This month we will continue to look at modifying HO scale rigs, particularly Boley pumpers, into larger or shorter wheelbase vehicles.
In the last column, we disassembled the 1/87th scale Boley Seagrave pumper. For those of you who are planning on making the Seagrave cab and chassis into a tillered aerial tractor, there will be no need to cut the chassis or any other realignment to make this happen. There are several details that should be added however, to make this tractor as realistic as possible.
First, as with most tillered aerials produced today, an equipment compartment should be added to the area directly behind the cab. This compartment can be constructed with .040 sheet styrene. The width of the compartment should be measured across the chassis and the compartment can be either full width, covering the running boards on each side of the chassis, or staggered in on each side, with the running boards exposed. The length of the compartment can be measured against the running boards on eack side, which are finished in chrome silver. The height of the compartment is dependent on the modeler. Looking at some prototype rigs, some have compartments that are midline height, some have a height that is equal to the full height of the cab. Compartment doors are the choice of the modeler. A standard door of course, can be made by using sheet styrene with small door latches painted in with chrome silver. Louvered roll up doors can be added by using measured scribed sheet styrene (small scale scribe) with small plastic rod attached to the bottom of the door to simulate the pull up handles.
Many tillered aerial tractors have painted or diamond plate covered fenders which are squared off with sheet metal. This can be accomplished on the Boley Seagrave simply be putting the chassis on its side over a piece of sheet styrene and scribing or penciling in the curve of the fenderwell. Once this is done, measure 1/8 of an inch on the sides and top of the area around the scribed curve on the plastic and cut out. This needs to be done four times and each of those plastic pieces should be glued on each side of the curved fenderwells of the rear axle. (You may need to trim the two inside parts so that they can rest correctly onto the chassis.)
Once this has been accomplished, measure the top opening between the affixed squared off pieces on the fenderwell and cut and shape plastic to cover that top area.
To add a touch of realism, cover the outside facing side of the fenderwells and the top with diamond plate. I have used EZ HO scale Safety Tread from S&S Hobbies and it works well. This tread is available at most hobby shops which carry model railroading supplies.
Next month we will provide some photos of the finished Seagrave tractor and also explore more ideas in HO scale conversions.
For those that collect die cast rigs, keep an eye out for three new exclusive issues from Code 3 Collectibles. Code 3 has produced these limited issues for the New York Fire Zone and include an earlier FDNY Seagrave pumper for Engine 90, a 1959 Mack C pumper for Engine 65 as well as a late 1990‚s Seagrave Tower Ladder for Ladder 41. Also produced as part of the last quarter from Corgi are a striking white over orange Seagrave Anniversary pumper for Wilkes Barre Township, Pa. and a chrome yellow Mack CF aerialscope lettered for the Church Road Fire Company in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. All of the above models should be available by the time you read this. They may sell out fast.