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He Builds Rusty Old Truck Models
Ron Crowl used rotary tools in his career carving dies to create intricate embossed greeting cards. In retirement, he uses the same tools to gouge, scratch and nick plastic models to create old, distressed trucks and vehicles. A photo of his 1/25th scale late 1950’s Peterbilt dump truck caught our eye thanks to its amazing likeness to the photo of the real truck it was modeled after.
    We aren’t the only ones impressed.
    “It’s won 6 awards including first place in Seattle’s International Plastic Modelers Society show’s commercial truck category,” Crowl says.
    The 72-year-old started making military vehicle models after he retired, which led to weathering and distressing techniques when making trucks, cars and old country gas stations from the 40’s and 50’s.
    When a friend showed him a couple photos of a Peterbilt 351 dump truck abandoned at the Koloa Sugar Mill on Hawaii’s Kauai Island, Crowl knew he’d found his next project.
    “I just loved the colors of the orange and rust together,” Crowl says, noting he wanted to match his model as close to the original truck as possible.
    It took plenty of research and 3 months of work, starting with a Revell Peterbilt 359 kit. The model provided the base for the truck but required a great deal of modifying and scratch building. Crowl removed the sleeper, scratch-built the front bumper and the dashboard and changed the dual exhaust to a single muffler, for example.
    He cut most parts from Evergreen plastic strips, sheeting and tubing, and used stainless steel screen used in model trains for the radiator screen. He used aluminum for the heat shield and hood.
    Since the kit didn’t have a dump box, he scratch built it - three times before he was satisfied. After modifying, building and distressing the truck to his satisfaction, Crowl painted it with Vallejo Life Color acrylic paints to achieve the realistic rust look that matched the photos.
    He also knows how to pose his pieces for photos using simple materials. Scrapbooking paper for the wall and ground sets the scene for the photo of his truck.
    The dump truck may be hard to top, but Crowl has begun another ambitious project, a Mack 750 Holmes wrecker. He expects it will take 6 months to complete.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ron Crowl, 2341 Southeast Kelly Ave., Gresham, Ore. 97080 (crowl2341@gmail.com).

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2018 - Volume #42, Issue #4