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Tijuana Taxi

Waiting for a taxi
Finally, I have a Monogram Tijuana Taxi. I have wanted one ever since I saw it in a catalogue about thirty years ago. When I read that Revell was going to reissue it I had to get one.
When studying it I realized that I wasn't able to build it as Monogram has planned. Perhaps not so unusual when it is me but this time I was a bit surprised myself.
(Model finished 2011)

I started by filling the door openings and the small windows with plastic card.

Then started to think about the wheels and felt that I wanted larger wheels at the rear. I looked at 1/18 scale but didn't find anything I liked. In a box I found a rear axle from a truck trailer complete with wheels. I tried it out just for fun and liked it, but the wheels were too narrow for a Hot Rod. I tried it with double mounted wheels to get it wider, but it still didn't feel right.

I decided on an experiment. Why not make the tires wider? I cut the tyre in half and glued it to the side of another tyre. The result was better than expected. I had found wheels from some veteran car that also might be of use here.

I removed the bottom of the truck wheel

and added the spokes from the veteran car wheel.

With the bottom removed on the next truck wheel it was mounted to the newly spoked wheel.

and here is the final result.

Working with the rear wheels destroyed the details of the centre so I'm trying to reconstruct them.

I had to make new windows, but now with a rear window to. Then came the tedious work with filling and sanding.

Time to start decorating the bodywork. Half round plastic rods are used to replace the strips that was removed, now with a slightly different pattern.

The driver had to move up one step in order to get more passengers in the coach.

New springs for the rear axle was made of thin solder.

Same thing was made for the front. The brakes are next on the agenda.

I found the rear axle to narrow for the new wheels and to thin for the new disc brakes.

Left side of the rear axle is finished.

Finding a modern looking alternator turned out difficult, in the end I used parts from two different types to build one.

I found this fan with belt that will be used.

I started by cutting the fan blade loose, then I reduced the diameter. I also cut the fan belt lose from the remains of the fan.

Now the alternator can be attached to the belt.

At this point I learned that my alternator is wrong. The small fan should be inside the fan belt.

Well it was just as well. It didn't look right so I rebuilt it. The fan blade was cut lose and attached to the alternator. Then I made a mould of the pulley, so I could make a new one as the original was too thin for the fan belt to be attached.

As you can see the alternator will be mounted at the rear.

The parts of the rear axle are being assembled. Mountings for the brake callipers has been built and holes for the brake lines has been drilled.

I've also improved the fittings for the shock absorbers.

The alternator has got its final position on the rear axle.

The lower nuts for the shock absorbers was further detailed.

I drilled holes in the distributor and added the cables.

The engine is getting closer to being finished.

I didnít like the look of the drivers position so I removed the parts and started all over with it.

As I happened to use a Potvin blower, the engine became rather low (and long). Now I could lower the drivers position and get a look I liked better. But I can't mount the engine with the distributor in place, so I have to do this afterwards. That is how I do things, don't plan to much. Just build.

I have started on details for the steering. 18 pieces needed for such a simple thing.

The end is getting closer. The front axle is almost done.

It needs some minor details and some filler though.

I never found a suitable radiator so in the end I had to scratch build it using plastic card, plastic strips and a net from a tea bag.

Finally, the body is ready to paint.

Yellow will be nice with the dark brown engine.

The vinyl roof gave me problems. For once I wanted an orange peel but goth a mirror like finish. In the end I painted it with a brush.

The Humbrol spray cans are now acrylic. Takes forever to dry so I got traces of the masking tape in the paint job. Luckily the paint could be saved by polish it out.

Back to the work on the rear axle.

Blue brake callipers and brake lines in copper added some colour to the black.

The alternator is in place and so are the wires for the parking brake.

I mounted the radiator and added an electrical fan. Sadly, the fan don't fit the space.

The rear axle in place

But it is hard to see any details with all the back colour.

With the fan removed I could fit the engine in, it is a long one.

A brake master cylinder for the taxi. A wheel from a model railroad truck and some plastic strips were glued together.

Pedals are built, they are not so large.

I sometime have a feeling that I am overdoing things, but I had so much fun building, so I kept on.

I found an old brake servo that I could use parts from instead of the one I built earlier.

The pedals are mounted

and so are the master brake cylinder.

I had to build an electrical water pump.

The water pump.

A fuel pump is being constructed.

Finished at last. The front axle got a placement that will give more of a stage coach feeling.

I got the inspiration from a wagon at the Postmuseum in Stockholm. The museum sent me this picture of the original. I appreciate this.

Here are some pictures of the finished build.

Stockholm June 24, 2013 No updates
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