by Larry LeMasters
Clyde Coffey of Livingston, Tenn., has only built one truck diorama—to honor the memory of his grandfather, Clyde Cantrell, whom he called “Pa.”
Pa recently passed away, so Clyde was eager to share some stories about him. “Pa drove trucks, hauling cattle primarily. Some of my earliest and fondest memories were riding with Pa. I rode shotgun on nearly every run he made to Memphis. Riding with him, I naturally fell in love with semitrucks,” he said.
Pa always found time for Clyde, so it just seemed natural for Clyde to dedicate his first diorama to his grandfather. Clyde built the truck diorama as a Christmas gift for Pa in 2013. Clyde wanted to include all the things that were dear to Pa, so the diorama sports a ’55 Chevy Bel Air model, a Peterbilt 359 model, and a farm scene just like the ones Clyde and Pa used to see on their road trips.
Clyde added, “I tried to add a lot of detail, including the hot pink lettering of his name on the door and the teal green color on the sleeper cab. The diorama is 1/64 scale and about 1 foot wide and 2 feet long. I used cotton for smoke, toothpicks for fence posts, and thread for electrical wires. I glued dirt and sticks in place and then dull coated them to preserve them. I had some trouble building the trailer for this scene. I could not find an existing model that replicated his trailer, so I scratch-built the trailer and customized the truck by adding a stainless Texas square bumper, a drop visor, stack extensions, styrene diamond plating for a deck plate and a toolbox.”
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