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Walser

Pistenraupen
Modellbau

DE

PistenBully 800

Photo and Model by Adrian Humbel

by Albert Türtscher

Kässbohrer's latest top model, the PistenBully 800 SIMPLY RED, was officially presented in a live stream on March 1, 2023 in Sölden. It is specially designed for pushing power and optimal slope preparation and has one more wheel than previous PistenBullys. As usual, images of the PB800 as a prototype in camouflage and later even uncamouflaged were already floating around on the internet before the event. 

Pistenking received the CAD data already at the beginning of autumn 2022, of course under the strictest secrecy. As with the PB400, I took over the CAD work in order to develop parts for the model and an intended kit from the original data. We had set ourselves an ambitious goal: a prototype of the model should be ready by the presentation on March 1st, 2023. And we did it! Just three days later, Pistenking was able to present the model at the "BEST OF" function model event in the Unimog Museum in Gaggenau, Germany!

It was great teamwork with Pistenking: Adrian Humbel took care of the sheet metal parts, Andi Rieger did the electronics for the light circuit boards and Lukas Worbs printed the driver's cab parts. On February 13, 2023,  Andi Rieger and I even had the opportunity to see the PB800 live during a visit to Kässbohrer.


Below are two videos, one from the product presentation at the model fair “BEST OF” (in German language), and one with impressions of the model . 

Of course I was also interested in my own model, because the PB800 looks really cool. So I bought an Anycubic M3 Premium printer and accessories. This made it possible to print the large cabin parts in one piece. The surface quality was impressive and almost indistinguishable from injection molded parts.

Only one pass with a filling primer and sanding was enough. Then two coats of silver paint (I use Tamiya TS-30) were applied for UV protection, over that a light gray primer, and then red could already be painted. Below are the parts as I taped them off for painting the black areas:

After painting, the silver logos had to be applied, which was a real challenge because of the indentation in the side panels and a rather stiff carrier film for models of this size. When the first PB800s with black lettering appeared in the winter of 2023/24, I removed the silver foils and replaced them with black ones because that suits my fleet better. 


Below is the Pistenking model (built by Adrian Humbel) at the Interalpin 2023 at the PistenBully booth: 

With the exhaust system, I was really able to go down to the smallest detail thanks to the CAD model. Of course, not the entire system is implemented in the model because the space in the backpack is needed for the electronics. Below are photos of the model and original respectively.

In the original, the cooler is on the right side, diagonally inwards, and would therefore hardly be visible. That's why I put in a black wall, just like with the exhaust system because of the space requirement in the backpack.

In fall 2023 I finished drawing and printing the interior panels. Shortly after Christmas the lighting boards arrived from Pistenking and I was able to start assembling the driver cabin. I started with the floor assembly, glued the door frames, the rear wall and the headliner with UHU plus endfest 300. It has over 2 hours of pot life, so there is enough time to position the parts precisely. Then let it harden overnight. Then I glued on the back wall and front apron. The roof comes last. In order to thread the Kingbus cables through the B-pillar, I pulled in the yellow cables before gluing the rear wall. I glued the delicate air outlets on with white glue (Micro Kristal Clear) as shown in the photo.

I covered the bottom ventilation slots on the inside of the backpack with a thin black polystyrene plate. Then you can't see through to the tangled cables.

A particular challenge was the interior lighting with the red ambient stripes. Andi Rieger from Pistenking has really achieved an ingenious implementation for the model. When a door is opened, the white interior lighting switches on and dims after a time delay after the doors are closed. The red ambient lighting is always on. The blue backlit radio is another eye-catcher.

As with my PB100 and PB400, the interior corresponds to the original down to the smallest detail:

For the headlights at the front, Pistenking has perfectly implemented the ring lights for the parking lights and the indicators. Likewise the taillights and indicators at the rear:

Chassis

The chassis consists of the proven Pistenking chassis, which has been extended accordingly to accommodate the additional wheel. The assembly was quite quick, this time I made the appropriate gauges to precisely align the side beams and the sprocket wheel bearings:

Andi Rieger (Pistenking) came up with the idea of printing the decorative sheets for the sides of the tub, which was very quick and looked just as good as the laser-cut sheet metal parts I used otherwise:

For the front equipment carrier I used the new mechanical 8-way control from Pistenking. Using hydraulics again was too complicated and too expensive for me.

To build the tracks, I again used my tried and tested wooden template to position the track cleats. The Proxxon screwdriver was used again. I secured the counter plates against twisting with a few drops of Pattex. This track is by 6 cleats longer than the standard track.

The sprocket wheel inserts are of course also the same as the original and are simply glued into the Pistenking sprocket wheels.


Below is a video of its first working session in snow on Feb. 10th, 2024:

AlpinFlex Tiller

For the tiller I used the tried and tested kit from Pistenking and, as with the PB400, added a few additional details. With this kit, the complex tiller can be assembled quite quickly. The biggest challenge for me seems to be gluing the hold-down strip to the finisher. Here you should use the glue (Pattex Extreme) sparingly to avoid ugly squeezing of the glue. I weigh down the glued areas and let them harden overnight. The lower dampers for the tiller boxes are not included in the Pistenking kit, but can be made yourself using a lathe (see also “Detailing the AlpinFlex tiller”)

The flap cylinders are a clearly visible detail. These are now available including the mounting brackets as printed parts from AT modellbau. The printed parts also include true-to-scale hydraulic connections for the flap cylinders, side finisher cylinders and the rear lifting cylinder.

The current tillers have a central hydraulic distributor with two beam lights. This eliminates the two side humps. To do this, the hump holders on the frame must be filed down neatly, and of course the adhesive joints there should also be sanded cleanly, as they are now clearly visible.


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