An (almost) never-ending story

Since the DER MASS:STAB issue 3/2013, Roland Wurm has been presenting the models of the Winnweiler Volunteer Fire Department along with their big originals in loose succession in the series “Eine (fast) unendliche Geschichte” (An (almost) never-ending story). At that time, he announced that he would continue to describe original and model vehicles when new additions would be made. Now, there is news to report, and in what is already the 9th part, he presents the Mercedes-Benz Axor swap-body vehicle.

Since 2016, a lot has changed in the fleet at the fire brigade base. Due to wear and tear and the age of some vehicles, as well as the ever-changing range of tasks, some vehicles were newly acquired while others were retired and replaced by new additions. One of these new additions is the Mercedes-Benz Axor Wechselladerfahrzeug (WLF), which model maker Roland Wurm has painstakingly reproduced in the 1/87 scale. The vehicle is being procured by the Donnersbergkreis district disaster control department and will be stationed at the Winnweiler volunteer fire brigade.

The swap-body vehicle is created as a model

The WLF is used to transport interchangeable roll-off containers, thus combining various tasks on a single chassis. For this purpose, a 10,000-liter roll-off container for water (AB-W), a closed roll-off superstructure for various logistics tasks (AB-Logistik), and a dump body (AB-Mulde) are available. The basis of this conversion is a 3a chassis with roll-off kinematics and a short Mercedes-Benz Axor cab from Herpa. The chassis is freed from all add-on parts from the large-scale production, and is then completed according to photos of the original with custom-built parts and stock from the hobbyist’s box filled with leftovers. On the cab, the rear panel, also called a backpack, has been cut off, sanded flat, and re-fitted flush. Many small parts, such as the exhaust cover or the headlight protection grille, complete the conversion. The two roll-off containers “water” and “logistics” are self-made from plastic plates and profiles, the AB dump body is a converted dump body from the Herpa Collection.

Diorama construction, text, and photos:
Roland Wurm

Models used for this conversion

Mercedes-Benz Axor cab short: Herpa (082013)
Chassis Mercedes-Benz Actros truck with Roll-off kinematics: Herpa (084277)
Roll-off trough flat:Herpa (083300)