Interior Decorating

In Mercedes-Benz, Mini Big Rigs, October 20214 MinutesBy Carl KirkbeckNovember 24, 2021

Last month, we completed our rolling chassis. Now it’s time to build the flight deck for our Mercedes-Benz in readiness for the cab’s construction.

Unlike other plastic truck kitset manufacturers, Italeri’s cabs come in a flatpack form, requiring assembly. This makes for accurate cab panels with crisp detail, but it places importance on the assembly of the interior. A tidy fit of all interior parts is important now as the interior forms the frame the cab panels are attached to.

Begin with picking the pieces from the sprue. As usual, lay them out on a sheet of paper with their reference numbers detailed, paying close attention to left and right versions of the same piece. With this build, we were instructed to keep it simple and build straight from the box, as a left-hand drive. The next build will definitely look into the process of an RHD conversion and how to approach this.

We need to now find a colour palette that is sympathetic to the early 1990s. Looking back at when our subject matter travelled New Zealand delivering automotive glass, a frequent port of call was the Toyota plant in Thames. At this time, Corollas and Corona Amons, all sporting the latest European influences in automotive couture, inspired by our very own follower of fashion, Jan Beck, were rolling off the line. So in honour of Jan’s work, we have selected patterns and tones that pay tribute to the two-tone brown polyester and vinyl interiors of the day – complete with Jan’s trademark orange and gold accents.

You will find that by leaving the seats, sleeper bed squabs and door panels on the sprue, it is much easier to apply the paint without getting it all over your fingers, especially as you will need to add multiple colours to these parts. Once they are completely dry, carefully remove them from the sprue and apply any touch-ups as required.

Complete the basic assembly of the floor pan of the cab by fitting the seat bases, steering wheel, gear lever and pedals before painting. This will simplify assembly later without the need to remove paint for the glue to adhere. Paint the floor pan, then detail-paint the gear lever, pedals and steering wheel.

This stage is best carried out by fitting the parts in numerical order – the seats and accessories first, then the back of the cab. When fitting the back of the cab (141c), ensure it is sitting neatly and square in place. This is important as it forms the frame the exterior cab panels are attached to in step 9. Next, fit the sleeper bed squabs and then the hood lining.

Once these parts are completely dry, you can easily flip over the interior to reveal the base of the floor pan. This will allow you to paint the base, and items in the interior will not work free before the glue has set. Finally, the mudguards and step frames can be installed and painted, either by brush or you can mask off areas as needed and spray paint.

We are now set to assemble the cab panels around the framework of the interior. Our project truck has a straightforward, plain white finish to the cab exterior, so it is extremely easy to replicate. However, you might have another scheme in mind. This is your opportunity to investigate schemes, and get yourself prepared now with the paints you require, because next, we will be painting and detailing the cab in readiness for assembly.