Automotive News
Model Mack made into masterwork – Throwing fuel on the fire

Gene Herman sent us Cliff’s writeup on the rebuild as well as the before photo of the Mack. As we’ve already seen, brothers Cliff and Larry Read have a talent for not only improving existing diecast models, but also transforming them from their original configurations to something entirely different, something we see with this Mack transformed from a fire truck into a fuel delivery truck.

Although Larry still scratch-builds lots of parts and details for his models using styrene, his real pleasure is in building assemblies in soldered brass. Most of his models these days will have at least the steering axle, hinges, small lights, ladders and outside rear-view mirrors fabricated in brass resulting in a durability that is vastly superior to fragile styrene plastic. Larry’s even been known to demonstrate the brass advantage by lifting the model off the table by its outside mirrors. Brass channel used on visible areas of truck frames also provides a more realistic look.


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A 1/24 scale diecast Yatming 1938 Mack Type 75 pumper provided the basic cab for this 1941 Mack tractor. Factory photos and period maintenance literature were used to determine the many modifications required to improve the cab proportion and detail. Although reference to restored vehicles is often available as well, Larry prefers original manufacturer’s photos and manuals since there’s a tendency today for truck restorers to add lots of accessories that wouldn’t have been typical for the era.


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The tank trailer is entirely scratchbuilt using styrene for the main body and again brass for the potentially more fragile details like landing gear, brackets, hinges, ladder, small lights and various other small parts. It doesn’t follow any particular manufacturer’s design but, based on lots of available reference material, represents an amalgam of typical practices followed by local truck body manufacturers of the era. The fuel delivery plumbing under the trailer is fabricated using a combination of thick silver solder wire as well as brass and aluminum tubing.


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This tanker model took a couple of months of fairly steady time to complete but Larry says it was entirely pleasurable both in the planning and execution. Final paint is automotive basecoat/clearcoat with Humbrol, Testors, and Tamiya paints used to pick out tiny details.


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