US Truck 8 (Western Star 4900SA) . A LEGO model of a Western Star 4900SA day cab with a color scheme that matches the Elphinstone trailer this truck goes with. As with all other models I build so far it is in scale 1:17,5. It features PF lights, driving, steering, Ackerman geometry on steering axle and solid axle suspension on all axles. . Building my other models I did run into Western Star trucks quite a lot. To be honest I really like the odd shapes of these trucks and plans where made to build one some day. It is not that popular and I don't know of any well build LEGO models so far. So after I finished the Elphinstone Easysteer PBS Payloader I came up with the build of a Western Star 4900SA day cab to go with it. With this Western Star I am really pushing my boundaries. In a way I have to LEtGO all of the building techniques I used so far. It is powered with with a single PF L Motor without any gear reduction. Therefor the model is faster then its predecessors. Also is it steered with the PF Servo Motor. Together with the new designed cabin, hood, rear fenders and fuel tanks I think it really got the feel of an Australian Western Star.
For me it really felt like doing some different details this time. Never before did I install fenders at the rear axles. Basically because I didn't get them right. Ever since the build of the Elphinstone Easyloader Road Train I thought about creating fenders for larger wheels as well. With that build I managed to create fenders for smaller wheels. Since it is typical for Australian trucks to have rear wheel fenders I thought "now is the change to do so...".
The color scheme is based on the Elphinstone trailer this truck goes with. The color scheme of the trailer is based on the pictures the Elphinstone company used for the promotion of there trailer. So the red color of the chassis is obvious, but I also wanted this color to be used on the body work as a detail color as well. The white color would be one of the main colors of the body work, but I knew there had to be a second main color. I prefer Dark Tan, but not all parts are available so I took Tan instead. It turned out well, I really like it. The Dark Bluish Gray color is used for details as sunvisor, grille and fuel tanks. Chrome would have been very nice on this model too, but I didn't want to use it all the time...
A different approach for the fuel tanks was necessary too. I did use those Technic Cylinders a couple of times now. With me getting more and more in to SNOT I thought let me do something different this time. It enable me to incorporate steps in the fuel tanks as well.
Again I installed external air cleaner just because I really like the aggressive looks that comes with it. Together with the chrome pipes it really makes this truck finished.
It is not the first time I created an openable hood. On the other hand this is the first time it is opened very easy. Instead of a complex hinge mechanism I used actual LEGO hinges, those do the job just fine. Also does it make more sense to open the hood because there is an actual modeled engine inside.
What is also new and what I found really challenging where the doors. Giving the body work strength with doors that can be opened was not that easy. Also was it quite hard to make the doors hinged in a way one can open and close the doors without the use of much force. Despite the effort I had to put into I am very glad I did all this.
This shows a little of the hoods inside. I had to work my way through some measurement details. All the cabins build for my previous trucks where tapered as most, if not all, Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks have. On my models this means it starts at a width of 12 studs and goes to 14. This new model has a not tapered cabin with a width of 15 studs, but the roof on the other hand is 13. Because of this in combination with the curved slopes it really gives this Western Star look to this model.
The hood starts at a width of 10 studs to go to 13 studs. This part was the most challenging of this specific project. I had one finished last October, but I was not happy with it. It learned me a lot to create the next version and I think it is perfect.
One nice detail to talk about is the "handle" to open the hood. On this model it is the same as with real life WS trucks. The handle is directly behind the brand logo on the grille. Using this Plate 1 x 2 with door rail makes this handle work for real.
With the use of the Servo motor instead of a more complex and space consuming mechanism I managed to leave space for a modeled engine. It is a mix of a Detroit Diesel DD13, DD 15 and some details I came up with myself. Since I never modeled an engine before it was not that easy. All very small parts, but I think it looks realistic and nice. This even though I did not have enough room so it is slightly to small, but one can't have it all!