MF 1155 Pro Stock Puller
Hello all, this is my latest attempt at building a modified pulling tractor from one of Ertl's old line of late 70's tractor kits. This particular Massey Ferguson kit was actually marketed as a “pulling tractor” and came with oversize tires and an extra sprue of parts for engine header exhausts and “mag” style front wheels (You can actually build the stock tractor from this kit - the only things missing are the stock rear tires). As such, the “puller” modifications are pretty sad and not really worthy of consideration. Interestingly enough, though, there are numerous photos on the internet of 1155 tractors in the red, white and blue with stars paint scheme - apparently that was a real thing!
Anyway, my plans were not to build the kit as it came, but to build a replica pro stock puller. Pro Stock class tractors were basically engines and transmissions from stock tractors heavily modified with custom frames, roll bars, water injection and big turbo chargers. I found a number of after-market accessories that made this project possible:
The seat is a photo-etch bomber style seat from Highlight Model Studios
The turbo charger is an Iceman Collections resin kit
The moon tank is from Detail Master
The diamond tread steel plate is also from Detail Master.
Rear tires and rims were once again provided by sacrificing a Heller MF 2680 kit, and the front chrome wheels came from a Revell GMC pickup kit.
Construction started by building out all the custom frame rails and suitcase weights using Evergreen sheet. While waiting for the turbo charger to arrive in the mail, I modified the kit-supplied fenders - the originals were in two parts, with the inner half attached integral with the tractor cab. I cut away the cab and fitted the two halves together, which required some sanding and body putty. I also had to work on the hood as the kit had a hard break between the hood and the instrument panel. I glued the instrument panel, firewall and hood all together as one, then sanded and puttied until I had a smooth transition between the parts.
The front axle uses the kit spindles and tie rod, joined with a piece of brass tubing and attached to the frame via Evergreen tubing. The chrome wheels fit the tires without modification. The oil filter unit was relocated to the lower front frame, and a piece of wire was installed to imitate the oil line running from the engine to the filters.
MF 1155s didn't have turbochargers, so once I had the resin turbo in hand, I had to custom-build exhaust headers, and intake and exhaust pipes from Evergreen tubing and get them all joined up properly from the turbo to the engine.
I was really impressed by the fact that I could buy diamond-tread photo etch sheets in 1/25 scale - what amazing accessories we have available these days! Using the diamond tread sheet, I built the operator platform and the pedestal for the seat. I then began the trickiest part of the whole project - the roll cage.
For my first attempt, I tried to bend the aluminum tubing freehand, but that failed miserably! So I built a mold from a small block of wood and used that mold to shape the aluminum rod into the octagonal shape for the roll cage. Holes were drilled in the base and the cage sections super-glued into the base. I then meticulously cut and super-glued all the little bars in-between the main cage bars. It was a tedious, frustrating process, but the end result didn't turn out too badly - though I think my whole cage is a bit on the “tall” side… The seat was assembled and glued on to the pedestal, and a piece of sheet styrene painted black was added as a cushion. Seatbelts were glued on and painted.
For the rear wheels, I cut away the hubs from the Heller wheels and fitted sheet styrene instead. The original Ertl kit hubs were cut down and split in half edgewise, then glued onto the insides and outsides of the sheet styrene. Lastly, I carefully cut away all the V-tread from the Heller rubber tires to get the “pro stock” look of nearly smooth tires.
For my hot-rod tractor, I went with a custom color for the frame - rather than MF gray I substituted Vellejo air gray. The red is Massey Furgeson red from a rattle can. I got lucky with the decals - the left side logo broke into four pieces as I was sliding it off the backing paper, but I managed to re-assemble it successfully.
The American flag was an experiment - I painted the colors onto a piece of tissue paper, then coated the tissue paper in watered-down white glue to make it drape properly.
I hope you all enjoy my Pro Stock Massey!