Greeting Rockin H Readers, I am asked questions regularly about how different projects are made and where I buy items for various builds. To add value to my blog I am kicking off a “How It’s Made” series for the different projects my customers commission. For readers that followed the evolution of the Haynes Harvesting Service bed on the Rockin H Facebook Page, feel free to use my ideas to make your own bed and please post comments, improvements or your own variations!
The whole project began when Paul from the UK contacted Rockin H to complete a service truck he had started and needed help finishing. The model is a service truck he had driven on the harvest run. I received a great start to the project which was a service bed of various metal pieces painted and glued together setting on a DCP (Die Cast Promotions) International Transtar II cab over.
The Truck – The base truck is a Sprucewood Farms DCP International Transtar II and pretty straight forward. It first needed to be stretched to the proper length TO receive the Rockin H treatment (see the stretch tutorial here). Second, the steering wheels were not correct. It came from the factory with two hole buds on the front, I swapped those out for chrome as the real rig has chrome on the front and white two hole buds on the drivers. The holes on the buds were drilled out because…they should be! On the top of the cab is a light bar which I bought online and painted the middle section silver to stand out. Those small modifications finished the Transtars. The Freightliner was a bit more work as it has a wind breaker on top I had to remove. Also, a red stripe and door decal that I needed to wipe off. (See how to remove a decal here). Finally a substantially larger red stripe decal was added.
Bed Attempt number 1. I evaluated what building material I had on hand and how to make the truck look authentic. I chose to start over with a scratch built bed. The deck of the bed was flat styrene sheet with HO scale diamond plate on top of that for authenticity. Once the deck was assembled, the cabinets would be the next challenge. I took two resin cast service bodies from Moore Park Model Works and cut them apart on my band saw. The reason I used two of the resin bodies was the need for either upper and lower cabinets, one of which was destroyed to get the other. Much shaping and sanding was required to get the cabinets to set level. In addition to the cabinets, I also salvaged the fender wells and used those on the new deck. It was no easy task shaping the various pieces to get them right. Using accessories Paul had sent with the original version, I began adding parts until it looked like the truck he sent pictures of… but then….
Attempt number II Over all I was sort of kind of satisfied with the job. It was good but could be better. Plus I had two duplicates to make. A second IH Transtar II and a cab over Freightliner, a prospect I was not completely eager to do. Thus I began the process of having this bed made via 3D Printing. (See the series 3D printing the smart way here) The second attempt at the service bed was a bit easier. Once the 3D bed was ready for me to print I merely ordered three and waited. In the mean time I started ordering and hand making some of the accessories needed. I bought tool boxes, fire extinguishers, welders, and engines from Moore’s Farm Toys. Decals I had created by a graphic artist that did a fantastic job replicating the door art, stripes, and even the DOT Haz Mat Placard for the fuel barrels.
There are three tanks on the the Haynes truck, a fuel barrel, air compressor tank, and fresh water tank. Paul had sent one set of these tanks from his original work leaving me to create the rest. To make the tanks I cut down various sizes of brass pipe or 1/2″ PVC plastic. To cap the ends of the pipe I used left over styrene plastic and glued those pieces to the ends. Once the glue was dry I trimmed away the excess styrene then smoothed up and rounded off the edges with sand paper, prepped and painted the correct colors. There is a tool box setting on an air compressor tank at the front of the bed. Saddles were fashioned out of styrene sheet to wrap around the tank with a flatside for the tool box to set on.
Once I received the 3D printed beds they were all painted solid white. Again, HO scale diamond plate was added to the deck for authenticity. The diamond plate material was cut to fit the bed then painted red like the real truck before being glued in place. The very end of the bed has a large opening that does not exist on the real truck, a small piece of styrene was cut to fit in that place, painted and glued in. The ladder on the back of the bed is HO scale styrene ladder bought online. The spare tires setting on the back of the two Transtars were sent to me by Paul and are take off tires from a John Deere model he had. The real trucks carry a spare combine tire and these were added to keep the model close to the real truck. Two other small details are a trash can (painted white), vice and oil reservoir. The trash can is a piece of brass pipe painted then glued in place. The vice was bought from a parts dealer and the oil reservoir is a piece of square styrene rod cut and fashioned to look like the reservoir on the real truck.
While the detail of making various parts was not discussed in this post I hope it give a bit of insight into how this project came to be. Look forward to added detail as the entries evolve.
1 IH Transtar – bought online
1 IH Transtar – supplied by customer
Freightliner – bought online
Welder, vice, tool boxes, spot lights, compressor engine, DOT tape – Moore’s Farm toys
Light bar – Marks Toy Box on Ebay ~ Facebook
Styrene Ladder – Hobby Link USA
Fuel barrel, fresh water tank, trash can, compressor tank, oil reservoir – Hand made by Rockin H
Spare combine tires – supplied by customer
Chrome steering tires – Rockin H spare parts
Graphic design – M3AndCo
Printing – Rockin H
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Thank you so much for reading.