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Robert Knaack
40 articles

Scratch-built Gravity Wagon 1/25

March 15, 2021 · in Automotive · · 26 · 2K

I wanted to add some implements to my collection, but the only ones available from the Ertl Blueprint series were plows and barge wagons. I got the John Deere plow, but I didn't particularly want the barge wagons, because they weren't really the kind of that you would pull with a large horsepower tractor. Recently I noticed that a neighbor of mine had several Parker wagons parked near the road, and seeing them gave me some inspiration. I had some success scratch-building the three-point blade for my little Ferguson, and since the gravity wagons were all angle-iron and flat sheets of metal, I thought I'd give it a go and try scratch-building.

A trip to the local hobby store yielded various Evergreen plastic stock, including L pieces that were about the right size, plus lots of flat sheet plastic. I first began construction by building a mock up out of card stock - I didn't measure anything, just looked at photographs and "guess and by gosh"ed it from there. With the cardstock box built, I then build the angle-iron frame around that, then fitted plastic sheet into the frame to build the final box.

While contemplating how I was going to build the running gear and find some suitable wheels and tires, I searched eBay and found an Ertl barge wagon for a reasonable(!?) price. I decided I'd save myself some time by just "borrowing" the Ertl running gear. That turned out to be a good decision, as the running gear fortuitously fit my already constructed gravity box (the running gear actually had different length options, and the shortest length fit my box just right). I did have to raise the running gear by cutting off the axles and adding lengths of Evergreen under the frame to reposition the wheels. I also scratch-built the hitch to replace the rather pathetic hitch on the Ertl kit.

For painting, I first painted the inside of the box Testors Rubber for a rust color, then sprinkled ground pepper onto the wet paint. After that I sprayed some Testors Rust, then final coated with Model Master Zinc Chromate lightened with Vallejo Air White to get the Lime color of the Parker wagons of that era. I then used a toothbrush to remove the pepper, leaving a nice patchy rust look inside the box. For the galvanized metal sides, I sprayed Testors Flat Aluminum, then splotched it up with a bit of makeup sponge dipped in the Aluminum paint. Touch up with Vellejo Light Rust and Dark Rust washes and Tamiya black panel liner completed the paint job.

The decals were custom printed on clear sheet. The white for the "Parker" was first painted on the side, then the clear decal centered over the top. Testors Dullcoat was the last step.

For a rather ambitious scratch-build (for me anyway) I think it turned out pretty well. I now have a 1980 Parker 2000 wagon to go along with my late '70's tractor collection. I hope you enjoy!

Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

26 responses

  1. Nice job Robert. Liked!

  2. Very nice Rob, I love what looks like welds at the plate joints. Very realistic looking with your painting, and a great scratch project.

  3. Stunningly cool project! This is a many times overlooked piece as there are no gun, no huge engine, no cool camouflage etc. Now I dare you to scratch build some sort of towed tank for watering or spraying. Simple and functional shapes should make it a breeze to construct.

  4. @stellan Thanks, Stellan! And great idea for a follow-up project. I really need to find a source for implement wheels and tires, since I can't scratch-build those...

    • Yes, some details are harder to reproduce than others. Scratch build, have them 3D-printed, buy other model and take what you want, these are the ways I can come up with now. Many "home built" tanks and trailers have odd wheels and details as they were never meant to be used on roads but just shifted about in the fields. Hasegawa and Italeri have a few jeeps in 1/24, you may use the wheels, jerry cans and tools for your projects.

  5. Artist at work. Special.

  6. This is an amazing (scratch)build, Robert!
    Kudos to your skills!
    This is a great model to accompany your tractors.
    Well done!

  7. Looks the part Robert!

  8. Very cool Robert, really like this.

  9. Very fine modeling Robert.

  10. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    A very elegant work of scratch building and weathering Robert.

  11. Excellent project with a brilliant outcome, definitely liked.

  12. @chinesegeorge Thanks, George! I'm glad you liked it!

  13. I thought it was the real thing, amazingly realistic!

  14. Excellent work. Very well done.

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