3 May 2015

Chevrolet Step-Van Model

1. Introduction
Chevrolet Step-Van vehicle was in service on USAF air bases as well as on some Naval Air Stations throughout the 1970s and until the 1990s. Its purpose was to bring air crews from their waiting areas to aircraft being prepared for sorties.

2. Kit
The model of this van is produced by Hasegawa. It is a part of their "U.S. Pilot / Ground Crew Set" set (cat. # X72-7) which also includes some very nice figures. Hasegawa's model represents the version of Step-Van which, according to a General Motors product brochure, was first introduced in 1969.
All parts are well and very crisply molded. However the kit could really benefit from some additional fine detailing, and the wheels in particular are too toy-like.

3. Construction
I have scratch-built a flat chassis plate for my van because I didn't like the empty spaces that are left in the wheel arches and under the hood if you build the kit according to Hasegawa's instruction. Correctly shaped resin wheels, dashboard, photoetched radiator grille and windshield frame, rear view mirrors, windshield wipers, door handles and badges all come from the dedicated detail set produced by F4Models (cat. # 7030). I have added clear head lights using tiny lenses from a set produced by Elf.

4. Painting & Markings
In accordance with historical photographs of Step-Vans in U.S. Navy service, my model is painted Orange Yellow (FS33538) with Insignia White (FS37875) front and rear bumpers, radiator grille frames and headlight frames.

5. Reference Data
[1] An article on multi-stop / walk-in delivery trucks in Wikipedia: link
[2] A nice selection of historical photos: link
[3] GM's 1969 brochure: link