Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Model Announcement - Holt 75 Tractor & 8-Inch Howitzer

Classic Construction Models is pleased to announce our latest 1:24 precision scale brass model, the Holt 75 Tractor & 8-Inch Howitzer. This set represents an incredible historic machine crafted in the highest possible quality and detail, rare in both subject and execution.

The Machine:
The use of track-type tractors such as the Holt 75 during World War I provided the Allies with a dependable and powerful way to move munitions and provisions across the difficult and sometimes near impossible battlefields of Europe. With its 75 hp gas engine and endless-track propulsion it was able to move large field pieces such as the Vickers Mark VI howitzer faster and further than a team of horses or mules. Firing an 8-inch round this artillery piece’s effectiveness was greatly enhanced by the mobility provided by the tractor. By war’s end, thousands of these units were being used by the Allied forces. In concert, these machines were instrumental in bringing an end to the conflict.

The Model:
Honoring the original machine and howitzer combination, each of these model sets is hand-assembled from hundreds of pieces and hand painted in period military colors. All the features of the real Holt 75 tractor have been replicated in exquisite detail, from control levers to engine bolts. The Vickers Mark VI howitzer, created from drawings drafted by CCM from historical records, has the same attention to detail as the tractor, with its bolt-studded carriage, brake gear, adjustment wheels – including rifling of the barrel. Almost everything is articulated from the traverse and elevation, rolling wheels, recoiling barrel to the working breech. All models are individually serial numbered.Approx. 25" L, 5" W, 6" H

Overall approximate dimensions are 25" long, 5" wide, 6" tall. This extremely limited edition model will be created in the number of 33 pieces, at a price of $5995.00 each. More details can be seen here:  http://ccmodels.com/caterpillar-Cat-Holt-75-howitzer.shtmlhttp://ccmodels.com/caterpillar-Cat-Holt-75-howitzer.shtml

You must contact us immediately if you wish to purchase, as these are limited to a precious few. When they are sold out we will never make the same model again, and it will become history itself.

Email: sales@ccmodels.com

Phone: 503-626-6395, Monday - Friday | 8am - 5pm Pacific Standard Time

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Behind the Scenes - Cat 349E L first shot parts

We are so excited about our 1:48 scale Cat 349E L model that we couldn't help but share some images of the project's progress. Here is a rare look at the first test castings out of the tooling, commonly known as the first shot.

Important to keep in mind is that these pieces have not yet been cleaned and polished for painting or had any prep for assembly. Most are still on the mold trees, which are the channels through which the molten metal or plastic runs when the parts are cast. These parts will be assembled into the test shot models that will allow us to see how the finished product will look and move. It's never perfect on the first go, and changes and adjustments will usually be made.

We know you wait patiently for our models to come to completion, but we feel sharing some of the process will make the wait worth all the more.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Model Announcement - Cat 349E L Excavator in two versions

We are excited to announce the most recent addition to our 1:48 scale Cat diecast model line: the Cat 349E L Excavator.

The Machine:
The 349E continues the industry standards for general, quarry, and heavy construction applications set by the 300 Series family of excavators. The operator's station has everything needed to meet the needs for comfort and productivity. All systems can be monitored easily on the large LCD display. The Cat C13 ACERT diesel engine delivers up to 425 horsepower, powering an extensive range of Cat Work Tools for the 349E including buckets, compactors, grapples, thumbs, rakes, rippers, and shears. Quick couplers allow one person to change work tools in seconds for maximum performance and flexibility on a job site.

The Models:
CCM is producing the 1:48 scale die-cast model of the 349E L Excavator in two versions: the 349E L quick coupler with HD (Heavy Duty) boom and stick which includes two different sized detachable work buckets, and the 349E LME with mass excavator boom, stick and bucket. Each version also features functioning variable gauge long undercarriage systems, allowing the track assemblies to be posed at full width or narrowed for transport. All aspects of the 349E L are modeled to the usual level of CCM's exacting detail, including hydraulic lines, opening cab, and access to full engine compartment.

Approximate dimensions are 9.5" long, 3.25" wide, 5" tall. Price and production quantities are yet to be determined for these pieces, but each will be produced in a limited edition.

As always, you must remember to call us so you can be placed on the request list for this limited edition model by contacting us today. Those on the request list will be given priority over others when the model is delivered. We expect demand for these models to be high, so do not wait to get on the list.

Email: sales@ccmodels.com

Phone: 503-626-6395, Monday - Friday | 8am - 5pm Pacific Standard Time, USA

We do not have any images of the production models yet, but look for updates on our Facebook page, blog, and and here on our website:

Friday, July 25, 2014

We are in Ohio this weekend with surprises

Well, Gary is in Ohio at least. He will be representing Classic Construction Models at the 13th annual DHS Diecast Open House & Auction Weekend in sunny Berea, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. Legions of construction model collectors will descend upon this quaint city to scoop up deals on diecast, rub elbows with other collectors, and enjoy the gourmet hotdogs!

When you go, don't forget to ask Gary about the new and upcoming projects we will have on display. The Open House will also be the place where we officially announce two new models. One is an upcoming 1:48 scale diecast, and the other is an extremely limited production brass piece in 1:24 scale of something never before modeled by any manufacturer at this scale. Very exciting stuff.

Don't worry. For those who can't get out to this event, we will reveal our surprises next week.

Click here for more information about the Open House. See you in Ohio!

Friday, July 18, 2014

We will be at the 2014 DHS Diecast Open House & Auction Weekend

It's here once again. The annual event where DHS Diecast opens their 12,000 square foot facility to the public for an amazing weekend of model madness that has to be seen to be believed. Get up close to all kinds of real equipment, experience a fantastic model and diorama show, view over 3000 models out of their boxes and available to purchase, participate in fantastic sales and giveaways, get a chance to meet the DHS staff, and take the opportunity to talk about the hobby with fellow collectors and enthusiasts.

Gary Peterson, will be on hand representing CCM and showing some prototype samples of our upcoming models. He's already getting excited for the free gourmet hotdogs!

DHS  Annual Open House is scheduled for July 27th, at the world headquarters of DHS Diecast in Berea, Ohio USA. The Auction is on July 26th, the day before.

Check here on the DHS website for more information.

Friday, July 11, 2014

William Ford - Henry's brother - gave Unit Crane its start

Units of Separation
William Ford - Henry's brother - gave Unit Crane its start.

By Chad Elmore
Originally appeared in the July 2005 issue of OEM Off-Highway Magazine

The immense popularity of Ford's Model T automobile led to the creation of a diverse industry of aftermarket parts with which the car could be modified to meet practically any whim or application. When Henry Ford applied the same basic concept to the farm -- offering a basic, dependable machine at a low price - the results were similar. The Fordson sold very well to farmers, most of whom had never before owned a tractor. The tractor won so many customers, in fact, that the little gray Fordson had a disastrous effect on a number of established equipment makers. But while some factories closed, others opened: a new industry grew up around the Fordson, as well.

Established engineers and backyard welders alike came forward to offer features and attachments that made the bare-bones Fordson tractor the picture of versatility. They created and sold anything from rear fenders (which the first Fordsons didn't have) to heavy contraptions of angle iron, cables and gears that made the Fordson capable of digging basements, grading roads or hauling dirt.

Henry Ford, who became both celebrity and wealthy manufacturer, was the first of eight children. With the success of Ford Motor Co., many of Henry's immediate and distant family members opened Ford dealerships. Younger brother William was hired in the employment office for the tractor company and in 1920 William Ford & Co. became the tractor distributor for Michigan and northern Ohio.

William Ford entered the construction equipment business in 1925 with the formation of the Wilford Shovel Co. in Detroit. The most obvious component of the tracked 1/4-yard Wilford shovel was a gray Fordson skid unit. In 1927 the company changed to Universal Power Shovel Co., with William Ford as president. In addition to the Fordson powerplant, the shovel used several parts from Ford cars and trucks: the crowd device on the shovel was a Ford truck worm gear. The machine could be purchased at Ford dealerships.

New owners
United States production of the Fordson tractor ended in 1928, the same year Universal found a new owner - Unit Corp. of America - and a new powerplant - often McCormick-Deering. The shovel began to look more like a purpose-built unit than a tractor conversion. It was a given a 1/2-yard bucket and some models were fitted with the large box-like cabs that were coming into vogue, while others were mounted on truck chassis.

Wilford's new owner was founded in 1918. Unit produced forged steel components at its West Allis, WI, plant for railroad, agricultural, and other industries. The excavator line was transferred from Michigan to Unit's drop forge plant and production continued. In the 1930s the shovel and forging businesses separated, and a group from Unit Drop Forge left to run the new company. It incorporated in 1934 as the Universal Power Shovel Corp.

Chief engineer and company president Harold Brey gave the marketing department an important exclusive when he developed a fully enclosed gear case in which the components operated in an oil bath to significantly reduce wear. The machines with Brey's unitized gear case were the first to carry the Unit brand.

Ownership changed again in 1940, and the name of the company became Universal Unit Power Shovel Corp, simplified to Unit Crane & Shovel Corp. in 1956. During the World War II years, Universal produced cranes and excavators for the military as well as anti-aircraft gun mounts. Unit met the pent-up demand for equipment during peacetime with an offering of crawler and wheel-mounted cranes, excavators and material handling cranes. When the company celebrated its 25th birthday, it was specializing in 5 to 30 ton cranes and 3/8 to 3/4 yard excavators.

Full Vision cabs
The company developed a revolutionary cab during World War II. Introduced as the Full Vision cab, the new Unit cranes abandoned the large square housings used to protect machinery and man. The Full Vision cab was a central feature on all subsequent models, including the versatile Unit 357 mobile crane. Unit 357 was a wheeled machine capable of 1,001 uses, the company advertised, including operating as a shovel, dragline or crane.

Unit went off-shore in the 1950s with the introduction of the popular Unit Mariner crane for oil and gas platforms, and in the 1960s built a number of specialized material handlers, including models used for placing Titan missiles in underground silos.

The factory moved to New Berlin, WI in 1967, and the last excavator was built in 1982. Its production of the Mariner line and stationary cranes used in scrap handling continued, however. In 1988 this business was purchased by Offshore Crane Co. of New Orleans.

Unit Drop Forge is still active in the off-highway OEM industry, although it doesn't build complete machines. "Unit Drop Forge is alive and well," says Dennis Schloerke, sales manager. "We do closed-die steel forgings between 10 lbs and 250 lbs. That size range is ideal for the off-highway market."

Marketed as Unit Forgings, mobile off-highway work accounts for 50% of its business, which is still done in the original factory on 62nd Street in West Allis, WI.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Memorable Model: Caterpillar D8H

With an operating weight in excess of 47,000 pounds and a 235 HP turbocharged diesel engine for power, the Caterpillar D8H track type tractor literally changed the face of the world. First introduced in 1958, the D8H had more of an impact on the earthmoving industry than any machine before it and many, many after it. With an innovative new design that optimized operator comfort and usability to help maximize production, the D8H was quickly accepted as the industry standard for large earthmoving applications.

As testimony as to how advanced the tractor was when introduced, consider first that it was in production for almost 15 years. In the world of construction equipment, that in itself is an accomplishment that very few machines have ever attained. During that time span, more than 50,000 D8H tractors were delivered around the world. Their durability and enduring popularity is easily verified by the number of these tractors still in use today in every conceivable type of earthmoving operation imaginable.

The decision for Classic Construction Models to produce a model of the D8H was made in honor of the legendary status this machine earned, as well as to continue our 1:24 precision scale brass models that started with the release of the Caterpillar Seventy in 1996. Following the Seventy, we produced 1:24 scale models of the Caterpillar Ten and D2, the smallest gasoline and diesel powered tractors made by Caterpillar, and the D11R, the largest diesel tractor Caterpillar has manufactured to date. With this well established family of models, the decision to produce an H series D8 in essence the great grandson of the Caterpillar Seventy created a model that fit into the middle of the long line of legendary tractors produced by Caterpillar.

Although this model was released in December of 2004, development actually began in 2002 when CCM acquired a set of factory general arrangement drawings. After discussing the different versions of the H series tractors, it was decided to build a model of an early machine with a direct drive transmission and cable operated blade specifically a circa 1960's 36A machine. With the specific tractor selected, we began the process of sourcing all the information required to build a true, precision scale model.

As it turned out, the primary source of information for creating the model of this vintage machine was not Caterpillar, but instead the photographs, drawings and machine surveys we compiled ourselves. In addition to the schematics and diagrams, hundreds of photographs with measurements were compiled from two separate prototype 36A D8H machines.   

Countless days were spent examining the smallest details and documenting them for the model makers' reference. With this information, the process of creating the first model from raw brass began.

As museum curators know, there is no material better suited for creating mechanically accurate miniatures of complex equipment than brass. The ability to cast, etch, machine and form this metal at any scale is what allowed us to create a model that approaches being a part-for-part recreation of the actual machine. Unlike a die-cast model which must maintain a minimum thickness – regardless of the dimension of the original part – brass can be as thin or as thick as necessary. This means sheet metal on the real machine can be sheet brass on the model and parts that are cast in iron at full scale can be perfectly replicated in reduced size from cast brass. Similarly, the versatility of this metal enabled us to investment cast complete parts with shapes so complex they could never be successfully produced through die-casting or any other metal modeling method. The result, with hundreds of hand-made brass parts laboriously assembled into a single D8H model, is absolutely stunning.

Equipped with a Caterpillar No.30 front cable control unit that operates the working blade, as well as a working Carco J-120 winch mounted on the rear, the D8H model showcases the finest in modeling skills. The highly detailed 235 HP Cat diesel turbocharged engine, direct drive transmission and complete undercarriage are a perfect compliment to the individually-linked, free-rolling tracks complete with spring-loaded track tensioners and roller guards. A close look under the hood shows details such as the shrouded radiator fan with drive belts, as well as fuel injectors, manifolds, fuel lines and complete pony motor. Even the control levers are connected through the control panel into the engine compartment.

Other precision features include a full complement of operator's controls with gauges on the dash, moving levers and diamond plate flooring. Flawless exterior sheet metal work with rivets, accurate perforations on the radiator guard, front and rear spotlights and a working rain cap on the exhaust help complete this truly amazing replica.

With Caterpillar "Hi-way Yellow" paint and vintage markings, this model looks like it just came off the production line in 1960. Although the tool box next to the operator's seat is not strictly factory, it was decided to include it on the model for two reasons: virtually every operator we spoke to said that is where they carried their lunch box and thermos of coffee, and the opening lid on the tool box created the perfect place to put an engraved serial number plate for the model.

Because of the high level of skill required to assemble such a museum-quality model like the D8H, the number that can be produced is obviously very limited. Thus the total production for the model was limited to only 348, each one registered and certified, ensuring collectors the demand for this model will outlive those who created it.

The Cat D8H is one of the best examples of our continuing determination to produce construction equipment models at the highest of standards. We hope this legacy of limited edition models will continue to thrill construction collectors for generations to come, making it a necessity to find room for at least one of these legendary models in their collection.