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 Mike Herbert about a project that he just completed, a Cat® 385C MH BeauDredge in Boskalis colors.  Boskalis (Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V.) is a leading global services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure and maritime services sectors based in The Netherlands.

Let’s take a look at Mike’s model and the work that went in to it to make it a reality!

1.  Did you start with an existing model or build from scratch?  If an existing model, which one?

I started this custom build with a 385C from Classic Construction Models as the base model.  Boskalis uses that 1:1 machine for their BeauDredge so it fit perfectly.

2.  Why did you choose this model to modify?

I first saw a photo of the real machine on the Bouwmachine forum and thought it would be an interesting build.  I have painted about 20 models in Boskalis livery; they have some very unusual machines and a nice paint scheme.  It was an obvious choice for me to use the 385C as that is how the 1:1 machine was built.  The amount of detail on this model was an added bonus.

3.  Can you walk us through the process of building these modified components?  Material used, tooling required, any challenges you had, etc.?

I started by breaking down the model and began the build.  First was the boom and stick, which are built from plastic.  I use several different materials based on what I’m building, for example I use brass for hand rails and hydro lines, although many of the custom pieces are made from plastic.

The biggest challenge with Boskalis excavators is that most have a custom cab.  I took the original cab off of the model, split it in half and then widened it before putting it all back together. Several of their machines have hydraulic risers on the cab, and while this machine did not, I have done a few of those in the past.

I didn’t have a lot of data to work with at the start of this project, but I put out some early photos on Bouwmachine and a reader came back with info that he actually had the 1:1 machine not too far from him.  He sent me several photos, which was a huge help as from there on it was mainly just putting the pieces together to try and match the pictures.

4.  How long did this project take you?

I figure that I have about 30 hours in this model project.  I would work on it when I had the opportunity, but I didn’t keep an accurate account of the time.

5.  Do you have any advice for other collectors looking to modify a model?

You need to have patience and a game plan, but don’t be afraid to take the leap!  Start with some low cost builds and then you can work your way up the ladder from there.

6.  What project do you have in mind next (or are currently working on)?

I have several builds on the bench at this time.  Maybe I’ll share more of them in a ‘Models & Mods’ post in the future…

7.  Any suggestions for CCM on which model to make next?

I would like to see Classic Construction Models produce some more crawler cranes.  I have most of them in my collection and I really enjoy looking at the details, you can tell a great deal of time and effort went into making them very realistic.  I would also like to possibly see some die-cast cranes in the future.

Many thanks to Mike Herbert for sending us pictures and details about his custom Boskalis 385C MH BeauDredge.  An absolutely incredible custom build, everything from the workmanship to the paint and markings is stunning!  We can’t wait to see what Mike will come out with next!

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 and “build-in-progress” photos via Facebook message and you might be the next collector featured in this series!

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