Home Page
PRR Chartiers Branch
The Layout
My Library
Site Map

Peter's Model Railroading | Articles | Automobiles | Dodge
1949 Dodge 100 Kew Stakebed Truck


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 R223 kit "Dodge DeSoto Stakebed" truck. The photo shows the kit in its original packaging, as I bought it in like-new condition in 2011.
(external link: Railmaster Exports)

Comparing this kit (#R223) to the other two that I bought (#R222 and #R221), even though they are just one digit "lower" in the product ID, this kit has many more parts and details than the other two. The other two don't come with an interior, no mirrors, and no spare wheel. The tires in this kit are also beefier. The underframe and the cab is identical. So, there must have been a production upgrade done to these kits along the way. This photo shows the glued-up sub-assemblies I have prepared and washed, ready for primer. The floor of the bed needed to be glued to the underframe. There is no positive indent for it, so I had to eye-ball it, as compared to where the cab would sit on the frame. The four parts that make up the stakebed are skinnier, width-wise, than the bed, so when it is assembled, it only lines up with the front and back of the bed. I used a 90-degree assembly jig by Rite-Way to make sure they were glued correctly (some parts required some minor bending to get them to line up). When the full stakebed was assembled, I glued it to the truck bed. For the interior, you have to drill a hole through the "dashboard" for the steering wheel. An indent is cast into the back (hidden) of the "dashboard" for either left- or right-hand drive. All assembly was done using superglue, and after all of the flash had been removed and filed off. I washed the parts with water and dishwashing soap, in preparation for the next step.
(external link: Prototype video)

All the parts have had Vallejo Black Primer (#74.602) applied to them. The wheels and tires have had a paint layer applied, as well as the "wooden" stakebed. In this photo I am cutting the axle rods to length, which is a bit of a guessing game.

This photo shows the installation of the wheels. This was the only (of the three kits) one where it came with a spare tire, so I glued that in place. The axle lengths that need to be cut from the provided metal round stock was a bit of a guess. Luckily I guessed right; not too long nor too short. After routing the metal round stock through the openings in the frame, I applied gel superglue to their ends and pushed the wheels onto them. I tried to keep the wheels as straight as possible when the glue set.

And this completes the underside of the truck.

I painted the interior part black, and the seats with a dark brown. I 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. Once the "glass" was finished, I was able to glue the interior (supplied with the kit) into the cab, and then glue the cab to the frame. I used superglue for both acts. This photo shows the final model. I do not plan to do anything else to this model, as it doesn't fit my layout's era, so it will just sit on a display shelf.