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Robert Knaack
40 articles

John Deere 310

July 26, 2020 · in Automotive · · 16 · 2.4K

This is the latest edition to my tractor collection, 's 310. As a kid, I always wanted this kit, but never found it in the hobby stores I had available to me. I recently found this original 1975 kit on eBay for reasonable price, so was thrilled to be able to finally build it.

It's a nicely detailed kit, as the Blueprint Series kits tend to be, and went together fairly easily. It begs to be detailed, so I did a little bit of scratch building by adding the main hydraulic cylinder for the back hoe (it was completely missing), and adding some of the flexible and non-flexible hydraulic lines. I used left-over vinyl tubing from a motorcycle kit for the flexible line, and brass and aluminum wire for the rest.

Internet photos of actual 310's show that you simply can't overdo the rust and wear and tear - these things are old and beat up! Mine is intended to look used, but cared for. The buckets were painted with Testors Rubber, which I think emulates the color of rusted bare metal. Over top of that I sprayed Testors Rust for variation. I then brushed on Testors Steel for fresh wear marks.

I didn't take any chances with the decals, first spraying them with a coat of bonder, then supplementing their adhesive with watered-down white glue. Amazingly, they were applied with no problems whatsoever. I photographed it with the help of my grandson's sandbox. 🙂

It's a great little kit that I am pleased as punch to have in my collection. I hope you tractor lovers enjoy seeing it!

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Nicely done! Great looking work site too. It's great to see some thing that doesn't shoot or blows up things.

  2. Very nice looking model!

    Remind's me of the "real one" we bought in the 1950's and still own back on my brother's farm in OHIO/USA. It took some time on "How To Use It!" We called it a "Back Ho/Front Loader."

    I surfed the web many times and never found this model, so I guess you are the luckiest guy in the world to find one of these.

    QUESTION: Why do you have silver looking paint on the tires?

  3. @f2g1d Hi Rodney, thanks for the comments! I sometimes wish I had one of these tractors for working around the yard. The paint on the tires is light gray, and is supposed to represent the sort of dust you would get from driving around in gravel. I envisioned my tractor in a dusty, gravelly environment (as opposed to a kid's sand box), so my choice of weathering might have been more obvious in that setting.

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  4. Another excellent portrayal of well used and well maintained heavy metal, Robert. I particularly like the hydraulic lines, grease, rust, and tires. You captured the look of cleats on gravel very well.

  5. Great looking and it looks like the photo of a real one.

  6. Wow that is the way to weather a working vehicle, down in the sand pit! Looks really nice. You may want to add a light pin wash to the details to make them pop a bit, not much, just a tiny shade will do.

  7. I forgot to mention that the paint is Krylon Cat Yellow, that I got from the local hardware store. The Krylon sprayed very well even though it was a large rattle can!

  8. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Very nice turn around Robert. The model looks good, and the setting … great!
    That model looks to be at home.

  9. That's a great model, Robert!
    I loved the weathering allaround, even in the operator's area.
    Rarely seen built, makes it more of a joy to watch!

  10. Hey Robert, @robgenev665
    This is a great looking model ! Each time I look at it I notice something new... a little hidden feature that I hadn't noticed before.

    Years ago we had a similar sized (but older) John Deere front end loader / back hoe, and a Case front end loader at the golf course I worked at. My job as the senior mechanic, was to keep everything running, (including the 150 plus golf carts and various farm tractors), all of the mowers sharp, and our company vehicles in order. Plus I had to keep a parts inventory on hand to fix anything at a moments notice...including ruptured hydraulic hoses. Finally I talked the Superintendent's "Big Boss" into letting me replace all of the hydraulic hoses and bushings on all of our equipment. It was a huge job ! But it paid off with no more broken down machinery...or burned grass from hot hydraulic oil...which aggravates the golfers when the green is damaged (and rightfully so).

    I had a hose crimping machine, so it was not a big deal other than removing the old hose and making a new one just like it...I loved the job and having been around these in real life I can appreciate the extra details you added to yours. I was responsible for maintaining well over $5 million worth of golf course and heavy equipment on a daily basis. Engine rebuilds, hydraulic work, you name it, and I did it on top of supervising the other mechanics and scheduling "routine" maintenance.

    I especially like how you shaded the tires to represent the dirt / dust that accumulates on them. Another neat thing you did was to paint the hydraulic hoses on the cylinders. When these are brand new, everything gets painted, including these hoses... after time and years of work, or when they get replaced is when the yellow paint finally disappears.

    You really can't "over do it" as far as adding weathering, dirt and rust on these machines. They take a beating on a regular basis.

    Well done my friend, and I pressed the "liked" button too.

    • @lgardner Thanks, Louis! When I first considered adding the hydro lines I was going to leave them black, but then I noticed in every photo they were yellow, so I painted them accordingly. I actually was pretty conservative on the number of lines I added - on the real tractor, there are six(!) hydro lines coming out the back of the operator console. Thanks for your extended comments!

  11. Brings back memories of working at B@B Equipment, Hauppauge NY, John Deere construction equip dealer. Back in the heyday we was unloading 2-3 new machines a day, that before the '86 recession. Backhoes, Loaders, all kinds of tracked stuff, doing all that Louis Gardner work. 🙂 710B's and JD 350's were our main meat.

    I remember the parts dept. selling those Ertl kits, shoulda bought a bunch of 'em. Your model looks great. Could use some mud on the floor and a lot more rust. But they did look pretty right off the truck too. John Deere Yellow is a beautiful color. Good job.

  12. @billkoppos Bill, I think I can always add some mud later on. I was thinking I should stick some putty to the buckets and paint it brown. I'm still learning how to do realistic rust, though. Thanks for the comments!

  13. Robert @robgenev665
    You do a great job adding just enough use to you builds to make them look like they are indeed used, but cared for. I only wish they made more tractor models. Of course the royalties are probably too high for any model company to dig too deep into that pool. Great work my friend.

  14. @coondog Thanks, Matt. I'd like to do a really rusty old tractor, like the examples of the Heller Ferguson TE-20 here on iModeler, but my skills aren't quite there yet. I've done the TE-20 and want to do another one modified to look like a Ford N-series. I have the Ertl Massey-Ferguson 1155 kit (which was way expensive!), and I have the Heller MF 2680 on order from Germany (when covid restrictions are lifted, someday). Other than that, there's not much to choose from. I saw the Ertl 1466 on eBay today, for $259 from UK! My local hobby store has the Ertl/AMT bulldozer for $30, but I don't know if that is a decent kit or not.

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