Models of Success

| May 18, 2009

In what will be De-Elegant’s “biggest project” yet, McClinton says, they’re in the build-out phase on a 1/8-scale Kenworth W900L with Studio sleeper that will measure almost 10 feet in length for a private collector’s museum.

FRENCHMAN’S DREAM – by Lucinda Coulter
Hobbyist Christian Chapson, of Vierzon, France, became smitten with American trucks as a 12-year-old when his brother bought him a book that featured various 1960s models. Nearly 32 years later, he has made 125 models of Peterbilts, Internationals, Macks and many others on a 1/24 scale, a ratio that hobbyists say demands precision.

The wide plate, chrome steel bumper and chrome grilles of American trucks, Chapson says, “give the trucks a threatening, aggressive” look, one so powerful that it makes “me want to fall to the ground.” Chapson says that the nearly 6-month process of building a truck helps him relax from his daily work making safety harnesses. For many years, he has traced pictures from trucking magazines that specialize in old models. He designs patterns from plastic, cuts aluminum pieces on a lathe, and uses only pre-built pieces from kits for interior pieces, such as steering wheels, and tires. More than a respite from daily work, Chapson’s avocation is fueled by a collectors’ passion: While he builds and sells European models, the American truck replicas go onto shelves in his house. He’s building a cabinet to display the big rigs properly – in his dining room, he says.

See his trucks and admirers’ comments at

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