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1969 Mustang GT Convertible


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#1 Jairus

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 05:49 AM

I receive a lot of emails asking how do you do this or that? Well, in the interest of showing some ideas for kit modification and working features I will start this thread with the most recent question… How did you build that Mustang?

Read on….

This 1969 Mustang GT Convertible was built as my dream car. Unfortunately there were only 3 GT Convertibles ever built with a 428 Cobra Jet engine and a shaker hood scoop. My chances of owning one are about as remote as winning the lottery or dating a supermodel. At any rate, a fellow modeler asked me how I built it so I thought I would post the pictures and answer his questions here so that all members of MCM Forums could benefit. This thread is for everyone so feel free to share your ideas too!
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The biggest problem with this project was that there are no 1969 Mustang Convertibles or no 1969 GT Mustang kits on the market! AMT had a coupe but I am not sure if it was a GT…. At any rate, the entry fee for that kit is much too high to consider using it for parts. Even so, I used a mix of parts from quite a few other kits! Starting point was a 1/24th scale 1970 Boss 429 from Monogram. The reason I started with this kit was primarily the scale. I already had a Boss 302 in that scale and had started a 72 Mach 1. I wanted them to be able to sit next to each other on the shelf. Should this have been built out of a 1/25th scale kit then it would have looked slightly smaller next to the other two cars. First step was the removal of the roof and re-sculpting of the back deck. Trunk lid opening was scribed in. Top boot is built up with two-part epoxy putty.

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For any other builders... I would suggest using the Revell/Monogram 1969 Mach 1 as a starting point instead. That way you already have the correct front and rear fascia. The interior panels will only be standard but if you want deluxe ... you'll also have to get the '69 Shelby. Both kits are 1/25th scale and parts are interchangeable between the two. I used many of the parts from both these kits for my car but had to totally modify all panels to convert the '70 into a '69. A LOT of work and took me many years to finish.
Note the deluxe interior in the above picture. The door panels were built up using two-part epoxy putty. The wood grain inset was produced on my computer and printed out. Note that the center console has been removed!

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Another trick is to permanently attach the chassis to the body. This strengthens the unit to allow the huge amount of handling required for filling, sanding and painting. I would not suggest this if your building a coupe unless you like building a "ship-in-a-bottle" type model....
The door panels were cut from the interior bucket so I could work on them separate but flanges were attached inside to allow the panels to be mounted quickly and not fall into the inside of the door. Doors were not cut open on this car. The only working features are the hood/hood latch and working steering. However, opening doors would have been fairly simple and straightforward, even if it had added a huge amount of work!

#2 Jairus

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 05:53 AM

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Rear panel is removed from the ’70 Boss body and a new one formed with evergreen sheet. Holes were cut so the Revell ’69 taillights would fit. Gas cap base was built up so that the GT cap would fit. Not sure where the cap came from but it does say “GT”! Note the fender crease in front of the bumper ends that had to be built up with evergreen. Those, along with the quarter fender “vents” are only on ’69 coupes and convertibles, were scratch built!

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Rear seat is directly out of the 70 Boss. It is not totally correct but… what are you going to do? The front seats however, are also out of the ’70 and the seat pattern is totally correct. However I had to cut off the top of the seat back and mold a new set of head rests. This was the last year for adjustable headrests. Oh yes, the seats fold forward in this car, even though I didn’t open the doors….

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Grille is lifted directly from the Revell ’69 Mach 1 along with the outer headlights. The “sugar scoop” headlight buckets are built up from evergreen and putty. Hundreds of hours in this part of the car and I am still not satisfied with the result. I hope one of the manufacturers will someday create an accurate ’69 kit!

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Her name is “Dona” and she is helping me, so please be nice with the comments! Working the hood latch, just like the real car, opens Hood! It can be manipulated with just a fingertip. The hood is sprung so that it stands open with out having to use a prop rod. Later posts will demonstrate this feature along with the details on the latch.

Engine is a 428 CJ out of the Revell ’69 Shelby along with the complete exhaust system however; the tips were replaced with aluminum tube. The differences in scale required a slight amount of lengthen’g behind the resonators. This is a common problem when sourcing parts from differing scale kits!

That’s all for now.

#3 Jairus

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:20 AM

The following illustrations are what I used for the hood of the ’69 Mustang GT Convertible. The view is seen from the underside of the body looking past the cowel toward the hood. Hinges are attached directly to the underside of the cowel. Firewall is not shown.
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Top illustration (A) is of a normal hood hinge. This image is show for clarity. No springs are used to keep it open however the same basic geometry and attachment points are used for the sprung hinge.
Lower illustration (:) is the sprung hinge and uses two pieces of wire bent in mirror images of each other. Hinge on the left crosses over the right and is attached under the right fender. Right hinge rod is locked down on the left. If the rods are bent right, when the rods are locked down they will be under tension. Thus the rod becomes the spring ala: “torsion rod”!
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This model is a custom 62 Chevy so the mounts are not normal. They were cantilevered under the windshield since there is no cowl to speak of. However, the basics are the same…. Note that the hinge is like the upper illustration (A) but with a single torsion spring pushing against one leg of the hood hinge.


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The latch in the actual Mustang model may differ a tiny bit from this illustration but the basic parts are the same. The actuator rod is a tiny piece of wire that pushes against the long locking rod/hook to make it un-latch. Another option is that the long rod/hook can drop below the front bumper/valance inorder for it to be actuated by the fingertip. If it is painted black it will blend with the rest of the details under the car and be virtually invisible.
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This picture demonstrates the “below-the-bumper” hood actuator.

#4 MonoPed

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 08:33 AM

Great post!! I have wondered about building torsion rods for opening trunks, never thought about using the idea for hoods too.

#5 camaroman

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 12:46 AM

Great work Jairus! I am still awaiting, with baited breath, the article for the buildup of your 61 Starliner.LOL

#6 FASTBACK340

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 01:10 AM

[Her name is “Dona” and she is helping me, so please be nice with the comments!


I like a girl who's jeans look like they're painted on..... :wink:


Sweet build. Thanks for the tips!


#7 Zoom Zoom

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 03:38 AM

Looks great! Very Juha-esque. Very unique subject, and the color scheme complements it perfectly. You've got Dona, you don't need a red convertible :wink: :lol:

Missing Link Resin now makes resin copies of the only really accurate '69 Mustang, the rare one from AMT. It's the right size (unlike the MPC reissue which is underscale) and it looks better than Revell's because the front end is accurate. Had you had this option when you started this project, would that have been an option, even though it's 1/25 scale?

The Revell is good except for the unfortunately droopy outer headlights. Don't know how they could have screwed that detail up so completely; if you look at a '69 'Stang from the front the inner and outer lamps line up horizontally on the same plane (just as if there were no grille divider or outer headlight bezel between them) but Revell obviously wasn't working from photos, or the pattern maker and kit designer weren't wearing glasses that day. The way the kit's face looks is so frustrating because it's pretty much impossible to fix without very difficult surgery and rebuilding, either the entire front fender because of the integral character line and/or the grille and surround. You did pretty ###### well given the circumstances, and I can understand how it took so many hours.

#8 gasman

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 05:44 PM

awsome tutorial Jairus. I plan on replicating a Friend of my Famiy's 70 convertible some day. and this seems to be an easy enough conversion.

#9 Ron Hamilton

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 01:56 PM

I recently bought an unbuilt Revell '70 Mustang Grande' in order to do a triple black 428 Coupe, and this kit is horrible. The only thing I want to do with it is to use it as a guide to convert the Monogram/Revell '70 Boss 429/'69 Mach 1/'70 Boss 302 into a passable replica. I recently ordered a resin '69 Mustang coupe transkit from AFX 'n scale, which may save me some building time. I also have a AMT '69 and '70 Mach 1 fastback, I plan to do a little kitbashin' on to make an accurate replica. Planning out the cars takes a little time, but like you, I like realism in my replica stock builds.

#10 LT

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 05:03 PM

Very nice and unique model, Jairus. The interior detailing is impressive and comes across as very realistic.

#11 Jairus

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 07:39 PM

It should, I drove one in that color and interior for 7 years! It was a Grande' not a convertible but same color inside and out. Only 15 years old when I first bought it with less than a 90,000 miles on the clock.
Oh yes, the clock worked as did the air.... wish I still had that car...

#12 mrglubaum

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:19 AM

Beautiful car, Jairus! I seen and admired it before, and It's nice to see the story behind the build!

#13 Jeff Johnston

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 09:12 AM

That is one of the coolest models I've seen in a long time. I've often thought about making a convertible, and always "chickened out". Because like you said, it's a heck of a lot of work. Now I may be inspired again to try it after all.

The fact that your is painted Lime Gold is an added plus ! IMHO the best Mustang - Ford color they ever made !

Did you have to fabricate the entire rear deck ? How'd you take it from how its "Raked" Sportsroof, to being correctly flat for the convertible ??

I actually have a 1:1 69 Sportsroof...I agree with Bob that the Revell kit is totally wrong in the front...I don't know how you botch that up. Other than that, the kit is fabulous. But every time I look at the front of the Revell I built, I shake my head...

Jeff

#14 cruz

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 06:38 PM

Very nice model, and the car doesn't look bad either :shock: :shock:

#15 Billy Kingsley

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 06:47 PM

Jairus, if you win the lottery, you can buy the car, which will then attract the supermodels!

Love that Mustang. The early (pre-73) Mustangs are one of the all time best car designs, IMO, and they ALL look good to me.