Our Muse, that will guide us through these times of political darkness

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jordan Highway Miniatures 1/87 Ford Calliope 1921 in progress

 (This is the building article, the completed model posting is here:

Jordan Highway Miniatures are remarkably accurate and exceptionally well-molded products. Its line of vehicles is vast and includes many subjects suitable for dioramas or scenes that you can create to pose your 1/72 models, even if they are in 1/87 scale and mostly catered for railroaders.
I have to repeat that if 1/72 airplane model manufacturers were capable to obtain this high degree of quality and detail for about the price these products are offered, many modelers would be in paradise. But sigh, we suffered 1/72 airplane modelers mostly dream of it, having to deal will chunks of plastic with little or no detail for the most, and at a much higher price.
I have posted here a mail truck I built some time ago
and today I felt like having a go at this fair/circus vehicle, since it is a beautiful rainy day and these Highway Miniatures models are a joy to build.
The captions will add the needed info as I go
The box contents. Notice the decals and acetate (which has red stripes so it won't get lost or disregarded because of its transparency):
 The instructions do suffice, but could be much better. The three-part engine is not even depicted (presumably since it is going to be hidden anyway) and the location of some items is vague:
 Close-up to show the level of detail and the absence of flash:
 More nice, detailed, clean parts:
 Oh, if only model airplanes were like this...and I remark this is 1/87, so the parts are smaller than in 1/72.
 Nice organ pipes, no flash, no chunks, no blobs. Look at that keyboard. What a delight:
 The build begins. The cabin is assembled, the halves for the compressor, compressor engine and vehicle engine are glued together:
 The three-part engine. Take that, model airplane kits manufacturers!
 The dry-fit of the floor is perfect:
Painting of the components and sub-assemblies starts:
Air compressor and its gasoline engine with truck's engine:
 The wheel fenders (omitted in my instructions) are glued in place. The three "boxes" should be painted and the placed under the chassis in their positions marked in the instructions:
 The compressor parts are given a blue wash on top of the black and silver dry-brushing. The belt housing is painted red. You can see the "mesh" engraved on it. Outstanding molds.
 The sub-assemblies put together:
The Calliope put together and painted:
 The back:
 A coat of white to prepare for the light orange paint:
 The orange custom mix is airbrushed:
Now it becomes clear why the fenders were absent in the instructions. They interfere in this particular version with the Calliope. Y will try to trim the Calliope for it to fit in, rather than remove the fenders:
So it is adjusted:
 Seats in place:
Some more painting. Notice the engine block molded as part of the front chassis:
 The floor is painted with its seats:
 The front chassis is glued to the back:
 MV lenses are selected to be glued to the light housings, which will have to be slightly reamed:
The transmission's and front axle's paraphernalia is in place:
 The "boxes" are then glued too:
The clear material provided in the kit is used to cut the windows. Whatever that material may be -perhaps a thin acrylic- it is wonderful:
Display of components:
 The cabin ready:
 Body and chassis are glued together:
 Still some yards to go:
At this point I realized that I had forgotten to mask the roof before applying the orange paint to the white base, so I had to mask the model:
 Airbrush the white paint again:
 And then we are again in business:
With that beautiful engine provided it was a shame to just put the cowl on. I therefore split the cowl in two and thinned the half that wold be posed open with the Dremel:
 Decaling begins. I got one spare with my kit, always welcome. You have to cut and trim each individual subject -which I am used to since I almost invariably have to make my own decals-. The ink density is very good, the quality of the printing is superb. The carrier is not really as thin as I would have liked it -but a thinner carrier could have posed problems for other modelers-, and the surface is matte. This means you have to apply decal solutions and then once they stuck (several passes in my case with the decal solution) you have to brush a smidgeon of "Future" or the like to even the reflectivity of the decal surface to that of the paint on the model:


  1. Exellent job!
    I wonder if I can assamble mine model as 20% good as you have done your...

    1. I am sure you can build it ti even higher standards! All you need is good magnification, good brushes and a new Xacto blade. And of course a good disposition.
      Thanks for your kind words