Cool. I'm watching. I've always liked that kit because my bro-in-law had a yellow Pinto wagon. When he was done with it, he asked me to sell it for him and I drove it to work with For Sale signs on it most of that summer. It was a fun little car to drive with a 4 speed. I was sorry to let it go when someone bought it!
Thanks Phil. I added my model to your thread. You have to admit, we haven't seen a frenzy over a new kit release for some time! I got caught up in the excitement and this marks the first time I've completed a newly purchased model in three weeks without interruption.
When I was a kid my grandparents lived in Jersey City, NJ. At the bottom of their street, there was a large old folks home and the bookmobile would often be parked there. As a kid interested in all things on wheels, I made my grandfather take me there so I could walk through the book mobile to inspect it. Yes it was the size of a city bus. When I did the Google Images search above, I was intrigued by the grand variety of bookmobiles and the ingenuity.
You are right Geoff. I couldn't think of it at the time! It was a double kit with a Messerschmidt. I believe there were two versions, one with photo etch, which would be insane considering how small these bits must be! I rode in an Isetta once when I was a kid. We lived in Dayton, Ohio and I was in first or second grade. I was already hooked on cars and noticed everything, so I was always intrigued when a red Isetta drove by. Once I saw the people get out at the shopping center and I was amazed that the entire front end was the door. Then I saw it out front of my school, with a lady sitting in it. So I marched right up there and told her I wanted a ride in that car. She was waiting for her kid, and agreed to drive me home. I walked to school so it was only two blocks but I remember being very pleased with myself that I rode in the bumper car!
Before- See the area I cut out as marked. It comes to 5 scale inches.
It cuts clean between any complicated detail. Note that this one was my test chassis, from an old junker.
Here it is from the top. I pretty much just pinned it together inside the frame rails with some brass pegs. Note that the wheel wells were cut out for the larger tires, but would be present on your stock chassis.
And here's a '63 Valiant sitting on that chassis. The Valiant is a curbsider and I had to cut the hood off. The engine bay from the Duster fits right in there. As a former owner of a lot of these A bodies, there are some shape differences, but most folks would never see that especially once an engine is sitting in there. After this experiment, I've had my eye out for cheap Duster kits at shows. Some guys like to use the Revell 68-69 Dart chassis, I haven't tried that one yet.
and a bit further along. I'd call it done but there's a few little details I still want to iron out...
So here we are, done enough to drive around the block. I have a few dabs of blue paint to add, and of course that little Tamiya can is spraying air, so I'll need to invest in another one.
Side view - I went with the bare wheels because I didn't want to hide all that nice detail under hub caps! And it's a good theme for my first one! I pretty much left this one stock to see how everything went together, and that was pretty well. As said earlier, much of it snaps in place and there are a few challenges, hence my first build to find those. We will do better next time!
Despite everyone's concerns over the rear wheel wells, those go together seamlessly. I merely painted one side of the piece white, masked it and then painted the interior side beige. I am not a fan of the plastic chrome exhaust tips that came with the kit. They have a connection point that shows and the kit directions tell you to put them on once the model is near finished. They don't sit well on the little nib and wanted to sag so I tossed them. If you are using them, install them onto the exhaust pipe prior to installing the pipe into the chassis. Much easier! Instead I have some aluminum exhaust tips from Scale Repros Plus. They aren't glued in place so I can change my mind, especially if a more important project comes along!
Rear view shows those aluminum exhaust tips (getting to like them there!). I didn't like the kit tail lights (there is a choice of two) so I stole these out of the old Monogram Green Hornet kit, red lens courtesy of Sharpie. I liked the Roger Harney tribute so I used it, framed with a Model Car Garage photo etch plate frame.
The one short coming of this kit is that the slots where the interior sides mate with the floor board show on the finished model. I had painted the floor bottom white to contrast with the chassis in my blue / white theme but it looked a bit unreal to me. I gave it a dusting of brown chalk to show the highlights and give it a slightly used look. One good point on the exhaust is that when adding the front pipe to the header, it mounts nicely into a hole. On the muffler end, there's just a slot and you can adjust that end in and out for fit. I don't even have it glued. The bottom center of the axle has a fairly significant sprue point, so I sanded the bottom flat and added Alclad.
Interior- I wasn't a fan of the stock instruments included with the kit. I played with the extra dash a bit, but then took the stock panel, and puttied up the center depression to make it flat. The gauges are Detail Master and I did the wood grain with Testors Acrylics, per the woodgraining instructions I have shared on the board. I left the shifter ball chrome for now. I believe I've seen street rod shifters that had the boot but were for automatic transmissions. I may paint the ball white and add a small PRNDL pattern decal to it. I thought about adding a parking brake, but this was a quick project with a show deadline.
I used the stock seat. I had a another seat painted as well as a pair of tiny buckets that came from an Aurora XKE kit that I've been itching to use. Again, that show deadline loomed so I used the stock seat for simplicity in assembly. Plus it is shaped so nicely. Those are Model Car Garage seat belt buckles. Note that the main buckles have depth here. I've seen many builds where guys just used the photo etch piece and it looks like a wafer! Here I glued the buckles to a thin sheet of Evergreen plastic, leaving the buckle loop hanging over the edge. Once dry, I just cut the other three sides even with the metal, and hit them with a Silver Sharpie. You don't see the sides directly, so that all works fine to give the buckle the proper thickness. The belt material is 1/16" ribbon, which is the correct size and slides into the loops on the photo etch buckles. You won't find anything smaller than 1/8" in craft stores, but I found it on eBay. A 100 yard (300 feet) roll is around $3.00 so I bought black, brown and gray as well as the white you see here. The white can be colored as needed. And that is a lifetime supply of scale seat belts for about $15 including postage! I've enjoyed building this kit very much and have a second one, a lowboy this time, eyeballed out!
Nice work! I too liked the way you modified the exhaust. I also enjoyed building mine, also a blue one! I agree that the lower radiator hose is in the way. The tolerances are fairly tight in that region, the way that hose peaks round the belts and you aren't sure if you've got it on right in relation to the radiator. As I was trying to install my radiator it didn't want to go in place and that's when I discovered the conflict with that darn hose. I cut it short, so it wouldn't hold it up, and figured that the view down into that area is obscured so nobody will ever see that my hose doesn't quite touch the radiator. The upper hose is good for hold the radiator in place as the glue dries since mine wanted to fall both forward and backward, never quite just standing in place. Down in that same region, the belts to cross member relationship is also tight. My lower belt stuck out just a tiny bit and it hit. So I trimmed the back of it to hug the engine better and it fit nicely. The only thing I could suggest on your model, is that you still have the holes in your chassis where the mufflers would have been. Since you didn't use the mufflers for anything, you could cut the mount points off the bottom of them, and press them into those holes to fill them. Or if you have resin bolt heads, just cover the holes with those. I've done that before!
eBay would be the place. Check the completed auctions for a realistic price on any of the units you have. Note that you will find the same car listed on eBay for $100, $50 and $20. And then you'll find one that ended without a bid for $10. The bottom has fallen out of the 1/18 scale market. I've had two people approach me with estate hoards of these in the past year. The first one I turned down buying a 300 car collection for $5 a car. I just didn't see any profit to be made. On the second collection I was pleased to tell the owner that his Franklin and Danbury Mint cars had some value, but the rest were all $10-20 cars. Good luck!
Which Japanese company did the Isetta with the clear body? Same idea, mask off the glass and paint the body. I do need one of these Citroen Vans too! I think I'm about 5 models behind on the new French car kits