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Matt Minnichsoffer
28 articles

Lost Treasure – John Deere 4430, AMT/ERTL 1:25

March 31, 2018 · in Automotive · · 12 · 3.2K

I was doing some Spring cleaning and found this kit that I forgot I had. When I opened the box it brought back a flood of modeling memories from my youth.

The Background

I began building models with a cousin who was a few years older than me and had Muscular Dystrophy. He was in a wheel chair and had this great modeling bench setup his closet. For the 1980s it was SO cool. Anyway, he had numerous cars on the shelf and a couple of tractors; a John Deere 4430 and a International 1466. I was super envious of both of them. When he passed away in 1990, I was pretty much past my adolescent modeling phase and those two tractors were lost to the the trash along with all his other models.

I vowed then, if I could ever find one, or both, I'd build them.

The Find

/ issued these kits in the mid-1970s along with some implements. So the chances of finding one in the box, even in the 1980s, was rare. So when in the mid-1990s I found a re-issue kit of the JD 4430 I snatched it up quicker than a jack-rabbit on a date.

I swore I would take my time building this kit so it was as realistic as I could make it. So I did, and then got married, had kids, and threw it in a box for 20 years and forgot about it. Until now…

What makes this so special to me is not the quality of the build, but the memories of a good friend that turned me on to modeling in the first place. Also, the fact that along with all the other JD tractors we had growing up, a 4430 was among them. And yes, for those of you that know your tractors, we did paint the fender wells and cab on ours black like the 40 series. I never liked how the green looked on the 30 series.

So, at long last, this rascal is sitting on my shelf in place of honor. Comment away, keep building gang!

Reader reactions:
3  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. I remember these kits, with AMT at first coming out with a few over the road rigs and fire equipment. Then ERTL produced some as well at a great price point. Molded in color, great instructions/directions. First with an International Harvester their first one, along with trailers and other rigs. But their construction equipment and tractors that followed on were the bomb. This brings back good memories building these rigs. I also love the story. Good of you to honor your friend, just a testament that nothing can stop you from doing what you love no matter your disabilities. We all wish to fulfill our passion. Thanks for sharing this fond memory in time. I am with you on that aspect. Happy Easter

  2. That turned out great...really nice job, Matt.

  3. There’s a trend now to take farm/contractor plant and give it the weathering treatment - it works especially well with the farm items.

  4. Good for you sir! Looks great!

  5. Great story and wonderful build Matt. Nice tribute to a friend as well. Happy Easter.

  6. Hello Matt,
    Job well done. Not seen before, and that does it.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  7. I spent many a summer on top of an International 1066 (and 966), and a JD 3020, discing ground, plowing beans and corn, and one summer I got to drive in the A/C comfort of a JD cab tractor like this one pulling a crusher to prep soybeans for silage. Many fond memories on Grandad's farm! Nice memories...!

    • Greg,

      I knew we had more in common than just modeling. I grew up on on the seat of a tractor and in various dairy barns. Favorite is still the JD 4020. Only of they made a model of it…cheers to the farm boys!

  8. Great tractor, Matt!

    Nothing runs like a Deere!

    Matt, this is a great write-up, especially with your tribute to your friend. Modeling farm equipment may be a small niche, but they're so important to the growth of our country and having the personal memories of "past" fun just adds to the greatness of it all.

    PS - I'm with you on the black lined wells. MUCH better than green!

  9. Great memories, and what better way to remember an important person in your life.

  10. Oh man, I want one of these! I had the Massey-Ferguson 1155 when I was a kid, did a horrible job on it, of course, and would love to redo it if I could ever find it again.

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