True craftmanship - model trucks

Do you recall your childhood and the wooden toy cars and trucks that used to bring so much joy? Well it’s not just the hours of play that can bring happiness. For those lucky enough to have the skill, and passion, the joy begins so much earlier than with the finished product.

That’s exactly the case for Irish based John Murphy, who as a carpenter by trade, assembles piece by piece stunning hand crafted models – looking like they’ve just stepped off the assembly line.

His latest wooden masterpiece is that of a Scania S730 8x4 complete with a Nooteboom lowloader and Caterpillar 390F L 90 tonne excavator. Built at a scale of 1:20, the rig, as with many of John’s pieces, consists of ‘recycled’ materials, where he makes use of scraps and offcuts from local work. A combination of Maple and Cherry were used for the main body of the excavator, truck and trailer and then Iroko, Walnut and Ramin added the perfect finishes.

When it comes to model trucks on the market, the details included are really what makes the finished item and is the difference between a toy and a model. Detail that comes with experience, and of course research.

“It’s important for me to make my models as realistic as possible. So including details, like in this case, the air tanks, equipment lockers, fuel tanks and the interior is all part of the project. It even steers with a hidden lever under the truck,” comments John Murphy.

The truck and trailer both have linked steering to the axles, which is the first time John has attempted this level of detail on a truck. The rig also features a three axle dolly that is detacheable for lighter loads and rock breaker to accompany the excavator. With the sheer volume of work involved it’s easy to see why the project racked up a total of 280 hours to complete.

Although John doesn’t solely focus on truck models he’s made a fair few over the last few years and with each one he’s continued to push himself to try something different.

“Model making is a true hobby of mine. I made my first ‘toy’ truck six years ago and was immediately hooked”, explains John. 

“At that stage though, they were simply toys, and I wanted my designs to be more realistic and much more detailed, so I began to research the real life version of what I was making and through trial and error it’s safe to say my projects have evolved,” he continues.

Looking at his first Scania 143 to his latest mighty S730 complete with low loader and plant equipment, you can see just how a hobby becomes an art form.

John gets involved in exhibitions each year, attending approximately 4-5 annually. We think the S730 will be sure to be a star of the show within his display when it makes its debut.