In Mini Big Rigs, Scania, April 20215 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 20, 2021

When it comes to building model trucks, the smaller scales offer a cost- effective solution for the beginner and a vast array of potential projects. This month, we complete our Warehouse toy-to- model makeover.

Last month, we refitted our $9 Scania 6×4 fire truck into an 8×4 hard side general freight unit. This month, we scratch-build a matching five-axle trailer to complete our typical Kiwi combination.

As mentioned last month, the key elements of scratch building are forward planning and keeping a close eye on proportions; referring back to the initial sketch we drew at the beginning of the planned combination, we can keep our progress in check.

If you would like any further information or a set of the high-resolution photographs we used to detail this build, please feel free to contact me at

1) The ‘Evergreen‘ polystyrene plastic stand at your hobby store is a great source for the various thicknesses of sheet plastic and mouldings for your scratch-built projects.


2, 3) Using our initial sketch, and the axle heights and widths of the Scania‘s chassis for reference, cut out the shape and place the chassis rails and up-stands that house the axles to the underside of the trailer box body. Once the glue has dried, accurately measure the locations of the required grooves for the axles. Then using a fine file, cut these grooves into place.
4) Using our sketch and the chassis and axle heights from the rear of the trailer as a reference, construct a simple sub-chassis with up-stands for the two-axle dolly.

5) Take your time when filing the axle grooves in the up-stands and check your progress by setting up the model to see how it is sitting. Is it level or lop-sided? Remember that slow and steady wins the race.


6) Mark out the dolly centre and drill a hole through it just large enough to receive a piece of old scrap sprue. Sit the dolly in place against the trailer chassis and mark the centre onto the chassis. Drill a hole through the chassis, then cut a pin from old sprue and glue into the hole of the trailer chassis. Once dry, shape to fit.


7,8,9) Taking measurements from the initial sketch, calculate the length of the drawbar you require, mark it out onto sheet plastic and cut out. Using a fine drill bit, just bigger than the copper wire, drill a hole through the front of the dolly. Insert the copper wire (the same as used last month to make the tow hook) through the hole and carefully bend into shape. Using super glue, attach the cut-out plastic drawbar to the copper-wire frame. Finally, cut out and fit the mudguards to suit.


10, 11) Now the fun part — bringing the model to life with your chosen fleet colours. For the application of multiple colours, I use Tamiya modellers‘ masking tape for the application of colours as it is available in many widths and is extremely fine and can block virtually all paint bleed.


12, 13) Final assembly involves cutting out small rectangles of plastic to cap over the up-stands to retain the axles in place. Remember to lightly scratch away the paint from the surface to allow the glue to adhere directly to the plastic. Once the glue dries carefully, paint the bare plastic of the caps to match the chassis colour.

14) The completed combination alongside the original model toy. She‘s ready to swing into the freight shed for a load of express general, then hit the road.