The Railmaster Exports has S-scale pewter metal truck kits that they label as "Dodge DeSoto" trucks. They actually closely match the 1949-built Dodge 100 "Kew" trucks, which were Dodge trucks built in the Kew district of London, England. In 2011 I bought a couple of these from a friend who was switching to another scale. This is an article about how I built the Railmaster R221 kit "Dodge Flatbed Truck". The photo shows the kit in its original packaging.
(external link: Railmaster Exports)
What's funny about this project is that something like this takes years to build! I bought the kit in 2011. Here it is, 2014 and I am finally working on it. The main kit part is the frame and the bed, all one piece. There was a little bit of flash here and there, and the part had been slightly bent, but those are easy issues to resolve.
(external link: Prototype Info)
I cleaned up the gas tanks, rounded over the corners a bit, and then filed away some material from the frame to make the tank fit. I used superglue to attach the tanks to the frame.
I used Krylon's Primer spray can to prime the wheels, cab, and main frame, after thoroughly washing the parts.
I used the airbrush to paint the entire model this green color. The cab is just loosely positioned on the frame for this photo.
And, here we are in 2020. I finally took the time to trim the axles to their appropriate length. The wheels slip onto the axles, so you have to do a bit of measuring to make sure the metal rod isn't too long or too short when cut. I used superglue to attach the wheels to the rod.
When I placed the cab loosely on the frame, I found that it sloped down toward the back a bit. To rectify that, I glued a small strip of styrene to the back, bottom of the cab. This solved the issue and the cab now seems to sit straight on the frame.
Here's a right-side-up view of the cab loosely placed on the frame. The other thing I did was apply Tru Color Paint "Grimy Black" (#TCP-009) to the tires to give them a weathered, aged, black-tire look. I used an acrylic silver metal hobby store paint to paint all the "chrome" parts and the headlights, including the wheels themselves.
I then applied two coats of thinned Poly Scale "D&RGW Building Brown" to the wood decking of the flat bed, purposely applying it in separate sections, so that it looks weathered and aged. I then also applied a good coating of the india-ink-and-alcohol mixture over the entire truck to make it look dirty. When all of that was dry, I used a yellow paint and used the dry-brushing technique to highlight some of the edges and areas that might accumulate some dirt.
The model seemed big, but when I placed this properly-sized S-scale figure next to it, it seems like it is scaled correctly. At some point in the future (how many more years?!), I'll scratchbuild a basic interior and then apply the window glazing, before mounting the cab permanently to the frame. The wheels on the model roll, and I find it a striking model to look at.
Well, finally, after several years of this model sitting in a box, I took the time in August 2023 to build the interior. One of the other kits of the same truck came with a pewter interior part, so I scratchbuilt a very similar shape to it, using styrene.
I painted the interior part (shown above) black, and the seats with Delta Ceramcoat "Antique White", to make it stand out against the green body color. I also used some very thin clear plastic sheet to form the individual windows. That is very difficult to do, because nearly each of the window openings are slightly curved and oddly shaped. This photo shows the final model. I omitted the steering wheel and any figures inside, because this is not an active model to fit my layout's era, so it is going to just be an on-the-shelf display model.