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427 Street Cobra Csx3181


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#1 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:24 PM

This is the one that started it all. Nearly 3 years of research went into this build so far. Back in 1989 Monogram released their 427 Street Cobra kit and while they got a lot of things right, they also got a lot wrong. For reasons I couldn't quite fathom they included wire wheels on the car when there wasn't a single 427 Cobra so equipped from the factory. But I did get the street bumpers, correct dashboard, and flat hood that I needed, and they even included an Up Top that wasn't in the 427 S/C kit.

One thing that caught my eye, was the decal sheet. Like all of the early 427 Cobra kits monogram did, it had two license plates in it one that says "COBRA" and one that says "CSX 3181" So Idecided that I wanted to do a build of that actual car. Ironicly you can build either the 427 S/C kit, or the 427 Street kit, and still build an accurate model of CSX3181.

CSX3181 Today;

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Here is how CSX3181 looked when it was new

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The photos of the white car is a car that was equipped just like CSX3181 except that it has the round taillamps where CSX3181 had the early style rectangular lights, The car was wrecked by it's original owner shortly after it was new so few actual photos exist from that time. When the car was repaired, it was upgraded to 427 S/C specs. But seeing how I wanted to build a street Cobra i decided to do the model the way it looked originally. Through talking with several guys over at the SAAC and looking through several referance books, I was able to determine these facts about the car when it left the factory...

1. It was equipped with the 390hp 427 with 2x4bbl carbs.
2. It was equipped with the halibrand "sunburst" wheels
3. It was built with the wide S/C fenders as opposed to the narrow ones on CSX3125 - CSX3158
4. It was equipped with the oil cooler scoop under the grill
5. it was white with a black interior

this of course created a problem; There was no Halibrand Sunburst Wheel in 1/25 scale. this put the project on hold for quite a while when I tried to figure out how to scratchbuild one. After a few failed attemts I figured out how to build the wheel up in layers. using the computer I created drawings for what would make up each layer of detail. in total there are 23 individual pieces in the original. Don at Reliable Resin Cast copies for me to use in my builds.

Here is the in progress shot of the master

Posted Image

So there you have it, 3 years of research, 20 hours of Drawing on the computer, 65 hours of scratch building, and I have... A wheel!...Ok actually I have four of them, but now I can build the Cobra I always wanted to. I'm currently cleaning up the body, and filling in the sidepipe holes. Next up is making the inner fenders the monogram kit lacks.

Edited by Casey, 18 November 2012 - 03:58 PM.


#2 m408

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:16 PM

This is the one that started it all. Nearly 3 years of research went into this build so far. Back in 1989 Monogram released their 427 Street Cobra kit and while they got a lot of things right, they also got a lot wrong. For reasons I couldn't quite fathom they included wire wheels on the car when there wasn't a single 427 Cobra so equipped from the factory. But I did get the street bumpers, correct dashboard, and flat hood that I needed, and they even included an Up Top that wasn't in the 427 S/C kit.

One thing that caught my eye, was the decal sheet. Like all of the early 427 Cobra kits monogram did, it had two license plates in it one that says "COBRA" and one that says "CSX 3181" So Idecided that I wanted to do a build of that actual car. Ironicly you can build either the 427 S/C kit, or the 427 Street kit, and still build an accurate model of CSX3181.

CSX3181 Today;

Posted Image

Posted Image

Here is how CSX3181 looked when it was new;

Posted Image

Posted Image


The photos of the white car is a car that was equipped just like CSX3181 except that it has the round taillamps where CSX3181 had the early style rectangular lights, The car was wrecked by it's original owner shortly after it was new so few actual photos exist from that time. When the car was repaired, it was upgraded to 427 S/C specs. But seeing how I wanted to build a street Cobra i decided to do the model the way it looked originally. Through talking with several guys over at the SAAC and looking through several referance books, I was able to determine these facts about the car when it left the factory...

1. It was equipped with the 390hp 427 with 2x4bbl carbs.
2. It was equipped with the halibrand "sunburst" wheels
3. It was built with the wide S/C fenders as opposed to the narrow ones on CSX3125 - CSX3158
4. It was equipped with the oil cooler scoop under the grill
5. it was white with a black interior

this of course created a problem; There was no Halibrand Sunburst Wheel in 1/25 scale. this put the project on hold for quite a while when I tried to figure out how to scratchbuild one. After a few failed attemts I figured out how to build the wheel up in layers. using the computer I created drawings for what would make up each layer of detail. in total there are 23 individual pieces in the original. Don at Reliable Resin Cast copies for me to use in my builds.

Here is the in progress shot of the master;

Posted Image

Here is the finished wheel;

Posted Image

So there you have it, 3 years of research, 20 hours of Drawing on the computer, 65 hours of scratch building, and I have... A wheel!...Ok actually I have four of them, but now I can build the Cobra I always wanted to. I'm currently cleaning up the body, and filling in the sidepipe holes. Next up is making the inner fenders the monogram kit lacks.

Stay tuned for the next episode of...

The Anal Retentive Un-dead Modeler!

WOW!!! Hard to figure out which one I would want, if I had a choice.

#3 CAL

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:14 AM

I'll be keeping an eye on this one.

That was really the only major lacking thing about the kit: no wheel wells.

I'll be doing a few more. Overall, a fun kit to build.

#4 RatRod

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 08:01 AM

Well, the wheels look fantastic!!! This will be a good one to watch. You know, the 1/16 MPC 427 Cobra also has an up top, and the Sunburst wheels included in the kit. Just a thought if you ever wanted an older brother..... :)

#5 OLDERGUY

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 11:53 AM

I belive some of the very first Cobras had wires. May be wrong, but don't thinkso. ;) :lol:

#6 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 12:09 PM

I belive some of the very first Cobras had wires. May be wrong, but don't thinkso. ;) :lol:


The original plans for the 427 Street Cobra was to build them with wire wheels, but there was a shortage by the supplier. Thus they went with the sunburst wheel. No 427 Cobra ever left the factory with wires.

#7 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 12:14 PM

Well, the wheels look fantastic!!! This will be a good one to watch. You know, the 1/16 MPC 427 Cobra also has an up top, and the Sunburst wheels included in the kit. Just a thought if you ever wanted an older brother..... :lol:



This is true, I have several of those kits, but I wanted one in 1/25. I do have a MPC 1/16 Cobra that I'm working on that I'm correcting the body. That kit has no oil cooler scoop, which would be correct for a handful of later 427 Street Cobras, (somewhere in the 3300 serial numbers) so I'm working on adding the scoop.

#8 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 03:50 PM

I've started work on the body. One of the tings that bothers me the most about this kit, if that the hood and the surounding bodywork don't sit flush. This is where that whole obsessive compulsive thing gets in the way. the difference is only .25mm but it is enough to show up in photos especially when the paint is really glossy. So I'm in the process sanding the body flush with the hood being very carefull to maintain the contours of the body. you can see in the photo the areas that are still shiney in th areas I've been sanding. Those are the ow spots. as soon as those are gone the hood and the body will be flush...

Posted Image

Other body modifications I will be performing will be opening up the doors and the boot, filling in the sidepipe holes, and opening up the fender air vents.

#9 CAL

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 04:46 PM

I've started work on the body. One of the tings that bothers me the most about this kit, if that the hood and the surounding bodywork don't sit flush. This is where that whole obsessive compulsive thing gets in the way. the difference is only .25mm but it is enough to show up in photos especially when the paint is really glossy. So I'm in the process sanding the body flush with the hood being very carefull to maintain the contours of the body. you can see in the photo the areas that are still shiney in th areas I've been sanding. Those are the ow spots. as soon as those are gone the hood and the body will be flush...

Posted Image

Other body modifications I will be performing will be opening up the doors and the boot, filling in the sidepipe holes, and opening up the fender air vents.


yup I found the same thing: The hood sits too low into the body. I used a little strip plastic to build it up. I thought about sanding the body like you did, but I was afraid of flattening out the top of the body too much.

I did build some prototype side vents that I didn't use I the one I built but plan on using them on a future build, along with opening doors and trunk

I also found that when it comes to the radiator and shroud it is better to glue the shroud in first then the expansion tank then the radiator. Everything lines up better, other wise there is a tendency to get gaps around the shroud and if you don’t put the assembly in at just the right angle a whole bunch of other problems creep up:

The body doesn’t want to fit on the chassis right; it doesn’t like to sit all the way down where is should. I also had to modify the shroud so it fit flush around the expansion tank part.

Then glue the lower radiator hose on the water pump end and align it to the lower rad mount.

You will see what I am talking about when you get that far. Otherwise it is total opposite of the instructions.

Couple other small problem areas:

Front suspension if you don't get it in just right it will through off the location of the wheels and the won't be centered in the wheel opening.

I built mine stright up but the wheels sit a little too far back in the wheel opening. I can see two solutions:

1 is tip the assembly forward a touch when building.

Or

2 move the whole assembly forwards, which isn't easy to do.

The rear there isn't much play, and there is none in the body. However the rear wheels centered up just fine. The only problem in the rear was the upper A-arm bolts hit the interior tub so it wouldn't sit flat on the chassis, which in turn pushed the body up. I just ended up filling them off and everything fell flat into place. I guess I could have removed the tub stops in the body for more adjustment in the tub but then the back of the tub was almost flush with the cockpit opening, which didn't look right.

HTH

Edited by CAL, 15 March 2008 - 05:02 PM.


#10 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:40 PM

Thank's Cal,

All good advice. This will be the 23rd Monogram 427 Cobra I've built. I've learned that with this kit it is very important to dry fit everything. One thing that helps a lot is I have a full time test mule to trial fit all of my modified parts on. Here it is test fitted with my work in progress front inner fenders;


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I learned to do this from a friend who used to build nothing but winston cup cars. He had mock up chassis from every type of car he built which allowed him to fabricate pieces to fit in the space allowed even though he hadn't gotten that far into the build. in this case it will allow me to design the inner fenders and Street style under-car exhaust to clear all of the kit's pieces, with out having to fuss with an almost finished build while doing it.

I usually take a little different tack when doing the radiator shroud/expansion tank/radiator assembly;

I Usually paint & detail the shroud and the expansion tank and then attach both of these to the body. This allows me to attach the inner fenders to the body, and makes it easier to drop the body onto the chassis. It also allows me to install proper front brake ducting that the kit also lacks. As you can see here there is a lot of detail up front that the Monogram kit only hints at;

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Attaching all if this to the body makes it easier to keep it all together during final assembly. Using the mule chassis also allows me to have a visual reference for the correct location & angle of the radiator and other chassis componants. Sort of like a 3D instruction sheet.

#11 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 03:59 PM

Tonight i'm working on the fender vents. I figured I'd do thoese before I got too far on the body work just in case I screw them up. With out realizing it I'm learning a lot from Harry's "Real Or Model" Posts. In trying to figure out whether a picture is of a model or not, has given me insight into what makes a Model look like a model.. Many times it's little thing like textures, and very small details. That's why I decided to open up the fender vents while it really is an small detail, but it's one that adds depth to the build.

Here is my last Cobra build, A 1967 AC 289 Sports;

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If this were in a "Real or Model" the fender vents would be a dead give away that this is a model.

Here is the opened vents on my 427 Street Cobra;

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They still need a little bit of clean up but I think they go a long way to making the car look more real.

#12 CAL

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 04:16 PM

I agree with that.

That was my first thought: just open them up, which will probably look fine, particularly in this case where they are body color, but I am working on an insert for the side fins. IIRC It would be more prototypical to the real car and some were left natural metal, some painted body color, and some painted black. Second, the fins overlap one another to a small degree, which cannot be done by simply opening them up. They were a little inset, too.

#13 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 05:04 PM

In this Update I will show the modifications I've made to the rear of the Street Cobra. Below is a cut away drawing with the frame sections to be added highlighted in red;

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Here is a photo of the 1:1 frame;
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Here it is in scale;
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I also filled the hole for the sunken 427S/C gas cap so I can install a street car gas cap;

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Thanks for looking.

#14 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 02:36 PM

I've started on the underbody tin. I've decided to make it out of .008 Alminium sheet from K&S. Since the most complex piece was the radiator cowling I made that first.


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I'm working on the inner fenders, firewall, trunk panels etc. next.

Comments welcome.

#15 cobrit

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 01:23 PM

I've started on the underbody tin. I've decided to make it out of .008 Alminium sheet from K&S. Since the most complex piece was the radiator cowling I made that first.


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I'm working on the inner fenders, firewall, trunk panels etc. next.

Comments welcome.

Really nice work. I like the idea of a mock-up chassis for fitting the newly massaged components and body parts. I have a few of these kits on the shelf and will keep your build processes in mind when I undertake one. I also never realized that the 1/16 MPC kit didn't have the oil cooler body molding, even though I built one twenty years ago and still have it in my case! I have a special interest in scale Cobras, as I have a 1/1 replica in my garage that's 95% complete and will be on the road soon. Good luck with your great buildup and keep us posted.
Rich
P.S. Someone is selling resin Sunburst wheels on ebay and they look pretty good.

#16 Darin Bastedo

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 02:35 PM

Really nice work. I like the idea of a mock-up chassis for fitting the newly massaged components and body parts. I have a few of these kits on the shelf and will keep your build processes in mind when I undertake one. I also never realized that the 1/16 MPC kit didn't have the oil cooler body molding, even though I built one twenty years ago and still have it in my case! I have a special interest in scale Cobras, as I have a 1/1 replica in my garage that's 95% complete and will be on the road soon. Good luck with your great buildup and keep us posted.
Rich


Thanks for the compliments. The mock up chassis comes in very handy.

P.S. Someone is selling resin Sunburst wheels on ebay and they look pretty good.


Thanks, I mastered those.

#17 LVZ2881

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 03:01 PM

First of all, great scratchbuilding darin, I envy your skills..

secondly, its awfully cold in here, cause Darin and Cal are getting along, hell must be frozen ( no offense guys, meant as a joke) :)

#18 CAL

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 04:04 PM

First of all, great scratchbuilding darin, I envy your skills..

secondly, its awfully cold in here, cause Darin and Cal are getting along, hell must be frozen ( no offense guys, meant as a joke) :(

:angry: That was funny....


Darin the Cobra is coming along nicely.

donno if I will go that far, but I do want to do another one with doors and opening trunk. So I will be interested to see how you tackle the trunk.

I would like to find a SOHC motor for the next one. :ph34r:

#19 bigphoto

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 06:14 PM

Sweet work on the snake!!!
You should also post some the pics on the Shelby Forums.

#20 Mike Chernecki

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 06:06 AM

The Cobra is looking great. What do you use to cut and shape the aluminum? I always get curled edges when I try to cut the sheet and bloody fingers when trying to shape the aluminum.