It's happening! RCTam are doing a new style Volvo FH.
As you may know there are currently no kits for the new Volvo FH cabs, Verkerk are in the process of making one but are not yet producing them for sale. What better truck to do than one that isn't available anywhere and doesn't have any instructions or guides.
I have found that there are currently a couple of people who have made a Volvo FH cab but as far as I'm aware there are non in the UK. So is this the ideal truck to build or simply mission impossible? Only time will tell.
So far I have gotten designs and have almost completed printing the main cab panels, and it's looking promising. Some of the panels do need sanding and some filling will be needed when gluing the panels together but so far the prints are looking good. It's easy to see why this hasn't been done before as it's seriously challenging but as challenging as it is, I've never been more passionate about a build.
I've got a couple of ideas for the colour scheme and style but this is still very much up in the air so it could be some time before the truck is painted. As with any scratch build there are imperfections that need to be worked on prior to painting which will give me time to see the truck together and visualise the different possibilities.
Most of the joins that are to be glued will need a little filling as when the panels are printed the print bed is heated at 80 degrees celsius, which leads to a little warping on the edges. I will also need to hand make windows as these cannot be printed.
The printing process has it's own challenges, mainly with parts like the doors where there's a window as you can't print in thin air so window frames needed to be supported.
3 - 3
You may notice that some of the panels are slightly different colours, this is not by design. As I was printing my 3D printer broke and could not be fixed so had to be replaced. I now have a better printer with a massive print bed and loads more printing options, the new printer came with a slightly different filament hence the colour variation.
The next stage is to glue all the pieces together, which I suspect will be a tedious process and also trial and error to find the best method. The gluing process will be one of the biggest parts of the build as it will be the process that actually puts the cab together and make it look like a truck rather than just pieces of plastic. The sanding and filling process will for the most part be done alongside gluing, this is because a lot of the areas that are going to be glued will need smoothing off and hopefully minimise the gluing lines. I'm hoping that gluing the cab together will be quite straightforward and I can get it together relatively quickly. I may also line the inside of the cab with plastic sheets to help support the glue and add more strength, though this will depend on the strength of the cab when the glue has set.
It's only after this is done that I'll start priming and preparing to paint the truck, this will be make or break as the paint job can ruin the look of the truck if it goes wrong. I've got a couple of colour choices in mind based on what looks good on the full size trucks. These colour choices will be kept secret to be a surprise when the truck is together but the grill will be black and the panel under the windscreen with the logo will also be black.
The chassis is currently a huge unknown as I'm debating printing one rather than buying one. I'm leaning towards printing the chassis as the rest of the truck will be printed so it'll all be in keeping with the theme, although buying one would offer more strength as it would be metal rather than plastic. The fuel tanks, fifth wheel, axles and gearbox will all be printed. I've found that the axles need to be printed as the cab is a little larger than the Tamiya scale so the wheels would be sat too far inside the wheel arches using the Tamiya axles.
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