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March 2006 - Page 33


this kit. Both kits come with their own decals, and the trailer kit provides a headache rack and rotating beacon for the tractor. For the most part, these are out-ofthe-box models, ready to be built and finished. Some of the added details include the wheels and tires on the jeep dolly from Dennis Aust Models, mudflaps from A-Line, photo-etched deck plate from Plano and the chains are used by model ship builders. The wide load sign on the front of the Mack was done by putting the Sheepscot decal directly on a piece of dry tissue. It was allowed to dry and then painted from the back. When the paint dried, a thread was glued to the back. I might add that any modeler worth his salt will have something in his parts box that he would want to use in personalizing these models, and there is certainly room for kitbashing possibilities. The Mack would make a terrific dump or cement mixer for instance, since the frame comes extra long and you can make the wheelbase fit your needs. Both the tractor and lowboy needed to be painted. In photographing and viewing things in our scale, I believe we need to create the perception that there is atmospheric debris (smog, etc.) between the viewer and the subject. Looking at a layout from 4 ' away is the equivalent of being over 350' away in scale distance. Were not talking a Ferrari here either, so some road and construction grime is in order. For these reasons I tried to subdue the colors (slightly darkened Floquil Railbox Yellow and Pullman Green in this case). The use of subtle colors and light weathering with washes, drybrushing and pastel chalks certainly aid in this perception. I also believe that high-gloss finishes give vehicles in this scale a toy-like look and emphasize defects, hence the flat clear finish. I hadnt intended for this to be a kit review but rather, a few representations of the myriad of true-to-scale, prototypically correct, authentic-looking vehicles and equipment offered in 1/87 today by some of the lesser known manufacturers. Ive spent countless hours pouring over websites featuring fabulous layouts with magnificent workmanship put into trains, scenery and

Heavy hauling tractor with a 174 wheelbase.

Tractor with Sheepscot lowboy and International TD-25. structures only to find inexpensive and outof-scale toys occupying space in some of them. It is an annoying distraction to say the least. You may feel that the small details of 1/87 scale get lost on a layout because the viewer is usually not so close that they would notice them. I would suggest that the internet and the sharing of pictures on it have brought a new way of looking at the scale, and that these details are indeed noticed, in fact, necessary. In my opinion, the addition of quality scale representations of vehicles on a layout is as essential to it as any of the other elements, and elevates it from just good to great. I hope you have found my thoughts to be informative and maybe even a little inspirational. Happy modeling.

Tractor with Sheepscot lowboy.

MARCH 2006

MODEL RAILROADING 33

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