The making of...a Caterpillar 289C Compact Track Loader

Custom scale model builder Ad Gevers has again finished a unique project by building especially on my request the:

  • Caterpillar 289C Compact Track Loader

In this "making of ....Caterpillar 289C Compact Track Loader" we show you how this custom model is been achieved.

Ad Gevers, shares his building skills through the photos with little notes guiding us in the construction process. Gradually it shows the making of a unique model by using as donor model the Caterpillar 272C Skid Steer Loader made by Classic Construction Models in 1:48th scale to create this one of a kind Caterpillar 289C Compact Track Loader and added (as he always does -)) tons of extra details including a scratch built Caterpillar BR172 Brushcutter.

Enjoy reading & watching!

Ad and Wouter

The Donor model

Ad used for this project a "spare" Caterpillar 272C Skid Steer Loader which has been released by Classic Construction Models in a limited edition of only 200 pieces. The model is hand crafted from brass in 1:48th scale.

The Caterpillar 272C Skid Steer Loader is almost identical in terms of machine type and dimensions and therefore suitable as a donor to be used for this conversion project into a Caterpillar 289C Compact Track Loader version.

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The Kickoff

The first conclusion was simple: This is not an easy conversion and simple "make over".

Measuring is knowing! Therefore, Ad first removes very carefully from the donor Caterpillar 272C Skid Steer Loader undercarriage the both axles with tires.

Subsequently, using an exactly 1:50 printed out original Specsheet, he draws a carton mold which helps him to create the all new build undercarriage for the rubber tracks.

The inside length of the rubber crawler track must be ± 105 mm to 108 mm long and have a thickness of ± 2 mm in order to achieve a true-to-scale model.

An important premise of this project is that all adjustments will be done without damaging the donor scale model (and therefore the original paint remains crispy).

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The Undercarriage

After much thought and trial fitting started and opted to make a brass plate sub frame on both sides of the scale model on which Ad could build and ensures that the connection of the Compact Track Loader undercarriage later seamlessly connects on the body of our scale model.

In addition, it is now possible to spray in advance all the new parts without difficulty and hassle and thereafter to be mounted on the donor scale model.

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The plate however had to be adapted several times, For instance there should be a cut out because there is on side of the scale model of the undercarriage a projecting body part.

And the top of the plate was too high, because if it later the high sprocket is mounted, the rubber track cannot run freely along the frame because there is not enough space.

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The two frames of the new undercarriages are then first provided of the holes for the bottom rollers and with the help of test strips is checked whether the driving wheel in place and positioned is at the right height.

The two strips on top of the frames are the spacers, so that later when the undercarriages are installed, the rubber Tracks are sitting at the right distance from the chassis of our Caterpillar 289C Compact Track Loader.

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The construction of the undercarriage will now be soldered against the frame.

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In order to avoid later on, when there is again need to soldered the final mounting on the chassis at the frame, one and the other shifts, there are two holes drilled through the frame material, in which two pins are then placed in, which during the frames are soldered ensures that one and one other is fixed in place.

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The first test to see how the whole looks so far: Neat!

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After that we are ready to attach the front wheel.

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We can now for the first time, test fit the rubber track and thus begins our metamorphosis of the Skid Steer Loader to the Compact Track Loader version slowly but surely taking shape.

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Of course, there are drive teeth required on the Sprocket wheel.

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The reinforcement plates for the rear idler. Fortunately the photo camera has a macro mode!

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All the small parts are secured on the chassis by means of a pin and hole connection. Precision work on the square millimeter.

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Clamps, clamps and clamps again. The custom model builder cannot do without and needs them in all sorts of formats to keep parts temporarily fixed in place so that they subsequently can neatly glued or like now can be soldered.

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Now all lower rollers and the idlers are ready to be soldered into the undercarriage.

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The construction of the drive wheel was ready and then it appeared that it could not rotate. That obviously was not really what we wanted and so a new construction was invented so that the drive wheel can actually turn around.

Tegelijkertijd de hydrauliek motor gemaakt en voorzien van twee hydrauliek leidingen. Ook nu komen er weer een aantal klemmen aan te passen om te zorgen dat alles op de juiste plaats bevestigd wordt.

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De onderrollen worden wel vast in de onderwagen gesoldeerd, maar de beide loopwielen en het aandrijfwiel kunnen nu wel degelijk ronddraaien.

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De test run van het rupsstel. (Vergeet vooral niet om ook je volume knop op je computer vol open te zetten!!!)

Nadat er even over en weer was gebeld en toestemming was verleend konden de benodigde gaten in het originele CCM model worden geboord. Dit was nodig omdat het bevestiging boutje van het aandrijfwiel in een gaatje moet vallen.

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Het onderstel met de rupsen is nu compleet!

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De contragewichten en hef arm beveiliging

Toen Ad op het internet de onderstaande foto van een Caterpillar 289C Compact Rupslader in schaal 1:1 uitgevoerd met contragewichten tegenkwam moest natuurlijk ook dit custom schaalmodel voorzien worden van de extra contragewichten op de kont.

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Na het voorbereidende werk van het berekenen van de afmetingen, meten en aftekenen werd begonnen om de messing plaatjes van de juiste dikte te bewerken tot de vier afzonderlijke contragewichten.

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Met veel precisie frees- en vijl werk ontstaan er na velen uren werk vier mooie contra gewichtjes die twee aan twee aan beide zijdes op de achterkant van de Caterpillar 289C Compact Rupslader kunnen worden bevestigd.

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Het eindresultaat mag er zijn: De machine ziet er meteen een stuk robuuster uit!

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De hefcilinders van het donormodel zijn niet zo stevig uitgevoerd en Ad vond dat het toch mogelijk moest zijn om naast de standaard uitrusting stukken als de palletvork en de compacte laadbak die meegeleverd worden, dat er een zwaarder hulpstuk aan het hefframe van het model kan worden gekoppeld.

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Ad maakte daarom uit messing materiaal de benodigde veiligheid balk die als een perfecte hef arm beveiliging voorkomt dat het hefframe kan inklappen bij een zwaardere belasting.

Ook voor een schaalmodel geld: Veiligheid gaat boven alles!

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The Caterpillar BR172 Brushcutter

Ad would not be Ad if he was not going add something extra to this already very unique built scale model and so he built up completely from scratch the matching Caterpillar BR172 Brushcutter.

Caterpillar Brushcutters are used for clearing overgrowth from highway medians, utility easements and for initial land clearing for housing, parks and recreational areas.

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As already mentioned, the Caterpillar BR172 Brushcutter made by Ad is built from scratch and to give you a good idea of how much work there was finally required, there is an extensive photo report we can share with you.

Construction will commence by cutting the large pieces of the frame from brass material to size and before they are soldered together in advance first are secured in the correct place by positioning them through small pins.

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Now, the middle- and the rear wall can be soldered and result in not only a strong connection but also keeps the dimensions of the structure at right angles.

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The original scale model of Classic Construction Models unfortunately lacks the locking pin in the quick coupler system and to get the new locking pin fit first a small piece off the bottom of the quick coupler system must be filed.

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Because the quick coupler from the donor scale model not has been made entirely lifelike its therefore necessary the to adapt the suspension system of the Brushcutter.

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To once again indicate that work safely and custom making of an extremely small part does not always go well together: The tiny piece jumped out of the hand of Ad and the saw blade was deeply set at 3.5 mm, resulting in a ditto cut in his finger and thumb. So it happens even to the most experienced custom builder.

Stay alert and always see if you can secure the workpiece when you go getting started with electrical equipment. You are cautioned!

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But despite the above a result to be proud of:

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After the base frame and the quick coupling are completed the hydraulic engine and its protective cover are made.

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Of course, this scale model of the Caterpillar Brushcutter BR172 is just like its Big Brother fitted with the required cutting blades.

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This time you may create your own matching sound to Ad his video!

On one side the frame of the Brushcutter is placed a small step, which is made of brass material, so that the operator can safely makes his move to the cabin of the Track Loader.

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The feed-through is added to the frame for both the hydraulic hoses.

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Because it can not be done to get realistic looking 1:48th scale chains attached to the underside of the Brushcutter frame Ad has chosen to select a piece of very fine wire mesh. In my eyes the perfect solution which looks spot on.

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Eye for detail:

Along the left-hand lifting arm are now, on the inside, made the two hydraulic lines with attachment points that are missing on the original scale model of Classic Construction Models.

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The actual rebuilding is done. Next time we shall see the finishing, spray job and as a finishing touch making the appropriate lettering.

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The painting of the parts

After the first base coat there always reveal some bumps which need to be filled with Filler. So after a final sanding and polishing turn and a final check that all parts fit the model all parts are completely ready for carefully degrease and applying the final coat in the Caterpillar color.

The proper Caterpillar color is always a point of discussion and for some unclear reason it seems the brass models of CCM are always just a little too light in color. This color also often deviates from the series diecast models they produce.

So there are two options: dismantle the entire model, stripping and refinishing again, which would be a shame in this case.

Our choice is to make a spray can with the same color as the donor scale model. For this we rely on skilled Toon, working at De Beer Paints into their facility in Helmond, The Netherlands. Toon makes, based on a color sample of our donor model, our spray can on demand. Not cheap, but perfect quality paint with the exact matching color. Higly recommended!

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The parts are degreased and pre-heated for a better adhesion of the paint and then sprayed directly in a dust-free room.

Now comes the most difficult moment: You would like to merge all parts and admire the end result but you should wait at least 2 weeks after spraying before the model can be put together. Then only is the paint hardened sufficiently.

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The final step!

Patience is rewarded! After all the work and the mandatory break of two weeks after the spraying in order the paint allowing thoroughly set into the scale model it can finally be put together.

As all his fans know, Ad has an eye for detail and he got another idea to place side windows into the cabin so the operator, at least does not in feel the wind!

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From a small piece of plastic Ad made two reflectors added on the back of the machine and painted the exhaust silver so that it is striking well. This kind of super small details make his custom model unique and there may even CCM still learn something from it!

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Through the paint the bottom rollers unfortunately can not rotate but the rubber tracks are functional. Once placed in the cabinet it looks very realistically, and that's what it's all about.

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Due to the relatively heavy weight of the Brushcutter the Compact Track Loader tipped over and remains the attachment not positioned into the lift cylinders. Therefore in conclusion made a little support part so that the Brushcutter stays nice in position and the Compact Track Loader straight to his base.

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The scale model of the Caterpillar 289C Compact Track Loader goes on transportation to be fitted with the finishing touch: The Decals with the correct type designation "289C".

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Done!

The model is done and now "Ready for work" and can be added to the collection in the display cabinet. Thanks Ad!!

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Models & Mods: Ad Gevers

In their Blog series, “Models & Mods” CCM places the spotlight on the modifications done to their models at home by collectors.

In “Models & Mods: Ad Gevers” they had the opportunity to speak with my Dutch friend and fellow collector Ad Gevers about this unique project that he completed, the 1:48 scale Caterpillar 289C Caterpillar 289C Compact Track Loader from a Caterpillar 272C Wheeled Skid Steer Loader.

Curious? Click on the photo!

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