Quick Builds: Scratchbuilt 1/72 Pumpjack / Oil Derrick

I’m almost fully back at the bench, but in the meantime here’s another quick build from a while ago. This is a scratchbuilt 1/72 scale Pumpjack or Nodding Derrick.

I originally intended to use this as part of a dio to display my New Age Desert Rats builds (Apache, Bradley, Humvee, 8×8 Cargo Truck & Troops) but ran out of time. I still have the finished but unpainted piece stashed away ready for dropping into another diorama.

The Build

I didn’t have any plans to work from or idea of scale so I spent a while scouring the internet for images.┬áThere are thousands of variations of these pumps, so I picked a few defining elements and started building.

I started with the large boom arm. I didn’t have any H beam styrene to hand so I made a chunky piece by gluing three strips together with Tamiya Extra Thin (TET) cement. I deliberately made it over long so I could cut it to length once the rest of the pump was assembled.

Next, I laminated some strips of styrene together to make a solid block for the head.

And roughed out the shape of the head.

I sanded down the block to the outline and then carved channels into the top face to channel the cables to the pump shaft.

Next up is the pivot. I cut a sleeve from styrene tube and formed and the shaft from rod. Two pieces of sheet styrene form the bracket to attach it to the base. I left the pivot glue free to make it easier to fit to the engine.

I made 3 H-bar legs from strip styrene, a little thinner than the main beam.

I glued the legs to the base and left it propped up to dry.

The last piece is the engine. It’s quite large and would be a waste to make it from a block of laminated styrene so I cut two identical sides and wrapped them thin sheet.

I cut out the parts for the motor arms and pistons and shaped them with a sanding stick. I glued the crank arms to the engine. I did muse about making it movable, but in the end opted for static.

I attached the rods to the engine and the beam…

… and it was done. When it finally goes on a dio I’ll add the pump head and cabling.

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