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Member Since 10 Mar 2006
Offline Last Active Nov 19 2009 05:57 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Looking for resin tractor grill

07 July 2008 - 07:13 AM

Check your local Agway or Tractor Supply store, as I know they sell diecast tractors; you can either pirate the nose from one, or simply make a mold and cast a copy to use.

The swap meet at any rural car/truck show might yield a decent selection as well, as many vendors handle diecasts.

Only problem might be: Farm toys (diecast miniatures of tractors and the like) use a set of standard, for that type of thing, scales, none of which are 24th or 25th scale. Farm toys traditionally come in 1/64, 1/32, and 1/16 scales.


In Topic: New Model company Announced!

05 July 2008 - 10:12 AM

Scary to read, after hearing this plus the stories of how the JoHan tooling got systematically trashed, it's amazing we have any old tools at all. You'd think they'd take better care of those assets, that's the true identity of the company.
I'm still wondering if Rev/Mon will ever get their act together on the 62 Chrysler tooling, though I expect that's another nightmarish tale, truth be known.

Frankly, Phil---

I doubt seriously that anyone in the industry, years ago, could have predicted that someday, sometime, at least some of those old tools could have a new life. That seems to be the way of it, sometimes. For example, in the 1:1 world, when Ford Motor Company was casting around for ideas/themes for a sporty car in the early 60's, none other than the Budd Company stepped forward, acknowledging that they still had the tooling from which they stamped out the body shells for the last of the 2-seat Thunderbirds, just in case Ford might be interested (this was 5-6 yrs after production of that car and its concept had ceased). Of course, no-go, as the marketplace (as correctly figured by Ford) was into 4-place cars, not two seaters anymore--Baby Boomers were just starting to hit the new car market, and a fair percentage of them already had at least one child, and another one "in the oven".

Also, particularly with that Revell '62 Chrysler Newport Convertible--I wonder just how well received that kit would be today? I've got a restorable built of the kit, and it's, to be complimentary, is pretty plain and basic--and the real car doesn't turn many heads going down the street, or for that matter, at car shows, certainly not at the major collector car auctions. The same is true, I think, with most of the subjects JoHan produced. Pretty body shells, with very shallow interior tubs (although gorgeous dashboards and steering wheels), most with rudimentary engines (the ones that came with open hoods), and up through say, 1963 or so, rather crudely done chassis. Does anyone remember the Whoo-Ha! over JoHan's '59 Rambler Cross Country Stawag? Us old guys fell head over heels for it, but among the younger, more tech-savvy members of our community, the cries of derision were a chorus not to be shut out, even with good earplugs.

All this means that the expectations of the marketplace have been raised almost exponentially by Revell, Tamiya, Hasegawa, and the later, magnificent AMT/Ertl offerings. Frankly, the marketplace won't be very forgiving toward 1960 model kit design parameters in the 21st Century--any more than Ford could sell a newly reproduced Model T or Model A--the real world just doesn't seem to work quite that way.

Would that it were otherwise, but unfortunately I don't see it any other way with a lot of those old tools.

Now, if only somebody, somewhere, could see their way to do a really nice '34 Ford Woodie Station Wagon?????? :blink:


In Topic: New Model company Announced!

05 July 2008 - 09:55 AM

Daniel and Bluesman, believe it or not I have owned my own company. I owned a manufacturing business in Houston where I made custom van accessories . I also had a taxi cab I kept that I kept leased out to a friend Also I did Fiberglass molds for a couple of different companies. With the gasoline shortage in 1979, I was forced to sell off my assets I moved to Dallas where I did some sub contracting for one of the wrecker manufacturers and managed a small towing towing company that towed "junk and abandoned automobiles" Today I'm a contract driver for a couple of haulers where I deliver goods and services Ocasionaly, I also sub contract musem work as they will have me make models for them. Still I warned you that me thinking was dangerous and thanks for your historical and realistic input gentlemen. Ed Shaver


Not to fault your thinking, nor your experience, but knowing what little I do about the model kit biz, it's not for amateurs, never was frankly. For starters, trying to raise the capital in the manner in which you suggest without the proper clearances from State and Federal agencies could be a major problem, not one I'd think you would want to get into. Second, to start up something like this easily soaks up money in the seven-figure category, just to open the doors.

Injection molding model car kits and making fiberglas accessories for real vehicles are so much different as to be almost diametrically opposed--there is no comparison whatsoever.

Now, as for Lesney-AMT Corporation employees arbitrarily discarding tooling at that location in Baltimore, not entirely true--I was pretty close to the scene during the Lesney years (worked with them, freelance, doing most of their box art models, was in and out of their Warren, MI product development facility almost monthly for those approximately 2.5 years. Some tooling likely was considered obsolete to the point of never being viable anymore, but that was in 1979-81, perhaps the darkest period of all in the model car kit industry. The 1980's "revival" of our hobby had yet to happen, doubt that anyone had any more than a very cloudy crystal ball with which to peer into the future then.

Also, I'd be pretty sure that you wouldn't be able to pry any old tooling out of anyone's hands right now--such tooling as exists (that would make any sense to try and reissue) is either owned outright by someone moving forward with it, or is tied up under leasing arrangements (think Auto World here), so you would most likely have to be thinking of cutting new steel--and that ain't cheap, nor is it any guarrantee of success.


In Topic: What's next for the automobile?

29 June 2008 - 06:10 AM

I also drove a 77 Toyota Corolla for a number of years. Great milage but the road noise was awful loud even for the loud stereo I installed.

Had the little 3KC motor (slated to the left) with 5 speed and I went through two transmissions, 3 clutches, 4 waterpumps, 6 batteries and 4 sets of tires just to drive it 230,000 miles. Oh... and one head gasket! Never had to replace the alternator thankfully because it was buried under the intake and exhaust manifold.

I also had two snow tires mounted on rims in the trunk during the winter months. I got so that I could swap the wheels with the stock jack in less than 20 minutes!

Fun car, but like Bill said, not real powerful and an adequate handling car. Really could have used a turbo, chopped springs, and wider tires. Unfortunately it got so hard finding parts toward the end that I was considering swapping out the whole engine and tranny for something more current like a 86 Corolla GSX twin cam with fuel injection.

Sold it at a garage sale for $250.
(Got more for the Yamaha dirt bike! )

I had three Toyota's, '77 Corolla SR5 Liftback (obliterated in a crash with a Mustang II AND a utility pole), replaced that with the same thing, only in a '79 (drove that one 200,000 miles, with two sets of brakes and 3 sets of new tires), and an '81 SR-5 long bed pickup (that one went 140,000 miles on one set of tires, and one timing belt--gave it to my nephew in 1992 and he drove it another 10 yrs--oh, did I mention that the pickup also toted an 8' bunk-over-cab slide in camper for nearly 50,000 miles on vactions and weekend getaways?).

Both Corolla's were great cars--fun to drive, comfortable, with more than enough Oomph in their little hemi-head 4-bangers. That pickup with the camper up? Many was the time I out powered V6 S-10's and Rangers carrying essentially the same camper uphill down in Southern IN. All I did to prep the truck for the camper was to add AirLifts and a sway bar to the rear suspension (forgot to bleed down the air bags once, after dropping off the camper at home--talk about a kidney-buster!

It's funny almost, with all the stick shift cars I've had over the years, that I have never, EVER had to replace a clutch--and I never drove any one of them easy. Must have been something to do with my learning, at an early age, the art of proper downshifting when coming to a turn, even approaching a stopsign or stoplight I guess. Also saved a lot on brakes that way as well.

They were tough little vehicles as well. The '77 got rear-ended in the fall of '78 by some teenaged kid driving his Dad's brand new Buick Regal--stripped the rubber stripe off the rear bumper, buckled the right rear quarter in about an inch or so--the Buick? TOTAL loss, as it shoved the A posts back far enough to jam the doors so the only way they could get him and his girlfriend out was with Jaws of Life (they both survived to recover) Got it back from the body shop a week before Christmas, and on the Sunday after, it got T-boned by a Mustang II that came charging out of an apartment complex, which tore both front subframes off, and then slid into a utility pole--totaled. Replaced that with the new '79--great little car, just enough noise in it to be fun, engine loved screaming out in the 3 lower gears too. The truck? That one did everything we ever asked of it, the camper, hauling jobs for relatives, merchandise pick up trips to hobby wholesalers in Chicago monthly. Under warranty, Toyota replaced two seats when the upholstery failed twice within the first 6 months, the cab never rusted, but that "Made in East LA" pickup box finally rotted badly by 1990. Great vehicle.


In Topic: what year did amt first produce the 40 ford coupe?

17 June 2008 - 03:48 AM

Mark I don't remember the flathead ever having finned heads in the early issues. Maybe in the very late 60s early 70s when I wasn't buying many models.

That 39/40 sedan is a misnomer. It's not a 39 at all. It would have to be a 40 standard and 40 deluxe. (although it had the right headlight and tail light) The 39 had 2 extra chrome side pieces on each side of the hood on the 39 deluxe and the standard looked entirely different. Someone at AMT screwed up :lol: :lol: :lol:

Correct about the sedan, Gramps!

What the kit box top says and what is in the box don't add up, not at all: While one can make a credible '40 Ford Deluxe Tudor Sedan, there is no way out of the box to build a '39.

The kit gives correct fenders for both years (no problem there), a somewhat incorrect '39 Ford Deluxe grille (it's workable though), with a '40 Ford Standard Hood, '39 headlights and taillights, '40 Deluxe wheels/hubcaps/beauty rings. '40 Deluxe dash and steering wheel, '40 Deluxe interior, and a '40 Body Shell.

'39 Ford Deluxe hood is much more rounded at the nose than is either '40 hood (this kit has a '40 Standard hood) having a pair of parallel side chrome strips. '39 was the last year of "wide five" wheels, with the large diameter hubcaps in two pieces, a painted outer cap, with an inner stainless steel cap (closest thing to correct would be the wheels and hubcaps from the Revell '37 Ford pickup/panel). 1939 was also the last year for the three-spoke "banjo" steering wheel, in addition to being the last year for a top loader 3-spd gearbox (column shift came in 1940. 1939 was also the last year for a flush-mounted swing-out windshield, with it's windshield wipers mounted at the top of the windshield. and given the swing out windshield, no cowl vent either.