Body and Exterior Details
The body was a major undertaking, combining off-the-shelf components and a healthy dose of styrene scratch building. I started with a Jeep JK Unlimited body lifted from the New Bright toy model, a stack of styrene sheet, and tons of reference photos provided by Kenny Haük himself. It was a shame that I had to hide that beautiful steam engine under a faux boiler, but that’s how the real truck is, so hidden it was. A lot of time was spent creating the faux boiler. I wanted to be sure that I also didn’t melt the whole thing down on its first run, so I used some foam-backed aluminum foil and a few layers of Nomex fire-resistant tape. I wanted to be as faithful to the real truck as possible, so I counted all the rivets and hand-drove each one; 300+ rivets made for a pretty fun couple of days (sarcasm intended). I sourced some small-gauge steam pipe from a Garden Railway Club site and duplicated the piping as well. I designed and 3D-printed a few additional exterior elements, including the rear bumper and taillights, with the help of my friend James Knight, of Knight Customs. James also helped by creating the custom front grille and bumper. Both were printed by Shapeways to match the satin black bodywork. I hand-painted the numbering and lettering using Citadel paints and brushes. The interior also got an accurate re-creation, and I did my best to match the full-size truck. Instead of a pressure gauge in the center console, I used a working watch face. I added a few gold-painted tow hooks, a Warn Zeon winch from RC4WD, KMC wheels from Vanquish Products, and wheel hubs from GCM Racing. Putting rubber to road, I used what Kenny used on the full-size truck: Pit Bull Rock Beasts in their original 4.75-inch height.
The grille and bumper are custom 3D-printed parts.