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Hydex BH45 Block Handler Articulated Truck - Gertjan Veld

14 June 2024

In this "Making-of Hydex BH45 Block Handler Articulated Truck" we will show how this custom model will be achieved.

Gertjan 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 the donor Caterpillar 745 "Next Gen" Articualted Truck from Diecast Masters in 1:50th scale to create his one of kind Hydex BH45 Block Handler Articulated Truck.

Enjoy reading & watching!

Gertjan and Wouter

What preceded

Gertjan is always looking for new custom projects based on (existing) Caterpillar scale models. When his eye fell on the special machines from the Hydex company, the idea was quickly born and he was able to start with the purchase of the Caterpillar 745 "Next Gen" Articulated Truck from Diecast Masters.

Hydex Solutions Ltd, founded in 1970 and HQ based in the United Kingdom, is a global leader in specialised application solutions for mining and construction equipment. Their motto: "TODAY’S ANSWERS, TOMORROW’S TECHNOLOGY" As OEM they have a broad product range which is based on a Caterpillar Articulated Trucks.  

The Hydex BH35, BH40 and BH45 Block Handler has been specifically designed to transport mining blocks around the site easily and safely. Built around Caterpillar 35t, 40t and 45t articulated trucks the BH35, BH40 & BH45 enables operators to carry single or multiple blocks with a maximum payload of 32, 36.3 and 41 tonnes, thus maximising productivity.  

The Kick-off

To build the Hydex B45 Articulated truck, Gertjan uses the latest Caterpillar 745 "Next Gen" Articulated Truck that was released by Diecast Masters under #85704 in 2021. Of course you can also buy the Caterpillar 745 Articulated Truck that was already produced in 2007 under #85528 by Diecast Masters.

The Caterpillar 745 dumper box is completely dismantled by carefully drilling through both lifting cylinders and the connections at the pivot point on the dumper chassis.

The Block Handler chassis

Good preparation is half the work. So measuring is knowing: Convert from 1:1 to scale 1:50 and the cutting and fitting for an exact replica can begin.

Based on the technical information from Hydex, Gertjan made the Block Handler sub chassis from plastic Evergreen H profiles in 6x6mm, which is mounted on the existing chassis of the Caterpillar 745 Articulated Truck.

The four sleepers that will ultimately have to carry the heavy load are made from brass H 4x4 mm profiles that are shortened to the correct length and fitted with plastic Evergreen plate as plating.

Finally, large lashing eyes are mounted from plastic 3D printed material on each side of the four sleepers so that the load can be transported safely and securely. These lashing eyes were made at Gertjan's request by Paul Ogier of PO Miniatuurbouw.    

The Structure for the load on the chassis

In order to transport the very heavy marble blocks as cargo safely and without damage, a number of extras have been added to the chassis.

Gertjan again opens his entire box of tricks to make the scale model a very realistic representation of the big 1:1 brother.

In his parts stash he found an old-fashioned wooden cigar box.

Ideal material for measuring, fitting and cutting to create four real wooden beams that ensure that the metal frame of the Hydex BH45 Articulated Truck is not damaged when loading and unloading the cargo.

To properly position the load before it is secured, Gertjan made the necessary spacers from Evergreen plastic H profiles.

Thanks to good model making precision tools, craftsmanship and a lot of patience, exact replicas of the spacers in scale 1:50 are cut from the plastic H profiles and mounted on the brass loading frame.

Stay tuned for the next Update!

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