Oilfield truck scratchbuilding

Discussion in 'Modeling Tips' started by skyraider, Jun 9, 2022.

  1. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Found a guy who had some model trucks for sale. Some are Sheepscot kits and some are already built who knows what. I'm tearing into the built ones...literally...and converting them to something other than what they currently are. Does anyone have an idea if this might be a 1950's Peterbilt grill? There was a much more modern grill on the truck this is going on and I'm replacing it with this, hopefully. Steve or anyone else, please chime in if you know trucks!!!!


    Paul Moore

    IMG_5645.JPG IMG_5646.JPG
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  2. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    ok...the Peterbilt project is underway. Since nobody responded to the contrary, and I can't find anything definitive on the 'web regarding the grill, it's going to be a Peterbilt oilfield truck.

    The skirts on the bed are just pieces of styrene that were cut out and dremeled for wheel wells; the passsenger side step is also a piece of styrene; the driver's side tank is an Alloy Forms fuel tank that was scavenged from something else; the hood area had to be reshaped a little to make the grill fit. Still have to scratch build the exhaust stacks...no big deal there. Needless to say, it had to be stripped of terrible paint before doing anything else.

    The winch on the bed is just laying there. It will be detailed, attached just behind the headache rack, some cable added and a hook and some other stuff. A step will be added to the driver's side, along with mirrors, etc. Lots of junk will be on the bed (chain, cable, some oilfield stuff). A toolbox will be attached under the bed on the passenger side close to the front of the bed.

    The patch on the cab roof...there was an A/C unit on the roof--too modern for me, so I attempted to remove it. It was molded into the roof and broke the roof and left a hole. After gluing a piece of styrene to the underside of the cab roof I patched it with good old testor's putty. After reading the thread here on putty, I'll buy something different after finishing the tube of testors.

    I took a chance buying this stuff, and it sort of panned out and sort of didn't. The photos were awful, but the guy seemed honest. He just didn't tell me the whole story, or didn't really know that much. The used trucks I bought were the worst examples of modeling I have ever seen. All are being disassembled as much as possible, stripped of their horrible paint and rebuilt and redetailed. Some will be sources of parts. It's been fun building a little oilfield fleet.

    That's about it for now.

    Peterbilt close up.jpg IMG_5652.JPG IMG_5650.JPG
  3. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    That Pete is looking mighty good!
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  4. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Thanks. It's been a lot of fun.
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  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Those look really good Paul. It certainly does look the part.

    That Autocar truck in the image looks like a tuff cookie. You could put weight on it till the tires blew out and not hurt it. Those tractors with the really long wheel base look good to me as well.
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  6. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Thanks, Tom. Lately I've been paying close attention to the oilfield and agriculture trucks in the area and coming up with ideas for detailing trucks. Just across the Brazos River, about four miles west of us, they're drilling on a small ranch. That should offer good truck viewing opportunities.
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  7. Looks good Paul. You were correct about the Pete shaped cab. The 1:1s the windshield is smaller (height) than the side glass. Odd feature that lead to the nickname little window Pete for those.
    The chrome grille looks like something the model Department just dreamt up. But once it is painted, maybe a brush guard it will be just fine I think. Your winch will look the part. Bed looks good too. I’ve seen a lot of those that had rounded ends or a full width roller across the back too.

    Keep it up. They look good.
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  8. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Thanks, Steve. The grill has been painted, will be weathered, and as you see in the attached photo, there will be a brush guard on it to hide some of the shine. It may even be painted something darker--maybe even body colored.

    Nearly finished the scratch built winch; added an underbed toolbed on the driver's side and a step on the passenger side. The exhaust stack is done and will be attached after the model is painted. After looking at many photos, they didn't all have mufflers on the vertical stack. Maybe the muffler was underneath.

    The hard part is still ahead: painting. Painting isn't my strong suit and it still scared me a little. You don't want to put all this time in a tiny model and then mess it up with bad paint.

    Question for anyone who knows trucks better than I (which is about all of you). All the photos are b&w. Would the underframe and undercarriage have been black or the same color as the body?

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  9. Black is a safe bet for the chassis. Default color is black. But it could be anything really. An oil field truck will be dirty underneath anyway.

    Grille looks much better like that.

    Keep It up it’s looking good.
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  10. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    OK...black chassis, grille even more toned down. Would a Tulsa winch have been black? Looking at photos on the internet I've found just about everything, but black seems to be the most common.
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  11. I’m sure any color is fine. I would think matching cab color. Or something lighter just to show off the weathering and grime. I think your grille looks good now.
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  12. skyraider

    skyraider Member

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  13. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    For some reason, airbrushing has always been a struggle for me. And it continues with this model. It won't dry!! It's been 7 or 8 hours since I painted it and it's still tacky. Oh well...

    It still needs exhaust stacks, windows, chains, cables, hooks, a fire extinguisher, etc., etc. And weathering...but it's getting there.

    IMG_5661 copy.jpg IMG_5662.JPG
  14. Looks good Paul. What paint are you using that won’t dry?
  15. skyraider

    skyraider Member

  16. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Truck's nearly done. A little more weathering; needs front windows (still have to figure out how to make them). But that's about it. Added chains, mirrors, tail lights, a bar on the back for the cable and hook to attach to, fire extinguisher, etc.

    Paul Moore

    IMG_5689 copy.jpg IMG_5690 copy.jpg Untitled-1 copy.jpg IMG_5692.JPG
  17. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    GREAT job! That is a nice looking oil field rig!
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  18. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Have you considered microscope slide covers?
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  19. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    As an option to microscope slide covers (my skills don't include working with glass like fragile!), perhaps consider looking at thicker acetate?

    That style of truck had slab panels of safety glass in it... NO compound curves/etc. So that is a huge help.

    Good luck!

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  20. skyraider

    skyraider Member

    Keith and Andre,

    Thanks for the recommendations. The issue isn't the material--it's my ability (lack thereof) to cut a shape like that of the windshield. The cab won't come off, so the windshield halves have to be the exact size and shape and installed from the exterior. For some reason, it's just difficult for me to do that. Slide covers work great for inside steam locomotives. They look better, too. It's like the plastic vs brass model thing. Brass models don't have thick walls like plastic models tend to, and look better. Slide glass covers look great as windows, but there's no way I could cut out the shape.

    Thanks, again. If you have any suggestions on how to create a template from the truck windows, I'm all ears!!

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