I really love to see existing manufacturers opening up their product lines to include Z scale, as Showcase Miniatures has just done, with some much-needed high quality pieces. Vehicles such as trucks are hard enough to come by in Z scale, to find great looking US-style trucks is even more difficult. I came across this 3-piece truck kit in soft metal from Showcase Miniatures a couple of weeks ago and ordered one straight away.
What I liked most about this kit initially, aside from the basic US-look itself, was the open cab. It may seem like a small detail at first, but I feel that open interiors add an incredibly important look to Z scale vehicles. They add much needed realism to a model. Even if you don’t peek inside, you can tell from a distance that the interior is open, not a solid casting. This extra bit of depth helps make a Z scale model more real, more dimensional.
I chose roughly the same shade of green for my truck as Showcase Miniatures shows on their website. If you’re feeling particularly authentic, you can visit this page to see a 1947 Chevrolet paint cross-reference chart. Once the basic colors were in place, I used the advice on the Showcase Miniatures site such as using the edge of a razor to scrape away the paint on the raised bits of trim to reveal the white metal underneath. This is a quick way to simulate chrome.
Once this was finished I just placed the cab and cargo area on the chassis… done! Of course I then came across a very cool photo of similar, but seriously rusted and weathered, truck body online and started again with my paint. Since this is a metal kit, it just took a few minutes soak in some paint remover to remove the green paint and bring the truck back to bare metal.
I gave the pieces another shot of primer, then oxide red to simulate both primer and rust and then a top coat of blue. Once dry, I dabbed away at my fresh paint job with thinner, revealing the red paint. A few touches of weathering powders and I’m done, the final paint and weathering job being a reasonable representation of the full sized truck.
I would like to thank Showcase Miniatures for jumping in to the 1:220 end of the pool with this truck, it’s got a wonderful look and feel to it and it can be a simple or as complex as you’d like, depending on how you choose to paint and finish.
Since I bought this kit, Showcase Miniatures has already released several more kits including a pair of large semi-trailer trucks, or tractors, as well as an MOW truck. I highly recommend Showcase Miniatures.