Plastic models — land vehicles

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Plastic models — land vehicles

Model fictional Mars rover, about 1980

1/72 scale fictional Mars rover, about 1980

I made this Mars rover out of a B-29 fuselage and parts from a 1/25th scale Chieftain tank. The wheel struts are tubes from a 1/72nd scale torpedo boat.

Off-road bikes

Photo of a 12th scale Husqvarna motocross bike of about 1970

My 1/12th scale Husqvarna motocross bike of about 1970

The ‘Husky’, ridden by such men as Torsten Hallman of Sweden and the ‘flying Finn’ Heikki Mikkola was the standard moto cross bike of the late 1960s. Its main competitors during the heyday of off-road motorcycle sport were the Suzukis ridden by Belgians Joël Robert and Roger Decoster. The Husky came to the fore in the USA when movie star and motocross racer Steve McQueen made it his bike of choice. This model, photographed by my grandfather in about 1973, was just a few inches long.

Its main flaw (the model, that is) is the trials tyres (made of solid rubber) instead of MX tyres.

Twelfth scale motocross bike and rider

Racing against the clock

See Mr Moto Cross — my second Revell 1/12th scale Husqvarna motocross bike; built in 2017.

Also see Metal (and plastic) Husky, my non-kit 1/12th scale Husqvarna motocross bike.

Twelfth scale motocross bike and rider

Revell 1/12th scale titanium Suzuki

Also see Motocross in miniature: Building Joël Robert’s Suzuki motocross bike of 1970 in 1/12th scale.

Mercedes bends

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted
She got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, she calls friends.

— From Hotel California by the Eagles, 1976

Plastic model automobile

Revell 1/24th scale Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet

Here is my Revell 1/24th scale Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet. It is 8 inches (20 cm) long and 3 inches (8 cm) wide. The guys, who are from the Airfix 1/24th scale De Havilland Mosquito (see Wooden wûnder for mine) are 3 inches tall. The fräulein is made of ‘white metal.’ She is a kit in the minimalist sense that one leg was separate and had to be glued in place.

Revell 1/24th scale Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet

Revell 1/24th scale Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet

There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
This could be heaven or this could be Hell.

Tank girl

Ninth scale 'tank girl'

Ninth scale ‘tank girl’

The resin 1/9th scale ‘tank girl’, which I bought online, is an exquisitely moulded kit of 11 parts. (In the photo of the unassembled parts, I had already glued the legs together.) At about 7.5 inches (19.5 cm) tall, she is six times the height of the Mercedes-Benz girl in the preceding section. The tank girl is correspondingly far easier to turn into a realistic model by painting.

1/9 scale tank girl kit parts

Flash mostly removed and legs glued together

The kit is made of what modellers call ‘resin.’ It is nothing like the resin you might have used on your violin bow at school. It is a harder and more brittle plastic than polystyrene and it is consequently harder to work with. Fortunately, there is little cutting and gluing in this kit. Most of the work is painting.

It consists of these parts:

  • Torso and head
  • Right arm
  • Left arm
  • Right leg and crotch
  • Left leg
  • Right foot
  • Left foot
  • Helmet with goggles
  • Canteen
  • Pistol in holster
  • Ammunition pouch

The tank helmet is a different colour, but it is also made of resin.

Ninth Scale Tank Girl


However, it is for experienced modellers only. There are some chunky moulding projections to be sawn and filed off before you start painting and gluing. It uses Superglue rather than polystyrene cement. The kit I bought did not come with any instructions, so you have to know about such things or find them out before you start. Superglue sticks to (real) skin like nothing else, apparently because that is what it was designed for initially, so it is definitely not a kit for youngsters.

There was a slight mis-moulding of one buttock, which I mostly eliminated by filing.

Fortunately, there are enough photos online that show historically correct colours such as those of the various layers of the tanker helmet and goggles. (However, she is hardly a historically correct tank driver…) Although I am a recent convert to acrylic paints, I have a far wider selection of enamels in these green and brown shades, so I used those.

Ninth scale resin tank girl in pieces

Dawn in pieces again

In an outdoors photo shoot, she was blown over and fell a metre onto concrete, breaking her apart. No real damage. Superglue time… Incidentally, the Sten gun came with her motorcycle (described in the next section of this page).

Mentioned in dispatches

Italeri 1/9 scale Triumph 3HW

Motorcycle engineering

This is the Italeri 1/9th scale Triumph 3HW of World War 2. See my page Mentioned in dispatches.

Viva Protar

Protar 1/9 scale Montesa Cota 247

The finished model is 8.5 inches (22 cm) long.

See Viva Protar, my Protar 1/9th scale Montesa Cota 247 trials bike.

Duck à l’orange

See Duck à l’orange — my Airfix 1/76th (OO) scale DUKW with scratch built hang gliders.

Guadalupe Dune DUKW 1976

Guadalupe Dune DUKW and hang gliders in 1976

Plastic DUKW

Italeri 1/35 scale DUKW

Right side at ground level

See Plastic DUKW, my Italeri 1/35th scale General Motors DUKW with Master Box 1/35th scale World War 2 era women and Tamiya 1/35th scale World War 2 British soldiers.

Mixing scales

Mixed scale WW2 motorcycle and DUKW

Dawn and the duck

Dawn and her bike are 1/9th scale while the DUKW and its associated personnel are 1/35th scale.