Finally, after a very long time of planning everything is ready, and an order has been placed at ScaleART. This order contains mostly (but not all) of the parts needed for a working truck, including all custom made parts. I like to give a special thanks to Martin Michalik at ScaleART. His ideas, opinions and help have been invaluable!
I have now received confirmation of the order. The delivery will be made in two steps. The first delivery will contain all standard parts and some custom made, including the frames. This delivery is estimated to be ready in approx four weeks. In October the rest of the custom made parts will be delivered, including the containers. Now I'm starting to be really exited, and I'm looking forward to the delivery!
Now the first package has arrived, fully loaded with parts! It's a great feeling to finally hold the parts in my hand. Even though I have had drawings and measurements, it's not until you see the parts for real that you can really picture what the final truck will look like.
At last the vacation has started, and I have got the time to see what parts actually was in the package, and begin the assembly. Unfortunately I discovered that the rear axle suspension was missing in the package, despite being on the packing list. But this was nothing that stopped me from beginning assemble the frame. This assembly is only temporary to see where all parts go, that everything fits, drill and grind where needed and so on. When the assembly is complete enough for me to feel safe that everything is correct I will disassemble everything again to paint some parts of the frame black.
Assembly of the frame did not cause any bigger problems, except for some thoughts about a cross bar that differed from the mounting instructions. I also assembled some other parts, like fenders, the fifth wheel for the dolly and the front axle with suspension. The suspension was the part that caused the most trouble. The first thing was that the kit contained more parts then was needed, probably to be able to use the same kit to other alternatives. Further more the part list did not match the actual parts. Besides this, the screws supplied were actually the number and lengths that the part list indicated. But to be able to follow the mounting instructions one would need a completely different set of screws. When I finally skipped the mounting instruction and just used common sense to mounted the screws where they fit, everything worked out at last. A little bit of grinding is left to do, to get all moving parts to rotate freely, this is also needed on the mechanics of the fifth wheel.
After this I studied how to mount the front axle on the frame, but soon discovered a serious problem. The suspension do not fit its mounting holes in the frame, the springs will hit the attachment details for the cab. Either I have received the wrong kind of front springs, or the frame has a design error. After all, this is a custom made frame, the only one of its kind.
The problem with the front suspension is now solved. It was caused by the front spring leaves being of a new and improved type, and not the type intended together with the original rear cab suspension. After discussing the problem with ScaleART they quickly manufactured a slightly modified rear cab suspension that fit on my truck. I now have mounted the front suspension, as well as the cab attachments.
I also got my thoughts about the cross bar answered. I had received the wrong part. ScaleART sent me a correct replacement part that I instantly mounted. I now also have received the missing rear swing spring suspension and mounted it to the frame.
I now mounted the engine with its gearbox. I also mounted all brackets and attachments that are needed for the servos that shall control the steering and gear shifting. Although I do not actually have the servos yet, I want to mount everything else to see that it will fit.
The cab is also in place. It makes quite a difference for the appearance, suddenly it starts to resemble a truck! Tha cab can of cause be tilted forward, just like on the original. On the model this tilting provides access to the compartment that shall be used for the radio and all other electronics. The cab can also easily be completely removed, to allow better access.
I have received a more detailed drawing of the trailer from ScaleART. It looks really nice, if I may say so myself! I have decided that it will be better to have the containers of the truck and trailer painted white, instead of black. ScaleART informs me that the chassis for the trailer and the containers, now white, is almost complete. They will be delivered in a few weeks.
My frame for the truck for some reason differs in height, if I compare the rear and the front. ScaleART has promised to manufacture some small details that will take care of this difference. Also I have received a new custom length driveshaft. The first one I got did not fit perfectly. There are many small details that need to fit together in a project like this! But this is precisely why I'm test building before I paint and mount everything "for real".
Now big things are happening, literally speaking! Two parcels arrived from Germany, loaded with lovely contents.
First of all I have received the container for the truck. It is completely made up from steel and brass with a big job spent on the details on the doors and the framework underneath. The container is anchored to the frame of the truck with four brackets, but it can be detached and literally stand on its own four feet. On the base it has an excellent constructed framework, which also serves as mounting points for the four collapsible legs. Both the container and the framework is pained white, but I'm considering painting the framework in the same dark colour as I'm going to use on the frame of the truck. I think this will bring out the details better.
In the other package there was among others the small dolly for the trailer. On this I have mounted the fifth wheel that I received earlier. Two axles will later be mounted on the dolly, giving it a total of four wheels. But what would the dolly be without the large trailer framework? Mainly built from brass, and with a landing gear that can be lowered when the dolly doesn't support the front end. By detaching the dolly the rest of the trailer can be connected to a truck with a fifth wheel, i.e. without a superstructure. At the same time the trailer for that other truck can be attached to the dolly, and then coupled to this truck.
The landing gear is actually meant to be a non-functioning dummy. You are supposed to decide weather is shall be up or down, and fix it in that position. There is a motorized version that is fully functioning. But I reasoned that it would be too bulky with the motor, wires and batteries. At the same time I want the legs to be adjustable by hand. I have solved it temporarily, but will need to find a permanent solution before I paint the chassis.
Last, but definitive not least, I also revived the almost one meter (three feet) long container for the trailer. This is also mounted to the chassis with four quick release brackets, but lack own legs to stand on. Therefore it is not really a swap body, but more of a removable superstructure. The trailer is prepared with more quick release brackets adapted to fifth two 20-feet containers as alternative load.
The original idea was to build the containers in the same way, using the same parts, as Wedico, only bigger. But ScaleART decided to make them up from scratch instead. I really like this, because this eliminates the need for a joint in the middle. Painted all in white I can't help but to think of the containers as two big refrigerators. But when I'm done with all the details I have planned for them they will look nothing like refrigerators!
I'm deeply impressed with the work and skill from ScaleART when producing these parts. I know that they make great stuff, that's why I turn to them. But still I was pleasantly surprised when unravelling my parcels! The only thing I'm not completely satisfied with is the lack of a framework on the big container for the trailer. Especially when the framework on the container for the truck is so well carried out. I have addressed ScaleART with this issue, and am awaiting their comments.
It has been a while since there was an update on this page. But this project is a hobby of mine, and I work with it when I have some time on my hands. And sometimes I am busy for quite a while. But now I have ordered both rims and tyres. If you include the two spare wheels I have ordered, one for the truck and one for the trailer, it is a total of 22 rims and tyres! The rims are from the high esteemed company Leimbach, and the tyres are from Rüst.
So, now I have assembled all the rims and mounted all the tires. The feeling of mass production started coming as I assembled the 22 wheels.
The rims are in their self amazing works of art. A set of wheels would make its place in any display case!
Lately I have spent a lot of time in the design and constructing of two large crates for transporting the truck and trailer. Due to its size and being fragile the truck is hard to transport without some crates, especially with a lot of other stuff in the car. The crates are design as to firmly press the contents from two directions, both horizontal and vertically. They are completely covered in foam rubber on the insides to protect the truck from any damages. While I was at it I also built two mirror bases which fit on top of each crate, enabling the set to be used as furniture to display the truck.
To be honest the design of the crates, with odd angles and aluminum edges, has taken a lot of time, more than I thought when I started. Now letīs spend the same time on completing the truck!
I also started to mount the wheels and fenders on the truck and trailer, but have suffered to, or rather three, major setbacks. The first problem is that the rims from Leimbach do not fit the front axle from ScaleART. Also, the placement of the front axle is off. This problem I have found to originate in a part of the suspensions which have the wrong dimensions according to the mounting instructions. But the really large problem is that all fenders for the trailer are impossible to mount since they are not designed to fit with my type of frame. Since the fenders are purchased from ScaleART together with the frame I am hoping to get ScaleART to assist me in this problem.