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Bernard Kron

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About Bernard Kron

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    MCM Ohana

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    Seattle, WA
  • Full Name
    Bernard Kron

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  1. Baremetal Deuce HiBoy Roadster

    Thanks Andy! As I was looking at my last post I was noticing that the body wasn’t set straight on the chassis. The driver’s side rear was skewed high. In addition I hadn’t set my camera to shoot RAW format and shot regular JPG format instead. RAW format is the basic data your digital camera generates before it compresses the color and pixel density information into a smaller file. Most cameras don’t offer you the option to save pictures in RAW format. It’s a feature mainly reserved for high-end professional and semi-pro cameras. But my cheap little Fujifilm ES900 9 megapixel compact camera will save to RAW, and the result is truer colors and sharper details. So, since the body was on crooked anyway, I decided to reshoot my last post with the body on straight and a more faithful presentation of the bare steel effect. I also adjusted the white balance to represent the true white of the background I was using. Here’s a comparison of the side view from the last post and the new image with the body on straight and the higher quality photography. The red circles highlight the effect of the crookedly mounted body. And here’s the re-do of the last post. And finally here are some additional details omitted from the last post. The undercarriage shot is only missing the front wishbones and steering tie rod. The interior shot shows the Schroeder sprint car steering underneath the cowl. And the two top photos show how the motor will look behind the grill with the carburetors in place. The top right photo is a little Photoshop-Phun with a ghost shot of the carbs showing through the hood panel. Thanx for lookin’, B.
  2. Baremetal Deuce HiBoy Roadster

    Thanks guys! The chassis work is now complete with the exception of the steering tie rod and hairpins. At last I could check the stance by temporarily attaching the wheels and tires. So below are 4 photos which amount to a stance check. I came out as I wanted, with that characteristic tough and slightly fat look of a classic highboy. I fabricated a steering pivot arm to connect to the largely hidden Schroeder sprint car steering (a lovely resin piece from the late Ron Royston at Early Years Resin). The tie rod is done, fabricated from styrene rod and “plated” with Molotow, and the hairpins are the Revell Deuce ones from the 5-window coupe kit. Lot’s a fitting, fettling and adjustment right now, but it shouldn’t be long before this project is completed. I’ll include detail photos with my final update before completion. With only black to contrast with all the bare and plated metal tones it looks very monochromatic, which is what I like about the baremetal look. Thanks for lookin’, B.
  3. Baremetal Deuce HiBoy Roadster

    Thanks for all the interest and nice comments, everyone! I’m in the “bitsa” stage of this project. I’m doing some “bitsa” this and “bitsa” that, a natural outcome of my improvisational kit-bashing build style. I didn’t care for the thick look and stiffness of the interior panels so I landed up redoing them completely from .010” and .020” styrene sheet. The original was done from .030” styrene sheet as a base with .010 and .020 strip to construct the details. So the overall thickness is now about ½ of what it was. Because it’s so much thinner it’s flexible and rests snuggly up to the interior surface of the body. I also cut out the triangular areas so that the interior body surface is now revealed, creating a far better depth effect than before. I like it much better, now. I also added a dash panel from an AMT Phantom Vicky kit. Both the new panels and the dash are shown as part of the composite summary photo below. The rolling stock is now complete, too. The wheels are a combination of Halibrand mags, the fronts coming from an MPC funny car kit, and the rears are the front mags from the AMT Phantom Vicky kit. The wheel centers have been painted in Testors Acryl Jet Exhaust to simulate a Dow 7 coating. The rims were left in the kit chrome. The front tires are Modelhaus T110B’s and the rear tires are my favorite Old Skool hot rod rear tires, Herb Deeks bias ply truck tires. Next up, the motor. As I mentioned I wanted a big, powerful looking motor, and considered several of the currently fashionable “alternative” Old Skool power plants, like the Buick Nailhead and especially a blown Oldsmobile. But in the end I decided on the massive looking DeSoto Firedome from the AMT ’53 Ford Pickup Trophy Series kit. Those 8 Strombergs really command attention! And lastly I’ve included a photo of the front and rear axles. The front is the dropped I-beam from the Revellogram 1/24th scale ’32 Ford Roadster kits. I shaved the spring to bring the front end further down. The spot brakes are from the AMT Phantom Vicky kit. The rear is a resin Halibrand quick change setup from parts stash. The rods you see protruding from the ’40 Ford brake backing plates are the mounting pins for the rear spring. They’ll be trimmed away to a shorter length once everything is assembled. With the “bitsas” all cleared away it’s time for final assembly. The exhaust system and driveline will take some fiddling but it shouldn’t be too long before this project is completed. Thanx for lookin’, B.
  4. Slambo Countach - NeoRetro Style Curbside

    Brilliant concept impeccably executed. It hits all the right notes!
  5. Chassis Building

    I'm highly allergic to superglue so I've had to become knowledgeable about alternatives, In the realm of styrene to styrene bonding my preferred weapons of choice are Testors "Red Tube", Testors Liquid Cement, Tamiya Thin liquid cement, and MEK. As a cheapskate S.O.B. I was attracted to MEK because it can be bought for pennies an ounce in the pint cans at most hardware stores. It's so cheap that you can Do The Right Thing by throwing it out the moment it gets cloudy (and much weaker) from dissolved plastic residue. It penetrates very well, but is slower to bond than Tamiya Thin or Testors Liquid, neither of which penetrate as well or dissolve the plastic as aggressively. Also MEK will damage surrounding surfaces more than the other two liquid cements. Testors liquid is good where you need some initial "tack" to locate things. Tamiya Thin is a little less tacky, because it's thinner, and MEK has almost no initial tack, so it generally requires an initial softening application to both surfaces and then a second (or more) pass for a dissolving bond.. For really near-instantaneous tack Testors Red Tube is my choice, but it's thick and doesn't offer as clean a joint unless you are very sparing with the amount you apply. . But Red Tube is great where the glue joint is totally hidden, like flat surfaces. Where you can clean up the surfaces afterward I recommend using a more tacky glue for the initial locating bond and then following up with several wicking passes of MEK for a truly permanent "welded" bond. Edit: As an afterthought, but useful if you're using liquid cements, I recommend buying Tamiya Thin and saving the bottle when it's empty for your other liquid cements. The low, squat square bottle won;t tip over and the applicator brush seems to resist even the harshest solvent glues. My Tamiya bottles have lasted many years.
  6. Baremetal Deuce HiBoy Roadster

    I haven’t done a hot rod or drag car project since the Autorama contest on the TRaK board last December. This is quite a dry spell for me, but I’ve been working on several sports car projects since then, including a couple of Porsches. This project, however, has been percolating in my imagination for quite some time. It’s a ‘32 Ford roadster which will be done entirely in bare metal tones with the exception of the tires and any non-metal items like hoses and seating surfaces. The stance will be that of a “low Highboy”, with a Z’d rear end and severely dropped front axle, providing for a low overall ride height despite the body being mounted atop the frame rails. I’ve done the basic chassis work, based on a Revell Deuce chassis. I’m incorporating as many details that will emphasize the bare metal appearance as I can think of, so I grafted a ’37 Ford truck X-member to the Deuce rails. The rear end has a buggy spring from a Monogram ’27 Ford. The rear axle will feature a Halibrand quick change which will be visible from the back end because I won’t be extending the rear pan despite omitting the stock fuel tank. The interior will be all bare metal except for the upholstery on the bomber-style seats which are resin pieces I got from Big Donkey Resins. The picture below shows a rough mockup of the interior bits. The interior side panels will be glued and clamped into place to conform to the body shape. Below are some body photos showing the basic setup. All the metal finishes in the two phtos consist of Duplicolor Metallic Silver lacquer which was treated with Kosutte Gin San metalizer powder and a some thin black acrylic wash. Still to be determined are some pretty major items, like the motor and rolling stock, but I wanted to get the basic look started in my belated re-entry to things of a hot rod nature. The motor will most likely be something big and powerful, not a flathead, and the motor will determine whether I include hood panels or not. The wheels will most likely be traditional Halibrands of some sort, with skinny big ‘n’ littles. Thanx for lookin’, B.
  7. Porsche 904 GTS Carrera

    Thanks Bill. I'm only now discovering kit lore - model kit history is not one of my strengths. With my expansion into the sportcar world I'm discovering both modern kits and the surpsing group of early kits with truly impressive styrene engineering. This ex-Aurora 904 kit is definitely one of the latter. It may get a knock for "fidliness" but from my limited exposure to high-detail modern kits, it's certainly no worse than those. And it appears it will reward those ambitious enough to add some contemporary detail and to spend time worrying about colors, textures, etc. I've had to do a lot of research to get this thing to look "real", but Aurora gave you plenty of detail to work with. Now if I only could find a full-detail kit of it's successor, the 906, which I consider to be Buzi Porsche's most beautiful design... Thanks! This kit is right up your alley, Dan. Some research will provide tons of fodder for your fabrication magic. I would love to see you tackle something like this in your build style! Thanks Curt, this isn't my first sporty car, I finished a 356A a couple of weeks ago. But it's certainly my most ambitious attempt. I know a thing or three about this era of sports cars so it's nice to be branching out. I wish I could go the GSL, and you're right, the last one will no doubt be a must-do! AND... Thanks to all who are following along. Hopefully I can see this project through successfully...
  8. Porsche 904 GTS Carrera

    Thanks to you all for the interest and kind words! It’s been several weeks since I last posted on this project. I got sidetracked by a second Porsche project, a 356A Speedster, which I completed. In some ways that distraction was a good thing since the funky Revell kit I used required more of the kit bashing style that I’m used to from my hot rod modeling and served as a transition to this far more sophisticated and higher parts count kit for the 904. Researching the detail for that project also got me more firmly ensconced in Porsche lore in general. Having has some time to study the history of this kit I am surprised by the ambitious detail it has, especially now that I know that it was originally an Aurora kit from 1965. Aurora is not a name I associate with kits of this order. This update is about the back end of the model, the engine compartment, transmission and rear suspension, all modeled from a complex array of small parts, which, with care, present a fairly faithful replica of the 1:1. Given than this is the only 1/24-1/25th scale full detail kit of the 904, I’m grateful for the care and effort that Aurora put into this kit well over 50 years ago. The rear portion of this model constitutes a model in itself. I spent time researching the 1:1 and added some small details and modifications, but most of what you see comes in the box. I added some 4-cyclinder pre-wired distributor caps from Morgan Automotive Detail which I grafted to the kit’s twin distributors, along with dual ignition coils, also from Morgan. I replicated the correct ignition wiring, which turnout out to be challenging since, with the dual distributors, each distributor is wired to both cylinder banks. I also fabricated a simple facsimile of the carburetor linkage. The combination firewall and suspension brace cum roll over bar that comes in the kit is an odd piece. It’s designed to extend above the rear deck into the rear window area to act as a roll hoop, but it’s too short and narrow to conform to the roof panel and floats somewhere in the middle of the window opening. Research showed that 904’s often either had no firewall brace/rollover hoop at all, or if they did, it was a shorter piece that served primarily to act as a structural brace and ended just below the rear deck. I decided to fabricate my own replica of this shorter hoop using butyl coated wire and styrene rod. The shorter version is what you see in the composite summary picture of the rear end posted below. Next up is the front suspension and interior., much of which has already been painted and detailed. This should prove somewhat simpler that the back end. Then comes the final assembly. In some circles this kit has a reputation for being fiddly and difficult to assemble. Hopefully the multi-piece body will go together without too much melodrama. Thanx for lookin’, B.
  9. Porsche 356 Speedster - CalClub Style

    Thank you everyone, for all the kind words. A great warm up for future Porsche projects in particular and sport car builds in general. Research was half the fun on this one, and the build style it required more like the kit-bashing style of my hot rod projects.
  10. I'm always looking for an attainable variant. In my Unimat-less and vacu-form-free universe the key here is to make a rigid, accurate positive form and then wrap & dip, as it were. Thanx for that...
  11. Thanks for the info, Bill. Real looking interior bits a a critical elements. I'll mess with card stock, plastic sheet and tempering it and see where Iand up. On thing that occurs to me is that if you have a kit part that is the correct shape and dimensionally where you want to land up, it could be used as a form to make a thinner, more accurate copy using it as your form.
  12. Porsche 356 Speedster - CalClub Style

    Porsche 356A Speedster CalClub Style Race Car Wandering the Internet one day I came upon a great blog post called “Speedster Wars” about the early days of road racing, specifically the late 50’s and early 60’s California Sports Car Club production Porsche racing. You can find it on the RoadScholars.com website here: https://roadscholars.com/speedster-wars/ .If you ever were curious about the roots of the Outlaw Porsche movement, this is it. Inspired by the maximum coolness of it all I looked into what 1/24th styrene kits were out there of the iconic Porsche 356A Speedster. It turns out there have been two. In the early days of styrene, in 1960, Revell issued two versions, a street version and a true Speedster Wars race car, complete with tonneau cover and roll over bar. Oddly the street version appears never to have been reissued, but the race car version has been reissued at least 3 times, the last in 1996. Perhaps it’s because the first re-issue, sometime in the 1960’s, which featured new box art, had been heavily revised, with the wheel openings enlarged and rounded, thus losing the Porsche 356’s signature “bathtub” look wheel wells. The tires, too were wider two piece affairs, definitely not correct for the 1960 look of the original issue. Apparently the re-issue was targeted to the red-hot slot car market of the time, the enlarged wheel openings allowing easy conversion. The other 356a speedster kit was released by Fujimi in 1988, again in two versions, street and competition. They are both, like the Revell kit, Carrera versions with the 4-cam motor. The street variant lacks the rollover bar and race car decals of the Competition version, but is otherwise identical. Both versions are considered rare, having only been issued in 1989, the race version especially so, trading currently for over $100.00 when you can find one. For my first bite at this particular apple I opted for the Revell kit, not realizing the body had been butchered, since the box art of the most common version is a re-issue of the original box art and shows the stock side trim and correct wheel well arches. Price, or course, was the motivation for choosing the Revell kit. The three-piece body, typical of a ca. 1960 Revell products, was expected, but the funky wheel well openings and wide tires and wheels were not. When the slot car version was created they also shortened the side trim. Between that and having to fill the seam for the body sides, I decided to remove the side trim entirely. Something I’m starting to do when venturing into a new kit I’m unfamiliar with, is to search on the web for photos of well-built but otherwise box-stock versions. That’s what tipped me off to the wheel opening and wide tire issues (the eBay purchased kit was already on its way to me). I also saw that it had an overly high stance and that the tires didn’t fill the wheel wells properly. So I spent some time modifying the kit wheels to accept narrower, period correct race car tires I had in my stash included with some Halibrand mags I had from Historic Racing Miniatures. The body got a small but critical channel job by shaving about 3/32 of an inch off the tops of the inner body panels. The result is a much improved stance and properly proportioned wheels and tires. Other than that the build is pretty box stock. The motor is kind of a lump but is largely invisible under the engine cover. Oddly, the kit comes with only one inner door panel and one seat, obviously on the driver’s side, the assumption being that the tonneau cover hides everything else, which, fortunately, is true. I added some leather tie-down straps made from tiny photo-etch 1/16”x1/8” buckles and plastic strip. The buckles were found on the web from a supplier of miniature hardware for horse modelers, of all things. They use these bits to make miniature harnesses and tack. Who woulda thought? I also scratched a little Porsche Spyder style rear view mirror and added an aluminum quick-release gas cap from Replicas & Miniatures Co.of Md. The paint is Duplicolor Bright Red with white lacquer stripes. The roundels and numbers are custom printed decals from my own designs. Thanx for lookin’, B.
  13. Porsche 356A - Speedster Wars style

    Thank you all! Having gone to the trouble of correcting the Revell kit’s wheel/tire/wheel-openings problems I decided to add a little more detail to the kit to more closely resemble 1:1 cars of the period, in particular the Bruce Jennings #77 car pictured above. The most elaborate details were the leather tie down straps securing the front compartment cover. I searched the web and found some miniature buckles made for horse modeling hobbyists who make miniature horse tackle and harnesses. These are the smallest ones they make and are .0625”x.125” which scales out to 1.5”x3”. The leather straps were made from .010 thickness strip styrene. I sculpted a facsimile of a Porsche Spyder fender mirror like the one on the Jennings car. And lastly, again like the Jennings car, I added an aluminum quick release fuel filler cap protruding through the front bonnet panel. The filler cap is a resin piece from Replicas & Miniatures of Md. I had in my stash. Below is a summary picture of these final details. I’ll post the final “beauty shots” of the completed model Under Glass tomorrow. Thanx to all for following along, B.
  14. Porsche 356A - Speedster Wars style

    This project was only going to work if I could solve the twin, and related, problems of the original kit’s crummy stance and funky rolling stock. Adapting the kit wheels to proper period road racing tires, as shown in my last post, was part of the solution. The other part, the stance, couldn’t really be known until I had finished the chassis and interior panels and installed the suspension and wheels and tires. As it turned out most things fit quite well but when it came down to dialing in a well-balanced race car stance the kit sat a little tall at the rear and, overall, the car required a very subtle bit of channeling all around, on the order of maybe 1/32” of an inch in the front and 3/64” at the rear. Small stuff, but critical to getting a decent looking model. To do this I landed up shaving a small amount of material from the tops of the front fender well panels and the rear bulkhead. The model would never have the signature stock 356 wheel well shapes, but with the taller tires on the kit rims and the slight channel now the car sits solidly on all its corners and looks like it’s ready for the Speedster Wars. Below is a composite photo of the model mocked up with the body in position and the final stance. Now it’s time to glue everything together and attend to the final details. I hope to get this done in the next couple of days so I can get back to my Porsche 904 project. Thanx for lookin’, B.