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Australian Road Train ModelI made this Road Train model about twenty years ago at that time there were no Road Train model kits around, so I used several A M T 1:25 scale trailer kits.
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The story of this road train model began at Northline Speedway in Darwin after a race meeting one Saturday night. This Direct Haul road train model made by Chris Renahan could easily pass as the real deal if blown up in size. With a fascination for models and a background in architecture, Chris is no stranger to building things.  His architectural skill sets lend themselves well to building models and as such he’s built a number of train carriages for his brother who has a fairly hefty train set. Chris spent a lot of time at the Directhaul depot photographing and studying the road train combinations. There were 44 airbags to paint and brake assemblies to construct.” Chris explained that it was repetitious and tedious, but as time went on, he could see the tankers and prime mover taking shape. It had been a long run but the project helped to occupy Chris’ mind during a fairly rough time in his life.
The project spanned some three years and Chris worked on it during his spare time between Speedway and work commitments. Editor of ManSpace magazine, Justin Felix spends too much time fishing, collecting typewriters that don't really work and coaching a junior soccer team.
I cannibalised several trailer kits to make the Road Train Converter Dolly’s and I had to make my own spare wheel racks under the trailers.
Local Sprintcar Champion, Brooke David, had won the Sprintcar feature that night, and Chris Renehan had won the go kart feature.


He has also been commissioned to build a couple of carriages for museums in Katherine and the Adelaide River.
A sense of achievement started to build and as many can relate, that alone can be enough to drive a man to completing a project.
In the end, Chris applied about ten coats of thin paint but it certainly looks like the real deal. Fabricating the chassis for the B tanker was a challenge but I worked out that I had to add brass stiffeners to prevent sagging. If the model is ever involved in an incident, they can just ring the number on the hazard sign and it will get them through to Direct Haul’s reception.
In Chris’ own words, it nearly killed him but he’s prepared to do it all again for a roadhouse at Emerald Springs. At that time there only two axle trailer kits around so I had to cannibalised more trailers to make Australian three axle trailers ,I had to shorten the prime mover ( Tractor ) and make my own bull bar for the front of the prime mover.
A 'roo guard and six spoke wheels complete the conversion, while custom graphics and some road dust add to the truck's realism.
However, it became apparent that the limits of the engine has been achieved because the friction of the axes and the weight are having a serious impact when going up a hill.
They were celebrating over a few beers when talk turned to trucks, and Brooke, owner of DirectHaul, challenged Chris to make a model of one of his road trains.
They’re incredibly intricate and Chris spends plenty of time making sure they’re as accurate as possible.
I got to know Nigel Lowe quite well and when I got the catalogue I was astounded by what they produced.


Unfortunately there were grassfires about which subdued the light, but it does give it a surreal quality.
I had to paint the T N T colour s and find my own T N T signs to fit the model, you will notice its the old T N T design.
Chris admits that it may have been the alcohol talking but he agreed and told Brooke he was up for the challenge.
As it was such a large order they made a special compartmented box with each wheelset wrapped in tissue paper. Maybe it’s my motorsport background but all of the bogies and chassis are held to the tankers with screws as I felt they needed a mechanical fixing.” Chris knew that the model was likely to be transported to trade shows so he wanted to maintain its strength. I showed the photos to an old truckie one day and he was looking at them for ages trying to work out if it was a real truck or not,” Chris laughs. I worked through what was available, discounted a Kenworth T904 and settled on a Mack Titan instead. The model is just under two metres long 1.8 The Australian Road-Train are the longest trucks in the world. I knew I’d give it a red hot go as I had the skill set but I’m not quite sure I knew what I was in for.” says Chris.



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