The plan this time is to depict a Mercedes Unimog as a survivor vehicle; The financial structures imploded and as a result social structures as we know them today are all but gone. States and countries have ceased to exist as entities, entire peoples were forced to move, due to war, chaos and famine. A small group has gotten hold of a semi-civilian Unimog and is roaming about, looking for a place to live and settle. Their primary goal however is survival until then.
Initially I wanted to show a vehicle from the Technisches Hilfswerk or THW pretty much as is, but decided against it. Why? Because it would be a blue project. Really. Vehicles from the THW show a pretty uniform, bright medium blue and that includes the the tarpaulin over the flatbed. Searches for references showing a differently colored tarp came up empty. Bummer. So I started thinking about how to get more colour into the build. Civilian options seemed very limited. I came across a bright yellow one, a white one and something that looked like light grey and all rubberised. How about if the people using it salvaged a tarp from a military vehicle? Those range anywhere from an earthy brown via shades of green to camouflage in several hues, depending on the material used, either canvas or rubberised.
A second concern was the fast that THW vehicles have white tops in their tarps, so that light can come through. Italeri's vehicle is a thick, blue plastic cast, so no white or light transparency. Replicating that would cause major surgery and their tarp is hard enough as it is. No great fit and thick locating blocks required a lot of putty to become presentable. So I went for the easy way out; a salvaged military tarp.
Besides the thickness of the cast and the locating blocks the bed and tarp lack any and all detail. That had to be scratchbuilt. But only after a lot of filling and sanding. A lot of that... The frame is made out of old telephone wire and the planks out of coffeestirring sticks. Some plastic card triangles were added to the ends of those to replicate the brackets.
Most of the photos from the back of such an Unimog showed a wooden floor, so I made one out of balsawood. It is a single piece with the lines drawn in with a pencil and bvarying grey washes to pick out individual pieces of wood.
A basic coat of paint was then applied.