As the headlights look too shallow when using only silver paint on the back of the lense, I tried to reproduce the look of the real headlights. The middle part of the lense was covered with silver foil, while the headlight back moulded in bumper itself was painted silver. The result is a quite good reproduction of real FH's headlights!
The front bumper was sprayed according to real truck. There were several variants of scheme Norcargo uses on truck, I opted for this one.
When white has become dry, then cab was carefully masked. The masking itself took several hours. After that two coats of ModelMaster's FS Bright Blue #35183 were sprayed onto shell.
One of the most tough jobs was to reproduce the real Norcargo livery on the cab. First of all, the black parts like the door handles or windshield surrounds were sprayed matt black. When the paint became dry, these parts were masked and the whole cab was sprayed two coats of ModelMaster's Flat Gunship Gray #1723 , which I like to use as a base coat. Then two coats of Revell's White #302 were sprayed onto appropriate areas. The cab shell was then put aside for drying several days.
The cab panels were glued together, the fit was perfect so almost no putting and sanding was necessary. The cab shell was then test fitted to the interior and the rest of the truck.
Making the interior was no problem as I had some reference photos. The dashboard was given a walnut like decoration, seats were covered with thin paper tissue simulating fabric and additional details were added, e.g. newspaper, notepad, pen, road map and a tissue.
When completing the rear wheelarches I discovered, that the M&G wheelarches are perfect, but not suitable for a mainland edition of 6x2 truck. They heavily rely on a UK spec tractor, which has different placing of battery box, exhaust and air tanks on the chassis - so I had to scratchbuild one complete wheelarch support using plastic rod and metal plate.
I opted for M&G New style Volvo wheelarches. These perfectly suit the new facelifted Volvo.
I decided to use Alclad II. This was my first try and it turned out good. The key to success is a perfect flat coat of gloss black as a base. I recommend paying attention to the quality of this coat, because it affects the really thin coat of Allclad very noticeably!
As the chassis is almost complete, it was given two coats of ModelMaster's #2032 - Federal Standard Bright Blue, which mathces the blue color Norcargo is used to use. This was the first time I used my new Aztec A470 airbrush and I must say, that it's superb!
The model features a sliding fifth wheel used from the M&G's accessories range. It's made of white metal, therefore it's quite heavy and it's trouble to glue to the chassis. I had to drill small holes into the sliding base of and pin the white metal part to chassis rails.
Due to my mistake, which I made during bad measurements when extending chassis I discovered, that the fuel tanks won't fit and would foul rear wheelarches! So I had to make a correction, which meant cutting the chassis behind the cab and extending the wheelbase by 3 mm...
Positioning the cab support onto chassis turned out to be a real challenge. Although the cab support has locating pins on both sides, there are no holes in the chassis rails where these pins should be located. In order to place the support correctly, I had to build the cab floor along with rear cab panel and test fit it. This is the way I was able to place the cab support to it's appropriate place...
To make the model as close to the real truck as possible, I opted to use M&G's FH Push Axle Conversion Kit. This kit is for skilled modellers as it contains quite lot of parts and previous modelling skills are useful when building this. Quite a lot of time was spent filling air pockets in the resin parts and placing them correctly, as the instructions are not so clear (or at least were not clear for me).
As the truck is going to be a 6x2 twinsteer, a lot of modifications to the chassis are about to happen. First of all, the chassis rails has to be cut and extended and almost all the detail has to be removed.