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alan barton

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Everything posted by alan barton

  1. Thanks everyone, I'm glad this one is getting some interest. I've been on and off this one for several years now but I still have some way to go. Chris, I used an angle cut for a few reasons. Firstly, when I do this sort of bodywork, one of my biggest stumbling points is panel lines. It seems that no matter what tools I use and no matter how careful I am, I get a line with a hickey in the middle that is almost impossible to repair. I would have been setting myself up to fail if I had joined on the door line itself. Secondly, it is a longer, stronger joint and somewhat easier to clamp up and hold in alignment because of that length and angle. I am real happy with how this part of the conversion turned out. I laminated strips of styrene on the inside, gluing the back half solidly to the body before sliding on and gluing on the front clip. And you may laugh, but my glue of choice for any work like this is Testors tube glue in the orange tube. Nothing else sticks like it. I would rather use spit than the thin stuff in the bottles - it has no stickum! And without stickum, you can't manipulate this sort of joint. I've been working on this body and having to handle it roughly for a long time now and there is no sign of it cracking. Mike, I love the look of your Comet ute - it is like the half way house between a Ranchero and a ute! And you have a heckuva eye - I just got out my handy dandy NNL East scale rule and it measures 77 inches on the quarter panel and my measurements taken from a real car are 78.5 inches. Bugger! Still, not the end of the world. I'm not scared of cutting it again. As I work on this car I find so many things that are different. Apart form what I mentioned before, the rear valance- spare tyre door is all different, the bumperettes that you don't have, the shape of the lower sill behind the rear wheel, the wiper position, even the interface of the rear fender line with the top edge of the tray is different. And Snake, that term is copyright free, especially to someone whose posts I have enjoyed for a long time now. Spread the joy! My Comet bumper looks pretty clsoe in the number plate and turn signal area. I need to remove the lip around the plate recess and I need to render two recesses to clear the headlight doors. Not too much work. The grille is absolutely the toughest part and I have done nothing at all with it yet. My options include carving ti from wood and then casting or vacforming, fabricating the whole thing from styrene strips ( oh, the humanity!) or chopping something else - I am on a remote mine site at the moment and don't have access to my stash but I'm thinking there might be shapes in both the stock and custom grilles from an AMT 64 Chevy. I'll post up some photos here so that anyone with some ideas can offer them up.
  2. Instead of the fairly crude vertical pillar on the Ranchero, Ford Australia came up with a T bird inspired roofline. It has an interesting recess that I am going to have to recreate. From these photos you can see a difference that I wasn't aware of until recently, meaning I have to redo a section. The early XK, XL and XM models had an additional indent with the letters F O R D in it while the XP didn't. Still, at least I caught it before I went too far. I had to shorten the trailing edge of the roof, push the door frame and door lines forward and cut a hole to begin making the indent. THe white one is an XP while the silver one is the earlier XM.
  3. As you can see from those last photos, the body lines were a perfect match, a credit to the accuracy of AMT models back then. When the American Ranchero was trialled in Australia, Ford found that the rear overhang got hung up on the deep creek crossings that are common in the Outback. So they lopped a bunch of the back. I suspect the bed remained about the same length as the US version as the shorter four door sedan front door was used to get some of the lost length back. I shortened the AMT kit about 8mm and it does require some massaging of the body lines when you do that. Here's some photos of the back of a real one.
  4. This has been a very long term conversion project of mine but after having a really good season of building hot rods and racecars I thought it was time I brought this one to the finish line. Not sure just how long it will take but I foresee needing the advice of the many talented models on here before long so if you can see what I am trying to do, you may be able to help! First of all, I should point out that for us Aussies, building a 1/25th scale injected moulded model of a genuinely Australian car is almost impossible. The closest we have ever got to having one of our own is the Pontiac GTO snap kit - it is really an Australian Holden Monaro with a Pontiac grille and LHD. To the best of my knowledge, there have been just seven promos, being a 64 EH Holden Station wagon, a 68 HK Holden Premier, a 68 HK Holden Monaro, a 60 XK Ford Falcon sedan and wagon, and a 61 XL Falcon sedan and wagon. As we shared a number of early sixties Valiants and Falcons with the USA, some American prototypes can be modified to take on an Aussie appearance. Never the less, I am sure you would agree that is a very narrow range to choose from. To deal with a tiny market by global standards, Australian manufacturers often got many years out of one basic platform. Ford got six years of facelifts out of the 60 Falcon shell, the last one being the 65-66 XP Falcon. It cunningly used the entire front sheetmetal from a 61 Mercury Comet with a unique Aussie grille and the taillights raised to the top of the rear fenders not unlike a 63 Galaxie. However, again to save costs, the 65-66 utility retained the low mounted taillights of the earlier XK series. And it is these two design features that made me think I could produce a model of one. Many Aussie modellers have grabbed an AMT 61 Falcon Ranchero kit and made approximate version of on Aussie 60 but in fact there are a lot of significant differences, especially in the length of the cargo bed, the length of the doors the length and shape of the B pillar and the height of the rear fender line, just for starters. Still, it is better than nothing. But when I visited Tom Geiger back in 2013, I discovered in our tour of his basement stash a model of the 61 Comet, a promo I think. I instantly wondered out loud if I could combine the front clip of the Comet with the body of the Ranchero and Tom generously responded by offering me a pre loved Comet body and front bumper/grille assembly. Unfortunately I can't find my earliest pictures of the beginning of this conversion but hopefully these ones will show you how I am doing.
  5. Do it Dave, they are a very easy to build kit. A little patience in assembling the multi piece body and frame and the rest will assemble itself! It was my choice to change the steering and seat but it isn't necessary to produce a terrific model. And Stuart, it is amazing how few changes you made to produce a totally different model. As kids, we were going to use the huge slicks and two front wheels from a Revell chopper trike kit - would ahve been totally different again! Cheers Alan
  6. Didn't see this the first time. A very different take on the original kit. I just finished my own version a few months ago! And the original, back in the late sixties, did have a fan belt but the re-issue doesn't. Who knew? Cheers Alan
  7. The 38 street rod project is a fair way down the list right now, Thomas, but just tonight, while looking for something totally unrelated, i came across the custom grille from the AMT 37 Chevy and with it's thin horizontal bars it may be where I go on my next attempt. Cheers Alan
  8. I know this is a really old topic but as the Monogram Deuce is my all time favourite kit - (I've built six and have another three on the bench) I thought I would chime in. I honestly believe that the Monogram 1/24th scale version has the nicest proportions of all the Deuce roadsters in kit form. There is just something about the way the curves are formed, the accuracy of the swage lines, the correct windshield, it just FEELS good. Yes, the Revell is lovely and I have built one already and thoroughly enjoyed it but there is just something about the Monogram. Over the years I have built three hiboys from them and they work out real nice. The points that Bill made above are quite correct but it is not all that difficult to work around them and well worth the effort. The easiest fix is the character line stamped into the Deuce rail. No need to carve it into the rail at all - simply start cutting the fenders off the frame about 2-3mm out from the frame surface. Once they are removed, use a flat file to dress the area true and then sand the gentle curve on the reveal. I would estimate it takes less than an hour and is quite good fun to do. To make the rear wheel arch surround look a little less blocky after the rear fenders are cut off, take an Xacto and carve a bevel along the edge towards the outside. HArd to describe but you are trying to taper the remaining edge of the fender down to a knife edge where it meets the body. The toughest bit, as Bill mentioned, is to cut strips of styrene to widen both the front and rear inside edges of the frame . This is simply boring old glue, file, putty sand repeat type work. the front frame horns need a massage or two as well. I still find the most recent issue with the blue strret rod on the box from time to time and it is definitely more readily available than the Revell version so if you neeed a hiboy, go for it. Cheers Alan
  9. Wow, I thought my angle chop was radical - that wouldn't even get me in the team here! Well thought out work, Glen, you should whack it on Phildaupho's woodie thread. Cheers Alan
  10. Thanks everyone, it is nice to know other people appreciate dirt track racers. Getting the right amount of wear and tear without looking like poor modelling skills is a constant challenge! Thomas, I started with the blanking grille panel out of the 39/40 sedan kit. I carved out two nostrils if you like, and then bent up strips of plastic and glued them in individually. That is where I went wrong, you simply can't control such small pieces of plastic. Next time I will used thin brass wire, wound around something of about the same radius as the grille bar curvature and then mass produce a truck load of bars and then set to trimming them to fit. I think that would improve the consistency considerably - gluing will still be a challenge, however! The dents on both cars are mostly done by very quickly waving the panel over a candle, but I stress you have to be quick. I use small pliers to bend it to shape while it is soft. Then I cut, file or sand the edges to something approaching scale thickness - this is critical to getting "the look" Otherwise it looks like your body was made from concrete. I also carve some damage straight into the plastic with an Xacto. Two other things I do to these old racecars is a) score through some of the panel openings so that you see a bit of daylight. I don't remove or hinge the doors, you are just trying to get the impression that they are separate panels. You will see on the 37 that I then bent part of the door out like it was bent during a roll over. The other thing I do is glue a thin strip of styrene around the windshield opening, to advertise that the windshield frame has been removed. It just helps give the impression of factory tin without spending hours superdetailing things. Cheers Alan
  11. Of all your projects, I think this is the one I am most looking forward to seeing finished. On my first visit to Bonneville in 1992, there was a white with red and blue stripes channelled 29 with a nose remarkably similar to yours and a Ferrari style grille. It was from the fifties and still racing but I think it might be in a museum now. I see that car every time I look at your thread.. don't have any digital photos of it but I think i still have print photos in my album. I will have a hunt! Keep it coming - the hard work is done! Cheers Alan
  12. Thanks Thomas, that's nice of you to say - I have certainly been inspired by many others on here. The coupe is finished now and in the Under Glass section, if you haven't seen it. Cheers Alan
  13. Must have missed this one! While I'm not a huge fan of patina, especially the faux patina that seems to be the rage, I can certainly appreciate the subtlety and accuracy of your work - if this was dragged out of a 1/25th scale barn, it would look like this! The Olds engine is a nice touch, haven't done one myself yet. Cheers Alan
  14. Thanks Dave Darby, that was one of the main reasons I posted it - I think it is a very under rated kit, probably because of the brand on the box. It assembles beautifully and you don't HAVE to change a thing - the changes I made were purely for personal taste. The accuracy of the components and the ease of assembly is a joy compared to some others I've built lately! Thanks Dave, Eric and Chris for your comments , glad you enjoyed t! Cheers Alan
  15. Nice job Michelle.. Always good to see an Aussie car on here. Often the rear of the car resembles an American production car but the front is usually quite different. You were brave to tackle it. I also do right hand drive conversions on my models so I know exactly what you went through on your dashboard - good to see the power booster made the switch as well. Mind you, in the sixties, some American imports were exported to Australia and were converted here. The quality of the conversion varied greatly. A quality job is known as a mirror image conversion - where every part is swapped and reversed to suit the other side. The dodgey version involves cutting the steering column at the firewall and putting a gear on each severed end. then moving the column to the right hand side and running a chain around the two gears. The pedals would be pivoted under the dash and a bar would run transversely to the original brake push rod. Can you imagine how spongy these things must have been to drive? My point is, on some of these conversions of American cars ( not Australian assembled), you could build a model with a right hand drive dash but left hand steering box and booster and you would still be authentic to full size. And a 1/25th scale version would be far safer than the 1:1 ! And Stuart, I had no idea Valiants made it to England, although I do know some made it to South Africa.back in the day. Those convertibles were not a factory product - they were either amateur home garage builds or occasionally a smash repairs or body building business would do a reasonably professional job of the conversion - this work was very popular in the eighties but they are far too valuable now for anyone to do such a hack job. In case anyone is wondering, the Australian motor industry did not closely follow annual release dates but tended to release cars when the market demanded. For us, Describing an FC or HK Holden, an XK or an XF Falcon, or in this case a VC to VJ valiant, tells us exactly what we are referring to without necessarily knowing the exact year of production. From the late fifties to the eighties, we usually two variations of each body foundation, and then a new one would be released. It sounds odd but at any gathering of car guys, we just talk initials and everybody understands! For example "How's your VC going? Oh, pretty good, mate, I just picked up a VE for spares." ( For some funny reason, there was never a VD Valiant LOL!) Cheers Alan
  16. Looks good Michael! You had some challenges staying within the box stock rule but it came out very nicely. I see you thinned out the windshield frame - that definitely worked! Cheers Alan
  17. Yes, Andre, it is right hand drive. Living in Australia, I decided decades ago to make nearly all my builds RHD.. I make an occasional exception, mainly on dirt track cars where LHD is standard for most racing classes world wide. Converting hot rods is usually pretty easy but reversing the dashboard on 50's and 60's cars is very challenging - I question why I do it sometimes! Ray, Steve, JD and Andre, thank you all for your kind comments. I'm glad you liked it - I sure did! It is extremely rare to for me to buy a hot rod kit and not need to change a bunch of things. Yes, I did re-do the seat (personal taste) but the finished model would have been just as neat if I hadn't. I'm surprised more people don't build this one. Cheers Alan
  18. Jim, the Hot Wheels car you used for the skulls is called Rigor Motor. I have used them several times myself. You can find the skulls in black, white, green chrome and gold chrome. If anyone is hunting for these at a flea market, do be aware that the latest issues DONT HAVE the skulls anymore - so check before laying down your quarter! Love your roadster, especially the flames. They are silky smooth and the clear came out like glass. This should look sensational when it is al done. Cheers Alan
  19. Last one for now, my hawk Silly Surfer Woodie on a Surfari. My wife used her acrylic folk art paints to add some life to the driver.
  20. The aqua 39 is a resin body that I converted from a 40. The black one is an Ertl diecast that I detail painted and added red steels and hubcaps to.
  21. How about a couple of AMT/MPC 28 Woodies. The yellow one done as a delivery, the blue one with flathead power and an angled chop, just because!
  22. My Monogram 1930 woody, purchase on a school trip in Albury New South Wales in 1973 and built as soon as I returned home. Many years later I added the hood from a 1930 Phaeton. Still brush painted in Humbrol dark green after all these years! About two decades later, built the purple one with yellow flathead running gear - spray paint this time around!
  23. Here's my AMT 39 Chev Wagonrod. A very cool car with an outstanding contemporary chassis, but man, that late model dash was a bear to convert to RHD, especially when you can hardly see it now that it is finished!
  24. As promised in my WIP thread, here is the finished 1/16th Tee N t. I can honestly say I had a ball building this and I would recommend it to anyone - don't be put off by the Pyro or Lindberg brand on the box! Cheers Alan
  25. As promised in my WIP thread, here is the finished 1/16th Tee N t. I can honestly say I had a ball building this and I would recommend it to anyone - don't be put off by the Pyro or Lindberg brand on the box! Cheers Alan
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