I took a break from building freight cars after an odd issue appeared on two boxcars when I applied a flat coat. I started building a Jordan Highway Miniatures 1923 Mack dump truck kit. After building it, I built another. I’ll need several vehicles for the future layout, so I kept building those kits. Oh, and I did solve the issue on the boxcars. Those details are in the previous post. Let’s take a close look at these Jordan kits.
My next layout will be an urban setting in November 1926. I see very few photos of freight houses and team yards that do not have a truck in the scene. Often, there are several trucks. A 2018 post covered prototype resources to understand the different makes and models of the era. It was interesting to see many regional companies.
I’ve accumulated a decent number of Jordan kits over the years. I’ve paid between $1 and $5 for each of them. The kits are injection molded styrene with fine parts and a sheet of instructions. I spread out the parts sprues and read the directions first. I didn’t know what some of the parts were but figured them out by eliminating the ones I knew.
I focused on building Mack trucks. The basic parts are the same, except for the bed details.
There’s flash to eliminate on many of the parts. A toothpick points out the flash on cab parts above. I used a single edge razor blade to remove the larger pieces, then employed sanding sticks, nail boards, and files to clean up the fine lines. I dry fit many parts before gluing anything together. I still managed to install a couple things upside-down and backwards!
with the first kit, I built sub-assemblies of the major elements and painted those before gluing everything together. These early trucks were mostly painted in basic colors. There are many images to review with a simple web search.
For some reason, I had trouble gluing parts together with plastic cement. Even the raw castings were problematic, so I used cyanoacrylate (CA) for the adhesive. Above you see the wheels on the chassis and the remaining parts ready to be installed.
Here’s the completed first kit! Well, mostly complete. The headlights are missing and some paint needs to be touched up as it wore away with handling. Without hesitation, I opened another box.
The second kit went together easier but the details were different. I changed out my plastic glue bottle and that worked much better to weld parts together.
I’ve determined this is an early version of the kits with a longer frame, separate parts for the drive train, different cab and headlights, and a couple extra details. This was a chassis-only kit that I found at a train show for a dollar. As you can see, all but the wheels have been assembled.
I washed the models and primed the bodies after assembly. A clothespin makes it easy to hold the model at the spray booth. The area hidden by the clothespin was touched up with a brush after the primer coat dried.
I kept the wheels on the parts sprue for the Vallejo German red brown primer coat. The tires were also painted while on the sprue. Vallejo dark rubber from the Panzer Aces line was used.
I did the same for the bed parts. Since these represent wood, I sprayed them with Vallejo desert sand primer.
I caught up with the dump truck headlights and painted them while they were attached to the sprue.
I built a small fleet in just a few weeks. After slogging through the first couple of these kits, I came to understand the assembly process. The last chassis was assembled and ready for primer in three hours. These still need some lettering, weathering, and a couple more details.
A year or so ago I built an 1:72 scale FWD Model B three-ton truck produced by Roden. These are 1917 prototypes used by the thousands in World War 1. Many came back to the US and were sold off. The photo above offers a size comparison between the HO scale Mack and the 1:72 scale FWD.
I have not glued the beds onto the trucks, so I swapped them for a few photos to see how they look. I really like how the stake bed changes the look of the FWD truck. The Roden bed on the Mack gave me a couple ideas for future trucks with a low-side bed.
An element missing from both of these truck models is a tarp to protect the load from the November elements. The 1918 GMC in the above photo is one idea to guide the tarp details. I’ll share what works on a future blog post.
The Jordan line of vehicles has been discontinued. There are plenty out there at train shows at decent prices. Shop around and avoid double-digit prices for any RARE models.
There are additional options for early vehicles. Keith Wiseman has been producing metal kits that were formerly made by Walker Model Service and others. The Autocar, Kleiber, and Mack models from Wiseman Model Services can add variety to your street scenes.
Woodland Scenics offers an older Diamond T and a Federal dump truck.
Inter-Action Hobbies has a few older Fords in their line.
Artitek has a couple older trucks in their line.
I know I’m forgetting a few models out there. Drop a link in the comments for 1920s vehicles that I missed.
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