Mobicon Container Lifter
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Here are some photographs of a recent commission I completed. The
model is a fully scratchbuilt 1/24 scale MOBICON container lifter, and
though not an aircraft or miltary vehicle, may prove of interest to many
It is also a good example of the diversity of work that a
professional model maker can undertake, as this project followed
straight after the 1/48 Saturn V!
The Original Mobicon
The full size Mobicon is a unique container lifting system that is
able to stradle a truck, lift the container from the truck and move the
container into a warehouse through a standard factory door. The Mobicon
has a greatly reduced footprint pressure compared to a standard
forklift/container lifting system. The Mobicon is also significantlt
safer, in that the container only travels a few inches off the ground!
To see the real thing, go to Mobicon's website
The Mobicon 1/24 scale Model
This is actually the second one I have made! The first now resides in
The 1/24 scale model was fully scratchbuilt, using plans and photographs
supplied by Tom Schults of Mobicon Systems. As there were a fair number
of common components, I elected to manufacture a number of masters to
creat moulds for casting (a decision reinforced by the decision by
Mobicon to have further models manufactured!). Greg Anderson of OZMODS
again came to the fore and produced the excellent castings for this
The masters were made from high impact styrene sheet and my trusty stock
of Evergreen Strip.
Additional elements such as the cabin, engine cover, engine
sub-chassis, and tow couplings were made from styrene and Evergreen
strip. Locating a suitable wheel/tyre combination at first seemed very
difficult, until I was packing an order for my F-111 accessories! Low
and behold, the F-111 mainwheel was almost the exact diameter for the
tyre (a shade too small), with the rim a near-perfect match in size (and
detail!) for the Mobicon rear wheel in 1:24 scale.
Next step was to add the large tyre lugs to the Scaledown F-111 tyre.
This was done by making lugs from Evergreen strip and super-glueing
these to the tyre (Tedious!). Off this master went to OZMODS for
casting. Two of these were then split and reglued to create a new master
for the front wheels, which are significantly wider than the rear
wheels. The F-111 looks pretty impressive with a set of these on!
Final assembly was a matter of superglueing all the components together.
Hydraulic lines were created simply by using fine black elastic cord.
Rigid hydraulic lines were made from brass (The first model featured
Evergreen rod for these, but the brass is much stronger and
straighter!). The model was painted using an enamel supplied by Mobicon
Systems so that it was an exact match for the original. The driver was a
figure from a truck accessories set, and the container came from
Italeri's 40 foot Container Trailer combination (Set #737).
Hope you enjoy the images.
Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:
Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004
by Stephen Thrum
Page Created 25 July, 2004
24 July, 2004
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