Atlantis Models "White-Fruehauf Gas Truck" Retro Tanker Kit

Periodically, Hobby Lobby has deals on their in-store model kits, and I had my eye on this particular model for a while – so when the next “40% off all models” rolled around, I got it. And then stuff happened and the box sat around on my work table for MONTHS. :frowning: But FINALLY I got around to working on it!

Near as I can tell, this kit was originally from circa 1957 or so. With a bit of a Google search, I can find this same model kit in various forms, from various makers. At one point, it was billed as a military gas tanker (plastic parts in Army green) from Aurora Models, then Revell offered it up once in red as a “Mobilgas” tanker, then another time in a yellow-white scheme (not sure what color the plastic was) with “Shell Gas” livery.

This version from Atlantis prints the parts in green plastic and includes artwork showing it in “Sinclair” livery, with included wet transfers that can be used either to decorate it as a “Sinclair” gas tanker as in the art, or alternatively as a military gas transport (with wet transfers in white lettering that contrast well against a US Army olive green scheme). Although previous versions included clear plastic window inserts, this one does not.

Parts consist of a rig (with a cab that can flip forward to reveal the engine), and semi-trailer, plus two crew (one standing, one posed as if holding a hose as in the cover art), and one self-standing sign board (depicted in the cover art in the background bearing “Sinclair DINO Gasoline” with Dino the Dinosaur mascot in green).

Now if there were only a kit for that gloriously retro SINCLAIR service station in the background… (Actually, I’ve seen some diorama/model kits that might fit the bill, but they’re collectible and pricey.)

Assembly is somewhat fiddly in parts. The instructions are decent enough, but some of the steps suggested in the instructions seem counterintuitive to the order in which the parts should actually be assembled, particularly if you’re planning on painting. I had considerable trouble trying to get some of the parts to line up properly, perhaps due to plastic warping, and ended up having to use some epoxy putty in places for gap-filling – and especially to clear up the “dimples” in the plastic that appeared in places (along the sides of the main tank in the areas right above the connecting pegs, around the rims of the tires, and also a couple of depressions in the torso areas of the two included figures).

The rear view mirrors are particularly flimsy, almost certain to break in storage or with handling if this is used for tabletop gaming, rather than safely stuck away in a display box or as part of a diorama. One could probably get away with just leaving them off entirely (as I’m not sure that any of the Fallout vehicle STLs even bother with side mirrors), but I opted to make sturdier substitutions with some wire and epoxy putty.


I’ve seen others paint this up as a Red Rocket or Poseidon Energy gasoline truck (reasonably enough), but I thought I’d try for something other than gas, and try for something “retro-futuristic.” Plus, I thought, it might be interesting to have this connected to some sort of environmental hazard if there’s some sort of spill. (I haven’t made those yet, but that’s a project for later.)

Toward that end, I tried making up some fake company logos that I figured I could print, cut out, and glue onto the side rather than trying to free-hand paint it all.

Here’s a PDF I put together of my attempts:

(Preview image at 72 dpi)


The “Dinogas” labels in the above sheet are spoofs of the Sinclair livery included with the kit. (I didn’t bother making any sort of equivalents to the Army labels. Those are white-on-transparent, and something I can’t replicate with printed paper. And, besides, I suppose the Army labels would work just as well for Fallout.) I decided to transform “FRUEHAUF” (manufacturer of the semi-trailer) to “HAUFLIFE” to slip in some more Fallout-style weirdness.

I also made up some new materials/companies. “Cry-O-Flo” is – I imagine – some sort of futuristic space-age coolant fluid that uses “thermal conversion” to convert heat to light (AKA an excuse for a “glowing” blue fluid spill piece). I imagine the mascot is “Jackie Frost.” I was thinking of putting “JACKIE FROST” in text next to the figure, but at that point, I thought it was starting to get the piece to be cluttered. (Plus, my design was already a bit problematic by having “Jackie” extend outside of the oval shape, making it a bit of a challenge to cut the piece out of paper.)

Cry-O-Flo Sign 1 - sm

Another made-up design is “Aftergro.” I went for more pun, and for a logo that’s a bit more cut-out-friendly. I imagine if I went with this route, with some sort of chemical spill, I’d have a glowing GREEN pool of goo, surrounded by mutant colorful vegetation sprouting up. And, I’m sure, if anyone gets too close, they prove to be ambulatory (vines/tentacles) and carnivorous, because if anything goes wrong with SCIENCE in the Fallout universe, it most assuredly involves something you need to shoot at or blow up (or can USE to shoot or blow someone up … or both).

Aftergro Sign 1 - sm

The last fake company logo/design is for “Happy Freeze,” which is my take on the robo-ice-cream-truck encounter in the “Parzival” adventure for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare RPG. I’m not sure if it would make the least bit of sense on a tanker, but I had it around and just put it on the sheet. I’m sure I’ll cut it out and paste it to something eventually (perhaps something to decorate a Plasticville “Frosty Bar” set).