1950 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup Truck
In the 1950’s the American trend saw greater use of the pickup trucks as second vehicles, Due to good marketing Chevrolet set records in the production of trucks with a market share of almost 37%. The 1950 3100 had a 6 cylinder Thriftmaster motor that utilized a GM Model ‘B’ downdraft carburetor with a concentric fuel bowl and a centrally located discharge nozzle. This carb had an improved fast-idle/choke mechanism that helped cold weather starts. The deluxe cab had optional Nu-Vue windows with chrome trim, a wooden floor in the cargo box and optional chrome grille and bumpers. This AMT kit comes with optional parts to make a stock 3100 pickup or a road service vehicle for a Texaco service station truck. The kit also comes with a color pre cut placard with the box top art work suitable for framing.
Construction starts with the Thriftmaster in-line 6 cylinder engine. The motor is nicely detailed and includes the Thriftmaster logo decal which is placed on both sides of the valve cover. All the motor attachments are included with enough detail to make wiring of the engine and compartment easy is you should want to go that route. The spark plugs are molded in place making their wiring easy as well. The instructions call for the motor to be painted “Chevrolet Gray” or a medium gloss gray. I used Tamiya XF-83 Ocean Grey, which was a close substitute. There were significant knock-out depressions on the intake manifold that will need to be removed. A nice touch was the wire for the generator, which is molded into the water pump / front cover assembly (part 21). When the generator is glued into place with the pulley and fan assembly the wire lines up with the generator. Unfortunately that is the only wire included and all other engine wiring will have to be done by the modeler.
The wheels are next items to be assembled. The rim includes the valve stem. The tires are only black walled. The instructions state that white sidewalls are an option; however, they would have to be painted on by the modeler. The chrome hub caps are nicely molded with the Chevrolet embossed in raised lettering. I assembled the outer rim to the inner rim and painted them before adding the tires to the painted rims. The instructions state that if you should want to use the chrome trim rings (parts 510) you will have to remove the molded valve stems. There was a large molding flange on the back side of the tires that will have to be removed. I used a sharp no. 11 blade and they trimmed up nicely.
Moving on to the frame assembly: There are several shrink marks that will have to be removed. There is also flash present on most of the parts, which shows the age of the molds. One small issue is with the rear shocks. (Parts 73) The top is pinned and fits in a hole on the rear frame. The bottom that attaches to the leaf springs is holed on one side to fit over a pin on the spring. However these parts are sided and should have a hole on opposite sides to fit the springs properly. However, the hole is on the same side on both pieces. You will have to open up the hole to get the shock to fit properly. I assembled the entire frame and then painted it gloss black per the instructions. The shocks should be painted a dark blue. You should open up the end of the exhaust pipe as it is molded closed.
The interior includes all the foot pedals including the floor mounted starter button. For you young modelers, in the old days, we had to mash a floor button to start the engine. The floor pan had a hole in it for mounting a floor shifter. However, the kit includes a column mounted shift lever. Rather than fill the hole in the floor, I made a floor shifter out of .030” rod bent to shape and then I made the shifter knob out of a dab of white glue. I painted the shifter silver and the knob black. Much easier than trying to glue the small column mounted shift lever to the steering column. The dash was painted gloss black and the instrument dials dry brushed with silver, along with the other trim details on the dash.
I chose to paint the box floor before assembly. I painted the top and bottom with a coat of Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan. Once this was dry I painted the wood grain with Burnt Umber oils. I painted the oil on the bed and waited a few minutes. Then I wiped of the excess oil paint and worked up the grain with a brush. I randomly darkened some panels more than others to give some variety to the cargo bed. I let the oils dry for a few days and then colored the floor batans silver using a silver Sharpie pen. There are knock out marks visible on the inside of the side walls that will have to be removed as they are visible in the final assembly. There are holes present on the sides for aligning the front wall. These holes go all the way through the side wall and will have to be filled when the bed is assembled. The instructions have a side bar with an extra detailing tip that says for added detail you can drill out the upper corners of the side panels. This adds a nice touch of detail to the cargo bed. When mounting the rear fenders, I sanded down the mounting pins slightly before gluing to the cargo bed. This helped obtain a clean seamless joint. I left the cargo bed off the chassis for ease of painting. The 1950 Chevy pickup closed and locked the tailgate by means of a chain and S hook. The chain was mounted to the side walls of the cargo bed and the S hook was mounted to the other end of the chain. When the tailgate was closed the S hook passed through a tab with a hole mounted to the tailgate. The other tab was mounted to the side wall. This kept the tailgate closed. It could be lowered and the S hook passed into the tab on the gate and it would lay flat and flush with the cargo bed. There is no tailgate chain included with the kit. The tabs and chain will have to be sourced somewhere else and added to the model.
When building the cab the rear cab extension and fender fillers are added. The rear extension is the only place I needed to use filler during the assembly. The fit was just terrible but filler putty solved the problem quickly. You will have to place the completed interior tub in before gluing on the firewall. There is no other way to get it in place if you glue the firewall on first. I masked the windshield and Nu-Vue windows and painted the trim silver. I didn’t mount them until the final steps of assembly. I masked and painted the cab and cargo bed separately. Mounting them to the chassis after the paint had dried.
When I received this kit and opened the box I was immediately struck by the box top artwork and decided right then I had to build my kit with the box top marking option. However, I have always had a hard time painting gloss white. Gloss white seems to yellow rapidly and I didn’t want that to happen to this model. I have found that painting flat white instead of a gloss you don’t get yellowing of the white color. I painted the white using Tamiya XF-2 Flat White. I then masked the white and painted the fenders Testors (small bottle) gloss red. Once this was dry I over sprayed everything with a clear gloss coat and placed the decals. I used the push-bumper. The kit gives 2 decal options for the push-bumper, either wood grain planks or a yellow and black striped option. I used the wood planks for the rear surface and the stripped for the front surface. There are 3 different sizes of the Texaco logo the choice is up to the modeler which one he wants to use. Another nice touch is the lettering for the Chevrolet that goes across the tailgate. The original tailgate had raised lettering for the Chevrolet. These letters were painted different colors depending on the color of the vehicle. The kit decal sheet gives 4 different Chevrolets. They come in black, white, red and green. Each letter is an individual decal and the fit to the raised lettering was spot on. Another option I used was the amber flasher on the roof of the cab. I also used the amber side lights. However, these were difficult to clean up, mask and paint. And when completed they just don’t look that good. Unfortunately, I drilled holes in the tops of the fenders to mount the sidelights and had to use them rather than fill and repaint the fenders.
One small issue with accuracy: The kit box top as well as the included art work card shows the 3100 with wing vent windows. The kit does not have these vent windows. For a change, the kit is correct, the art work is not. The 1950 3100 did not have wing vent windows.
This is an older kit that still builds up into a very nice representation of the 1950 Chevrolet 3100 pickup truck. In spite of its age this kit has held up quite nice and there were no fit issues. With the wide variety of finishing options this model should be desirable to many modelers interested in vehicles of the 50’s. Highly recommended.
I would like to thank Round 2 LLC for the review sample and IPMS for allowing me to build and review this fine kit.