AMT '66 Mustang GT: Bought this one off eBay a couple weeks ago with the idea of stripping and completely rebuilding it. When it came, it was so clean I decided to just clean it up, add a little Snake-Fu, and put it on the shelf—at least for a while.
It disassembled fairly easily, except for the glass. I eventually got it out, but I put a very small crack in the windshield high on the passenger side (and a small corresponding divot chip out of the windshield frame in the same area). The glass was moderately scratched on the outside, but it polished up quite nicely with Trim nail sticks and Wright’s Silver Cream.
The ONLY paint on the whole model was black on the carpets, and one very thin coat of some kind of light gray on the body. The black carpet was very neatly painted. I just cleaned the interior out with dish soap and a toothbrush and reinstalled it as-is. It’s all there and will someday be completely redone.
The gray paint on the otherwise unmolested body had no runs or major boogers, and not a whole lot of orange peel. But it’s very thin, doesn’t fully cover the lower edges of the body, and had a couple of “tire burns” from another model sitting on top of it, and a couple chips and bare spots. As a sometime military aircraft modeler, I probably have more shades of light gray on hand than the typical car modeler, but I wasn’t able to find a perfect match for this one. The finalists were 16473 ADC Gray and 16440 Gloss Gull Gray. ‘473 has a slight sky-blue tint to it, while ‘440 has a slight tan/yellow cast. I ended up going with the 16473 ADC Gray. Not perfect, but it looks a little better than bare white plastic. It’ll have to do for the time being.
At this point I laid some minor Snake-Fu on it: A squirt of flat black on the underside of the chassis; Silver Sharpie window trim and emblems; black wash and silver details on the original (and rare-ish) GT grille; black, dark gray and aluminum detailing on the distinctive ’66 Mustang wheel covers. So as it sits, it's about 95% restoration and 5% “rescue” (improvement).
I’ll eventually strip and completely rebuild this one as if it were a brand new kit, but for now, I like it sitting on my shelf pretty much exactly as someone built it more than 50 years ago.
AMT '65 Mustang Fastback Custom: I’ve managed to collect a few vintage, original, never-reissued AMT ’65 and ’66 Mustang custom parts and have been thinking about building up a period custom ‘60s Mustang around them. And then I happened on this one on ePay. It looked like a clean, restorable builtup, and then I noticed that it had been skillfully photographed so you couldn’t see either the front or rear end, but I could just make out what appeared to be the custom pan on the front. At that point I HAD to have it! When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see that the O.B. had, just as the kit instructions (which were included in the original box, another bonus) direct, cut the rear taillight panel so the custom ’65 T-Bird taillights could be installed from behind—something I wouldn’t have had the guts to do if the body were intact, but since it’s been done, I was delighted to take advantage of it. One of the taillights was missing but when I took the thing apart, I found it hiding between the firewall and the interior tub. Happy Happy Joy Joy! This one rocketed to the top of my To-Do List.
Disassembly went smoothly, and the glass even came out without much trouble for a polish with Wright’s. The interior had been very cleanly built in black with silver and wood details and I left it alone, just cleaning it up with dish soap and toothbrush.
The body paint was in pretty nice shape. Dunno what it is, probably a Pactra metallic peacock or teal. Whatever, it’s a nice color, had no runs or major boogers, and had only a moderate amount of orange peel. I gave it a light polish with Wright’s on a damp cloth to bring out some shine. The front and rear pans had been glued solid and then puttied in; the rear pan had cracked loose on the left side (you can see this in the "Before" pics above) so I superglued it back into place. There were a couple very small chips in the paint, as well as the crack in that rear pan; I found that an old bottle of Testor Boyd’s Chezoom Teal was a near-perfect match for touchup. I trimmed the flash from all the window opening edges, then re-did the windshield and backlight trim with my beloved Silver Sharpie.
During reassembly, I made three minor Snake-Fu changes just out of personal preference. I reversed the tires to the blackwall side (after sanding the treads, of course), and then painted the spokes and inner rims of the mag wheels with Testor Steel, just because I prefer that look to raw chrome. And I didn’t like the “chrome” border on the roof vents. I tried polishing it off (old brushed silver paint, which this was, will sometimes polish right off), but that didn’t work, so I carefully painted over the chrome trim with a fine brush and the Testor Boyd’s Chezoon Teal.
I only spent about 4-6 hours total on the restoration. (Again, I'd rate this one as 95% restoration, 5% “rescue.”) The result is a model very, VERY much like I’d have built it myself had I been able to start with a mint, unbuilt ’65 or ’66 AMT Mustang fastback kit. I like it very much; it makes me happy to own and display it.
Here's the pair of them together. So far this year I've completed 5 restoration/rescue projects, 4 of them original annual AMT '65-'66 Mustangs. I have a couple more to do, but I might be a little Mustanged-out at the moment and will probably do a Chevy or Mopar or two next. Thanks for looking, and as always, comments welcome.