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Everything posted by swede70

  1. Thanks for the kind interest... Fearing that the rendered-in door jamb detail would prevent a roll cage plus interior from being fitted, I made an effort to grind out all I could intent on securing clearance for the protective roll cage bulges in particular. In practice, not that difficult to achieve much to my relief, while also seen would be resized AMT Allison frogeye Matador plastic 'glass' which works well enough. I decided to leave some material near the cowl area to help stabilize things when panel work is added, while things here are generally on the up. Thanks for your review of this project update. Mike K./Swede70
  2. Greetings... Although there are better approaches to take in relation to the scarce/obsolete Model Car World transkit as well as the Robert Burns/Too Many Projects angle, here would be a fitful attempt at doing a '73 Penske Donohue Matador (What's a Matador?) in 1:25th employing a fairly inexpensive 3D-printed shell I took a chance on. Part of me had given up on finding the MCW modified Jo-Han '70 Rebel Machine tool shell, whereas the $125 option just doesn't seem personally practical in the near term. Concerning what this will be about, at worst, I should be able to toss off a few impressions consistent with helping others pursue the same path plus avail trace insights consistent with helping anyone who attempts the topic in-scale. Seen below are a succession of images relating how the shell can be cleaned up for removing the rendered in-place exterior rear view mirrors, all the weather stripping, the vent window frames, the side indicators, and all I could take off concerning the bumper guards extending into the grille area besides. The rear valance area was very rough indeed, although photos telegraph that with application things aren't strictly hopeless here. The wheel arch openings were filed out, the raise perimeter trim removed, while the trace vinyl top detail plus trim was likewise scrubbed off. The panel lines across the surface either don't exist or hardly exist, while the stock flush exterior door handles just didn't come through the rendering process intact. My initial impression of the body wasn't super favorable, but as can be discerned the as-delivered state isn't cursed to remain unsatisfying - especially in period Winston Cup/NASCAR form. Just made out here, notice the substantial door jam detail or thickness designed into the rendering. A lot of work will be necessary to grind the bulk of this out to work on a period stock car. Rated DNF then; i.e. Decidedly Not Fun to perform... Further work undertaken includes some fill panels for the headlamps, lightly modified AMT Penske Matador (frognose vs. bullfighter if you will) front and rear spoilers, some putty/fill effort to clean up matters here and there, and fuel inlet detail added to one side with a plug on the other specific to the Riverside configuration. Not terrible at this point. Thanks for your review of this meandering sort-of project... Mike K./Swede70
  3. Greetings, Modest stuff in the main, but some reference materials have been isolated consistent with fabricating all that might be required to replicate the Watt's linkage setup, the sway bar installation and shocks/pickup points for the same across the rear suspension on my T/G Firebird projects. Provided below is a current (well - as 'current' as this post!) sale listing of the B.F. Goodrich 'Tirebird' which affords most that a few chassis photos even as it's running a Ford 9 inch rear end not featured in 1970, or rather the season that was. Even as the 1:1 vehicle is currently Chevrolet-powered, no one could doubt that the work performed upon this racer, the photographs and presentation of the topic for sale aren't done to a high standard. Something to bookmark then... https://www.americanmusclecarz.com/vehicles/458/1970-pontiac-firebird-trans-am Dumpster diving into my store of ERTL Firebird spares afforded me enough to find half of a scrap body shell as well as half of a scrap chassis so that I might have a scale engineering hack to work up the aforementioned rear suspension. A plug was fabricated to replace the cast-in pressed steel standard fuel tank detail as before, whereas the fuel cell housing just needed to be accurate enough to capture the dimensions of what I'd worked up before where material would face the rear axle looking forward and to be accurate enough for depth. At this point, I just don't want handle my work up on wheels more than I must if some other means to sort things safely can be found. I do have a 1:18th Hwy. '61 1969 Camaro chassis which reveals beautifully rendered rear shock mounts I hope to integrate here, whereas a 1:18th Yat Ming/Road Legends 1969 Firebird Trans Am was pilfered consistent with isolating it's very nicely captured air cleaner lid profile which can be used on my '70 Laguna Seca effort. Lastly and hardly of huge interest, some further application yields a hitherto missing panel for the driveline tunnel overlay structure as seen below. Thanks for your review of this project update... Mike K./Swede70
  4. Greetings, Trying to match whatever work I've done on one iteration before proceeding to another step, here the '70 Laguna Seca sans spoilers entry is similarly up on wheels with all of the interior parts tucked inside. The front lip flares were glued on and subsequently blended in, hence this was a nice uptick in relation to exterior appearance, whereas deliberate sanding and shaping has each more or less matching the bulk of the '70 Mid-Ohio effort even as it would be good to reduce the mass of these still further. Chassis refinements with regards to working up appropriate front and rear sway bars plus links and mounts in addition to the Watt's link installation out back is next up and hopefully something not entailing much risk to what I've performed to date. Thanks for your review of this ongoing project... Certainly the topic looks quite different without all of the Firebird Trans Am-model specific bits... Homologation hiccups witnessed the Trans-Am model specific aerodynamic appendages, fender air extraction vents and shaker hood scoop disallowed at the first race of the '70-season, hence this model reflects hurried team attempts to basically run a standard Firebird at the Laguna Seca, CA event. Hard to grasp from other photos, an attempt has been made to match the opening profile of each standard wheel arch as per period SCCA rules. Mike K./Swede70
  5. ...just the '70 Mid-Ohio effort back on wheels with all of the interior paneling and residual stock interior trim in-place, this mated to matching flared body hitherto isolated off to one corner. Each dashboard was trimmed from below even as the dash pad remains largely untouched much like the actual racers, fitting the driveline hump overlay with the CDI voltage regulator assembly/assemblies also calling the area home. Happily, the radiator support wearing a cast resin clone GMP '70 GTO Judge radiator fits cleanly. Space is tight for the tubular front sway bar mounted atop the subframe, although nothing too serious was discovered for test fitting things as-witnessed below. Note too how the radiator support to the fender braces were cut out, the wheel liner indentations plugged to clean up matters here besides. Moving along, a pair of steering column/steering wheel assemblies were combined to isolate the soft steering wheel rim from one, while the other had its honeycomb center trim cap ground off and flat, the spokes from this same steering wheel drilled through with a pin vise before the now-separate rim was (temporarily) joined to it. Less stress on the steering wheel spokes, a cleaner finish across the hub center was made possible, while greater flexibility is afforded regarding how things may be painted. Yes - more than one ERTL Firebird has given it's life to the cause of making these modified diecast projects a reality. Given the dashboards can come into contact with the interior door trim and so prevent full closure of doors, some mild reshaping of the pad ends was likewise performed. More invisible work, but nice then to see this example up on wheels. The model is simply wearing a coat of Tamiya White Primer as seen earlier. The '70 Laguna Seca effort will be further sorted to match what's on view here, although each model requires further chassis work hitherto avoided before paint will be applied. Thanks... The door handle mounting holes as well as exterior side mirror mounts/holes were plugged long ago, with separate and distinct chromed Welly '72 Firebird exterior door latches slated to be added. Pity that the Welly rendition is so expensive to source these days... The dog leg hood hinges aren't so impressive, although much has been altered or improved in other ways. Thanks for your review of this project update... Mike K./Swede70
  6. Greetings, For failure to perform due diligence with regards to fitting the bodies over each roll cage assembly plus chassis, a number of things were found to be either in need of adjustment or simply had to be redone across my T/G Firebird projects. Better now, hence the bodies, the roll cage with all extensions, the plastic 'glass' insert with the dashboard in-place and door assemblies with interior trim likewise in-place live in reasoned harmony across three assemblies. Envision what's seen here three-times over consistent with my coming closer to a final result. Witnessed is the spare shell less-flares again, hence the tight fit and goofy offset perceived in relation to the rear track in particular. First released as a '73 SD-455 Firebird Trans Am, the ERTL tool of old displays fender-to-radiator support braces that are best cut off on an earlier car. Thanks... ...while I have to prove that the doors actually close with the rather thick interior trim in-place. Mike K./Swede70
  7. Ugh - for more careful review of what '70 Laguna Seca images I've isolated, it seems the strengthening ribs seen on the rear bulkhead are equal length and somewhat abbreviated for width. Trimming the ends and rounding the same wasn't huge fun, although things look cleaner. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
  8. Thanks again for the kind notice... Trying if you will to sort some additional detail seen across the rear bulkhead, with a trio of strengthening ribs, a pair of fire bottles as well as a vent straight through the panel situated to the right witnessed. The vent has three walls forming a small tunnel of sorts fixed to the backside (the fourth is formed by the wheel well sheet metal), whereas a small brass screen serving presumably as a flame arrestor will be cut and added from behind to finish matters more or less cleanly. Still pondering how to configure the fire bottles relative to the roll cage members coming down and terminating near the installation, whereas the upturned sheet metal wedge seen may shift sides given different sources have it sited differently. The wedge would have had a rear differential oil cooler fit beneath it, although I'm not really sure I want to go through the trouble of adding said detail from below. When at peace with what's suggested here, I'll reproduce the work three times over. Given the restored car or cars really don't feature such, this is a snippet of a photo capturing the profile of the rear bulkhead. Happily the half-round stock I've employed seems about right for size, although again one can see that the driveline overlay fabricated from sheet aluminum is fairly narrow as contrasted to what I came up with for having to deal with a rather thick and high transmission tunnel plus hump. Not really a good view of the vent, but generally looking happy. Given the thick interior door trim, room remaining for the roll cage and especially the seat situated within the space reserved for such is revealed to be minimal. Just white craft glue is holding the new additions in place, although I'll probably go with what's made out here. Thanks for your review of this project update. Mike K./Swede70
  9. Greetings from Fraser, MI. somewhat to the east of you... Mike K./Swede70
  10. The sills on the ERTL tool have a pair of locating tabs with threaded bosses intruding into the interior floor, whereas it never really seemed much of an option to cut or file them out given each was weakened for twisting and straightening attempted and achieved far earlier. I had to remove evidence of the wheel arch aerodynamic 'spats' on each body, hence the structural strength of each rocker panel has already been compromised in this regard. Continuing, clearance afforded for the roll cage sides will be tight, although the hope is that I'll be able to securing glue the cage assemblies to each floor and simply rock the bodies with doors open to drop everything into position. Seen below are the U-shaped cutouts found on either sides roughly relating the dimensions of such relative to the roll cage sides. The trunk area won't be visible given opening each panel on this thick diecast shell is not something I'll try, hence a bit underwhelming beneath such. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
  11. Greetings, For some application all three chassis now have their side roll cage members as well as the rearmost outriggers. Mostly sorted now, while smaller interior additions and rear bulkhead work in particular stand to come next. Such will include paired fire bottles, horizontal strengthening ribs (three), and at least one vent to the fuel cell/trunk compartment as per period photos. Anti-vibration Lords mounts (four then) plus a small platform should be introduced under the CDI voltage regulators seen forward of the shifters where present, although space for the same inside the interior of the old ERTL second generation Firebird tool is very tight. Moving along though. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
  12. Greetings, Usually I'm working across projects, like-themed for being old SCCA Trans-Am road racers, while when I shift direction or apply effort to one project or another, different factors come into play. A discovery of a new photograph or new photo set consistent with informing how something should be configured or look can be exciting and will stir interest, while working up a new technique to similarly reproduce something accurately may serve as a prod to further apply myself. At other times and for seeking out research online, a new contact will be made who possesses insight and enthusiasm in excess of mine in the moment, and in a manner of speaking, I'll wish to reciprocate the same consistent with maintaining the mood. By the judgment of most I'm 'slow', but appreciate that my scale model efforts relate to exploration of the history of the racing series and period I favor, hence as long as I'm learning, establishing and developing contacts, and on occasion refining out what I'm working on as a project, in essence I'm getting what I want from the hobby. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
  13. Greetings, Not shatteringly exciting this, but for test-fitting the roll cages worked up, one proved too wide up front and succumbed to breakage when I tried to disassemble the same. The brass core remained intact, although the wall of the plastic tubing used ripped off at the joins rendering one effort so much junk. Further, two interior floor panels had been cut too short at a previous stage, hence for a week or two I was down one chassis. Noticed is a new roll cage intended to match the dimensions of the best two previous efforts, complete with slightly longer floor pan inserts front to back. In sum, at least I should be able to fill in the sides of the two remaining cages for having things squared up in this regard. Also made out would be an inexpensive engine option employing GMP '70 GTO Judge cylinder heads, the same being filled with clay prior to being copied in resin. The roll cage tubes tying in the front subframe/suspension pickup points proved unworkable given the odd dimensions of the ERTL front subframe, hence these will be redone even if the positioning of the same will require a bit of smoke and mirror work to suggest alignment not quite possible with this tool. Lastly, the radiator expansion tanks and TRACO remote oil filter mount in addition to the heater core fill plate were redone and repositioned on all three chassis to match. Thanks and hoping to be back on track soon... Mike K./Swede70
  14. ...and just some additional bars to tie-in the front suspension pick up points/subframe, with small nubs added nearest the dashboard installation that will doubtlessly be sanded away almost entire. Fitting the shell atop what's seen will involve a certain amount of stress, but if things work out well enough, then the additions made out can be duplicated and added to the other builds. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
  15. Greetings... Here some side bars have been added to the roll cage structure to flesh it out, while two bars consistent with tying in the rear subframe/Watt's linkage support structure (underneath then, and slated to be added) extend back from the main hoop towards the rear bulkhead. A partial effort to come up with bars to tie-in the front suspension pick up points is slated to follow, while barely discerned would be the addition of a floor shifter less shifter ball. A vent for the rear bulkhead, some strengthening ribs along the face of the same, plus a dual fire extinguisher installation is likely next. Interior wiring, hoses, etc., come later given I'm focused mainly on having all the parts I need reasonably sorted before applying finishes. Doubtlessly I have much to learn in relation to finishes and finish choices, hence a range of further lessons stand to be absorbed and processed each in turn. Closing out, I wish the 'vee' formed by the side roll cage members were more relaxed and closer to symmetrical looking forward, although clearance needs for the dog leg door hinges forces the compromise witnessed here. Thanks for your review of this post. Mike K./Swede70
  16. Really nice work, while it's refreshing to chance across another 1:18th diecast/resin fabricator/modifier not adverse to tearing preassembled and prepainted models apart consistent with correcting what we may. Happy to discover your thread, anticipating further progress as such is added. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
  17. Greetings... Seen briefly is the dashboard in place, having been filed to mimic how the base of the assembly was trimmed in-period, but also to ensure that everything below it on this project may properly fit. In addition, a seat support frame melded into the fiberglass seat shell begins to take form even as I've not completed the seat mounts or rails on the floor such might be positioned atop. Rainy weather prevents my applying paint to interior door trim that I'd otherwise fit to the project consistent with testing the fit of every last major interior component, although in the main things look good. Constituting about the limits of what I can do here - especially with thickly-rendered interior door trim and heavy-handed dogleg door hinges, this is where matters stand. Mounting tabs and very faint seat mounting rail detail stands to be added. An in-period photo from the 1970 Laguna Seca race program capturing the roll cage fabrication phase of the initial 1:1 build. Notice the very thick door jamb dimensions which I'm powerless at present to reproduce. I don't know - I'm just not willing to call things to a halt on the basis of door jamb dimensions, especially given how easy the rocker panels are to twist and crack on a white metal/Zamac bodyshell. Best reasoned compromise then, with interior door trim complete with thick map pockets commanding space down low and forcing matters concerning what I can capture for shape. Thanks for your review of this post. Mike K./Swede70
  18. Greetings, Slowly working up to some chassis revisions, work was undertaken to make way for the front sway bar installation. Not the usual solid bar configured in a more or less stock location in this instance, what was fit instead was a 2 inch tube situated atop the subframe back of the radiator and forward of the engine accessory drive as would be expected. Although formal mounts, sway bar 'arms' and links stand to come, each front wheel arch liner was cut out to afford clearance to the hardware outlined, guided as the work is by reference to period photos outlining such. Moving along, each bottom control arm/engine cross member/front sway bar combined casting was trimmed to remove evidence of the sway bar and mounts, while odd it is to note that ERTL basically doubled up the steering linkages on the base model I'm employing; i.e. in a sense this model is BOTH a front-steer and rear-steer configured design! Well - at least if I do away with the rear steer elements, the bottom of the engine bay opens up consistent with affording plenty of space for a tube header installation, hence I have that. Thanks for your review of this post. Just as it's delivered and viewed from below. I hope I can cast plugs that will afford some limited lower shock absorber mount detail to effectively seal off the screw access points visible here. Cleaning up residual plastic that makes up the front sway bar as it crosses the steering linkage hasn't been so fun given the softness of the plastic ERTL employed here. Hopefully I can do a better job of it, while a steering arm further needs to be fabricated given what one is witnessing here is a solitary idler arm. Just quickly tack glued into place, seen forward is the sway 'tube' atop the difficult to discern front subframe, while the cutouts of each front wheel arch liner can with difficultly be made out. Thanks for your review of this post. Mike K./Swede70
  19. Greetings and thanks for the recent kind notice... The last iteration of the decals was finally received, commissioned as the work was to 3 Amigos Decals. Much thanks to Sam Lopez for his great patience and noted expertise, whereas hoping the aqua tone chosen from a test sheet will translate into something that'll work smoothly enough. Seen situated atop the sheets delivered one will see a shaker scoop repainted in Testor's Model Master Nassau Blue Metallic/Custom Lacquer System/No. 28128 - a product and product line since discontinued but found here or there at area hobby shows, while to the right is a resin hood plug I hope to employ in some capacity as a pattern to cut material from the hood stripe to accommodate the shaker hole underneath. Not certain how I'll quite do this, nevertheless for experimentation I hope to find a way. On the '70 1/2 Firebird Trans Am model, the stripe was decal, the shaker finished in a slightly different hue bearing a mild metallic effect that is present here complete with a gloss overlay. In the main I'm happy... The ordering code hasn't been obscured here, hence if someone would be inclined to seek a copy or copies, I really haven't set a barrier up to prevent such. What's seen is 1:18th scale again, ERTL diecast-based. My resin pedal mold performed in two-part urethane is half done, while seat mount refinements and interior rear bulkhead surface detail work stands to come next. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
  20. Greetings, Noticing that the diecast metal bodies weren't happily melding with my chassis mock ups for errors of judgement here and there, I had to trim the tops of each rear bulkhead, better support each package shelf, trim the floor panel inserts I'd created, and further trim the driveline hump overlay I'd worked up previously. After the aforementioned misery for sorting one chassis, I then repeated the labor twice over to bring everything into line. Better now, resting comfortably, setting the experience of momentary trauma behind me. Also noticed are new driveshaft assemblies - woo hoo! Thanks... Previous cage installation images apparently didn't include the rear bulkhead and package shelf in-place, although these do. Notice how the door top side bars of the roll cage vanish from sight when viewed from this perspective. A challenge it is and was to coax the package shelf to sit both level and straight. The seat mount seen across images stands to be redone given what is made out here seems clunky. A transmission cross member, lightly made from scratch will be next up, and with it each engine/trans. assembly will angle back a touch further than what is discerned here. Lightly revised valve covers are on view, revealing some hex rod plugs presumably screwed into the center of each stamping. Thanks for your review of this post. Mike K./Swede70
  21. Greetings, Although likely not correct for every race outing (speaking of the tie-down points), seen would be a trio of fuel cell housings fabricated from sheet plastic with craft store beads employed as tie-down points set atop small wafers of plastic formed from rod plastic. The inner structure for each housing is basically intended to take what adhesive I'll use and keep any evidence of a join out of sight, while basically things look sound enough. Also noticed will be the fill panel substituted in where the stamped steel standard fuel tank formerly resided. Some sanding and light putty fill work was required to rebuild one subframe wall across three chassis, but in the main things appear clean with all the seams and walls reproduced where one would expect them versus just introducing in a cut blob of resin. More chassis work in particular to come... ...seen from the top, with the rough aspects basically tucked out of sight. ...viewed from below, and pretty much a match. ...while here one can see through the hard plastic beads carefully set in place upon a mound of CA glue gel six times over. ...nicely integrated, and no lower than the rear subframe as intended. ...largely straight and evidencing little interference with other assemblies. ...and generally how things will look even as much work remains to be done underneath. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
  22. ...just the same with a cast resin CDI voltage regulator and electrical control switchbox atop the aluminum center console structure. The chassis strengthening tubes seen crossing the floor laterally weren't great fun to create the first time, hence what is seen are resin copies so that each set will be consistently shaped, presenting no strict surprises when dropped into place. Things are fleshed out slowly and in stages, whereas for having three interiors and feeling the need to match them closely for fit, maybe my quality is coming up a bit. Fuel cell fabrication (at least the housing as viewed from below) is underway, although cutting and shaping the soft 1:18th chassis plastic is never much fun vs. what's possible in other scales with stiffer kit plastic. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
  23. Thanks for the kind notice... Seen would be the first revised transmission hump/driveshaft tunnel overlay assembled (as in glued) and subsequently dropped into place. On the actual racers this would have been a sheet aluminum structure with a peculiar 'chimney' situated along the rear bulkhead as described before. Wider across the bottom of structure would be better, but then adjustments can be made beneath largely out of sight to tweak things. One to repair then (as seen), two more work up from fabricated bits. Thanks... For fine adjustments to the backmost interior floor panels (they dip a bit towards the front as-seen here), things should align. Thanks for your review of this project update. Mike K./Swede70
  24. Greetings, Having obtained a second 1:18th Lane '68 Firebird 400 H.O. engine (it seems a great many upgrade diecast models to run LS-power), seen would be the effort to duplicate work undertaken before to dress each as a SCCA Trans-Am 303. Both would run Ram Air IV heads, whereas the Laguna Seca engine really ought to be a short deck iteration with adapters to allow for the fitting of same basic intake. Continuing, the extended wet sump was scratch built before, as was the intake and the explosion proof bellhousing. The transmission are GMP Penske Camaro M22 Muncie four-speeds, the pulleys are derived from the same tool with different frontal contours done in resin, while the belt material hasn't yet been determined or decided. Pressing ahead, a transmission crossmember hasn't quite been worked up, although a few choices exist and soon the engines will rest somewhat lower across the back for swapping in something more suitable. I'd like to plumb up a coherent take on the Bendix 'Hydroboost' power brake assist system, although precious little room exists underhood to accommodate anything devised along such lines. The smooth stock vinyl radiator hoses will go, to be replaced with corrugated material likely reinforced with brass wire within to retain a proper shape. Also seen will be new roll cage structure given some bends were misjudged before, with special reference to the too-narrow take on the dimensions of what would exist between the A-pillars when viewed head-on. It's expected that some of this will have to come apart to be adjusted and tweaked consistent with ensuring a tight final fit. Additional bars stand to be added, although mostly these will just flesh out the structure(s) seen and won't present surprises. Approaching the end, across the interior will be made out a cloned console plug (all ERTL Firebird Trans Am models based on this tool come through with interior consoles), further refined exhaust dumps on the '70 Laguna Seca example, a rudimentary seat installation shared across models, as well as a differential oil cooler 'wedge' visible along the floor mounted fast along the rear bulkhead. Not glamorous in sum, but a lot of work undertaken and painstakingly duplicated to ensure all fits as it ought. Thanks... Mike K./Swede70
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