Occasionally professional model making feels a little bit like a kid in a candy shop. This phenomena occurred recently when KiwiMill was asked to build a trade show truck model of a car carrier in 1:14 scale (big!)
When it was determined that the semi trailer truck model would be outfitted with an RC controller, lights and sound, it became one of those projects that reminds model makers of why they went into the business in the first place.
Our team started with a cab kit. It was surprisingly challenging to build, considering most of our work is custom, made-from-scratch. All of the chrome parts were swapped out for more authentic looking, hand-built parts. The only way to make chrome look realistic at this scale is to actually make it out of metal – otherwise it just looks cheap. These custom aluminum add ons were more accurate and detailed.
Even though lighting was supplied in the RC kit, additional bulbs were added throughout the model. These decorative lights can be found on real 18 wheelers, which are really like a person’s temporary home on wheels.
The trailer was scratch built from laser cut styrene. Vinyl graphics were added to the trailer which included both the company’s signage and details found on the sides of trucks such as seams, rivets, handles, etc…
The wheels were molded and cast in the shop. The resulting combination of kit and hand-built parts made for an impressive finished truck model that was both a delight to display and interact with, as well as being an economical choice for a relatively large-scale vehicle.