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"Civilizing" a Bedford Tactical Refueler


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Hey all,

This is my first venture into the "vehicles" department of Britmodeller, but I'll give it a go.  @LaurieS built a layout depicting Jersey Airport at a particular time and included this image that inspired me:

 ef28ee90a46c9120bf4d6e01a863fb4d--viscou

 

The Viscount is itself a beauty to behold, but the fuel truck and its trailer really caught my eye.  I figured that with some modification, I could turn the JB Models Bedford Tactical Refueler into a civil airport vehicle.  After all, airliners need to be refueled, too!  I'm no export on Bedfords, but from the looks of it, the civil Bedford is a 4x2, rather than a 4x4 vehicle, with only the rear wheels driven by the powertrain, so no transfer case.  As there is no requirement for off-roading, the truck also has narrow diameter tires, with double bogies in back.  Fortunately, I have a set of ROCO wheels and tires, designed for large rigs with double bogies, that are about 3mm narrower in diameter than the kit's giant wheels, and which I think will do just fine.

 

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Here are some of the components I've modified so far.  As you can see above, the civil Bedford has a much taller tank and pump housing than the military version, so I went to work with styrene on both components.  I also put a housing around the top of the Bedford's bowser.  I am using the cut-down chassis of Airfix's AEC Matedor and fuel tank as the basis for the trailer.

 

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Nice work Alex.

 

Great to DIY it.

 

Did a similar thing with two Military Snatch Landrovers. Converted them into a Series 2 & a Series 3.

Really enjoyed the work. A great satisfaction.

 

Watching on here to make sure you get it right. 🤣 However you will be pleased to know I have no knowledge of this vehicle. But learning fast.

 

Laurie

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Thanks, @LaurieS!  I'm improvising in parts because I really don't know much about these vehicles.  The important thing is to make it at least look somewhat "right."  I've seen all sorts of refuelers, including at least one from the late '40s that resembles a panel van, and another (that you may be familiar with) that is an odd three-wheeler used on smaller aircraft.  Ultimate colors will be white up top, yellow on the bottom, grey on the fenders, and BP markings all over.  I've got some BP decals that should do nicely.  No need to get Shell involved, though (LOL!).

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Nice work so far.   Yes, the Bedford TK is a 4x2.  The most obvious differences from the military version are the headlamps being in line with the grille vs. lowered and a much lighter, closer fitting bumper. The exhaust still exits in front under the bumper - standard practice on fuel tankers.

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5 hours ago, Six97s said:

headlamps being in line with the grille vs. lowered and a much lighter, closer fitting bumper

Thanks!  That's actually an easy fix if I just sand off the kit's lights as molded and replace them with 1mm diameter AK light lenses.  The bumper should be easy to replicate also.

2 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

They look good so far,  some fab work.

Thanks so much, Chris!  Watch how this works: as soon as I get the conversion all done and pretty, someone will release an injection-molded Hippo refueler that can be turned into a civilian vehicle much more easily!

 

1 hour ago, Mancunian airman said:

I think you are on top of

Mancunian Airman: that might be a little premature, but we'll see!  All of this is something I've pondered on for a bit.  My first solution was to use the big oil/fuel trailer from the Airfix Bomber Command Support Set, but it's such a fine piece of handiwork, I'd really regret wasting it by making it into a bastardized conversion.  Luckily, I have loads of odds and ends hanging around, including ROCO Minitank parts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are some more Bedford bits, starting with the modified cab.  In addition to removing the lights and drilling new holes that would position the lenses, I removed plastic from the back so the cab would sit lower relative to the chassis.  Otherwise, the suspension would appear too "sprung" with the smaller diameter tires.

 

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Here's the tire/wheel units I'm using, compared to the kit's large diameter originals.  Note that I plan to use a smaller tire diameter for the front bogies on the fuel trailer.

 

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Here's the pump station and undercarriage.  On the undercarriage, I did not bother with trying to center the differential housing, but left it offset, because otherwise it would be too much of a pain to deal with.  Who knows?  Perhaps the real things had an offset differential because they were of British design, and thus a wee bit eccentric.  I also added a simple rack-and-pinion for the steering unit up front, and bent the wheel position so they would be in a slight turn.

 

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Like it.  Looks great.  I did the opposite and turned a 1/50 Bedford TK Cadbury’s tanker in to an RAF refueler.

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5 hours ago, bar side said:

Like it.  Looks great.  I did the opposite and turned a 1/50 Bedford TK Cadbury’s tanker in to an RAF refueler.

Thanks so much!  I'd love to see that one, if you'd care to share a photo!

 

3 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

Nice bit of progress,  great idea to do the cab in clear plastic. 

Great work 

Thanks, Chris!  I've built five of these JB / Airfix Bedfords as military vehicles (2 tankers, 3 transports), and the clear cab is surprisingly easy to work with.  To mask it, you take some kabuki tape cut roughly to shape, lay it over the windows, and use a real sharp X-acto to cut to shape.  The results are sharp and precise.  What would you recommend I use to recreate the black weather-stripping around the window edges?

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Hi Alex. You are having fun there & I like it.

 

Conversions are for me the soul of scale model making.

 

Mmm black edging at this scale. Pass.

 

Great work.

 

Laurie

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14 hours ago, LaurieS said:

Conversions are for me the soul of scale model making.

I agree!  And I'll take your advice on the black edging.

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Yes I can find a pic.  This is my Bedford tanker converted from a Corgi 1/50 Commercial tanker.  I really want to do an RAF Bison tanker but I spotted a preserved one of these & thought it was doable 

 

NjACSnR.jpg
 

She has working headlights and orange warning lights on the top

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1 hour ago, bar side said:

Yes I can find a pic.  This is my Bedford tanker converted from a Corgi 1/50 Commercial tanker.  I really want to do an RAF Bison tanker but I spotted a preserved one of these & thought it was doable 

 

NjACSnR.jpg
 

She has working headlights and orange warning lights on the top

Nicely done!  That really adds to the scene.  Lots of good work on your part!

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3 minutes ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Nicely done!  That really adds to the scene.  Lots of good work on your part!

Cheers- as will yours when it’s finished

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Have you ever seen one of these?

 

635-1.jpg?maxwidth=1000&maxheight=1000

 

Triang Minic Motorway motorised approx 1/76 scale.  I had a set as a kid.  They made real vehicles before figuring out all anyone wanted was to race them and Scalextric was born

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Great work so far.  Always good to see a bit if conversion/scratch building.  May I suggest black pinstripe decal for the screen surround.  Xtradecal XPS-1 is a sheet of different width stripes in satin black (with continuous carrier film) that I have used on several of my models.

Trevor

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2 hours ago, klubman01 said:

Great work so far.  Always good to see a bit if conversion/scratch building.  May I suggest black pinstripe decal for the screen surround.  Xtradecal XPS-1 is a sheet of different width stripes in satin black (with continuous carrier film) that I have used on several of my models.

Trevor

Well done Trevor. Got 5 sheets on order all different colours. Superb info. £2:50 per sheet. https://www.modelworks.co.uk/index.php?route=account/account

 

By coincidence last night fumbling thro my obsolete collection of decals for exactly that thin black lines.

 

Matter of interest i am going to try using white decal lines on the Dart Herald windscreen I am constructing.

Hopefully these will look more precise & better than painted ones.

 

Laurie

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here are some updates.  I created some shocks and return springs using stretched sprue and guitar steel "strings."  I also used the guitar string to simulate the hose that runs between the pumper truck and the fuel trailer.  Also, I applied several coats of white Stynylrez acrylic primer to get things started here.  

 

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Very nice work Alex. Superb DIY.

 

Could have done with you on a certain Dart Herald a la Marquette.

 

Goodness me you are very busy. Weather for a vintage type it  is hot 30 degrees.

and it has slowed me down.

 

Laurie

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