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Peter Lombardo

Member Since 20 Mar 2007
Offline Last Active Today, 03:03 AM

Topics I've Started

Ferrari La Freccia

13 April 2014 - 04:44 AM

Ferrari La Freccia  ( The Arrow) Concept


Ferrari has a long history of allowing their chassis’s to be turned into spectacular “one-off” custom cars.  Pinin Farina is the most widely noted of these builders, building some incredibly beautiful designs.  Since I have always enjoyed designing cars, I figured that I could try my hand at designing one too, after all, the most I have to lose is a little time and a few dollars worth of plastic.


I few years ago I replaced the top on a 2005 Chrysler 300 with the 2 door coupe top from a Revell 612 Scaglietti  to make a 2 door coupe bodied Chrysler.  In doing so I have the engine, chassis and interior left over.  The other night while moving a few boxes around in the workroom, I stumbled on the box and thought to myself that it was time to do something with the leftover parts


Having never been a big fan of the 612 as a stock bodied car as it seems too tame and boring to me, I wanted to design something a little more adventurous for that engine to power.  Always being a fan of the 1970’s Pontiac Gran Prix’s long hood coming to a point at the front, I wanted to bring that design element into this car.


Now right up front I have to apologize for the fact that I am taking this to the Flickr set I have since I cannot move the pictures into this post…..it appears they are rebuilding their system and that section is not completed yet….so you will have to click on the link below and see the pictures there without any narration with them. 


you may have to hit "control" click to see this link





The first “doodle” is the first rough side view I did to get an idea of how it could look.  The second (duplicate pictures) view is more refined with more of the body contours in place.  As I was drawing this out, I kept thinking that the nose was long and pointed with a protruding tip……it kind of reminded me of an arrow point……then it hit me to call this design “The Arrow”….so I Babblefished the word arrow in Italian and it translates into Freccia, hence the name “La Freccia” which is The Arrow.


Next I took a piece of sign foam (REN), drew on the basic design shape top and side and began carving the body with my Dremel tool with a sanding drum.   I had to use some Bondo on the rear end where I took too much foam off, but that was easy to correct.  You can see I drew some of the design features on the master just so I could visualize how the shape would look as the windows and doors were added.


Next I had to vacuum form the body, but because of the multiple convex curves of the body and the fact that the bottom of the car was indented (narrower than the top) conventional one-piece vacuum forming would not work here.  So I made two formed pieces, one from the top and one from the bottom.  I then cut them at main top contour line and mated the two together, so that now it forms a completely closed shell body, kind of like how your chocolate hollow Easter Bunny is made, solid outside and hollow inside.  Once the sanding is complete, I will remove the wheel openings and bottom, but for now the body has much stronger rigidity as it is that it is better for the rough handling now.  Once the wheels are opened, I will add the wheel well flairs to the openings, open the doors and fit the interior and modified chassis.  The wheelbase is set to the 612 chassis, so no modification to that will be necessary.  I have a set of 20 inch BBS wheels, and tires for this in gold with chrome rim edges that will look great on it.  I am planning a candy metallic pearl red with a blacked out roof and tan interior for this, after all, it is based on a Ferrari


There you have it, this is my plan so we will all see how it works out together.  

A Recap of Most of My Older Builds

15 March 2014 - 04:10 AM

The other day I was going through our Flickr account and found an old "set" that had many of my older builds in it.  Most all have not been posted here.  Well, I updated it with some of the newer stuff and thought it may be interesting to look back over the builds that go back 10 to 15 years now along with some of the newer stuff.   I apologize up front because there are duplicates and a few oil paintings and pen & inks in there too.        so if you click on this link, I think it will take you there....but maybe not, we'll see if this works.            



Un-butchered, 53 years later....1961 Ford Galaxie

06 March 2014 - 03:33 AM

Custom 1961 Ford Galaxie 2 dr coupe


So a few months ago I am perusing the shelves of my local hobby shop when I came across the retro looking  AMT 1961 Ford Galaxie box.   Suddenly, it’s 1961 again and I am transported back to Richie’s Hobby and Bike shop in Caldwell.


 I remember.


Yeah, I’m 12 years old, it’s a crisp cool Saturday afternoon and I’ve got a brand new 5 dollar bill just burning a hole in my pocket.  My buddy Billy Eaton and I just finished raking up all of the leaves in my neighbor’s yards….. and we just split a ten’er…..a  ten’er, we hit the big time.


What should I get?  A Johan Plymouth?  One of those new metalflake molded Revell showcars?  Or maybe one of those AMT Styline kits………yeah, one of those, but wait a minute……..those have those glue on custom  front and rear extensions  and for some reason, I can’t get that new-fangled  AMT putty to work very well.  I keep wondering to myself, what is the secret to getting a smooth joint?  My older brother was telling me I should wet sand it.  Wet-sand, what is wet-sanding anyway?  What does water have to do with sanding putty?  I don’t know.  But I’m getting a kit and that’s all that matters!  Back in the early sixties, if I had more than one kit in my stash at any given time, I considered myself “golden”.


So I’m looking over all of the kits on the shelf and my eye was drawn to the 1961 Ford Galaxie.  Get a load of those crazy dual stacked headlights….yeah, that’s the one.


Well, needless to say, I butchered that one….just like I butchered the Buick and the Pontiac too,   and eventually the 1962 Corvette with the wild nose and the glass gullwing fastback roof.  Getting smooth putty and an even spray-can paint job was just beyond my grasp back then.


Well fortunately, smooth putty and decent paint jobs no longer have me vexed.  So I grabbed that 1961 Ford box off the shelf of F & M hobby and told myself that I was going to rebuild that car from my youth but this time I was going to do it right and make up for the butcher job back then. 12968785025_ae657480c7.jpg


So here I am, 53 years later,  this is my  1961 Ford “take two” ……..this time, I know I got it right.12969091494_d044abaf43.jpg


Being an original mold from 1961, this kit had no engine, a very simple chassis, screws to hold it together; very simple interior with the seats molded in and metal axles.  But it also has the custom front and rear end styling pieces and a set of “3-D” rear fender skirts.12968673535_60ca48e895.jpg


The first thing I did was glue on the front and rear extensions and those rather interesting skirts.  Looking at the car in this configuration the stock roof was just screaming to me to be cut off, or at the very least, cut down with a wicked chop.  I mean the car was so freaken’ long now from the extensions that something had to be done.  Looking around on my work bench I found the last one of a couple of ridiculously crappy resin casting jobs of the roof off of the Boyd Chevoom.  I mean, these were crooked, full of air holes, and missing one of the a-pillars……….but as bad as it was, it looked better to me than the stock roof, so with a lot of putty, that was WET-SANDED smooth and good old super glue, this roof found a new home on this Galaxie. 12969093814_7512dd13e7.jpg


Next, I cut open the doors and the hood.  I left the rear custom piece, pretty much as it was designed,  except for the molded in license plate recess I added (which needs a plate installed)  but the front unit was modified. 12968821743_a90e5ed6b6.jpg I changed the lower shape of the headlight pods so that they have a bit more angle from the top and the lower light chrome section is much more visible.  The grille was formed from a section of photo-etched mess I had laying around.  This was bent four ways to follow the shape of the opening.12968824333_74163a61ba.jpg


The wheels and tires came from the 1962Thunderbird that was finished a few weeks ago.  On the side of the car, as I said before, I installed the fender skirts but I also added a molded in set of lake pipes and set them to exit just before the lower part of the rear fender skirt.  On the driver side I set in two tunneled sunken antennas which were a styling rage back in that time frame.  I added rear view mirrors from a Plymouth Prowler and made the front and rear windows from clear acetate cut to just sit into the openings.  The interior is basically stock with just paint to give it accent and the inner door panels just showed up on the workbench one day, so I have no idea where they cam from……..I guess it was magic, they just showed up.  The engine is also a mystery to me as to where it came from…….but I don’t care, it has a minimum of detail, and the hood looks better down, so the only reason I opened the hood and installed an engine was because I could……..no heavy detail to it, I added it because every car needs at least one motor…..somewhere in it.


The, well, what I consider the interesting part of the build is the paint, or more accurately, the decals over the paint.  I painted the car white like I almost always do, then I topped that with clear gloss mixed with pure white pearl pigment powder.  That was airbrushed on and allowed to dry.  Then late last summer I got a copy of the SRP magazine, (Street Rodder Premium) and on the back cover was a ad for the PPG Paint, Vibrance Collection paint series.  12968783705_d111508759.jpgThe ad consisted of a photo of an Oldsmobile that was basically stock with a pretty “out there” panel paint job.  Well, that picture inspired me and I thought that I could (well, actually my brother could on the computer)……replicate a panel paint job like that using decals.  So we photographed the car, scaled the photo in the computer and then using his drawing program designed the panels.  I modified the colors a little to the hue that I wanted, but the overall effect is very similar to the car in the ad.  Once set, we printed out a set on paper and cut them out and taped them to the car to insure the fit was correct.  12968785685_d8e3c78464.jpgAfter a few adjustments, I printed the images on clear decal paper.  I sprayed the decal sheet with a light coat of clear lacquer and set it aside to dry.  A couple of days later I carefully cut out the decals as close to the lines as I could and installed them on the car over the pearl white.  Because the decals were translucent, the pearl “glow” came through the colored area of the decals and intensified the color.  Once the decals were dry, I clear coated everything and then lightly sanded it, being ultra-careful not to sand down through the clear and on to the decal, then compounded and waxed the car to get a nice smooth shine.12968826493_9a8dfd59ca.jpg


I love the effect…..I was able to give this car a one of a kind panel paint job without the stress and bother of taping and multiple paint layers…..it is kinda’, one and done.  The car is long, and low.


I think the paint fits it perfectly……and that beat-up resin roof came out ok with a lot of putty and new a pillars.  And most important to me, I made amends for that poor old 1961 Ford that a 12 year old kid butchered back in the day…………all is well again. 

I need your opinions....there is no right or wrong answer

15 February 2014 - 10:55 AM

Ok, this is not the type of question you would see here, but I need some input from you guys. 


If you work in a car dealership or a related field you may have a different view on this. 


My question(s), and I really want an honest answer to it, is......Buying a new car.....I am sure most, if not all of you (slightly older guys), have purchased, leased or financed a new vehicle.......so, what is the best and the worst aspect of the process?


Do you injoy it?     Hate it?    Have you searched on line for it?  Do find the information that you need?  What would you like to see changed, if anything?   and would you, if you could, buy a car "on-line".....I mean by that have all the information you need to purchase a new vehicle without stepping foot in a dealership.


Give this a little thought and let me know, if I am not asking too much from you......I would really love to hear from a cross-section of the country...


Thanks in advance, I appreciate your thoughts, and I will explain all of this once we see the result....assuming I get some results........thanks.

completed 1962 Thunderbird Custom Coupe

13 February 2014 - 07:13 AM

1962 Custom Ford Thunderbird Coupe


here is the link to the previous "on the workbench" post on this build...http://www.modelcars...topic=82280&hl=


Normally, I would be out on the road selling my new web site to car dealers (more on this at a later date) but with this ridiculous snow storm ( I hate snow with every fiber of my being ) I am forced to work from home today….and with the residual issues this storm is bringing the car dealers in the Northern New Jersey, I don’t know how long before I can get a dealer to sit down and watch my demo with a clear head.


P.S. there is a ton of snow to shovel later…….did I mention that I hate snow????


Anyway, I took the free time this morning to finish up a few details on my rather ambitious build of the Thunderbird I started back in December 2013.


I am not wasting a lot of time setting up the photography ( not that I ever really do ) so the pictures are not “glamour” shots by any stretch but you will get the idea.12502654325_01cfecbc07.jpg


I am very pleased with the final product here….it followed my early design sketches very closely with the obvious exception of the wheel and tire choice. 12502776033_a385c230d1.jpg The design originally called for wide white walls with a Cadillac Sombrero wheel cover, both coming from the most recently released version of the AMT Thunderbird, but the other night while looking for something else in one of my parts draws I stumbled upon these forgotten wheels and tires I had from a garage sale Tamiya Mercedes and it just hit me that they would work on the Thunderbird exactly as they were….not even painted….the rears were wider and bigger than the fronts and I think the “turbo spoke” look worked better on this build as it is not really a 1960’s style custom in the real sense.  I think it has more of a factory performance concept look to it so these wheels work better for my eye.12503123584_e0a23169d0.jpg


This build presented a whole host of engineering challenges that I had to over-come, and quite frankly, that is why I wanted to do it….I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it and have the result be “acceptable”…….could the execution of the door opening system be better?….sure…..but considering this was my first attempt, I am reasonably happy with it.12502780713_69194d2b43.jpg12503129524_4cb550b9ba.jpg

Because I incorporated a unique door opening system in this car, final assemble was more like building a “ship in a bottle” then building a traditional model car kit.  One of the major points that literally saved my bacon on this build was the choice of the roof and therefore the windows.  In most vehicles the windows must be installed from the inside before the chassis and interior are in place.  But the choice of the Firebird roof meant that I could install the front and rear windshields from the outside after the interior was in place.12502656125_d080559bc5.jpg


The chassis  has the door opening “slides” built into them so I was forced to attached the completed and painted doors to the chassis and then install the chassis with the engine in place into the body. 12503135004_716fc85af8.jpg Once the chassis and body were mated, I could then fabricate the rear package shelf behind the rear seat to “fit” the space….then the dashboard and console followed by the front seats were installed all through the rather large window openings.  12502783233_69c9cecc10.jpg


Once all of the interior components were in place the windows were installed and glued into place….it was very different and I admit a little “scary” to do all of this in a strange almost backwards order.12503122004_c53bb41a49.jpg


Anyway, here is the completed Thunderbird.  The car was painted with a base coat of refrigerator white, which is how almost all of my paint jobs start.  This was lightly sanded smooth and then the top center and the sides were airbrushed with clear lacquer mixed with pearl white pigment powder to get a pearl white effect.  Next I mixed a custom blend of clear lacquer with yellow, green, blue and turquoise pigment powders to make a greenish turquoise color similar to the color of my original sketch from a few months ago.  I airbrushed the turquoise mixture onto the body leaving the center of the top and the sides free of this color to allow the pearl white to show through.  Once this was dry, I hit the white area with a little bit more pearl white to help even out the balance of the blended areas.  Once I was happy with that I added a thin highlight of Tamiya white down the center of the top and sides with the number one needle in my airbrush closed down to the thinnest spray possible.  Once dry, this was clear coated with 4 coats of clear lacquer, once that was dry, it was sanded a few times with the polishing sandpapers, compounded and waxed to a nice shine.

Obviously,   I am pretty happy with the result.


I have one more custom in the works that will have a nice little “color” twist to it and a few race cars….I just started a Studio 27 multimedia 1/20 scale kit of the Brabham  BT-44B which I built as a 1/12 Tamiya  back in the mid 1970’s….this is a car I have always loved the look of and finally “bit the bullet” and paid the rather high price for the Multimedia version of it but I wanted a 1/20 scale version…… more on that later too.