3. A suitable model vehicle for our project

A model of the overhead wiring maintenance vehicle we are building can’t be bought anywhere - not for love or money. Fortunately, we wouldn’t have to carve our 'OMF 3-1' from wood or form it from clay (like the prototype model cars you can find in the development departments of the car industry). No, we would mainly use polystyrene parts: Some 'organ donations' from other model cars, some spare parts from our 'might-be-useful-one-day' box, but especially pieces made from scratch from plastic sheets and profiles.

After many hours of intense research on the model car market we chose a suitable base model: the Mercedes-Benz Atego box lorry 'Deutsche Post' (German Mail) by HERPA (art.no. 146357).

Mercedes-Benz Atego box lorry 'Deutsche Post' (German Mail) by HERPA (art.no. 146357)

Its yellow colour was mere coincidence, and we would have to paint our miniature vehicle anyway because of all the modifications we’d have to make to the base model. In fact, we chose the HERPA model as some of its parts are similar to the ones we needed for the overhead wiring maintenance vehicle. You will see in the coming weeks and months that the true-to-reality reproduction of the Berlin-based special vehicle requires a lot of ideas.

Unfortunately, the model car manufacturer stopped producing this particular vehicle long ago, and therefore you need some good luck to find it on a second-hand model railway sales meeting or an online auction site. And that’s where we got it at last.

First of all, we wanted to make ourselves familiar with all the parts of the model vehicle, so we dismantled it completely. As the manufacturer HERPA doesn't use any glue during the production process but confides in a clever connector arrangement, we had to take the vehicle apart very carefully and without any force. There is no specific disassembly order; we started  by taking off the main cargo box.

the main cargo box body is fixed by four snap-in noses

Pushing the four snap-in noses on the base of the vehicle slightly towards each other with a pair of tweezers, the box could be easily removed.

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