6. Chassis with attached parts

Of course we knew that at this stage things would get even more challenging. The picture below shows that the chassis of the overhead wiring maintenance vehicle with all its attachments (including the extra wheels for driving on tram tracks) did not have a lot in common with the much simpler HERPA frame.

chassis of the overhead maintenance vehicle

'Spes saepe fallit' - hope is often deceptive - was one of the first sentences we learned during our Latin lessons in school more than 30 years ago. The ancient Romans knew it, and it would prove true with our project as well. The Berlin-based vehicle has got an overall length of 8.50 metres (27.9 feet), and this corresponds exactly with the 1/87 scale measurements of the HERPA model. Therefore, we were full of hope that we could use its frame without having to make any cuts or extensions.

Unfortunately, the two vehicles have got different wheelbases though! The distance between front and rear axle of HERPA's lorry equals 4.80 metres (15.7 feet) in 1/1 scale compared to 4.50 metres (14.8 feet) on the BVG vehicle. Therefore, we did not only have to shorten the wheelbase of our model but also make the frame behind the rear axle longer accordingly to keep the overall length of the vehicle at 8.50 metres (27.9 feet).

the unmodified HERPA chassis

First of all, we decided to cut off all attached parts like fuel tank etc. as they would have only got into our way while modifying the chassis.

chassis parts, Stanley knifeWe used a small Stanley knife and were extremely careful while removing the parts from the frame.

chassis parts, two filesUsing different files and some fine sanding paper, we made sure that the holders and fixings of the removed items disappeared completely as well. Eventually, we had made plenty space for all the different parts that would have to be attached to the black frame in order to replicate the Berlin vehicle.

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