Volvo F12 "Sties"
The Volvo F-series from the first generation does have a great appeal to me. During my childhood in the 80s I always saw the fleet of a regional hauler which had a couple of those. Also the German series ‘Auf Achse’, in which one of the main vehicles was a flat roofed F12 is still in my mind. Somehow I do feel more about trucks of four decades ago than the latest ones which all look the same to me. During the 70s, 80s and 90s there where more brands on the market and these decades were for the real drivers. Sometimes still with double clutch, no power steering and engines with around 350 hp max. It sounds like the middle age but I guess those trucks might still be useful nowadays. More than 20 years ago they went out of service and found a second life somewhere in southern Europe, Africa or Latin America. A couple of years ago I saw many Volvo F-series drawbar outfits in Peru and Bolivia like I saw in my neighbourhood during my childhood. And they’re still in service. Really fantastic!
It might not be a surprise such a truck was on my list to be build. One of the European transport companies which got a cult status is Stie's from Norway. For decades they ran a fleet of mainly Volvo’s and drove across Europe with refrigerated cargo. I found some useful pictures on a Norwegian forum of early 80s drawbar outfits. Sties used to have all three generations of F-series but the first generation is my favourite with a flat roof cab and vintage lettering on the bodyworks.
Many, many years ago I built a Volvo FH12 in the Nor-Cargo outfit, the predecessor of Sties, also in blue and white livery. But this time I should be a far more accurate model. The basis is 6x2 driven rigid chassis. Other than previous models I definitely wanted to have a factory green engine thus I collected a lot of sand green elements and used old style grey pieces for those who aren’t available in sand green. Of course it has a tilted cab with full interior and opening doors. The gear shifter is fitted on top of the engine. The interior is just like from trucks from the early 80s which lots of brown and medium orange. The finishing touch is with a typical roof rack, ladder etc. A quite common sight then but also on new Dutch trucks to give them and old skool look.
The drawbar trailer is a product of former Norwegian trailer manufacturer Dapa. The bodyworks were built by VBA, a company which also built busses and coaches on chassis delivered from the factory.
Both bodyworks are mainly built of 2x4 tiles and 2x2 inverted tiles on the inside. Yes, I also paid attention to the inner part. Even the cooling engines are having a replica of the engine and inner part inside the bodyworks. Rear end doors and side doors of course can be opened.
One of the benefits of scale 1:13 box outfits is that the smaller scale 1:17 unit do fit in the bodyworks; it saves some space when carrying those to events.
Nice details underneath are the spare wheels and snow chains which are inevitable. And also look at the blue ones on the drawbar; I found some which weren’t that cheap but really add something to the model.
The truck has quite some metal chrome elements like the wheels, front bumper, cooling engines and some parts of the engine. In my opinion it doesn’t look right without. All decals are supplied by JaapTechnic. At LEGO World last year I brought the model without decals and during the event Jaap took care of it. He really did a great job as the model looks far better with than without them!
With scale 1:13 comes quite a large model. This one is about 145 cm in length.
It took a while before I finished it October 2019 while I already started about a year and a half before. I had to put a lot of effort in it like getting the shapes of the cab right and acquiring all pieces need. But it really is a great addition to my vintage fleet!