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Kallisti

1:35 Hasegawa Hitachi Zaxis 135US excavator

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Posted (edited)

A while ago I saw a model built by @tiking which included a burnt out excavator 

 

I was intrigued that there was a model kit of such an excavator so sought it out from a Japanese model site. As anyone who knows my modelling habits, I love variety and my builds over the years have extended from SciFi to Fire Engines to Traction Engines and Steam Rollers so this was an obvious thing to attract my interest.  In addition, before I rediscovered the plastic modelling I was heavily into Meccano and built some fun models such as fairground rides:

 

 

and one of my favourite Meccano models I saw at several shows was a backhoe that was powered by proper miniature Hydraulics which had a very realistic movement - ahh found a youtube video of it

 

 

The type of subject for Meccano models is very different from plastic modelling, lots of vehicles that DO things such as cranes, diggers etc etc because Meccano is about making a model DO something because lets face it, no matter how well you build it, it still looks lime Meccano!

 

So this model was an opportunity to revisit this type of model, but with a modeller's eye on making it look realistic with weathering etc. Here is the kit:

 

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and of course the compulsory sprue shot

 

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The black sprue at the top left is soft rubber and contains the tracks and various pipework to decorate the boom. Here are the instructions:

 

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The instructions contain quite detailed colour call outs, however I've been collecting photos of the real vehicle - usually from site reselling them in various states of wear, which is very interesting, particularly inside the cab. There is quite a bit of variation in colour inside the cab, however outside its pretty standard and usually kept quite clean - apart from the tracks and the bucket!

 

The kit even comes with an operator!!!

 

DSC_0504.JPG

 

I'll have to make a hi viz jacket for him to portray a UK worker - thankfully he'll be seated so I don't need to worry about the usual bum cleavage! I'm also going to try to take a leaf out of Charles' book and add some clutter to the cab :) There is a cup holder to the bottom right of the seat!

 

Here are the components of the cab partially assembled and try fitted before paint

 

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and here it is with some paint on, using a selection of black, greys, and blue/greys

 

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and here is the seat, which needs to be a bit bluer...

 

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I think this is going to be a fun build!

Edited by Kallisti
Changed name from 'backhoe' to 'excavator'

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First off it is an excavator and second l operated one of those but it was a John Deere but l did get a chance to operate a Caterpillar too but funny thing is the hand controls were opposite between the two.

 

Hacker

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Whats the difference between an excavator and a backhoe? I was always told that if it dragged the bucket toward the cab to dig it was a backhoe...

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'Excavator' just means 'machine that digs' so some qualifications are needed to differentiate the exact subtype.

 

What you have is correctly titled a 'tracked hydraulic backhoe excavator', because it's on a tracked car body, it's hydraulically operated, it hoes 'backwards' and it digs - convention shortens the name to 'excavator', because the tracked, hydraulic, 360° slewing, backhoe type is the most common type in use (also available on rubber tyred wheels, usually qualified as a 'wheeled excavator', with no mention of the hydraulics or backhoe- that is taken as granted). The word 'backhoe' is usually used (locally anyway) to refer to what you guys call a 'backacter', a tractor-based front end loader with a rear mounted hoe, as used on farms and for smaller civil earthworks. An excavator that pushes the bucket away and up to dig is called a 'face shovel' or mining shovel. There's also 'bucket wheel excavators' (Revell do a large kit of a German one) which excavate but don't have a hoe, and many others. And ALL of them have 'proper' descriptions, manufacturers designations, and local versions thereof as well. As an eg, Hitachi's EX 8000 excavator line comes in what they call 'backhoe' and 'shovel' configurations, and they make the things, so they should know.

 

http://www.hitachiconstruction.com/products/ex8000-6/

 

On an Australian mine site, that machine would just be a 'digger' in general conversation.

 

Basically, you're both half right, and I suspect that your naming will depend on where in the world you are.

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Excellent explanation so I will change my naming convention to use 'excavator' as it is a more obvious description.

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I enjoy the background info as well, and I like what you're doing so far! Interesting build.

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You finally gone and done it, eh? Congrats. This is one of the best 1/35 scale model of an excavator, I have seen. The details are excellent. Just read the instructions carefully when assembling the front blade and hydraulics. As well as the tracks hub components. I had to take my bottom half apart after seeing that I had glued the wrong part. The numberings are close together. Anyway, besides that, it went together smoothly. 

BTW, a compact roller is already out. 

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morning all, after 50 years on construction sites they are just called "360"

                                                         willie

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^--- Willie proves my point about local names - I've been mining for 15 years and worked in various industries for 15 before that, and I've never heard that. A rose by any other name would still shift dirt. ;)

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Posted (edited)

Now that we have sorted out the names, work can continue on the cab... here it is fully painted, decalled and weathered, just the seat needs adding

 

DSC_0512.JPG

 

This looks dirtier than it will end up being as some of the washes are still drying on this and will be evened out once its all dried so its not quite so filthy :)

 

The cabin shell is currently in the shed, having been airbrushed earlier this evening. The decals have been applied to the transparencies that will be inserted into the various windows of the cab shell and microset used to get them to settle properly. Once they are fully dry, then assembly of the outer shell can begin.

 

I've also assembled the operator figure, which is also in the shed having been primed with Tamiya light grey or white depending upon wither it was a body part or head or hard hat. Once its had its overalls painted, I'll look at constructing a hi-viz jacket, probably out of tissue paper and PVA glue...

Edited by Kallisti

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Hi Kallisti,

where did you get this kit from?

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So while watching the Royal Wedding today, was able to make some progress on what is turning into quite a complicated build. There is a lot to this kit and my feeling is its going to be quite complicated to paint! Anyway, onto some assembly of some more sub components: first off the boom arms:

 

Upper arm - the seam along the top may need some more sanding...

 

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Lower arm - lots of pipe detail!

 

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Underside, showing the seam thats already been sanded

 

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Next is the bucket - this had some quite visible ejector pin marks which has been filled with Mr Surfacer 500

 

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Next a dry fit of the main body to see how it all goes together

 

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The hollow in the far side of the upper surface is intended to take a representation of the top of the engine. This has been painted with XF-56 Metallic grey and will get some more detail painting and weathering before installation.

 

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This is a close up of one of the front pieces which has had some assembly with the lamp at the bottom and metal step halfway up

 

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and now with the inner cabin section fitted

 

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Speaking of the cabin, here are the cabing sections now painted with XF 63, German Grey

 

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and now for the most difficult part of the build so far, the windows of the cabin. The kit comes with sets of decals that are supposed to be fitted onto the transparencies, however they leave a visible line around the carrier film when applied which to my mind doesn't look very good. So I tried to make it look better by giving them a coat of Klear after applying the decals, but I'm sorry to say this has not worked very well and the surface looks even more uneven. I'm a bit at a loss as to what to do next...

 

This photo doesn't really show the problem well - but you can see the line of carrier film I was talking about on the front windscreen at top left. If you look at the rear windoe in top center, you can see how the Klear has affected the decal and made the edge even more prominent that it was before :(

 

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Finally, the operator has had his overalls sprayed field blue to try to represent denim. This will need some more work to add wear and make it look more authentic.

 

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The hard hat has also been sprayed yellow,  but its matt yellow and it should be glossier as it is hard plastic after all :)

 

DSC_0568.JPG

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I see what you mean about the decals. I guess you could try the method described here: 

I've never done it myself, but you would probably have to trace the outlines on paper, cut it to make a template, put masking tape on the windows and then cut the masking tape to size. Then paint.

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The decals on equipment windows are generally stickers (clear or solid, as required) overprinted with whatever information they're conveying. The edges collect dirt and can at times pull away slightly from the glass, so having an edge isn't actually wrong, regardless of how 'bad' it may look.

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OK, no problem then. And maybe if you put some dust on the windows it will look less obvious.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks guys that is really useful information and I reckon I can use that.

 

So here are all the main components assembled, ready for painting

 

DSC_0570.JPG

 

There are a few pieces missing from this shot such as the dozer blade and some of the hydraulic arms. The bucket is going to be given an initial coat of Mr Color Stainless and will then get overcoats of dirt, a bit of rust and other colours to weathier it to look more like this:

 

hitachi-zx-135_17de55c5.jpg

 

or this:

 

hitachi-zx-135-us-bucket.jpg

 

That photo also shows the work I need to do on the rubber tracks to make them look realistic as well!

Edited by Kallisti

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Progress update: painting and weathering, so its going a bit slower now. I've chosen to change the orange colour down to a more yellow-orange which matches the sort of colour I see on more roadside machines and then started dirtying it up - first the main rear body

 

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Top of the engine deck with the engine hatch

 

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I've been using a graphite pencil to get the worn edges and the chipped handle effect. Next the boom arm - this is till a work in progress, I don't want to go overboard on the dirt on this 

 

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I still need to do some detail painting on the pipework on this, particularly around the brackets and connectors. Next the hydraulic cylinders and pistons which have been painted with Mr Color Aluminium and then polished.

 

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Moving onto the track sprockets, these often have a lot of wear, rust and scratches which I'm trying to replicate

 

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and the real thing:

 

hitachi-zx-135-usk-3_a81196f6.jpg

 

While we are at it, here are the rubber tracks in the process of painting and weathering

 

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The underside of the main body has also been weathered, although its unlikely anyone will see this view

 

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Back up to the top of the main body again and this has has treatment with the graphite pencil as well

 

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Finally, the bucket is still a work in progress

 

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Weathering is ongoing and I'm almost tempted to start assembling the components... :)

 

 

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Nice work on the bucket!

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We are getting close now...

 

Tracks on and dozer blade painted., weathered and fitted:

 

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Jib has been assembled and the main body componets assembled

 

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Seeing this photo makes me realise I haven't put the pivot rod for the bucket in properly!

 

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As you can see from the mess on the cutting mat, this has had weathering pigments applied and scraped off in appropriate places :)

 

DSC_0607.JPG

 

So next job is to fix that hinge and put the decals on, which I should have done before starting the weathering... sigh!

 

 

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So here it is, finished. I've left the driver out as I was at risk of making a mess of the figure, so instead I've left the cab door open as he's obviously gone for a pi... rest break! :) I wonder if I can find a 1:35 scale portaloo...

 

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This was a very enjoyable build, something out of the ordinary for plastic modelling but something every ordinary int he real world!

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A grubby little beauty.

I think it does us good to try something new occasionally.

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Great job! It looks very realistic, the yellow looks just right and the weathering is spot on. The tracks especially have undergone quite a change from OOB

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