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1:25 John Deere 4440 – Ertl 4430 Conversion

A good friend of mine found this kit at a garage sale for me. While my first 4430 build was the re-packaged 1990s version of the kit this one was the original kit from the 1970s. The inside of the box is stamped OCT 25 1973. Which I though was pretty cool. Anyway, I didn’t ant to build another 4430, but always have loved its younger, stronger brother the 4440.

The Build

This meant scratch-building a few items to make the transformation complete. I cobbled together an air precleaner front some random leftover parts and milliput. I also built up the seat with milliput to resemble the deluxe seat used in the 40 series tractors.

Next issue was the decals. The originals were obviously for 4430 and they were really bad anyway. Using pictures for reference, I created new decals with Adobe Illustrator and printed them out on a large adhesive-backed label stock. To keep them from pealing up I ran some clear tape over them as a laminate.

I also added as much of the fuel lines, hoses and wiring that I could to the engine.


Lastly were the front fenders. Back in my youth I thought these were so cool. I always wanted to put them on our tractors, but the answer was, “If you want them, you buy them.” And they were way too expensive for me to invest in. Plus, they had a tendency to plug with mud and catch fences. But, they are pretty cheap to build for a model. I fabricated them out of evergreen sheets and some leftover photo-etched brass.

The Paint

I didn’t want to use large Deere green rattle cans, so after a quick internet search I found Badger Model Flex JD green. I had never used Model Flex paint before and was pleasantly surprised. There was only one issue—it was too light. So I played around with some mixes and found that a mixture 35 parts JD Green (Badger16-203), 10 parts Vallejo Us Forest Green (71.294), 3 parts Vallejo Black (70.602) is about as close a match as I could ask for.

So there you have it friends, a John Deere 4440. Comment away, stay safe and keep building!

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.


5 responses to 1:25 John Deere 4440 – Ertl 4430 Conversion

  1. Nice looking show room tractor!

  2. Sharp looking build!

  3. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Very nice and clean work Matt, that John Deere Green ( Hunters Green ) set’s it apart from any tractor model, good work.

  4. Hi Matt @coondog!
    This is a fantastic build!
    I really liked that you took the old model and transformed it.
    Looks extremely cool and out of the ordinary!

  5. Nice work Matt. I like the wiring details and how you recreated the “classic” JD green.

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