Truck Cab Slim Down Pt II

What time I have been able to spend at the bench since my last post hasn’t been much but it has been quality time. I’ve got the seams where I sliced and diced the cab to slim it down cleaned up and ready for primer. I’ve also started to fill in the access doors on the side of the cab to make those disappear and filled in the gap on the cockpit interior where it too was cut and spliced back together.

 

 

I wanted to install a rear window in the cab and after not having much luck looking for a suitable small rectangle window I thought I would just skip it. Then I spied a slider window out of a pickup truck that was in the spares stash. Eyeballing and holding the window in place I soon had it taped to the rear of the cab and started to draw on reference lines. But I needed to take care of a couple of other things first.

Such as make the instrument panel pop once it is installed. With the rear window, the insides of the cab would be more visible. I started by drilling out all of the instrument faces which I will add gauges using decals and lenses. This picture of the dash is the first pass at boring out the gauge faces. Here is where the aftermarket companies that produce photoetched could really find a market opportunity! I’ll pick through my spares to see what I can use, such as levers…for the trailer brake handle.

Another is one of the seams on the lower lip of the cab. My initial sanding to mate the two pieces together didn’t come out as well as planned. But that is an easy repair. Simply use a saw and slice into the seam then insert and cement in a piece of suitable scrap styrene. I used a piece of channel.

You want the fit snug and be liberal with the liquid solvent to ensure complete contact and bonding. If it oozes excess all the better. Once cured you’ll be able to easily sand to shape it to match the body line.

With that done it was time to fill in the access doors, for that I used stretched sprue which was laid into the recess of the panel line and set in place using my Touch N Flow filled with Weld-On #3. Weld-On #3 is HOT and will melt the stretch sprue welding it to fill the cab’s recessed panel line.

 

Use short sections of stretched sprue. Apply some solvent to the panel line to be filled then set the stretched styrene piece into the recess and apply more solvent. Press into place with the back of your hobby knife blade or suitable tool…NOT YOUR FINGERS! Fingers tend to wick solvent and leave fingerprints embossed on the surface.

Trim the excess from the ends, making it as flush with the end of the recessed line as possible. Allow to cure, then you’ll be able to sand to make flush which should mean the recessed panel line has all but disappeared.

If you need to follow up with more stretched sprue, but if you did it correctly you should be able to just finish up with a little glazing compound (3M Acryl) or Mr. Surfacer to fill the imperfections. If you can’t tell at first glance, apply a light mist of primer to bring out any imperfections if they exist. Address them accordingly.

Time to move on to installing the rear window. First find the center point of the cab and the window to be installed. Mark both! Then using some thin strips of masking tape, set the window in place over the area it is to be installed and burnish the tape down to hold it in place. Check your location by measuring to ensure it is in the proper spot.  Use a fine point marker to trace around the window. I used a red one…this is the DO NOT EXCEED BEYOND THIS LINE during the cutting and fitting process. I followed up using a blue one to mark my first area to be removed. From that point on, test fit often to keep tolerances as tight as possible as you finish removing cab wall to install the glass.

I started the removal process by drilling a few holes just inside the blue line. These will act as relief points as I use my rotary razor saw in my Dremel. After making a couple more cuts I had most of the area to be removed out. What I had left I will now show those of you who don’t have a tool chest full of tools a way to do it. Start by drilling holes close together just inside the blue line as I did, but go all the way around the line. Then using your sprue cutters, I recommend the Xuron 2175ET Pro Sprue Cutters, start nipping between each hole. You’ll be able to remove the plug.

Now its a matter of using sanding sticks, files or a drum sander mounted in your rotary tool or a combination of them all to take the edges down flush to the blue line…then down to the red line with frequent test fittings until the window slips snugly into place.

I’ll need to do a little filling around the window…a slip with the file took away more than I had planned…but it is manageable. I’ll mask the glass on both sides and before mounting it and tending to the necessary filling and sanding to blend it in flush on the outside. On the inside a trim piece I plan on installing as a head and back liner will hide all signs of flaws and filling. That’s as far as I got last night at the bench, so I hope you found this fun and useful.

 

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