the Toyota axle to a Dana 60, to match the rear: Lots going on here - converting the differential, getting the width correct, adding a truss, steering set up for a tie rod and drag link, alu shafts for the brakes and hubs, and - filing down some already small double clevis' to fit. The clevis' will receive the base for the strut/charged shocks. What is mercifully difficult to see is that despite my efforts, this axle was about 4mm too wide....perfect. So, I cut 2mm segments out on either side of the diff - and reattached the parts using various alu and styrene tube, to get a strong connection. Yes - the chassis. Not much left of the donor frame - it was cut, fill added, and cross members removed, resized and relocated, and engine mounts added. The engine - well, it's supposed to be a Chevy 350 - it's not tho - I wasn't about to buy a kit, or resin aftermarket engine for this, as the hood won't open, so a Ford SB V8 it is! with a random collection of parts from who knows what - and scratch built radiator, shroud, and styrene hoses. I only "needed" an engine because the fender wells on this will be open, so you need to see something (specifically, a V8) in there, particularly exhaust, and from the front, an oil pan. I couldn't find a set of headers to fit...so, kept a regular manifold, which ultimately was a good choice, as the exit slope allowed for some carefully bent alu tube to works its way toward the rear. It turns out K&S sells a small tubing bender - not fancy or expensive, but with some practice, a helpful tool to have! And - a New Process 205 transfer case and doubler! These transfer cases are pretty tough and have a distinctive look/shape - and by adding the "doubler" you can get further gear reduction. My doubler was part of an idler for a Bradley AFV - and you can see output shafts/bushings, from an MRAP. Next - the cab - and roll cage: No, this is not a "typical" roll bar. Turns out the Italeri kit requires the dash board to be mounted to the cab body, and not the interior. This is big problem because the steering wheel is attached to the dash. The problem you ask? the floor plan and roll bar needs to be installed squeezing between the body and steering wheel - this also prevents the installation of a dash height, horizontal roll bar brace.....so, a guy fit in what would fit - and we have this. Another challenge, well, I went ahead and added some inner door panels - which the kit does not include: You can barely see panels from the junkbox inside each door, and on the steering column the tilt housing. While you can't really see these features, you can clearly see the placement of the steering wheel and how it could and does interfere with installing the floor mounted roll cage - and a few dry dry fit test shots: All dry fit, but you can see what's going on - and nice view of the rear Dana 60 (which still needs a truss and clevis'). Both the front and rear are sitting a bit too high, but ride height will get adjusted as the suspension gets built. Like the 1941 Chevy, this will have front and rear four links. Maybe a better view, which looks better. More apparent is the ride height is a bit too high: So far so good - I was worried the transfer case might be hanging too low, but seeing it in place, it's fine. This will eventually receive a set of larger diameter tires, but will uses these (front) rims. Once I have a better idea of what the tires look like relative to the body, I'll make the bed. I might have run into a bit of a standstill, or will shortly as I've run out of the clevis' which are needed for the rear axle and mounting towers. In the meantime, well, what to do? maybe driveshafts and mounting studs for the four link brackets? I can to proceed to a certain point, then will have to stop, until I get the clevis'. I learned on the '41 Chevy, that as the suspension will be posable, the geometry needs to be relatively precise - if you clock the axle incorrectly, it will tilt up or down too much (pinion angle, front and rear), and won't work with the four links. To get the "clocking" correct the shocks need to be place - to keep the orientation of the axle correct - essentially for vertical control, while a panhard will provide horizontal control. OK gents, have a good day and thanks for having a look Cheers Nick
  12. HI Jeroen, it's remarkable how quickly you are doing this, while maintaining such high quality! very nice! Cheers Nick
  13. Hello model builders, @CrazyCrank - glad you like it - quite a fun project, both the models, and the photos. I'm currently waiting for a couple of real job projects to start up, which has allowed me more time to fool around with the hobby @nearsightedjohn - lucky you! I understand the four wheeling in Utah is great - several years ago a friend of mine took her essentially stock (modest lift/some bigger tires) Jeep Cherokee into Moab! She was/is pretty tough! made it back in one piece - I'd love to visit one day @Kitkent hi Chris, thanks very much! I know, clearly not F1 - lol @HOUSTON thanks very much for your positive words! I really appreciate them. As mentioned above, I currently have some time on my hands so have been able to push the builds and presentation a bit. It was fun building a base then searching for the "perfect" images for meshing together. Not quite as much fun as actually driving around in the rocks, but better than sitting home watching TV! Cheers Nick
  14. Jeroen, you are really making fast work of this build! I really like your idea for the flooring material - will give it a nice and custom look! Nick
  15. Well model builders, giving a go at converting an Italeri BJ44 to an FJ45 Land Cruiser: The FJ 45, on the left seems to be ubiquitous around the world, but less commonly seen in the US - they are considered something of a treasured find if you come across one of them. Italeri makes a 1/24 kit of the BJ 44, which is also commonly seen, but also, less so in the US. I like pickups, so am going to convert the BJ to an FJ. This will also include a complete rebuild of suspension, axles, engine swap and so on. First steps, comparing the two in a diagram: You can see the most obvious difference being one has a covered area in the back and the other (what I am building) is a pickup. An important feature of both tho, is the rear, wrap around corner windows - thereby eliminating the idea of "just" cutting off the unnecessary roof behind the cab, and instead, cutting off the roof over the cab, and cutting and reusing the rear portion of the roof and back doors: I've got to say, I use Tamyia tape for so many things in addition to masking - among them, setting guidelines for cutting! Embarrassed to say, keeping these cuts on the straight and narrow - more of a task than a guy expected - they're mostly straight lines along flat surfaces - maybe too much coffee that day! When all was said, puttied, sanded, and so on, the cab turned out fine - barely discernable splice! The Italeri kit doesn't have too many parts - at all. The floor pan, truck bed, bottom of the engine, and chassis are all molded in one piece - not what I'm looking for. Rather than fret, a quick trip to the junkbox, and a replacement frame was found. Feeling full of confidence, I cut apart the cab floor, filled some gaps, added the rear facing corner edges (cut from the rear of the kit provided part), added a firewall, and thought we're good to go! As part of my ongoing effort to create my own heavy duty Dana 60 axles, back to the junk box I went - finding idlers from a Bradley and various bits to make up the diff cap, and pinion, then evergreen and alu tube inserts. Had a nearly built engine on hand, which is fine - as the hood won't be openable, but you will be able to see the side of the block and headers between the chassis and fenders, so I need something, and a small block Chevy is a fairly common conversion - funny bit of info, the small block Chevy is lighter than the Toyota I6 - how about that? The Toyota engine BTW is a great runner - I just like adding the V8 Then began trying to get the body to sit correctly on my donor chassis. Problem number one is that the area of the chassis beneath the cab isn't flat - and the base of the cab is - easy enough to fix, but would require some thought - then, I noticed - the FJ and BJ trucks share a similar body mound, below the center of the grill - note the pic in the upper right with the red circle - and that brutal gap..... How would that get resolved??? Well - a different donor chassis was selected, and a piece of the Italeri part was cut up and modified: As you can see in the left, this was not a pretty job. The Italeri kit part (uni chassis/floor pan) was pretty chunky and not at all realistic. I cut everything in front of the floor pan off, and happily, kept the remnant part handy. I cut the cast in-place, bottom of a motor, out and separated what looks like a chassis from the "flat" front part. Then went about splicing the cut up Italeri part to the other chassis. I didn't take pics of all of this - the process included adding several segments of thick fill material to make what looked like a really big, blocky chassis. Once the glue was set up, went back and cut off all the blocky parts and began filing, shaping, and sanding until it looked something more like a credible chassis. Unhappily, the Italeri kit - does not include a transfer case! annoying - instead, the kit would have you insert the drive shafts into opposing ends of a skid plate. The kit isn't bad at all, but the level of detail/parts count, might suggest it's aimed at newer model builders, which is great - wish I'd have found this years ago! But now, well, I want to build in more detail. So, I'm going to make up a NP 208 or 205 transfer case facsimile to suit my project, will add a doubler, and attach it all to the transmission. I will eventually make a skid plate below the transfer case, but mine will be made from thick styrene rod to represent steel tubing, not adapting the kit part. The next tasks will include narrowing the rear part of the chassis, and making the front axle. From there will being locating and marking the axle centerlines relative to the chassis and fender openings. This will ride on front and rear four link suspension so we have a long way to go. Thanks for having a look, and on we go - Cheers Nick
  16. Hi @Corsairfoxfouruncle, thanks for the compliment! Good guesses on the vehicle model - but, it's not exactly any of the above. The truck is based on something called a "Canopy Express" built by Chevrolet from the mid '30s to mid '40s. They were used by green grocers and neighborhood vendors. The build uses a Revell 1941 Chevrolet pickup cab merged into an AMT 1940 Ford sedan delivery, on a modified Ford F100 frame - the build log and some background on the original truck is here: I came up with this subject while walking in my neighborhood - someone has one of these trucks, kept in a side yard. I didn't know what it was, so did some homework and figured it out! What you can't really see in the dio/base project is that the four wheel drive conversion is based on posable, long travel, front and rear four link suspension, rather than traditional leaf springs - Why not? as long as I was going to try and get the body to work, why not go for an equally challenging suspension set up? - The dio/base is something of an old school build - plywood base, rigid foam covered with plaster fabric, then rock molds using hydrocal over - then lots of acrylic washes and real sand glued on. I really enjoyed this build - Cheers, thanks for having a look and leaving a comment - Nick
  17. Well guys, the 'ol girl has been brought up to speed and ready to be shown: This is an AITM resin kit with a few modifications to represent a specific truck, aided in presentation by a nice sunny day! There are some aspects of the paint that I'm really pleased with, but some, less so. I didn't clear coat this - not sure that it would have helped that much, as I painted it with Tamiya canned paint on a chilly day with high humidity. I think this led to some orange peel, and although I tried, I don't think I got all of the resin mold release off - I soaked the parts in soapy water, brushed, sprayed with cleaner, and still, there were a few surfaces that I had the sense still weren't completely clean. Another challenge was the chrome. It's Vallejo Metal Color which I usually really like, over Tamiya canned battle ship grey. The Vallejo had trouble adhering to the slick Tamiya surface. As for modifications, I made the steering posable, replaced the kit exhaust stacks with scratch built (driver's side still looks askew - I gave up on it!), made a "headache rack", and added brake drums, bolts, and hoses, never to be seen. Some more obvious successes include the hydraulic steering fluid reservoir, plumbing for air cleaner, scratch front bumper, and the front window which was trimmed with relatively large hexagon rod, that allowed for positive window placement and cast a nice inward shadow toward the glass and chrome frame. The biggest change was making a base for the cab interior, rather than using the big cast part (which I'm not convinced was the right part for the kit to begin with). This change is not period correct (you can see a gap below the doors, and shallow rocker panel), but I like the result. The front wheels are from Auslowe. I carved two lines of additional tread into the front tire and rounded the shoulders (same in rear), so they would look more like a highway tread. The interior is painted, but hard to see - looks fine. This truck is based on those run by Mary Hitchings of Hitchings Lumber in Santa Rosa California (about an hour north of San Francisco): As a boy, my dad would take my brother and I there on the weekends for various home projects - always fun for us. There were many old cars and trucks scattered about the yard - this was not like a big box home center. Mary looks pretty serious in the upper left - I hope she'd approve! Thanks for having a look, Cheers Nick
  18. Hi guys, thanks! @dnl42, yes, I must admit, this is something of an unusual subject! I've built 4x4's before, but am not a big fan of "monster trucks" so, this seemed like a fun alternative - necessitating the need to figure out how to make rocky terrain for a base - @Pete in Lincs, hi Pete - thanks! appreciate it! As you likely guessed, the photo work is serving as a bit of a test bed for the Reminiscing dio, which I will eventually get back to! In the mean time, the sun eventually came out, so, I took the rig outside and made up some new photo montages: I think the "real" sunlight really helps to punch out the look of the rocks - I also selected a bit more variety for the backdrops - now using photos of Utah, California, and about an hour north of Riyadh! some roadtrip The LS3 worked just fine, and there was no rubbing of the tires or suspension! Cheers Nick
  19. @JeroenS HI Jeroen, thanks very much! It was a fun build, and the suspension - I might try that again one of these days! @keefr22, thanks! @Marco F., thanks! @CliffB, thanks! Sorry to group these responses, I appreciate the comments on the build and the photos. I've come to really enjoy looking for ways to show off the end product. There is certainly something to be said for showroom like pictures, they can really bring a build to life. That said, I'm a big fan of outdoor pictures in general, as they seem to bring the colors to life, and I've recently been experimenting with outdoor photos, used digitally over a backdrop. I'm an alarmingly low-tech guy, so making these come together has been fun, and I hope to get better at it! Cliff, yes, this is sort of an unusual subject. It turns out there one of these trucks sitting in someone's side yard in my neighborhood. Thanks to covid (and not having many options for any sort of activity) I've been walking around my neighborhood quite a bit - every day, so after walking past this truck several times decided to first try and replicate the body, then do something fun with it! Thanks for having a look, and leaving some comments Cheers Nick
  20. Wow - the first example is beautiful! nice build - can you do that again in a month?? It will sure be fun to watch! Cheers Nick
  21. @silver911, well Ron, you certainly raise a good point! yes, the drill.... Such an exotic tool - seems I've grown so accustomed to using tiny hand tools (pin vice, knife etc) that I forgot all about real tools! Yes, I do own a cordless drill, and several bits - just forgot about them! I tend to drill a small pilot hole, then use a larger bit in the pin vice, then go about enlarging the diameter using various knives and files! hmmmmm....not all that bright of me! @JeroenS, hi Jeroen, glad you like it! I concur - the big cab on the short frame does have a distinct look! rather like the "bulldog" namesake - lol - thanks for having a look Nick
  22. Well guys, today, really the last two weeks, no fun at all! I'm fairly good at doing my real job and not good at all at the administrative side of it! Have been dealing with quarterly tax fillings, and 1099 forms...misery! While I can comfortably spend plenty of time doing my actual job, or building models , ask me to competently fill out forms, and that's another story! I seem to have a huge mental block when it comes to doing those tasks....very discouraging - but, something that needs to be done! and now is! OK enough - back to the ol' Mack: And you can see more styrene. I built up the front bumper - which I now see still needs more putty, built battery and service boxes, and the "headache rack" separating the load from the cab. It's interesting that for such a chunky model a surprising level of precision has been required to make all this fit where it belongs and to make it look as it should. And with the cab: The small tank next to the hood on the drivers side is for either hydraulic steering fluid, or a diesel filter - I don't know, but, whatever it is, this truck has one! On the passenger side, you can see the big air filter and plumbing to get it under the hood. The prototype actually has that big square opening, which in retrospect is just fine - as the resin is very thick, so cutting a credible circle for the plumbing would have been a challenge. Next - those pipes - I've since done more work on them - both in terms of appearance, via the last post, and in regard to getting them plumb - now they look right. Still more to do on the cab - horns, mirrors, trim for windows, and detail trim along the hood - and other stuff no doubt - all of which is better than dealing with tax forms! Thanks for having a look! Cheers Nick
  23. Hello model builders - just wrapped up the Canopy Express. This truck was made by Chevrolet for several years in the mid 30's to mid 40's. It was used by neighborhood green grocers and various other local vendors. The grill of the truck will look familiar to many of you , as the cab is the same used by the LRDG, and as avail in the Tamiya 1/35 kit. This version is not available in a kit, so I went ahead and spliced a 1/25 scale 1941 donor cab on a 1939 Ford Panel Delivery, and then, went to making it four wheel drive with posable front and rear four link suspension, and steering. There are lots of other mods too. The build log is shown in this link: And now, calling it done: It was sunny and clear today, so out for some pictures we went. As a whole, I'm pleased with this build - you can see, I gave the body some appropriate weather to represent an old, but not abandoned truck - what's too bad is there is a really nice Chevrolet LS3 engine in there, you just can't see too much of it. I also built a base, with some topography, to show the suspension working: And there you have it - I really enjoyed building this - it pushed my skillset and provided numerous challenges. Sort of funny how well the paint worked. It's all Vallejo Model Air - wish I could get these results on race cars! lol - no clearcoat here - just a nice finish. It's too bad, out of all of these pics, only one, (directly above in upper left) shows the suspension flex under the front drivers side - as it does flex in all four corners. The "donor" backdrops include Utah, California, and about an hour north of Riyadh - quite a road trip! Ok, thanks for having a look - Cheers Nick
  24. Hi Jeroen, Very nice work - this looks great! and you nailed the color. Sounds like the Italeri kit is pretty good - I just ordered one of their Toyota FJ44s, also in 1/24....hope it looks as nice as this! Cheers Nick
  25. Hello dio builders, This isn't exactly done, but it's close enough. it's also a base, and not a dio - no figures. I've been waiting for a sunny day to get some outdoor photos - today was hazy - but, I was impatient. I'll take these all again once it's sunny and clear. For now though, I used the photos I took in the hazy light, and cropped them into some screen shots from a trail ride that occurred this week in Utah! Happily, there were several videos shot and I could weave my truck into the little convoy. Unhappily, while my topo looks fairly red while looking at it in my work area, well, in the real landscape - nah, not nearly red enough! A guy could go ahead and to the right thing, and airbrush, or drybrush on some more red....? I don't know...OK, have a look: And off we go, through some gentle topo, and into something a bit steeper: climbing up higher! over the ridge Into the valley and out! This was a fun project - the truck received lots of modifications, including posable suspension, so, the bas was made to illustrate the flex of the axles over different terrain. If you notice in the first picture, there is a big gap over the left front wheel, while in the last, the the gap is over the right front - same for the rear. The cast stones have just enough variation to allow this to be shown. I have pondered making another base that has more dramatic changes. I chickened out this time! The graphics use pretty simple software: jpegs from my phone, snipping tool for images from videos, Photoscape for cropping, Photoscape X for cutouts, and powerpoint for the final images. I couldn't figure out how to sample the red soil, or my base dio for that matter, to change the other images - oh well. This was a lot of fun anyway! I wish I'd been on the actual trail ride! Looks like it was a lot of fun - Thanks for having a look Cheers Nick
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