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Caterpillar D9E "van Damme" - Ad Gevers

12 June 2016

Custom scale model builder Ad Gevers has recently started his next project of building a

  • Caterpillar D9E Plow Tractor "van Damme"

It is our goal for the coming period in this Making-of a  Caterpillar D9E Plow Tractor "van Damme" to show how this custom model will be achieved.

As a basis for this project Ad uses the Caterpillar D9E Track-Type Tractor from RR Models in 1:50th scale, which by Roger Renault only once for this project, was made available as a resin kit. Ad therefore builds in this exceptional case not one but two copies so that both collectors will have a unique model of the Caterpillar D9E Plow Tractor "van Damme" in their Caterpillar D9 collection.

Ad shares his building skills through the photos with little notes guiding us in the construction process. Gradually it shows the making of a unique model by using the Caterpillar D9E Track-Type Tractor resin Kit from RR Models in 1:50th scale to create his Caterpillar D9E Plow Tractor "van Damme".

Enjoy reading & watching!

Ad and Wouter

What preceded

When Ad in 2012 saw the first model of the Caterpillar D9E Track-Type Tractor made by RR Models from France he knew what he wanted to create of it: The Caterpillar D9E Plow Tractor owned by a firm called van Damme from The Netherlands.

And so it happened that Ad during the Model Show Europe 2014 gathered all his courage and asked Roger Renault from RR Models if he could, only for once, buy a kit instead of a ready built scale model to serve for his project. To his big surprise the answer was positive and Roger agreed on the one condition that at the same time Ad would built a copy for him as well. So they closed a unique deal which will give us the opportunity to follow another great project.

This Caterpillar D9E Plow Tractor is specially converted for van Damme; so are the operating handles and seat moved to the right side of the machine so the operator, while working, has a much better view of the furrow.

Furthermore there are two lights mounted in the grille, the two air filters increased in length and is this Caterpillar D9E Plow Tractor equipped with wide track shoes which results in an improved weight distribution of the entire unit.

The Caterpillar D9E in "van Damme" version is still there today. Fully restored and in possession of two collectors and sometimes to be seen and admired operationally during Classic Earthmoving events.

The Kickoff

That same week received Ad from RR Models all the required resin and white metal parts for two Caterpillar D9E tractor models delivered at his home address and the project could start.

The casting holes in the fuel tank are filled with filler and then the tank can be placed at the machine.

The radiator is fixed to the Track-Type Tractor frame.

By placing the armor plate on the underside of the frame the tractor is made much stronger.

The front of the armor plate was Ad too coarse and therefore he has it a little bit filed down so the front is not so much sticking out under the radiator.

The Grill

The Caterpillar D9E "van Damme" version is adjusted at several crucial points compared to the standard D9E Track-Type Tractor. Obviously, most striking is of course the fact that the dozer blade is missing in order to turn it into a Plow Tractor.

But there's more: The grill is equipped with two built in headlights so the operator, even in poor visibility or darkness, regains enough forward visibility provided by the extra light.

In the beautiful RR Models grill, made from photo etched material, of course there should be added the missing holes for these two headlights. So being very carefully Ad started in the first grill with the filing the both holes and miraculously it worked out.

But the 2nd grill went as expected all wrong, probably due the thin material. By measuring of the two grills indeed showed that the first grill was what made a fraction ??thicker. Shame!

So Ad emailed RR Models and explained what went wrong and asked if he could get an extra grill. To his surprise, the following reply came: "Just send me a drawing and I make the required grill exactly as you want it." That's what friends are for!

And indeed, within two weeks, Ad received a small package from France with enclosed two new and perfect made photo etched grils in which the two headlights fit exactly.

For the attachment of the grill in front of the radiator on the machine it needs now only the required holes to be drilled and then this part of the metamorphosis is completed very successful.

The Towbar and Pull chain

During working on the land a Tow bar on the front of the machine was badly needed and a necessary criterion because usually several tractors were positioned in one row to achieve the most effective result to cultivate the soil.

A new Tow bar placed under the front of our Track-Type Tractor scale model can therefore not be missed. Ad makes it own hand and saw from brass material in one piece it is filed to once again emerges a mini Masterpiece.

On the rear of the Caterpillar D9E in " van Damme" version the machine is provided with an adjustable swing hook made ??from brass material that Ad, naturally, has constructed fully functional.

And off course the Pull chain to pair together the different Tractors or Machines cannot be missed.

The Undercarriage

On the undercarriages of the kit of the D9E Caterpillar Track-Type Tractor made by RR Models Ad did not have to do more than the checking all the individual parts and good deburring of the resin parts.

The drilling of the hole and the alignment for the tensioning wheel should be done very accurately, and also with extra caution in order to prevent that the components do bend.

On the undercarriage are then placed the metal top rollers.

The Shoes

Fortunately RR models supplied with the kit also a set of wider metal shoes than the ones that are normally used on a Caterpillar D9E Track-Type Tractor.

The individual track shoes do require quite some work before they are suitable to be placed as the metal tracks for his Caterpillar D9 Plow Tractor.

The first step is the deburring of any loose track shoe. Ad drills each hole of each individual shoe separately and turns every track shoe, in order to prevent the track shoes later when linking cross threading together.

The second step is the drilling out of all the holes that are required to connect the plates after the operations with a pin to each other.

The third step is to snap the individual plates in each other and then connecting them with each other with the pin.

Before Ad puts the nail, which each track shoes interconnects, he manually controls by a drill or the holes are straight and in line.

After the final inspection Ad solders to fix the nail to the inside of the track shoe and then shoes are permanently connected to each other.

Being on the outside of the shoes the head of the nail remains visible Ad chooses to file the head of the nail as far as possible off so that it is no longer distracting and the metal shoes eventually look as natural as possible.

The fourth and final step is to keep connecting track shoes until they have reached the proper length for the undercarriage of our Plow Tractor.

The hydraulic pump and hydraulic tank

For operation of the Plow behind the Caterpillar D9E should of course be added a hydraulic tank with protective hood and is the hydraulic tank with accompanying piping placed on the right fender of the Tractor.




The Engine






To be continued...

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