Our newest blog series, “Models & Mods” is back to spotlight the modifications done to our models at home by collectors. This month we had the opportunity to speak with Jason Nikl about a project that is nearing completion, a scratch-built 1:24 scale Cat® 6020B Hydraulic Shovel using a 1:48 scale 6020B from Classic Construction Models as reference for the design and measurements.
1. Did you start with an existing model or build from scratch? If an existing model, which one?
This model is entirely scratch-built but I started with an existing model, the Cat 6020B from CCM. I then did what most people would say is crazy, I started to disassemble it for accurate measurements.
2. Why did you choose this model to modify?
I chose this model mostly for its size. I thought replicating it in 1:24 scale would be a great eye catcher at scale model competitions.
3. Can you walk us through the process of building these modified components? Material used, tooling required, any challenges you had, etc.?
The building process consists of completely redrawing every piece of this model in 2D and 3D CAD. I really like using styrene as my main building medium, so 95% of this model is styrene. All of the parts are drawn into 2D CAD and then I laser cut all the pieces for each part. From there I hand assemble them into the piece of the machine.
For the rest of the 5%, these pieces are drawn into 3D CAD and then uploaded to my 3D printer. I use a resin-based 3D printer so my pieces come out ready for paint. All the 3D pieces are done this way to speed up the build, as I only have a limited time to get this done before the upcoming shows this year.
4. How long did this project take you?
I don’t remember exactly when I started this project, but I think it was around August last year and I still have about a month or so left to finish. After the model is complete it will undergo a custom weathering process to further add to the detail, and then I will make a display stand for the model to be posed in.
5. Do you have any advice for other collectors looking to modify a model?
If anyone out there is looking to modify a model, or do what I do and replicate in different scales, I say go for it. You might not want to start off with a $650 model, but start cheap and work your way up. You will always have people out there throwing negative comments around, but there will be more good then bad. Always remember, everyone had to start at the bottom and get better with each undertaking.
6. What project do you have in mind next (or are currently working on)?
My next project….I usually have 5 or 6 projects going at once including attachments for existing models, custom builds, and future competition builds. I do have a Liebherr PR776 started in 1:24 scale, but I have been thinking a lot about doing another CCM model. No names yet, I have a lot to do for that build and the next few months to think it over.
7. Any suggestions for CCM on which model to make next?
I don’t really have any suggestions, but if I had to name something it would be great to see some larger mining shovels. I would love to do a very large shovel in 1:24 scale!
Many thanks to Jason Nikl for being featured in our newest series, “Models & Mods”. The quality of work and level of detail realized on this build is incredible, and we can’t wait to see what Jason will come up with next! For a full breakdown about this build, and to see more pictures and videos of the model progress, check out Jason’s Facebook Group or YouTube channel!
Have you been working on modifications to one of your CCM models? Send in your answers to these questions, along with pictures of your model, via Facebook message and you might be the next collector featured in our new series!