The Mack “Hoover Dam ” Dump Truck and Marion Steam Shovel, 1931
I’m not really a truck or car modeler, but once in a while I like to build something different. I’ve always been a fan of construction equipment, especially older, cable operated excavators. There’s not much in the way of steam shovel kits (outside of HO 1:87 scale) so I figured I’d take a run at an early excavator in 1:43 scale. I based the excavator on a 1920’s design, the type used to shovel rock during the building of the Hoover Dam.
At the same time I decided to finish a 1:43 scale Mack dump truck also used in the dam’s construction. Someone gave me a diecast Mack hood/radiator assembly, I’m not sure of it’s manufacture. I cut the roof off, removed the wind screen and built a drivers seat as well as an interior. The dump body and front fenders were scratch built from plastic as were the lifting pistons.The head lights, chassis, axels, and tires came out of my scrap box. The side platform and railing was scratchbuilt from brass. Referred to as the “crow’s nest”, the driver would stand on the platform and use hand controls mounted on the steering wheel to raise and empty the dump body. The actual Mack trucks used on the project were refered to as “rock” trucks and were developed especially for the huge project. Strictly off road, these vehicles were the largest trucks in the world at the time and moved over five million cubic yards of stone from the work site.
The steam shovel’s “cabin” and frame work was built from Evergreen plastic sheets.The crawler assembly and crawler treads were cast from resin. The interior contains a scratchbuilt boiler, coal bunker, steam engine, and water tank. But typical of my other models I failed to photograph any of the interior detail before the roof was glued in place. The “dipper” and shovel were found at a model train show and modified with steam piping detail, hand grabs, release chain, among other improvements. I used Testors paint to finish the model. A few of my fellow models have commented the models would look better “weathered” and banged up. I agree that construction equipment models lend themselves to rust and grime but for now they remain factory fresh. But a diorama would be a possibility…
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.