buford's barn cars PORTFOLIO

1929 Caterpillar twenty logging special weathered Crawler

The was my first Norscot model. I had wanted to complete a Caterpillar model for quite some time and what better 'first" than Caterpillar's "first" official crawler; the Twenty! I had looked for a prototype that caught my eye and found plenty at Oregon's Camp 18 restaurant and logging museum. I found a photo of a Thirty with a patina that fit the bill perfectly. My original intentions had me going for a crawler wasting away in a field, but that soon changed and I instead went for a heavily weathered, but still used daily look. But I couldn't stop with just your run of the mill crawler. The folks over at the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Owners Club forum helped me through my 3D design and 3D print of a fully mechanical Willamette Ersted (Hyster) dual drum winch which is now attached to the rear. The balance between the two can be a challenge. There are elements that are required to make the crawler pass as a fully functioning machine: Polished cleats. Check! Polished wear points. Check! Greased pivot points. Check! And even a cowboy hat resting on the engine compartment.


  • Two branches hold up the engine compartment doors to cool the engine after a hot day in the fields. 
  • The classic "For Sale" sign rests on the exhaust pipe. I think Buck is done farming and is ready for retirement!
  • The entire tractor was dismantled, primed and  treated the same as all of my models. By combining my own balanced combination of complex reactive mineral components specially ordered from Croatia I'm able to produce the impression of natural rust with organic color variations. These components are meticulously applied to panel locations where the original finish would be vulnerable to decay. The process provides for unmatched beauty and an authentic appearance.
  • The tracks and drive wheels were stripped of their gray paint as they were much too bulky from the factory. That enabled me to apply a realistic coat of rust base with a muddy appearance without hiding the fine details like rivets and bolts. I topped them off with finely sifted sand and small pieces of macramé twine for a grassy texture.
  • Vintage signage from a vast library of vintage material was used to create a Vermont maple Syrup sign in the sagebrush tree t in the background. Additionally, a Caterpillar parts book and instruction manual lay loosely on the side of the crawler.
  • A "tin can" sits over the exhaust to keep water out of the engine.

 Several modifications were made to the tractor to make it more realistic:

  1. More than 40 hours of designing and 3D printing went into the rear winch to make it as accurate as possible. It is fully mechanical. Simply turn the top drive gear and both drums also turn.
  2. The seat was too perfect on the original model. It is now covered with a heavily weathered "blanket" to allow the operator more comfort rather than sit on any exposed springs.
  3. All areas that you'd expect the driver to touch, grab, rub against etc. have traces of polished metal.
  4. The tractors should be good and greasy! Should the owner stick to their maintenance, many areas should be dripping in goo. You'll find obvious grease marks on blade joints, engine components, drive gears and anything and everything that moves. This model is just the same. 
  5. The exhaust and air intake walls were too thick so I replaced them with brass tubing. I drilled it. Need I explain more?

Feel free to read the entire ACMOC thread on the production of the crawler by clicking here!







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