1956 Mack Pumper - Surf City (NJ) Fire Dept.

Project Launch

A shelf queen sees her day!

​​Tim Bongard

 Detailed Models

and 

Building Projects


Life is a scratchbuilding project

Build On &

Build Boldly!



         Back when I first started scratchbuilding models of fire apparatus, I found a truck on Long Beach Island, New Jersey in Surf City to looked like a great candidate. Their 1956 Mack was the oldest of their active trucks when I first photographed her and I dove into the project with a tone of youthful enthusiasm and reckless abandon. That was somewhere around 1985 or so. There was a Mack cab available from American Industrial Models cast in polyester resin, a brittle, orangey and thick thing that was actually a darn fine casting at the time. The rest of the truck would have to be entirely scratchbuilt and it wasn't very long before I realized that I was in entirely over my head.


        Fast Forward. It ended up in a box with the cabinetwork started and the cab primed after significant alteration with a Dremel Mototool to open up the front grille and thin out much of the casting. Several things had me completely stumped - like how was I going to find good gold decals for it for starters. The AMT ALF decals weren't going to cut it on this one and I was having problems with the grille. So, from time to time I would see it in the box, dig it out, work a little bit on it and then shelve it again. At one point I dropped the cab and the polyester resin was so brittle that it broke into several pieces. I was able to patch it back together, but back in the box it went and there it sat on the shelf for a few more years.

Please note: This page is rich in photos - please give it some time to load...

Most of my projects begin with a real vehicle or prototype that I then try to replicate. These are some samples of the real thing and you can click on the link below to take you to other material used to build the model.

Finding the key parts critical for making the model possible

          With this model, we'll explore not only how the project went together but the process of learning what was needed in order to finish the model. This was a model I started and found I was in over my head, but then it was also a model that proved the idea that projects like this can be grown into, that you can and will learn what you need to know if you just give it time, and let yourself learn and grow into the project.

Prototype

Gallery

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          Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.