At this point let me talk about the engine for the build...the natural path at this point is of course to go with the Revell parts pack 283 Chevy which was also included in the actual kit and matches the real car motor in most all aspects. So that's what I started with.
Long story short, numerous problems were encountered along the way: the motor appears pretty complex on the trees, with a bottom flat part including molded in crankshaft (yeah real useful...maybe diorama material), two upper block parts, left and right, and two heads on top of them. Now the problem is one of foresight: I found if you line the two upper block parts up with the bottom part in the back, the front edges don't even come close to mating. if you line the two upper block parts up with the bottom in the front, the bell housing will not snug against the rear of the block properly. note there are no locating tabs to help out here. so I located the upper parts halfway front to rear on the lower part. this left a big horizontal seam across the front of the motor and along its sides. I hoped this would be hidden by the big blower plate that goes on the front of the motor. wrongo boyo. as my daddy used to say, if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. but it took me a while to realize how funky the front of the motor looked and by then I had mounted the heads (molded in valve train detail, again not of much use short of a diorama) and painted the block Testors Daytona Yellow ( a color I think I will end up using for the body, though originally I was going to use Tamiya chrome yellow but I think the Daytona yellow is a better match for the real car...but I digress continually).
At this point I started becoming concerned about the length of this motor/supercharger/transmission combination. The blower supplied with the motor was longer than the engine block! looked totally out of scale (though as an afterthought if you look at photos of the original real thing, that blower IS pretty darn long!). and the transmission totally looks like a street rodder tranny and not likely the sort of thing that was in the original dragster (don't have a good photo at hand to illustrate what I mean) and it was WAY too long to fit comfortably between the motor and the passenger compartment and leave room for the rear axle. So I considered cutting off the end section of the trans as a compromise and so that was my active plan to combat that problem. I guess I haven't mentioned there is a crossmember for the frame that fits between the motor and the blower, and thereby places the motor fore to aft in the frame, and for which there are no locating tabs and barely a hint of where it is to go in the instructions. and that a moon tank has to fit on the mounts forward of the motor, and the motor should be running a horizontal fuel pump in front of the blower.
In all fairness I should point out that I was planning on using a 9" Ford style rear end I found in my parts box, on the mistaken assumption that the photo I posted above of the reproduction was the actual real thing. as it turns out, and as evidenced by the hot rod magazine photo from above, a halibrand qc was indeed appropriate, Revell is correct, and the QC is definitely shorter than the 9", when measuring from wheel centerline to the nose, and that would gain a good 1/8" inch in length available to the drivetrain ahead of it. here is a photo of the two pieces, the qc has not yet been trimmed for width and the 9" was only roughly trimmed.
oh, that is a toothpick shoved up the, uh, nose of the item on the right and for position only.
all that adds up to pretty much more length than there is in the frame from the firewall to the front axle and from the firewall back to the rear axle. but as I mentioned I imagined I could so some skillful sculpting to reduce length and/or mount the moon tank up over the fuel pump like it appears the modeler whose build I featured above had done. but that appears to be only correct for the repro car and not the original which as you can see in the photos above of the real cars.
I mounted the blower and discovered that my placing the heads midship on the length of the engine block had caused the hoses (always the curse of this particular set up in my model building, as a kid I NEVER could get these things lined up and looking nice) to sit back of the holes for them by about 1/16" (same distance the heads are offset from front of block) and I therefore had to cut off the mounting pegs and kinda sorta center them over their female recepticles and then use some epoxy to kinda blend them in more. sigh. theres a lesson there somewhere.
then one morning I sat back and took a good look at the engine. that big horizontal crack really bugs me and its not covered up at all. and that blower looks way out of scale with the motor (though as I mentioned maybe not). and I am going to have to hack that stupid (actually very nicely detailed) transmission off and that's gonna look dumb no matter how much epoxy I try to use to blend in. then I fit it in the frame and some rather unseen shortcomings became apparent and this is a good time to use the picture is worth a thousand words parable:
along about now I start thinking maybe there are some other projects that I should be attending to, so I build a simple little engine stand, set the motor on it and set it aside, but I do bring it to our model club meeting and put it on the table. Fellow correspondent here, Don V, of the House of Jaguar, happens to mention, in the nicest way possible, how that motor isn't going to do justice to what I have been talking of the rest of the project, and I had to agree with him.
so on the stand it rests in a line with some other motors in the display case, and meanwhile I need to figure out what exactly to do for a motor, there have gotta be some narrower options and perhaps a better suited transmission in a kit on my shelf.
few more pics of the motor on the stand just for the heck of it:
one last thing, go look at the rear facing photos of the reproduction cars exhaust pipes. what do you see? little moon eyes plugs up inside each exhaust pipe. that's what I want.
at this point I can definitely add some building tips for the next modeler who wants to build this motor, either for a separate project or for this dragster:
1 line up all the engine parts to the FORWARD edge of the motor, and then seal and sand the seam out of existence.
2. be prepared for no defined attachment points, and perhaps use white glue the first time through for external parts of the engine.
3. next time I would proceed with the blower and pipes by positioning the heads as described in no 1, then attaching the pipes to the manifold using epoxy and finish and paint at this point. to align them with the blower without committing yourself to an exact position, because at this point everything is very fiddly and you have the glue the pipes UP UNDER the manifold overhang, which I find very difficult to do without making a mess of it, I would white glue the blower to the front of the engine and align your hoses, epoxy them to the manifold, then epoxy the blower to the front plate and slide the manifold front to rear to get the pipes into alignment with their holes on the intake box, right side of blower.
4. also be prepared for a LOT of sprue damage clean up in the most inopportune places and a lot of parts just not fitting very well given the thick chrome finish (unfortunately the real thing had significant chrome plating that has to be replicated).
5. consider finding a shorter, more drag race correct, transmission
6. be prepared to deal with the length problem as well as the width problem.i would probably try to narrow the motor injector stacks but there isn't much wiggle room on that side or the other which is pushing the frame edge too. and the block itself is very very close to too wide to fit comfortably in the frame, plan accordingly and not sure what to suggest for this problem. as to the length the transmission change should cover it for the back but in the front youre going to have to decide if you want to run a correct fuel pump or do as the instrux suggest (by omission) and leave it off. Or raise the tank above the built in mounts and let it sit above the pump.
7. even though the exhaust system looks gnarly, it actually goes together very nicely. I didn't drill out the tips, just blackened them with a sharpie. they are small and delicate so a steady hand is going to be the only way.
knowing these "gotcha"s in advance will allow one to build a nice motor from the Revell parts pack but as for this one, its onto the shelf and the search begins for a replacement.
alright thanks for hanging in there and will be continued.
Edited by jbwelda, 29 August 2013 - 07:23 PM.