Creating Bee-keeping Trucks

Randy Griggs describes the models he made after his family's bee-keeping business. All photos are copyright © Randy Griggs; used by permission.

Randy's father was involved in the bee-keeping industry. He owned two Studebaker trucks (a 1950 and a 1949 model) that Randy always wanted to model in S-scale. The photo below shows his Dad on the left in "Madam Queen" (the name of the truck) and a hired-hand on the right in "Little Worker". Note the names on the bumper of each truck.

The photo below shows Randy's final models in S-scale. The 1949 "Little Worker" (on the right) was built using a Shrock Brothers 1949 Studebaker pickup model. The model is labeled as "1:55" scale, but Randy found that it is closer to 1:64.

The "Madam Queen" 1950 Studebaker model required more work. Randy started it with two donor models, the Dinky toys' Studebaker tanker truck's cab (left) and the Hartoy stakebed truck's frame (he didn't use the stake bed itself because it didn't match the prototype).

After cutting off the cab from the Dinky tank body, Randy scratchbuilt the back of the cab, simulating the folds in the rear panel (sorry for the low-resolution, but these photos were taken a number of years ago with an older digital camera). Additionally, he removed the paint and some flash and mold lines from the cab.

An adaptor had to be formed to get the cab to fit the Hartoy frame. Randy built this from a tin can top, bending it to fit.

The Hartoy frame was modified by adding larger wheels, shortening the tank, and the sides of the front fender liners had to be shortened to get the Dinky cab to fit.

Randy scratchbuilt a new gas tank and a toolbox. These were added to the frame and glued to the original gas tanks on the frame.

He scratchbuilt a new flatbed to correctly fit the frame.

The stake sides were scratchbuilt as well. He made a jig by laying out the lines of the stakes on a sheet of paper. He then applied double-sided clear tape to the paper and built the sides on top of the tape. When the glue set, he was able to carefully remove the side panel. He notes that the left and right stake sides have to be built in mirror-image of each other. The next photo shows the main parts dry-fitted together. When all was as desired, Randy painted the models.

He had LBR Enterprises produce the decals he needed for the trucks' doors. The texts at the top of the decal were actually printed in white (shown in black so that it is visible here). Similarly, the truck names, applied to the bumpers, were printed in white as well.

The two placards at the bottom of the decals could be used on the sides of the stakebed. Randy's Dad never used placards like that, but he created them for a "what-if" scenario.

The hive bodies load was designed on the computer, then printed on paper. He then folded and taped the paper to the shape shown in the photo below. Randy says that he can provide the PDF file for the load if anyone wants it.

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