Feature Article by Graham Thompson
A note from Geoff…
It’s great to be able to bring you this, our second ‘truck’ build in the newly opened Vehicle Area in SMN (2017). There’s something about these kits that always impresses and I fondly remember Ted Taylor and his incredible collection of detailed, converted model kits of HGVs, tractor units, articulated lorries and containers of varying descriptions.
Here’s a pic of Graham’s completed project – hope you like it as much as I do. Nice work Graham!
This was my first Heller HGV kit and I have had some mixed feelings about it during the build. However, mixed feelings or not, it is a really nice kit with some issues for the builder but can be made very nice with a bit of care. The main issue with the kit is the almost total lack of alignment pins or clear location points. In most cases, this just takes a bit of care doing test fits to ensure correct location of parts but there are places where location pins would have really come in handy.
One of the oddities of the kit was the tyres. Most truck kits these days come with ‘rubber’ tyres which at this scale work fine for me. Some older kits have solid plastic tyres and there are many resin upgrades with improved tread pattern. However, I like the rubber ones and would only change them if really bad. I was advised to ditch the kit tyres as they are, and I quote, “Awful and unusable”. The reason for this is that each tyre is in two parts, sliced on the centreline of the tread. They have keyed location blocks to ensure alignment and, after supergluing together and rubbing over with fine sandpaper to get rid of the sheen, I thought they looked OK. Another oddity is the chrome plating. Nothing wrong with it if you like chrome plating, (I don’t and almost always strip it apart from the mirrors on this kit which I left plated) but it is the choice of parts that are chromed that is odd. I mean, who wants chrome plated seat cushions? Took me ages to find them as I never thought to look on the chrome sprue!