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My Jason Smith Truck

badsimmonds

Alphans
Here I am again starting another build, I had said my next project would be posted as I built it unlike the last few builds which were completed before I posted. After a few weeks break I couldn't wait to get started on something so after much thought I decided on the Jason Smith truck from 'Fire at Rig 15' episode.
I had a Johnny Express truck with the intention of building either the Hudson Armaments truck from Joe 90 or the Big Ben nuclear truck from Cpt Scarlet.
For some reason I had got it into my head both those trucks used the power unit from JE where as in reality both cabs were completely different. I wanted to use as much of the JE cab as possible so I chose the Jason smith truck. Its not a very exciting vehicle, not futuristic or fancy in any way but I thought it had something.
Like all my projects they have no money so I'm using whatever I have lying around and in this case its mdf and hardboard. I always get the shivers when I think of making something from hardboard as it has a reputation as being very cheap & cheerful which it is and to be truthful awful stuff, after all if Martin Bower can make models for Space 1999 out of the stuff then so can I.
After dismantling the JE cab I was left with the basic plastic frame/chassis.
After working out the length of the truck part (every time I worked it out I got a different figure so I just chose the average, I know not very scientific)
I decided to use bolts to join the mdf and cab together though later on I changed all that. I cut out holes for the rear wheels as they are slightly hidden by the trucks side skirts put the bits together and I have a truck of sorts.
 

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Whatever's lying about's fine.....

.....I've used hardboard myself recently. Small chest of drawers, old and no longer required - kept the wooden runner strips and the hardboard drawer bases - already pressed into active service elsewhere....

I'll be honest, I had to search for a picture of the Jason Smith truck, and found it on the Captain Scarlet models site. Is the JE cab you're using also the basis for the "collapsing truck" which reveals the SPV? It certainly looks like one. Anyway, will await your next post with interest.....

Kindest regards

Patrick
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi Patrick

Hardboard is one of those things you either love or hate. My dad in the late fifties and early sixties must have loved the stuff as all the doors were clad in it and many other things.
He did a very good job and I think I got my skills from him.
Although the model has a fair bit of hardboard it will end up being covered in fibreglass to strengthen all the joins and hide any panel pins.
Yes you are correct the cab is the same as the one used in the Swift Removals van which hides the SPV. Jason's truck was only seen in one episode and although there is nothing special about it I decided to build it and put my JE cab to full use. Its a fairly simple construction although the JE cab needs to be reduced in height by about 1".
Another good thing is the JE wheels used are un-modified which is a blessing, in fact I believe the Joe 90 & Cpt Scarlet articulated trucks used un-modified JE wheels unlike the model I'll be doing after this one. But that's another story.
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
I'm using some 12mm ply for the support ribs of the truck, to make sure they are all the same I used the first one as a template. However to be as accurate as possible I scored round the edge with a Stanley knife instead of a pencil as the blade gets right up to the edge while a pencil sometimes doesn't.
Once cut I added a block of wood along the bottom edge of each rib to give more gluing & screwing area.
Once they were in place its was time to start the side panels. As I said earlier I'll be using hardboard so it doesn't take too long to get the panels cut and glued in place, I also used panel pins to fix them in place. Again to add extra strength I added wood strips along the top and bottom of the side panels. I ended up having to shift one of the ribs as it would have got in the way of the side windows.
 

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It's not going to fall apart, is it?

Panel pins.....don't you just love them?

Thanks for letting us watch your progress,

Kindest regards,

Patrick
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Before I went any further I decided to fit the panels between the wheels. I used some half inch thick planking cut down to length and width and then sanded along one edge to create the curve needed. I then glued them in place and added some wood strips internally to give added strength. With all the sides in place the final part is the roof, however before fitting it I cut some access holes in the chassis base in case I needed to do some internal work on the two windows. The holes etc you see in the chassis (first photo) were cut out to allow fitting of the JE cab section which has various obtrusions, I changed the position of the cab a few times hence the amount of holes.
I used wood glue and panel pins to secure the roof in place and to make sure it lay flat I placed some paint tins etc on top. Once dry I sanded and shaped all the joins etc.
The next stage was to fibreglass the whole thing to add strength and cover up the hardboard, another reason is fibre glassing also covers up any wood grain which can be a pain to cover up at times. As usual this was messy and I had to do it in stages, this will create a strong construction but it also means a heck of a load of sanding and filling to come.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
After fibre glassing I knew I had a lot of sanding and filling to do which took forever. You always think the surfaces are nice and smooth until you primer them which shows all the blemishes so its back sanding etc.
Eventually I was happy with the result and time to move onto the next stage which was the rear door in the body.
You don't really get a good view of the rear of the model as its always moving so any images are a bit blurred but I did get the impression it was simply recessed. I cut out a piece of 4mm perspex to the same shape as the rear and then cut out the area where the door is. After sanding the edges smooth I then glued it onto the rear of the model which then gives me a recessed door. After this was in place the next thing to do is the raised ridges etc on both ends and top of each side panel.
I decided to use some old plastic strips I had obtained ages ago, however they were a tad too wide. The plastic was too tough to use a knife so I cut them in half with a fine tooth saw. I then glued them in place with the nice edge inside and the sawn edge slightly proud on the outside so later on I can sand them down to get a nice clean edge. Once sanded I filled up any gaps on the outside of the strips and again sanded/filled until it was all blended in. The vertical strips also hide the join between body and the perspex used for the door.
Once both sides were complete I gave the whole thing a coat of primer to see how it looks.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
With the raised edging complete it was the turn of the horizontal ribs on each side.
The plastic strips I was going to use turned out to be too wide, I looked around for an alternative but with no luck so in the end I had to reduce the width of them. I had to remove about 3mm so to achieve this I sandwiched the strip between to large blocks of wood a couple of feet long with 3mm of the strip sticking out. Using an electric sander I removed the excess then fine sanded the edge using a palm sander. I needed ten of these strips but ended up doing about fifteen due to mistakes.
With them all sanded I had to work out the position and gaps etc, the bottom one was easy because there is a Airfix footbridge part first which gave me the starting point. I started to glue them in place making sure the gaps were equal and straight. There are five strips on each side but one has to have a gap for the window so when I reached that level I had to be sure the strips ended in the right place. I ended up buying a couple of plastic dolls house windows (£1.69) which were about the right size. I removed the actual windows from the frame and used them as a positioning tool.
I had to repeat everything for the other side. Once all dry I lightly sanded the strips using the palm sander again then gave a light spray of primer to see how it looked.
 

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Stripped for action.....

Hi Malcolm, your handiwork looks just fine with its first coat of primer. The strips look like they are serrated on either edge - is that just a trick of the light, or have you had to create that yourself? I assume, also, that the cost of the doll's house windows will be split between this truck and a future construction project - you always seem to have a bewildering array of parts at your disposal? As usual, all update photographs are much appreciated, and I look forward to seeing more in the near future.

Kindest regards

Patrick
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi Patrick
The serrated edge effect was caused by the camera not me, the edges are nice and straight (I hope)
I used a different camera as the batteries in my usual 'modelling camera' were completely finished. I'm currently working on the JE cab which is an absolute nightmare, more on that later.
I have to get this model finished before the end of the year as my spare modelling time will be vastly reduced which I'm not keen on at all but there you are.
all the best Patrick
Malcolm
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
With the trucks rear section more or less complete it was time to move onto the power unit, as the original used a JE cab so did I.
There are a number of changes to be made to the cab which includes a new radiator, an addition to the front bumper, another addition just below the windscreen and last but not least the height of the cabin to be reduced by one inch.
I dismantled the entire cab down to its parts and then cut 1" of the bottom of the cab section using a fine saw. I then discovered the interior section which has the seats etc would not fit so I had to cut an inch off the foot wells. I then glued some plastic card over the bottom holes to fill them up. Everything now fits but I have to say that's not quite true as the plastic on this JE section over the past 40 odd years has warped and nothing is straight. I soon discovered working on this became an nightmare as glue didn't work and even paint isn't too keen on it. In the end the whole thing is kept in place using hidden screws, bolts and even rivets.
Next was the new radiator which was made from a base of 4mm perspex covered in plasti strips I had bought for Fireball but never used. Before I glued the strips on I drilled a hole in the centre which was counter sunk and fitted a small bolt which was hidden by the strips. The bolt does two things it holds in place the radiator and the whole front of the cab area.
To fill in the back of the cab I riveted a section of 4mm perspex to the plastic.
Its getting there but I have to say I have started to hate this cab as its almost impossible to work with.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
I said at the beginning of this build I would post as I build, well I've got too far advanced as usual so I'll have to increase my postings.
Still working on the cab which has become a nightmare, so much so I came very close to scrapping the JE cab and scratch building the entire front. However I chose to continue with the cab as they used one on the original.
I carved the extra detail just below the windscreen out of wood, this will be screwed in place from behind. This whole cab is kept in one piece with nuts and bolts etc so its a bit of drag having to undo everything when I want to make changes. because the plastic is warped nothing fits as good as I would like, when I sort out one problem another pops up. But I think its about there, you can see the new radiator in place plus I added some extra details on the back wall of the cab. I also resprayed the drivers controls which I removed at the beginning of the build, they had lost almost all their chrome effect, they just clip in place.
After lightly sanding the plastic I gave the whole cab another spray of primer to see how it looks. It doesn't look too bad but I really would have preferred to scratch build this area as you can see the gaps at the front which are very difficult to get rid off.
Having said all that I'm really enjoying this project as its something a bit different.
 

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Plastic nightmares.....

Malcolm, this project's just as entertaining as your previous models. Judging by your photographs, that self-coloured plastic used for the cab is the shiny stuff which is also slightly flexible. If so, it must be a total dog with which to work - I'd have binned it by now, so all credit to you for sticking with it.

The cab looks resplendent in its primer, though you'll have a few worries yet before you get the final coat on. Good luck with the next stage, you'll end up with a most unusual replica of which you can be proud.

Kindest regards

Patrick
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
When I removed all the parts from the JE cab at the beginning that also included the five yellow 'lights' on the top of the cab plus the horn which was complete. This created a number of holes in the cab roof which were left like that on the original, however I don't fancy that so the only way I could hide them was to cover them. I cut pieces of plasticard big enough to hide the holes (three pieces in total) I slightly bent them so they would conform to the slight curve in the cab roof. I simply stuck them on using double sided tape.
Once primed they are not too noticeable.
The wheels on this vehicle are the unmodified JE sort which suits me as I don't have to do anything to them. There are only four which is surprising as I thought there might have been four at the rear. The front wheels are the original steerable ones which just screw into the cab chassis so no work needed. However the rear ones I took from the rear of the cab chassis and were originally powered, I removed the motor and fitted them to my model.
Unfortunately they were a tad too narrow by about 5mm, not a lot but I decided to widen them and replace the actual wheels as they had no central grip ribbon on them.
I used a hacksaw to cut the axle which was about 3/8 of an inch solid steel.
To remove the axle from the wheels was more difficult as there are lugs on the axle to prevent the wheels coming off, they were a pain to remove, unfortunately I did damage the wheels in doing this ( I did have some spare wheels) I reused the original axle and fitted a metal tube over them to strengthen and keep them in place. I then just pushed the axle through the wheels and original motor mount and there I have a set of wheels that will fit the space properly.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
The next thing to do are the railings along part of the top of the truck. I used some alloy rods from Wickes which can be bent easily but you have to get it almost right first time as they do break if you fiddle with them too much. There are four basic rails which just slot into drilled holes. I then decided to add a support in the middle so I tried to sand a groove in the top of these pieces so it would fit fairly snug against the rail, this was more difficult than I thought.
After that I decided to start making the drums and boxes etc than Jason stores on the roof. There are no clear pics of them so I just made them up using various plastic boxes I had though I did buy some more from Maplins. To make them more interesting I added strips of tape to add ridges, painted them different colours and even drew some plank effects on the sides.
To make the drums I used some EMA tubing cut to length with the ends sealed with plasticard. I then wrapped some 3mm vinyl masking tape round the tube to represent ridges. After spraying they look like drums that could hold almost anything.
The pipes at the back were aluminium cut-offs from an old extending paint pole, for the rest I used bits of small pipes, wood strips etc anything that Jason might have used in his work.
One piece of detail which fits on the side of the truck is actually a vintage action man field radio, all C21 did was remove the straps so I did the same.
If I find anything that might look ok for the roof rack I'll add it on later.
 

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Drumming up interest....

They're just great! That's just so clever Malcolm. Again, you get to design some of the accessories yourself, always an enjoyable part of the process as you gather up bits and pieces from different sources. Good work on the wheels as well, as they must have tried your patience.

More, please, when you have a moment.

Kindest regards

Patrick
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
Hi again Patrick
I always enjoy making parts up especially when I can use whatever I have handy. You have to make sure that they will fit in with the type of vehicle and the use its put to. The only part I had to buy was the action man field radio from ebay, all I had to do to it was remove the straps and give it a coat of paint.
Another detail I had to make was the area above and behind the cab roof, I'm not quite sure what it is but I decided it was an air-con unit with lots of bits as it would seem sensible considering the contents of the truck. I just cut out some 4mm perspex and stuck on various bits which might seem right, there is even a bit of Lego in there. Once its sprayed and dirtied it should look ok.
I've included a photo of the steerable wheels which just screw into the cab base as originally made.
Its getting very near the final painting so I've been sanding and spraying primer to get it ready. I've sprayed the underside of the truck matt black to hide what doesn't need to be seen.
There are still details I haven't started yet, ladders, wing mirrors, wiper blades etc.
 

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Just another brick in the wall.....

.....ditto my Eagle, also sporting a "flat 6" as opposed to your "block 4". I had fun spotting the pilot's seat, and what appears to be a self assembly furniture block as well. As ever, looking forward to the painting stage - I know you dread it but you'll get there.

Moveable steering wheels as well!

Kindest regards

Patrick
 

badsimmonds

Alphans
This truck needs a ladder on each side and I thought it would be fairly simple to make them, as usual when I think something will be easy to make it isn't and when I think it will be difficult it isn't.!!
I looked around on the internet but found ladders that were long enough were too narrow or ladders that were wide enough were too short. In the end I came across a pack of two ladders from Plastruct that were 'G' scale 1/24th.
I first cut them to length then removed every second rung followed by cutting them down the middle length ways. I cut some aluminium tubing that was just wide enough to fit over the cut rungs, once glued in place I had the perfect sized ladder, later on I'll spray them silver which will make a big difference.
The parts of the unused sections of ladders I sprayed a 'woody' colour and will use one piece as another detail on the truck and the other was added to my desert Jeep.
 

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badsimmonds

Alphans
The final paint time has arrived and once again I'm using Ford Carnival Red as the main colour.
After checking and cleaning the parts I masked off the cab interior as I want to keep it primer grey along with the black original JE seats & controls.
You must excuse the rather over bright orange colour but I can assure you it does not look like that in real life as I had to use the flash, it was too cold in the garage to hold the camera steady without the flash.
The final photo actually shows it does look a much deeper and darker colour. The parts in this photo are for the cab assembly and the silver bits were sprayed with Plasticote silver 109s.
Its nearly there now as all the parts & accessories are complete and ready for the final get together. I'll be glad when its done as its absolutely freezing in the garage.
 

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