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1/43 MPC Dodge A-100 Van & Pickup


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#1 Casey

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 10:04 PM

I picked up two Round2/MPC Zingers! Super Van kits today with the intention of returning one body shell back to a stock A-100 van and the second back to a stock A-100 pickup body. Feeling motivated, I started with the van body.


For those who prefer to view a slideshow of how the work progressed, CLICK HERE


My first step was to measure the thickness of the roof, which was .050". I had some .060" Evergreen sheet styrene handy, so I flipped the body over, placed it upon the styrene sheet, and traced the roof opening with an Ultra Fine Sharpie marker.

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I then cut out the patch piece and beveled the edges slightly, making it narrower at the bottom (inside) edges so the piece could not fall inside the body. I also tapered the roof opening to match, and kept slowly filing and test fitting the patch until I was satisfied with the fit.

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Since the roof has a slightly convex shape to it (viewed side to side), I added a slight arch to the patch to match the roof's curvature. Once satisfied, I used CA glue and accelerator at various points around the perimeter to tack the patch panel in place. Finally, I ran a full bead of CA glue in the joint all the way around the patch panel, then hit it with more accelerator. The patch was now permanently in place.

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Next, I needed to sand the patch panel even with the rest of the roof, so using 320 grit 3M wet sanding paper and a rubber sanding block I started sanding, making sure to not get too close to the drip rails.

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Once I had the panel mostly even with the surrounding roof, I applied another layer of CA glue and accelerator to the gap, just to make sure it was completely full and the roof would be perfectly smooth. I sanded again with 320 grit paper, then switched to 600, then 800, and checked my progress, but found three low areas (circled in blue):

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The low spots were so shallow I made with a few passes again with the 320 grit paper and the low spots were gone, so back through the 600 and 800, and this time I finished with 1000 grit paper for a very smooth finish.

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I ran my fingernail perpendicular to the joint, all the way around the patch panel, just to be sure there were no voids nor low spots, and found none, so the roof is now done. B)

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Next step, reducing the size of the rear wheel openings and adding back in the body character line. You can see how enlarged the openings are now:

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Edited by Casey, 30 January 2011 - 04:30 PM.


#2 Tumbler75

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 04:04 AM

Great job on the roof filler panel! You are doing a great job. I can't wait to see more progress on De-Zingering! this van. I had a 1965 A-100 many years back so this one dear to me. Keep the updates a comin'! :D

#3 Casey

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 08:47 AM

I got the quarter panels back to where they should be and started re-opening the rear wheel openings back to the stock dimensions:

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I did a bit more sanding to increase the diameter of the upper corner curves after taking this pic, but it's close to the final shape here:

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I also deepened the rear door panel lines and flattened out the bulging tial lights, but I haven't started filling in the tailgate depression yet:

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Some rolling stock ideas. First, a set of pie crust slicks on 5-slot wheels:

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This one's for Dave, 'cuz I know he likes white vans and Cragers :rolleyes: :

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Edited by Casey, 30 January 2011 - 08:51 AM.


#4 Rob Z

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:27 AM

DUDE!!! That's really looking sweet!!! I think you did a marvelous job on the rear quarters... :rolleyes:

#5 Tumbler75

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:44 AM

Lookin' good! I think a set of steelies would look real good or the wheels from the 1971 Plymouth Duster would fit too. Awesome job! I'm watchin'! :rolleyes:

#6 Casey

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 10:59 AM

Lookin' good! I think a set of steelies would look real good or the wheels from the 1971 Plymouth Duster would fit too. Awesome job! I'm watchin'! :rolleyes:


I think they'd be a bit large as this body is 1/43 scale. :rolleyes: Fortunately, AMT included a few varieties of "mag" wheels in their 1/43 scale kits, and I've found a few more in various 1/43 (thanks to Dave Zinn) and 1/50 scale die cast vehicles, so finding wheels is the easy part. Realistic street tires is a bit of a challenge, as most tires are either of late '60s origin, or are very modern low-profile tires.

#7 gray07

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 11:01 AM

Looking good Casey

#8 Casey

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 05:31 PM

I decided to drop the pickup half of this project into gear, so here we go.

First, I marked a preliminary cut line just above the upper body line and broke out the saw:

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Done.:

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Now comes the test fitting and sanding until it looks right. I was hoping to use part of the rear roof section I had just cut away to form the rear third of the pickup's roof/cab, bit the rear door/rear window angle was not the same between the pickup and van, so the angle had to be increased:

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To increase the rear wall's angle, I cut away most of the B-pillars, leaving only the rear wall of the cab. You can see the vertical cuts I made in the B-pillar here:

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I had to make a horizontal relief cut to allow the joint between the roof and rear wall to open up, so out came the saw once again:

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Once that was complete, I matched up the roof sections, and traced the hole on the underside of the van roof section:

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I then followed the same steps as on the van above, fitting and sanding until the two roof pieces fit together well. At this point I decided to cut the van's donor roof section into two pieces, as I would needed to widen the rear roof section slightly to match the front roof section. Satisfied with the fit, I again used CA cement and accelerator to bond the two roof sections together:

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Here's where things stand now:

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#9 Harry P.

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 05:43 PM

Very nice! Excellent body work.

What are you going to do about a chassis and interior?

#10 Casey

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:17 PM

Very nice! Excellent body work.

What are you going to do about a chassis and interior?


Thanks, Harry. I haven't decided what to do about the chassis and interiors yet, as I was originally planning on only making one one of each of these...but I think that plan has changed. :D I'm not going all out, full detail, but I think a simple interior and chassis plate would satisfy me.

I made a bit more progress later tonight, adding the left roof section, filling the center gap with a piece removed from the van roof, and giving it all a rough sanding:

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It's starting to look like a pickup now, but I have some work to do on the rear wall/window area....and maybe the bed, too:

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#11 jeffs396

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 01:53 AM

Nice work Casey!

Now if they were just a bit bigger :D

#12 Casey

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 05:14 AM

I dusted the cobwebs off this project last night and got the LR wheel arch close to its final shape, filled the hole at the rear cargo door gap, and did some sanding on the inside of the body. I have to ream out the headlight bucket openings and finish test fitting the clear headlights, then do the same for the tail lights. I will be making a simple chassis and will probably make an interior bucket, dash, steering wheel and column, and bucket seats, too, as I don't really care for the full slammer look. It would be nice to have some interior detail IMO. I'm also debating adding some material to the windshield header on both sides of the divider, as I never liked that the windshield height doesn't match the side window height.

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I'm still undecided about whether or not to leave the recessed area on the rear doors or fill it in. Technically speaking the recess is not correct for a van, so it should be filled in.

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Here's a close up of the height difference between the windshield and side door window openings:

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Edited by Casey, 10 November 2011 - 05:14 AM.


#13 Beavis

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 07:40 AM

cool little projects you got there, i agree with dave on the cragars!

#14 bobthehobbyguy

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 11:11 AM

I hadn't seen this one before. I like it. I Great idea. Glad you dusted it off.

bobthehobbyguy

#15 Casey

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 03:50 PM

I wasn't happy with the shape of the left rear wheel arch, so I bonded some styrene strips to each end:

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I will have to be a little more conservative with my filing this time around. :blink:

I pulled out the Lindberg A-100 pickup kit to use as reference for building a chassis, because other than the wheelhouses, there's not much to be re-used from either the Lil Red nor Super Van Zingers! kit chassis'. The Lil Red (B-series van-up Zingers! chassis is shown below, along with the Lindberg 1/25 scale floorpan and frame:

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I am planning to make a basic interior with a separate dashboard, seats, engine cover, steering column, and steering wheel, so I guess that means "glass" pieces, too, but I think that can be vacu-formed.

#16 geordie

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:35 AM

Very cool, excellent bodywork. One technique from the real word that I've never tried with a model is 'guide coat'. After your basic repair / patch and sanding, spray an extremely thin, coat of contrasting paint over the reworked area, block sand, if you can remove all the paint, then you have no low spots. If there are spots of paint left, fill the low spot and repeat.

#17 Casey

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:15 PM

The engine cover will be a very visible part of the interior/cab area, so I needed to build a reasonably believable doghouse, using the Lindberg 1/25 scale part for reference. I still need to add a few things and sand a bit more, but the general shape is there and it seems to fit well and be proportionate to the wheelhouses and floorpan. I used black styrene for the front and rear ends, so it makes it a bit harder to see the part as a whole, but once primed it will all be uniform:

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I also added a section of the original A-100 floorpan, but the front wheelhouses (which are from the Lil Red Zinger kit) are just the right size, so I may have to spring for another Lil Red Zinger kit. I think I'm going to add basic lower half details of the engine, transmission, driveshaft, frame rails and rearend to the underside of the floorpan, as I want to keep the underside simple.

#18 Casey

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:40 AM

I had to re-do the rear edge of the left rear wheel arch twice, but I need to add a little material to the lower forward corner where the wheel arch meets the rocker panel and do a little more sanding at the top/forward corner curve to get it just right:

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I also disassembled a Hot Wheels '41 Willys 1/50 scale die-cast to see how the Torq Thrust-like wheels and wide rear slicks would look with the van body:

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I might have to make two different chassis plates now. :)

#19 Scale-Master

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:04 PM

These are coming along very nicely. Great attention to detail.

#20 Chuck Most

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:11 PM

Hmmm... so this is where those extra engines came from... ^_^