My hubby's hobby is to build fully functional models of the Mercedes Benz Unimog truck series which are driven by remote control. His current project is to build a Unimog 435 with a hydraulic crane in 1:12 scale.
The Mercedes Benz Unimog utility vehicles are multi-purpose, all-wheel drive medium trucks sold in North America as Freightliner. They are designed for agriculture and military purposes and feature rear-wheel drive with switchable front-wheel drive, thus, depending on the model, can have more than 10 gears. They have very high ground clearance for work in difficult terrains and can climb a grade of 45 degrees (100% incline).
You might think of model building as buying a boxed set and gluing pieces together and many people do that. My husband makes every piece of the model himself except for the rubber tires (he makes the rims), the battery, the motor, some of the tiny 1 millimeter screws and the cogwheels for the transmission.
There are no CAD drawings available, instead, he studies the truck and its components in real life, takes lots of pictures, then comes home and makes his own drawings for the parts he needs to create. Then he uses a lathe to mill the brass or aluminum pieces to create the component parts and finally uses a drilling machine to create openings in these parts.
He started his model building hobby when he was about 8 years old. As a boy he carved a wooden boat to play with on a small pond near his house. He progressed as a teenager to building wooden sail boats and then in his 20's he started building motorized boats. Sometime around 20 years ago, he got interested in building trucks and wanted particularly to build models in 1:12 scale which nobody else was building: the Unimog.
He was driving the chassis around our living room yesterday for the first test drive.
It has taken him about six months (mostly weekends) to get to this stage and he estimates it'll take 3-4 years to complete the entire model of the Unimog 435 with a logging trailer and functional hydraulic crane.
Since I'm limited to just 4 photos, I'll use tomorrow's blog Macro Monday to showcase the details of the components he has built.
You might enjoy to watch this video, which shows real Unimog trucks in action in a simulated environment of very difficult terrain.