Monday, August 26, 2013

What's Next? Peterbilt 387 Tractor

I have been focusing on day cab, short haul truck models to date, and wanted to try something more suitable for an over-the-road version.  I settled on a Peterbilt 387, and am pretty close to having a full design ready for printing.

I struggle a bit with how much detail to add to my designs.  If I look at commercially available trucks, some are highly detailed, while others are very rudimentary, especially around the suspension, frame, and areas that aren't as important as the cab, and highly visible areas.  I guess I am somewhere in the middle.  I think my time is better spent designing new models, then taking those same hours and pouring fine detail into a model, particularly in areas that won't be seen unless the model is upside down, or under a microscope.  And, N scale is an interesting scale, in that from 3 feet away, a very simple model can look very realistic.  However, I also have enough experience with model railroad photography to know that those tiny details are outstanding for those magazine article spreads.  So again, I think somewhere in the middle is where I want to be.  So will I ever design interiors or window glazing?  Probably not in the near term, but I am hoping that other modelers who use my designs will dress them up to their full potential.  Perhaps in the future as time allows, I can super detail both my designs, and the final printed models.

Here is a 3d Shapeways rendering of the first draft Peterbilt 387.  It still needs a few minor revisions, and then it should be ready to print very soon.  


  1. Any chance you may design a dry bulk cement trailer, badly needed for all the cement plant models!

    1. I've taken a look at a few prototypes, and it is on the list, but might not happen in the near future. I have too many other ideas I want to tackle.