Kenworth K100E “Neil Yates Recovery”

It really took a while before this model was done. Actually I wanted to present it at LEGO World 2013 but didn’t manage to get it ready. It was shown at LEGO World 2014 in Copenhagen but afterwards I still had to do some minor changes.

Anyhow; the model. In July 2011 I was visiting the UK for my job and I had the opportunity to do some sightseeing. Just before heading for the UK I saw a couple of pictures of NYR’s immaculate Kenworth K100E Aerodyne in “B.J. & the Bear: outfit. A couple of months before they imported one for the States and converted it into a heavy recovery vehicle by fitting a Century Rotator 1140. I took a lot of pictures at their yard (and of course I was very please it was there!). Back home I started to find more details about the K100 and Century Rotator and start building a chassis and cab.

I didn’t use chrome before and had to start a collection of chrome pieces. I discovered it’s rather expensive and I was hesitating whether I should continue the project or not. Mid 2011 I still had the old Scania 141 with Holmes and when I removed the cab of that one and placed the K100 cab onto the chassis I thought it might be better to start with a smaller truck with some chrome parts. And that’s how I start building the K100 with Holmes twin boom. But I had to continue with the NYR truck. The other K100 did turn out very well and the Aerodyne would be even better (red, white and black are always good to combine). So I continued early 2013. In a meanwhile Brickonwheels started to build his Pete 379 with Century Rotator 1075.
From a truck photographer I received some very useful pictures of the century rotator, even a few production pictures. He I really could see all details which enabled me to build quite an exact replica. At a heavy recovery show in Belgium in June 2013 I had a closer look to a few examples of Century Rotators which where there.

The model has a full detailed chassis with drive shafts, air suspension, axle stabilizers, etc. etc. When I was building the chassis I recon it would become long, very long. Without the body should say there wouldn’t come an end to the chassis … Nice challenge to get it straight without bending. The cab is tilted with an accurate Cummins 6 cylinder in line engine underneath. This one has some chrome touches. The cab interior differs a bit from the old K100; this one is from a later generation, on of the last produced in 2003.

The body work I had to align with the cab (especially with the striping). As I wouldn’t change anything to the design of it (it was perfect) I had to modify the body work quite some times. I think I rebuilt it seven of eight times. The body work consist of one center part at the front and two mirrored sections on each side. These are merged to the chassis with traverse beams. On the truck chassis there’s a heavy subframe for the crane. I used a classic turn table to attach the crane base. The crane base also was quite a challenge to build; I wanted to have the shapes correctly. While there aren’t any blueprints available of the rotator I really had to study all pictures I took. When building the crane I discovered the truck chassis was a bit too short; I disassembled the chassis and stretched it with three studs. It really was a lot of work but otherwise it wouldn’t be right.

The boom has three stages and I chose to use panels, brackets and tiles to make these section. In reality there’s a little space between the boom and crane base. The outer section is just less than six studs wide, the middle section four studs and inner section a little more than three studs. I was quite expensive to collect all these pieces but I thought it would fit better.
The truck has three winches; two on top of the crane base and one in the body work.

I spent a lot of time on detailing, like the fuel tanks, air compressor, light bar, support legs, storage cabinets etc. etc.
It’s my largest solo vehicle so far, apart from the huge Liebherr cranes I built many years ago. In a time span of two and a half years I spent many hours on it. Mostly it really was fun and exciting to build but sometimes quite frustrating. Patience is the magic word!