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Scratchbuilt 1/24 scale
Mobicon Container Lifter

by Stephen Thrum


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 modellers.

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 http://www.mobiconsystems.com




The Mobicon 1/24 scale Model

This is actually the second one I have made! The first now resides in South Africa.

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 project.

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.


Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2004 by Stephen Thrum
Page Created 25 July, 2004
Last Updated 24 July, 2004

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