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John Deere 4430

I grew up on a farm with green tractors, and as kids my school mates and I used to have tug-of-wars over whether John Deere or IH were the better tractors. Sometime around my early teens I built the Ertl Massey-Ferguson 1155 tractor which was a very nice model, but I built it poorly. I always wanted to add the John Deere to my collection, and redo the 1155 in a better fashion. Fast forward to 2020, and with lots of time around home due to covid19, I found both the 1155 and the 4430 online, and I found the John Deere plow from the same set as well! So I’ve built the JD tractor and plow and present it here for you all to see. I’ll be doing the 1155 later on, as well as the John Deere 310 with backhoe and loader.

I painted both kits using the huge rattle cans, which makes it hard to get a good finish. My dad’s plow had shares that were polished to mirror-quality reflection, so I surfaced the shares on this plow with aluminum foil. Otherwise, I added some wiring and plumbing to the engine, and a PTO shaft, but the models have pretty good detail, so that’s all I did.

I still like those green tractors, as you can see in the last photo, of my grandson seated atop my JD 300, new in 1977, the last year the 4430 was manufactured.

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses to John Deere 4430

  1. Nicely done, It’s great to see these working machines!

  2. These models obviously mean a lot to you and it shows. Great to see a non-military subject in these troubled times as well.

  3. Nicely done! It’s great to see equipment subjects. Here, we’re IH (still farm part-time), but our son-in-law is JD, a balanced family. I look forward to seeing the Massey-Ferguson.

  4. That’s great stuff, Robert. The last pic is the best!

  5. Great job! Reminds me too of growing up in NY state dairy country. I can almost smell the “fresh” air….LOL
    Would love to see you do that workhorse, Ford N series tractor.
    Again, nice job.

  6. @gwskat I’d like to do a Ford N, is there a good model of it out there? I have a Heller Ferguson in the queue along with the 1155.

  7. My grandma had a “red belly” 8N Ford in Pennsylvania. I remember it well……… I learned how to drive at a very early age on a tractor. One of my friends dad had another Ford tractor and that’s what I learned on. I think it was a 3000 series going from memory. It combined learning about a stick shift and how to steer all at the same time.

    Years later I made a living repairing these machines. Your model looks very realistic, especially the exhaust pipe and how the disc furrows are polished. After sitting idle for a few days they’ll start rusting. But after a few trips up and down the field they are nice and shiny again.

    Well done my friend. This looks great. The last photo is what it’s all about. Passing it down to the next generation.


    • @lgardner My dad used to coat the plow shares with grungy used motor oil when he was putting it away for the year. My job in the spring was to wash all that gunk off with gasoline. It was always neat to see how bright and shiny mirror-like the shares were once they were cleaned.

  8. Excellent model! Brings me back to my years living out in the sticks.

  9. Looks great Robert. Just the right amount of weathering to be a good working horse. I built one of these and found another that I’m going to build as a 4440. Have to scratch build the air cleaner. The plow Is great. Yeah, the ground polished them nice every spring.

  10. @coondog Matt, I saw your 4430 on iModeler, and that’s what motivated me to start shopping for tractors. 🙂

  11. Nice job. I only have one ERTL Blueprinter kit that I’m working on (an International Transtar II COE) but if all Blueprinter kits are as well designed and detailed as mine the plow must have been fun to build! (And my kit was from the mid 70’s! They must have been like the Tamiya of their day!) I’ve looked at the Porsche tractor at the store a few times. (I’d build a late 40’s/ early 50’s Cockshutt or late 40’s fully cowled Oliver too if I could find them.)

    The paint turned out real nice from what I can see. If you don’t like using the big cans you could always spray some in an airbrush jar and paint projects that way. (I’m assuming you got a big can of JDG meant for full size tractors from Fleet Farm or similar. How many small ones could you do with a can that big?)

    • @jpatt1000 The plow was a fun build, it is all articulated – the wheels raise and lower, and the hitch swings to the road-towing position. I’m toying with the idea of putting the combo in a diorama, a cornfield being plowed up.
      I’ll try spraying the big can into a smaller container when I do the blueprint series John Deere with the loader and backhoe – it will be construction yellow instead of green, though!

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