View Full Version : The New and Improved Fish Truck

08-29-12, 01:29 AM
Okay...this is the official new thread for the "Fish Truck" aka the "Dave Truck". This has been an ongoing project of mine for about 5+ years now that I have not given up on. I realize that there are many new members to SMC now so my desire is to show various techniques to the new new members without boring the old school guys. My work is primarily in styrene. I have evolved over the years and discovered new methods of scratchbuilding parts from basic styrene shapes (strip, tubes, etc.) as well as creating three dimensional shapes from laminating styrene sheets. If any of this inspires or helps other plastic fanatics - then great.

The Fish Truck was meant to be a tribute to my good friend Dave who owns a fish taxidermy company here in the Pacific Northwest. Besides his award winning taxidermy work, Dave is also an accomplished modeller with an expertise in motorcycles (probably because he is a dirt biker in his spare time to the extreme of having a mini motocross track in his back yard.

The truck is based on the Lindberg Tall T but heavily modified. We'll get into the specifics along with all the modifications later.

I'm going to skip around a bit so things may not seem to be in any specific order. Please cut me some slack. I was never really good at organizing presentations.

I wanted to start with the interior panels. I like to use velour Contac paper to upholster my interior panels but lately it has been difficult to find the velour in the right colors from local (Michaels's, etc.,) or eben on-line sources. Recently I found a wallcovering website that offers multiple color options and will sell you samples for $5.99 sent postage free. It is DesignYourWall.com.

The color I was looking for was burgundy as the body color of the truck is going to be Tamiya Maroon. I received the sample today and the color was perfect. Here is my design.

I have already done the wood portions in walnut veneer and after staining them I finished them with decopauge. The burgundy portions will be covered in velour Contac paper. I noticed a concern on other websites where users hasd trouble using Contac paper saying the adhesive didn't stick. I overcome this by creating separate panels which are upholstered individuyally and then inserted into the body or door. The Contac paper wraps around the panels and is secured from the rear by a small piece of masking tape. It makes for a very clean and secure assembly. I'll post more pictures later of the actual assembly.

The design is meant to start with a wood dash and flow downward through the door panels. The wood grain is all matched from a single piece of walnut (the grain flows from the dash all the way through).

This build has been part of my life for the last few years and my hope and deisre is to finish and perhaps in the process inspire a few guys along the way.

I look forward to your coments and questions as I "endeavor to percevere".


update...I uploaded the wrong picture but later added the correct one (burgundy). I don't know how to delete the wrong picture.

08-29-12, 03:07 AM
Good to see you back Steve.
Looking forward to your great tutorials.

Don Garrett
08-29-12, 10:09 AM
Hey there Steve........you mentioned something in your post about boring us ol' timers........gimme a break brother!
I think I've seen every post you've done here at SMC and occasionally I'll still refer back to the ones that I can find, you're removable interior panels are as relevant now as they were 5 years ago.
Heck, I've think I still have the pattern you did for a bomber seat, your real wood dashboards....the list goes on and on. So no more chatter about boring anyone, okay?
I'm sure I speak for all us old timers (& the administration) when I say "we're thrilled to have you back and looking forward to anything you have to say or post.

08-29-12, 11:18 AM
Welcome back Steve! The interior panels look great, can't wait to see them done up. Where in the PNW are you from? I am just outside of Portland, thinking about moving a little further out, toward Gaston or Newberg.

09-03-12, 12:47 PM
I worked a little on the dash yesterday and pretty much finished it. It's basically the same process I've used in the past with some new modifications. Dash is walnut veneer stained with Old English and finished with EnviroTex (decopauge). Veneer is epoxied to .040 Evergreen sheet for the decopauge process. Plastic is later peeled off and removed. Finished dash is assembled in layers and held together with S.S. screws with acorn nuts. I've uploaded some photos and numbered them accordingly. A brief description of each follows:

1. Back side of walnut veneer dash. Holes for gauges are drilled after decopauge. If you tried drilling prior the veneer would surely split. I darw the dash template on the computer and then print onto label paper. This label is then stuck to the veneer. I drill one hole (1/16" dia.) in the center of where each gauge goes. After decopauge these holes will be the guide for drilling the larger gauge holes. It would be pretty hard to lay out the gauge placement after decopauge.

2. Front side of finished dash. Decopauge take about 2 days to cure completely before you can beging drilling. All drilling is done by hand, one drill size at a time.

3. Dash parts and various layers, shown top (outside) to bottom (inside)...

a. 3 stainless steel screws with chrome acorn nuts to hold everything together

b. outside gauge rims (highly polished aluminum tube). 7/16" dia. (large gauges) and 5/32" dia. (small gauges). Rims are approx. 3/32" wide.

c. knobs made from 1/16" aluminum tube with dress pins inserted. Cheesy for sure.

d. glass (.015 clear sheet). The "glass" is sandwiched between two pieces of aluminum tube - one above and one below. This is what gives the gauges their depth and also keeps the glass offset from the gauge face which gives it a more 3-D look. It's hard to tell from the photos but that 3/32" offset really adds to the effect.

e. Wood dash

f. Inside aluminum rims

4. Dash parts - continued

g. Plastic offset (labeled with a "T"). This is what the the inside (lower) aluminum rims set into

h. Gauge panel. Gauges are vintage WWI aircraft gauges from JTEC, cut out with decal scissors and Elmers glued to a template printed on label paper. There were several cool old Stewart-Warner gauges. After gluing the gauge faces down this panel is then covered with clear laminating paper.

i. Plastic dash that everything fits into. Will be pained body color.

5. Assembled dash. Acorn nuts are decorative and functional.

6. Test fit dash into truck interior

7. Dash with interior panels. I'm not sure I like all the wood on the interior panels so I may go to all velour. Currently undecided.

8. Truck cab. Still a long way to go.

Feel free to comment or ask questions.


09-03-12, 12:53 PM
Thanks David. I live in Kitsap County, Washington, on the Puget Sound. I've been through Newburg a couple of times on my way to Lincoln City on the ocean. Very beautiful area.

Don Garrett
09-03-12, 02:53 PM

Romell R
09-09-12, 05:16 PM
From what I can see so far this is gonna be a build worth watching1clap1

09-09-12, 11:00 PM
Steve, I'm on Puget Sound also, I'm in Edmonds.

I just returned home from the "Rod Run to the end of the World" there in Ocean Park / Long Beach.
Thousands of rods! Rat rods, flame throwers, scrapers, immaculate stockers, wow.

09-10-12, 12:30 AM
I am still TRYING to sell some property up in Belfair...interested? The dash looks awesome but I do vote for less is more in the wood department for a truck like this one.

09-10-12, 11:33 PM
Daniel - that must have been beautiful considering the great weather we've been having. I haven't been to the ocean in the summertime for a long time. We rented a house for a week in Ocean Shores last Christmas but that doesn't compare. Seems like everytime we get some time off in the summer the other half wants to head north to Port Townsend. I don't get it. You can only shop so much. And sorry Gunny - we've got all we can handle with 10 acres here.

I've been trying to finish the frame sub-assemblies so I can get it built. Once the frame is finished the hard part is over. There is a lot of work involved here because once the frame is assembled it will be hard (although not impossibe) to make changes. Details and location of items like motor moints, shock mounts, steering box, brake fittings, etc. need to be laid out and now. Having said that I am showing progress. I redesigned and have built all the crossmembers as well as the motor mounts. These items will all attach to the frame with hidden stainless steel screws as well as a strong plastic cement weld. Tonight I built a prototype front shock mount and brought it inside, scanned it and then drew it on the computer. I then printed it out on label paper and tomorrow I should be able to heve those built.

I also toyed around with the rearend which will be a quick change with a 4-bar suspension & coil-overs.

I took a couple of pictures which I will include here. No real explanation but if anyone has any questions please ask.

Thanks for lookin...Stevie

Don Garrett
09-11-12, 08:59 AM
Looks great Steve. 1thumbup1

09-16-12, 09:56 PM
I worked a little more on the frame this weekend. Here are some of the modifications...

Hopefully the pictures are in order.

The first picture is not frame related. It shows my plans for velocity stacks for a 6-carb setup on the Ford Y-block. The stacks are actually the front part of the air-horn on the Lindberg kits. I found 5 in my parts box. Grandpa Don is sending me the 6th. Truly the Rodder's Buddy...

Next is the new crossmember, located just in front of the kick-up in the rear, primary function to locate brackets for 4-link.

Next shows the brackets removed. Couldn't weld the brackets because they were so close to the frame rails that I wouldn't be able to get the mounting hardware in. Had to install using hardware.

Next is a mock-up showing a recessed headlight stanchion. Still a work in progress.

Mock-up with stanchion removed...

Individual templates for each layer

Rear end mods - lower coil-over mounts with studs, and upper traiangulated mounts

Brackets for mounting triangulated bars to frame

Front upper shock mounts

Front upper shock mounts, showing how shock mounts internally

Getting closer to assembling the frame.