Review of Custom-Built Peterbilt by Fatjacks

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I was told in advance that I would be receiving this model that Fatjacks custom-built for me. I was really excited about getting it, because I had seen quite a few of Dave Bontrager's custom-built trucks on my web site as well on Fatjacks' eBay store and his web site. The first hint of what was to come was a picture that Dave sent me of the stripped down model with only the front end of the frame along with the front axle. I knew at that point that this was going to be a real winner of a custom-built model.

Well after some time, I was given word that the model was going to be shipped. So every day I was checking the mail box. Then one day it finally arrived. I had always wondered how the model would be shipped, since the Tonkin Replicas models fit perfectly in the boxes that they come in. This model has a lengthened framed, custom sun visor, Texas bumper and custom-made headache rack with integrated drom flat deck. I cut through the tape that secured the shipping box and saw which had to be the best packaging job I have ever seen. It must have taken Dave close to half an hour to secure the truck for shipping. It took me a while to get the model out of the packaging, but I was glad that that everything came in one piece considering that the model came almost the width of North America.

As you can see in the photos above, there are many things done to this model. The first thing I noticed was the lengthened frame with the greatest looking drom deck mounted on the frame and it was built right into the custom-made head ache rack. That is probably one of my peeves about the head ache rack that comes on the stock Tonkin Replicas trucks is that it is too high for the day cab trucks. You don't notice that it is too high when it is mounted behind a sleeper. But this one that Dave made was great. The wood decking and the outer frame was well made and the special chains were just the right size for the truck. Then between the chains, is a tarp all rolled up tight hanging on a special rack.

All of the components on this truck were fabricated by Fatjack in his own shop. The seamless fuel tanks in 53rd scale were developed by Fatjack and are fabricated by hand in his own shop, and each fuel tank strap is hand-fitted to the fuel tanks. Fatjack also does all of his own buffing in-house on the stainless steel components. To my knowledge Fatjack is the only diecast custom builder that buffs and polishes (two different processes) stainless steel in-house. His stainless steel components go beyond just average shiny.

The bumper is cut, bent, buffed, and polished in Fatjack's own shop, and a backplate installed so it sits back far enough to allow the hood to tilt. The bumper scales out to 20" wide (tall). The size that Fatjack makes the bummper is the most common width found on trucks with wide bumpers.

The diamond grid deck plate covers the frame between the fifth wheel that the drom deck. An important thing to note here is that the decking on the flat drom is real wood. Then to the rear of the fifth wheel is a contoured stainless steel frame cover. And some other parts added to the truck to give it that special Owner/Operator touch.

For a full description of the included parts on the truck, check out Fatjacks' web page.

The Manac flat bed trailer came to me a few months after I received the Peterbilt. This trailer arrived in the original box that Tonkin Replicas sends the flat bed trailer in. But the styrofoam needed to modified to allow the extra parts to fit properly. Dave sent the box for the trailer in a larger box full of styrofoam pop corn, so this package was going to arrive in excellent shape. It's encouraging to know that when you order from Fatjacks, that the toy trucks will arrive in one piece.

The first thing I found on this flatbed, was that it was a tri-axle. I had often wondered why no one had made the Tonkin Replicas flatbed into a tri-axle since the trailer comes as either a spread axle or standard tanden axle trailer. But Fatjacks made this into a reality with this Manac trailer.

On the curb side of the trailer are a set of hooks with a set of chains hanging from them. The chains on the trailer are tire snow chains and much smaller than the load tie down chains on the headache rack. The toolbox also has a polished stainless steel cover on it. The Pete and the trailer make a great looking model that displays well on my shelf. I may need to get a longer than normal display cover for the model to put it on my shelf. In the mean time I have it in a glass display case. But that will be changing soon.

I often go to the Fatjacks web site and see all the great workmanship that is displayed, it is really hard to decide on which model I would like to order. Every time I visit the site there are more custom-built trucks on display. Every one of them are a work of art.

If you are looking for a diecast model truck that is a special possible one of a kind, this is the place to look. Fatjacks also does special orders too. Check out his web site to find out more information.

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