PistenBully 600 Polar
by Albert Tuertscher
With this model I began again in 2006 with building snow cat models. My PB145D from the seventies was still collecting dust in a corner, but my Graupner PistenBully served over decades as my winter toy. The PB600 with it’s radically new design had just been presented, and it was clear that it had to be this model. The first body got my nephew Fabian, and immediately thereafter I made one for myself.
This model has gotten several extension and improvements over the years. I wrote about these in detail in the German magazine Rad & Kette (see Literature at the bottom). A snow cat model actually never is really finished.
The PB600 in scale 1:12 is based on the Graupner chassis, of which meanwhile only of the tub and the powertrain are left.
The gear box was retrofitted with a modified primary gear set by Pistenking to achieve a more realistic slower speed.
The body and tiller have been developed by myself, and they are also available as kits. This kit is still the most often sold PB600 body kit.
The snow blade is by Pistenking (Andi Rieger), the front mechanisms has been scratch built. The tracks are by Kettenkraxler (Klaus Bergdolt), and recently the look has been enhanced by original scale wheels by Pistenking.
An absolutely scale finisher, which was difficult to produce, has been added to the AlpinFlex-Tiller.
The tiller itself is of course motorized.
The hydraulic hoses are according to the original.
The side finishers can be raised by remote control.
Even for a model a general overhaul is necessary after a few years - for the originals this is done at the factory, and the revised snow cat is called a PistenBully select.
During this overhaul our PB600 select got new auxiliary lights from Pistenking (see Know How). All LEDs were exchanged and are now switchable separately.
The connection between body and tub was first done with a CAT5-connector. Meanwhile it has been replaced by Kingbus.
The body is hold in place with 3 strong neodymium magnets from a hardware store. The old Graupner mounting bolts were replaced with turned parts, which serve as positioning pins (see picture to the right).
Of course body and paint damages were repaired, same as at the original PistenBully select.
The new driver is by the way an enthusiastic VANS fan, like all our drivers, and furthermore a snowboarder. He has his snowboard always with him.
Even when you think the snow cat is finally finished, there's always something to improve. In July 2018 I made a completely new front attachment carrier. The previous one with the Polar snow blade was installed at Fabian's PB600.
As some small eye candy I had the angled connectors for the side part cylinders printed in brass, just looking like the original. As the hoses are glued to these connectors I made them removable by a small M1,6 screw. So I can easily change the snow blade against the double snowblower.
The hydraulics connectors were soldered from 117 individual parts. They look exactly like the connectors on my PB400 ParkPro. The hoses are 2 mm hydraulic hoses by Leimbach. I used Pattex to glue them into the connectors.
And while improving I also installed Pistenking Kingbus Universal Modules for controlling the lights.
My PB600 was originally a Graupner PistenBully which came on the market in 1981. I immediately purchased it with all available accessories. Below are historic pictures from 1984. That's how the model looked back then and how it was used over decades, before the modification to the PB600 was done in 2007.
- Scale: 1:12
- Chassis tub: Graupner
- Tracks: Kettenkraxler (self made)
- Equipment carrier front: self made with Pistenking parts
- PB600 body by AT modellbau
- AlpinFlex-Tiller by AT modellbau
- Wheel Set by Pistenking
- Parts set for driver cabin by Pistenking
- Gear conversion set by Pistenking
- RC system ScaleArt Commander SA-1000 with CM-5000 receiver
- Double Speed Controller Pistenking
- Castle Creations CC BEC to supply the receiver and servos
- Pistenking Kingbus Universal Modules for controlling the lights
- Battery NiMH 6 cells
- CTI Switch Modules Ps4o to switch on the tiller wheel
- Back-up warning beeper Pistenking
My very first article ever was published in fall 2008 in the issue Rad & Kette 1/2009. Here I describe the development of the body and tiller, and how the kit was created. These were the beginnings!
A couple of years later I wrote in Rad & Kette 1/2014 about detailing my PB600 Polar with lots of advice. They are in German language.
The articles can be downloaded as PDF file, with friendly permission by the magazine. Just click on the picture for downloading.
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