Monday, 29 September 2014

Driving me mad

Can anyone tell me why so many kits of trucks come without driver figures? What is the point of that?

Surly every truck needs a driver, and even if you decide to make a model of a truck for display with no driver you should have the option. The model company shouldn't take the decision out of your hands by not including a figure!

(There...I feel a bit better about this now!)

I was talking this annoying fact over with my brother and suggesting to him that his next resin casting project should be to mould a sprue of generic drivers in 1/72. We may follow this up...But in the meantime I did a bit of a search around the various web stores and found some sets of driver figures.

Milicast have a really nice selection of driver sets - British and German - which
not only include several figures but have multi-pose options. They come with a
selection of heads and arms. This is the German set (Ref: FIG034) and is £8.50.
Milicast, MMS and S&S models all have drivers as accessory sets. Milicast is perhaps the most detailed and offers the greatest variety in their sets but there is also a lot to be said for S&S's 'generic driver' figure - 50p a pop - as you can order it with the head of your choice to match the vehicle you have in mind (I just ordered two to try them out).

The main problem is that all the driver sets I have come across have been in 20mm (1/76) scale. However, one thing I have notice is that the driver figure being a little on the small side is not a bad thing for 1/72 trucks. I have tried to modify a full-sized 1/72 figure as a truck driver before and I found the space in the 1/72 truck cab was a little tight.

For my MT V3000 I made up a bit of a Frankenstein driver, with 1/72 Revell
head, 20mm body and weedy Milliput putty legs. All so he fitted exactly in the
small amount of space that was available in this cab. 
Having your driver's body at 1/76 gives you a bit of room for play, especially if there is a steering wheel and gear levers or a minimum amount of space between the seat and the dashboard. Even then you might have to resort to some amputation to fit the little guy in - removing the lower half of the legs is not an uncommon way to get a driver to fit in a cab.

As the head and shoulders are the parts of the driver most easily seen through the truck window I have started mounting a 1/72 head on a 1/76 body. The smaller body helps me fit the driver in the cab while the bigger head makes the driver look as if he matches my other figures. It's a bit of a bodge but it seems to work.

Two of my Frankenstein drivers - these two chaps are made up from 20mm
(HO railway) civilian bodies and 1/72 HAT Austrian heads! 
(Sorry, not the most interesting of posts but I had to get that off my chest!)

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