Live and Let (Construction) Diecast: Amercom 1/64 Caterpillar 345BL (Part 1)

Detailing, weathering & enhancing

I received this diecast & plastic 1/64 scale Amercom Caterpillar 345BL material handler as a Christmas gift from a friend, who'd ordered it for me from Poland since I'm starting to get into 1/64 construction/demolition stuff. It arrived dislodged from its track base, but that was a quick fix, and I set to weathering it once I'd come up with ideas about how best to do it.

Having been a part of the model/diecast group scene on social media for years, and having a "day job" in a place that's all about art, I came up with an idea for a homemade weathering wash to create a dusty, grungy, dull finish that was less extreme than Testors Dullcote. I mixed raw umber, burnt sienna, orange oxide & black-brown acrylic paints with a small amount of lukewarm water and a pinch of earthtone pastel dust, liberally painted it on (keeping in mind the areas of real machinery that gets more vs. less weathered in real life), and let it dry for an hour and a half.

This result was quite nice (though I do still need to work more on the boom, hydraulic cylinders & claw), but after consulting with a couple knowledgeable friends, I distressed the counterweight.

This was very satisfying work, both to complete & to behold with the eyes.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Comments (9)

  • I've got one of those. It broke literally in the first 5 seconds after I took it out of the box.

      1 month ago
    • This one came broken, with the top part snapped off the base. I drilled out the top part, put JB Weld putty in it, drilled a hole in the putty after an hour, and put a screw in, with a couple of washers retaining it under the tracks. Pretty much...

      Read more
        1 month ago
  • Nice! It's looking very well used already, can't wait to see it finished.

    Is that Pizza Hut a custom job or a kit?

      1 month ago
  • Great stuff! Do you secretly want to drive one down the streets in real life?

      1 month ago