Wednesday, 12 March 2014

1939 Chevrolet conversion - Part 2

Before I begin this installment of my truck conversion I have an apology to make. I would like to give my profound apologies to David Reasoner of Moonlite Modelwerkes who created the lovely resin 1941 Chevrolet I am about deflower!

That said...Let's operate!

First thing is to decide where best to make the first incisions...

Looking at the two pieces there seems to be an obvious seam where I can re-join the two disparate halves. There is a panel line which runs at the rear of the bonnet (the hood, if you are one of my American friends) and diagonally down the side of to the mud guards (fenders). Like so...

...Nurse, hand me my Dremmel!

While I try my best to make a cut that will mate the two halves neatly together I know I will have to do a bit of cosmetic work using Milliput, so the join doesn't have to be absolutely exact...

This is the moment of truth...Will the PST cab and the Moonlite Modelwerkes bonnet fit together?

Phew! 'IT LIVES!' - Luckily the two models were almost exactly the same width where the bonnet seams join! Oh joy, that makes things easier...

But really, that was the easy part, especially if - like me - you own a Dremmel...But at this point I should add a few words of caution.

* The resin of the Moonlite model creates a very fine dust when sanded or cut, using a Dremmel or similar - while making the job easier - does generate quite a cloud and I shouldn't imagine that it is good for you. I strongly suggest wearing a dust mask while doing this sort of work. *

That said, now we get to the trickier part...The front grill modification. 

It's worth looking at what I want to achieve compared to what I had. Here's a photo showing the front of the 1939 commercial Chevrolet next to the 1941 model, the latter being what the Moonlite resin model was based on...

Obviously the main difference is the size and shape of the grill, but luckily the hood and the shape of the fenders are similar on both models. So, in theory, all I have to do is shave back the grill on the '41 and replace it with a new scratch-built '39 grill...

As you can see, I have excavated away the front grill - again, using the Dremmel - and carefully re-shaped the fenders (mud guards) so that they curl back and in towards the back of where the new grill will be mounted. I've also shaved off the old 1943 style headlights so that I can fit some scratch-built 1939 shaped lamps once the new grill is on.

...So...There we have it. The first stage of the operation over. Next I will start to build up the new shaped grill with some Milliput.

I'm off for a lay down now!


  1. I am really enjoying seeing your truck conversions and the research you are doing to get the right mix of trucks!

    1. Many thanks Uncle B! :)

      I know that were wargaming the principal part of my hobby and the model making secondary - instead of the other way around - I would have been tempted just to buy a lot of resin Soviet and German trucks, as these would have sufficed for gaming.

      But I'm just using the Rapid Fire! rules as a template on which I am making my Finnish model collection, so I can afford to go the extra distance to try and maintain authenticity (or as near as I want it at least)!

      ...In the end I find the conversions fun! :)

    2. Great work! Really helps poke and prod my own urge to model more Finns which are currently buried under a flurry of Late-war-northwest-Europe projects!

      Given the amount of research you've done into this subject already, can you suggest some models for those of us very firmly in the 'wargaming' camp, but who would still like to get the 'feel' of the varied Finnish motor-pool without resorting to too much model-surgery?

    3. Hi Greebs! If you are talking 1/72 plastic kits then you can populate your motor pool with the following:

      'Utility cars': The Finns did receive *some* Kubelwagens with their purchase of StuGs, so you could attach these to your armour.
      'Light trucks': PST or ACE Viz 5s or GAZ A trucks.
      'Medium trucks': Pegasus German Army Trucks (which could stand in for either Opel Blitz or Scania Vabis at a push), or a PST or ACE GAZ AA.
      'Heavy Prime Mover': The Finns bought a few Steyr RSO/01 tracked vehicles from Germany, otherwise you could press the GAZ AA into service here.

      If, however, you are willing to use wargame quality 'ready to roll' resin vehicles then you have a lot more choice with trucks by Valiant and Moonlite Modelwerkes (you can get a full range of authentic pre-war or early war Fords from Moonlite and a lovely V3000 from Valiant).

      To be honest, if you want one truck that exemplifies the Finn's transport it is the V3000.

      Hope this helps.

  2. Damn, I have tried to express my gratitude for this three times over the weekend, and apparently the post has failed to go through.

    Anyway, cheers. Hopefully this will all come in handy soon!