Revell Kit #85-1506 1/25 Scale Peterbilt 359 Review & Build

Last updated: Completing the model - November 21, 2014

The Truck:
Over the road trucking is one of the principle wys US goods and materials move to market and are delivered throughout the nation.

All of us have seen the large semi-tracks on the highway. The tracors (cab with engine and drive wheels) and trailers that make this possible.

One of the leading brands, and well known names is Perterbilt. Like all US trucks there re two principle versions of the tracftors. The Cab-over, which are the large, more square lookingcabs where the driver literally is sitting over the engine, and the concentional tractors where the hood is forward of the driver, covering the engine, which the driver's cab sits back in wahat is considered a "conventional" configuration.

As time has gone on, these trucks have become more and more automated and easier to drive. Where very low to high gears were handled by manual transmissions in he past, up to and including what was known as a 4 x 4 transmission for forward movement, meaning two gear shift, one for the major gears, four of them, and one for gearing within each range, four of them to each major the completely automatic transmiossions of today.

Also, particularly for over the road truckers, the truckers who drive long distances on the interstate and other highways, you will most often see a large "sleeper," compartment behind the driver. These range from evrything from a simple matress, to almost small parartments with kitchenettes and nathrroom facilities.

The Peterbilt 359 was introduced in 1967 and built through 1987. The last year a limited run of exactly 359 trucks ("359" Classics) were built to close out the model. Each of these had special numbered plaque attached to the truck.

The 350 was a powerful Conventional Tractor designed to handle the rigors of heavy duty hauling. It started as a custom made truck that was built to suit the specific hauling needs for the owners, which then became very popular for many owners, both individual, independent truckers and large trucking firms. Throughout the Peterbilt 359 history, every effort was made to use lightweight alloys to lower vehicle weight and allow for the transportation of heavier payloads.

The 359 trucks used a strong ladder frame designed to withstand continual punishment. An exclusive Peterbilt “Air-Trac” suspension provided a variable spring rate capability that produces a smoother ride.

The Peterbilt 359 was equipped with dual exhausts, dual air horns, a spacious walk-in sleeper, dual fuel tanks, sleeper mounted lights and alloy Reynolds wheels mounted on high mileage radial tires. With all these features the Peterbilt Conventional Tractor became known as the true “The King Of The Open Road,” to many truckers for decades on the highwas of America.

Specifications: Description: Conventional, single-sleeper tractor
Dimensions: 25'1"L x 8"W x 12' 4"H (top of stack)
Weight: 16,345 lbs. (dry)
Engine: Caterpillar 3406B 310, Cat 3408, or other (large engine compartment allowed for numerous engine types to be chosen)
Transmission: Fuller-Eaton 14609 A 9 Speed, Spicer 604, or many others, including 18 speed transmissions depending on need
Rear End: Eaton 3:55, or many others depending on need
Tires: Michelin (or other) 11.22.5

The Kit:
I'm building this model as a tribute to my father-in-law, who drove over the road from 1949 uintil 2012. Sixty-three years.

I was raised on a small ranch in Texas and started driving trucks myself when about 12 years old, driving large bob-tailed hay trucks in the fields for my brothers who laoded the hay. Later, as I got older and older brothers left home, I graduated up to laoding myself.

When in college, I worked a coupe of times for my father-in-law to make money to feed our growing family and to earn money to continue my schooling. I would pick up and haul sugar beat sample loads from farmers throughout southern and south-eastern Idaho to testing facilities in Idaho Falls, ID. I drove a Perterbuilt Model 362 cab-over for him, with a 4x4 tranny. I remember seeing convetional 359s and 379s and being envious, LOL!

I intend to build this model, give it all of the extras, put it in a clear case and attach a plaque to it honoring my father-in-law who provided well for his family over those many years.

I did the same for my own father, who was a World War II combat vet in the Pacific. and then an engineer at Vought Aerounuics from 1948 through 2002 (the last four years consulting) for fifty-two years. In his case I presented him with a set of three models, all arranged on pedastals in a clear glass case, including a F-7 Cutlass, and F-8 Crusader, and an A-7E Corsair II, all of which naval aircraft he was a lead aerodynamic engineer on in hios career.

For the Peterbilt 359, Revell has made two kits. This one is the Classic 359 conventional tractor. They also produced a 359 Wrecker which was the original order that produced the 359.

The kit comes modled in white, black, and chrome parts, including ten rubber tires.

This model is well done and includes very detailed panel markings, a very finely molded intake, and exhaust. All the landing gear and weapons bays are shown in detail and can be built either oprn It is a well done model and allows for the detailing of the complete engine compartment, the rear end, suspsension, he cab, includin he sleeper, and all of the details underneath the vehicle.

The hood lifts up to reveal the engine, which is well detailed.

The cab doors do not open, which is a disappointment,. but the view inside the cab is very adeuate through the windows to reveal the details inside,

The decal sheet is very good, and includes a represntation of an over-the-road vehicle belionging to a fictional "United Trucking Company."

Here's how it looked out of the box:

I decided to paint the Cab and hood in a bright red, Model Master Guards Red. I then added the Chrome pieces (exhaust stacks, blower, grill, gas tanks, steps, etc.). Onc eof my grandsons, KAsen, helped me through this process, working for his great-grand father.

I then built and painted the basic frame (in a dark, engine gray) amd [prepared the various parts to start the suspension. I then built the suspension with the tie rods and shocks and the dualies in the rear. This took several days and several visits by my daughter and grandson.

She's looking prety good. Next session I will uild the engine, the cab, and add the details.

The Build - Building the Engine, the cab (driver compartment) and adding the details - November 11, 2014

This session, again took several visits from my grandson, KAsen. I was also building this model in bnetween sessions on mu naval vessels and aircraft.

The engine to this model is quite an assemble and a nice 1/25 scale representation. It includes the hoses, belts, radiator, and all the major components. I painted it differently than the instructions which clalled for a brown. I used various shades pf gray and black from Gunship gray, to engine gray, balck, neutral gray, etc. all Model Master.

I then added the mud flaps and tail lights and the hood. Geting the hood to close properly on the engine was an issue. I found that the hinge point support structure was interfereing with a prtion of the frame. Some carful work with the dremel tool and xacto knife cleared it up.

Finally, the enterior of the cab. I paineted the seat a deep MArron for the leather color I wanted, the enterior was dark ghpost gray, with dark floor mats. I detaile dthe instrument panels with red, amber and yellow lights as well as dark gray indicators for guages and speedometer and tacometer. A nicve chrome stick with black handle and black push boittons for the gearing. Green blanket in the sleeper with a light blue pillow case.

In the next session I will build and paint the stand/case. Also add all of the decals (some of which I added this session)/

The Build - BCompleting the model, the case, the decals - November 21, 2014

In this session I painted the floor of the case, a mdium-dark gray roadway for aphalt and while stripes and marker lines. I added all of the deac;s and then used 2" #10 bolts, washers and nuts to attache the truck to the base. Looking very good. At the end I aded the clear cover.

That is a good looking big rig.

I had inended to present it at Christmas, but grandpa has had some health issues and my wife went over to see and help this week so we decided to give it to him now to help perk him up. HE LOVES IT!

I will get the brass plaque done befor Christmas and get it attached,.

This was a wonderful experience for my father-in-law, myself and wife, my daughter, and her son Kasen. Four generations coming together to pull it off. That's the kind of stuff that maters and goes with you.

Schedule for Future Activities:November 21, 2014

  1. By Dec 01, 2014, Complete the PLAN Amphibious Ready Group centered on the Trumpeter Type 071 LPD-998, with a FFG, and two DDGs.
  2. By Mar 15, 2015, Complete the US Navy Amphibious Ready Group centered on the Gallery USS Iwo Jima, a 2nd LPD, USS Somerset, LPD-25, a DDG, a SSN, and another LCS.
  3. By Mar 16, 2015 Go back and start fleshing out the rest of the DDG and FFG escorts for each CSG and ARG group.

The completion of the PLAN Carrier group was centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Mini Hobby's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168. I recently pre-ordered a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, announced by Trumpeter and due out in October, 2013. I will end up adding two of those, probably LPD-998 Yuzhao and LPD-999, Jinggangshan, add the PLAN- DDG-139, Ningbo, and the PLAN DDG-115, Shenyang, along with the PLAN Weifang, FFG-550 and thus build a PLAN ARG.

The completion of the US Carrier Strike group was centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Trumpeter's, USS Freedom, LCS-1, Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whichever Ford Class coms out in 1/350 scale, I will build it as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.

The US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Somerset, LPD-25, Bronco Models 1/350 Scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobby's USS Independence, LCS-2, Academy's 1/350 scale USS Rueben James, FFG-57, and another Flight IIA US AEGIS class destroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Lassen, DDG-82...all of these models which I already own.

The completion of the UK Group featured the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious, R06 as its centerpiece until a 1/350 scale Queen Elizabeth carrier is released. When that happens, I will add that carrier to the group as its centerpiece. The Royal Navy CSG will also include two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (one of which is already completed), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (one of which is already completed), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN (which is also already completed) and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Trafalgar SSN. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Ocean LPD come out, I will use to to start building a Royal Navy ARG.

The French CSG is centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gaulle, R91. I have purchased the 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, the French Duquesne, D603 DDG which is an anti-air multi-purpose DDG, and the French Aconit D612 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These five vessels will round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Pearle S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase two of them and replace the De Grasse and Duquesne with them, and then save those two for when a Mistral Class LPD is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale so I can create a French ARG with those vessels.

The completion of the Japanese JMSDF group was centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG and the JMSDF, DDG-174, Kongo class (which I own), Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami and DDG-111 (both of which are Takinami Class DDGs which I own), and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu (which I own), one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soon as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group. Should a 1/350 scale Osumi Class LPD be released, I will buy two of those vessels and create a JMSDF ARG.

Then, finally the completion Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov) included the the Russian Kirov Class nuclear battle cruiser (CGN), the Peter the Great, by Trumpeter, the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumperter (which I own), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udaloy DDGs (which I own), Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN (which I own), and the new Yasen class Russian SSN (which I own), all in 1/350 scale. Some time in the more distant future when a 1/350 scale Russian version of the French Mistral class comes out (which is building in real life right now), I will add two of those and build a Russian ARG.

Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapults. I will build the model as the Sao Paulo and thus start a Brazilian group, though the Type 22 DDGs and the FFGs the Brazilians use are not available at present. I have however purchased a set of 1/400 scale A-4 Skyhawks and S-3 Trackers to build a suitable air wing for the Sao Paulo.

Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Carrier Strike Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Carrier Strike Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimately an Australian Strike Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian Carrier Strike Group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier, the Vikrant, and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.

Years more worth of work!

You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifications at my site:


...and most of their surface escorts at:


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