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swede70

Swede Savage Trans Am AAR 'Cuda Hwy. 61 based project

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Greetings,

Hoping as I've had to at least get my project up on wheels before any ACME release of the same topic, this would be a Hwy. 61 based 1970 Trans Am AAR 'Cuda with resin wheels, turned aluminum outer rim lips and prototype tires intended to be done by me.  The rear wheel housings were opened up to the edge of the rear subframe rails, whereas subtle work in the form of wheel arch lip reduction or removal of the same was performed to the body.  A longstanding Autodynamics Challenger exists as a sister ship project, whereas it too will likely be fitted out with the tires seen in utero here.  The rectangular thingy seen inside is a Wink multiple element rear view mirror.  Notice too how well Hwy. 61 glass looks when polished up with pure carnauba wax.  Thanks for skimming this post. 

Mike K.

Swede Cuda two 002.JPG

Swede Cuda two 003.JPG

Swede Cuda two 004.JPG

Swede Cuda two 010.JPG

Swede Cuda two 011.JPG

Swede Cuda two 014.JPG

Edited by swede70
Short editing performed.

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Nice!  I love the trim rings.   Are the wheels copies of the GMP trans-am wheels?   I see those sets are bringing big bucks now. 

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My mistake - indeed, this is a 1:18th scale model based on the Hwy. 61/Supercar Collectibles '70 AAR 'Cuda stock production model.  As for the wheels, some time ago I took the plunge and bought all the supplies I'd need to hand cast stuff I'd modified or mastered.  My first project was a two-piece mold of an improved GMP Trans Am Minilite wheel.  I didn't like the shape of the spokes which seemed peg-like as contrasted to the almost waterfall look of the actual Minilite spoke.  I saved the center of the wheel, the outer rim, and combined these with eight carefully fabricated and shaped spokes before pouring two-part urethane into what would become my first casting effort.  For these wheels, I simply sanded off the cast-in outer lip and replaced the same with the aluminum rings. 

The turned aluminum outer rims aren't done strictly by me, but rather are cut down from Pegasus 1:25th 23 inch 'stepped sleeve' lowrider wheels that are sold with something akin to a turned aluminum barrel times four.  I literally hacked down the barrels with a razor saw, then filed what remained down with a hand file given I don't have a proper hobby lathe.  Fortunately these items can be fitted to 1:18th scale topics with 15 inch wheels without seeming to be too large or too small, hence I was fortunate here.  I'll try to plug in product identification here so that this aspect of the project won't be a secret.  See:

Pegasus model car wheels - look for the 'stepped sleeve' 23 inch bubble packets seen about half way down the page.

Kind thanks for the positive feedback.  I'll try to include a few Challenger pictures next time I'm on. 

Mike K.

Edited by swede70
Short editing as is usual for me.

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Thanks for the info.  The wheels turned out great.  I too have used parts from smaller scale large rims on these cars.  You have to work with whats available.

Looking forward to more updates.

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Always great to see what you are working on, Mike. Keep us posted on your progress:)

Cheers,

Lance

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Greetings,

Thanks for the kind comments and attention paid.  Moving quietly along, I think I'll try to do a Bridgehampton '70 entry which seems to represent the high tide of the factory Barracuda effort during that season.  Although far from a great photograph given the image split and tight binding, the specification I hope to replicate is this:

Swede_Cuda_four_010.thumb.JPG.88af9f6177

...note the attenuated front spoiler, and Swede running the 3M decaled #48 versus his own #42.  Note too the lighter color of the body employed versus Swede at Laguna Seca and Lime Rock, and both remaining cars late season.  At present I'm not certain I'll bother with the subtle flares discernible for close examination of this image.

Swede_Cuda_four_005.thumb.JPG.a93718667e

...here can be seen the trimmed front spoiler with slightly enlarged brake air inlet openings.  Look closely and you'll also note the hood pin lanyard stays mounted on the hood itself at about a 45 degree angle to where the pins come through the hood proper.  I'll use the standard Hwy. 61 clips (which are quite nice) in combination with some light duty clear fishing line to fabricate some cables from, taking care to orient things with glue and careful positioning so they'll be as symmetrical as I might make them.  The glue smear noticed on the bumper will vanish as this assembly stands to be replaced outright with a new cast item that plugs the road lamp cut outs on the base of the blade bumper and is better chromed for good measure.  Yes - all this stuff takes time.

Swede_Cuda_four_004.thumb.JPG.99916da990

...unless greatly mistaken, for what seems the first two-thirds of the season the standard 'Cuda rear valence was employed versus the standard 'no holes' version or the same fitted to the homologation special AAR 'Cuda.  The Hwy. 61 rectangularly-shaped openings seen on the Hemi 'Cuda issue valence did nothing for me, so I opted instead to cut holes and shape the same on an otherwise solid version.  Small irregularities seen on the edge of the base of the valence near the attachment points of the painted valence with rectangular openings on it were further smoothed away prior to applying primer.  As a short note, the photos are from Laguna Seca '70 and depict Dan Gurney making circuits during practice for the first race of the season. 

Swede_Cuda_four_007.thumb.JPG.6cdd6fd44e

...fuel tank ground out, cast resin fuel cell housing in place, revised rear valence in position. 

-

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...and the sister Autodynamics Challenger project which will share much of the chassis work of the 'Cuda - or rather the opposite given the Challenger is in a much more advanced state!  With the florescent orange individual headlamp plugs and trimmed spoiler, this model is intended to replicate the car as entered at the Mission Bell 250/Riverside contest. Thanks for skimming this post...

Mike K.

 

 

Edited by swede70
...the usual necessary editing work.

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Greetings,

Revised impact wrench alignment fixtures have been fashioned for each wheel.  Such consist of a disc of thick walled plastic tubing drilled for five lugs, plus three additional holes to allow for the passage through of plastic rod that supports and positions the disc on the face of the wheel itself.  The aluminum hub guides pass clear through each disc, whereas a cast resin oil breather was used to replicate the hub end and simply fits back of the aluminum tube used.  All of this will look far better when painted, but not a terrible sight now.  Thanks for skimming this update.

Mike K.  

Swede_Cuda_five_002.thumb.JPG.55feb254c5

Swede_Cuda_five_003.thumb.JPG.309dcf6b68

Swede_Cuda_five_004.thumb.JPG.533cba9131

M.K.

 

Edited by swede70

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Okay, you're just getting crazy now,lol  That is some excellent scratch building.  

Thanks for sharing this.

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...another update then,

Swede Cuda six 003.JPG

...the awful and bulbous Hwy. 61 rendition of the Mopar 8 3/4 inch differential had to go, its reason for being to accommodate an operable ring and pinion within.  Quite useless this detail to me, hence I found two dead '68 383 Hwy. 61 Darts that featured far better tools of the same.

Swede Cuda six 004.JPG

...in addition to the aforementioned differential swap in across one Challenger and one 'Cuda chassis, preliminary work to remove and plug the cast-in fuel tank has been performed.  A pair of cast resin fuel cells/housings have been roughly set in place, whereas notice that the wheel housings have been extended back to the subframe rails twice over.  Clean plugs/walls to seal such are to come.

Swede Cuda six 005.JPG

...the licensing and 'Made in China' lettering has here been scrubbed off, while the round mounting pegs to situate the chassis upon the as-delivered upon display base show signs of being reduced for mass.  Most of the holes witnessed across the two chassis stand to be plugged, whereas to sustain my morale, I intend to use the assembled junk seen above as an easily assembled and disassembled hack for both rollcages, etc.  For having sufficient spares to do such, I can keep my 'rolling chassis' intact and not be strictly dispirited for ripping all that came before off and out. 

Swede_Cuda_six_002.thumb.JPG.71c6cfd437f

...Hemi-specific skid plates removed from both K-members, whereas all the holes otherwise present on these parts will be plugged as per racer spec.  Note the kaleidoscope of dead Hwy. 61 E-bodies on view.  There was a time when such could be had for $55 or less, and hence I never really thought twice about ripping one apart... 

Kind thanks for your skimming this update...

Mike K.

Edited by swede70

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...a small update then,

Swede_Cuda_seven_001.thumb.JPG.2c5103906

... a pair of 303.8 small block Chryslers taking shape then.  Intakes are cast resin Hwy. 61 340 Dart, carburetors are modified cast resin GMP Trans Am Camaro, whereas the valve covers are Hwy. 61 items softened for contour across the top edges.  Pulleys are Lane '68 Firebird, oil breathers are Lane/Exact Detail '68 Shelby GT500 Mustang, while the unseen oil pans have been cut to allow the creation of what I'll term 'bread loaf' sumps with a channel situated in the rear to allow the passage of a steering drag link through the same.  Easily missed is the blue A833 four speed sourced from a Hwy. 61 383 Dart that will be cast and employed to replace twice over the transmissions otherwise seen on the standard Hwy. 61 Trans Am Chrysler homologation specials.

The leftmost upper control arm 'pockets' reflect what will be fitted to the Challenger inner fenders/aprons, whereas the rather raw looking pockets on the right reflect the starting point of what will be fitted to the 'Cuda.  The upper control arm mounts on the AAR-entered 'Cuda were shifted upwards, whereas their cars also featured dropped spindles up front as contrasted to what was built for the Autodynamics team.

Swede_Cuda_seven_002.thumb.JPG.a6f0acda0

Cast resin u-joint detail from a GMP Trans Am Camaro replaces the too tiny standard Hwy. 61 parts, while rear springs have been isolated to make way for scratch built Koni double adjustable shocks.  It seems likely I'll cut out and enlarge the 'hump area' atop the rear axle to facilitate the addition of laterally mounted shocks rather like a Shelby GT 350 on the 'Cuda, as well as the odd combination of linkages that located the Challenger's rear axle.  Thanks for skimming this update...

Mike K.

Edited by swede70

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Impressive work, Mike :D. I see you also cut off those mounting screw bosses on the frame. Man, I hate those things!

 

Cheers,

Lance

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Greetings,

More a record of old material and work done on the Autodynamics Challenger consistent with relating what stands to be cloned for the 'Cuda, what follows will be a few 'vintage' images of under the hood work done to date on the Dodge. 

Autodynamics_Challenger_299.thumb.jpg.19

...this would be the mysterious 'bread loaf' oil pan which is quite a departure from the usual extended inverse 'T' Trans Am pan.  Note how the steering drag link passes clear through the sump. 

Autodynamics_Challenger_301.thumb.jpg.f7

...although wearing early-season brake fluid reservoirs, do note the firewall to inner fender brace work as well as the oil breather setup.  Given much wasn't available to borrow from other 1:18th models, the breathers were done from aluminum rod from scratch.  The interior panel work and floor effort will be used almost as-is on the 'Cuda but for variations manifest for purposes of rear axle location, drink reservoir holder, twin exhaust dumps, etc. Note too the oil cooler pocket, whereas when this photo was taken the pocket opposite had not yet taken form.

Autodynamics_Challenger_302.thumb.jpg.08

...opposite view of the same.  The upper control arm pockets were also scratch built, although the AAR 'Cuda assemblies will have to be different reflecting the fact that the mounting points were relocated upward on their team cars.  Note too the #77 'metal' interior floor brace (#76 has something different) as well as the CDI box, etc.  Tiny header flanges may be seen, whereas the wiper motor combines Hwy. 61 and ERTL Authentics '71 Charger parts. 

Autodynamics_Challenger_317.thumb.jpg.2a

...here the coolant overflow tank is rendered in turned aluminum, the cap is a chromed item from a Lane '68 Shelby GT500, whereas the double oblong head lamp fill panels are scratch built from sheet plastic.  Here the old-style brake fluid reservoirs (three then) have been swapped out for a scratch built model with visible seam detail captured in hand cast resin.  Such will be shared with the 'Cuda, as will the small marine battery barely visible in the pocket opposite of that to be occupied by the oil cooler to come. 

Autodynamics_Challenger_321.thumb.jpg.aa

...a severe close-up under hood of the Challenger at Laguna Seca '70.  Note the 'DODGE' and 'Keith Black' decals on the valve cover...

Autodynamics_Challenger_324.thumb.jpg.9d

...the 'Dodge' font is borrowed from the '69 'Dodge Fever' ad. campaign and took some time for me to research, whereas this identification will be shrunk and eventually rendered as a decal.  A friend who services the actual #77 in California has afforded me a color Keith Black decal that too will be shrunk and employed. 

Autodynamics_Challenger_311.thumb.jpg.43

...and yes it all fits under the hood.  If photographed head-on, the stacked filters are visible through the hood scoop.  Some crude aluminum tubing work is noticed in the form of a rudimentary cage, although now I stand to do everything again in better material and with greater experience beneath my belt.

Challenger_one_001.thumb.JPG.c7a6f6de66a

...the same model with revised headlamp fill panels, cloned parts assemblies, and much revised fresh air system plus hood seal.  Period photos reveal a stamped standard base crudely duct taped to the hood seal, hence this will all look messier when complete. Thanks for reviewing this most recent thread addition.

Mike K.

 

 

Edited by swede70

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That is some great work.  Are you casting all these parts in resin? 

Thanks for the nice comments. 

Some time ago I started hand casting select parts in resin, whereas when one tries this the practice alters just how much work one will invest in a master before producing however many clones are required.  I started with an update of the GMP Minilite wheel which I felt needed some help, whereas to scratch build four would have been unthinkable then and unthinkable now.  In short, I'll invest more time for making a very special one-off if I can count on producing multiples later. 

Concerning this project I may have gone a bit overboard with regards to casting a great many things that I didn't strictly need to, although I much rather work with readily replaced duplicates than scarce original parts.  The small block Chrysler single 4BBL intake is a Hwy. 61 340 Dart item that is a rare parts bin discovery to say the least, whereas once one registers the undoubted utility of casting this or that, one gets excited about the possibilities.  I maintain two corkboards where I've laid out all the likely spares I possess so that I'll be able to contrast carburetors, batteries, coils, exterior rear view mirrors, air cleaners, etc. for use on current and future projects, whereupon I privately duplicate what I specifically desire. 

(pictures to be inserted soon - M.K.)

Thought has been given to affording the 1:18th scale community a small line of products consistent with what is afforded the vast and diverse 1:25th scale scene, whereas know that my focus is period road racing topics as well as replica stock miniatures.  I maintain a small catalog and have forwarded the same to select inquirers consistent with making discreet lots of this or that available to fuel projects pursued by others, whereas sometimes a person has a 'rare spare' that can translate back as something cast and cloned for the good of all. 

Casting isn't stone simple, but it isn't particle physics either.  One generally has to care about a topic to do justice to it; i.e. level-headily devise a means to capture all the detail availed, construct a reasoned mold with current materials, etc.  I does take time, whereas with most scale hobby things outsourced to another the wind must be blowing in a particular direction and planets have to be aligned just-so before even small scale contract work is taken on.  Given the up front costs aren't wholly crippling, I like others tend to err in the direction of affording insight and feedback to others wanting to take the plunge and cast items for themselves.  Some haven't the powers of attention or concern for detail that is required to produce consistent product quality, hence not everyone can strictly do it and expect first-class results.  This said, the basics of resin casting are just that - i.e. basic. 

I generally converse widely in relation to what I'm taking on and let others know that what is 'visible in white' is what images I post may be available to complement what it is they do in turn.  Discreet email mail traffic helps as individuals speak of what they desire, what parts they might have, and how our interests might overlap or coincide.  As parts in 1:18th vary greatly in relation to quality, very well rendered spares command a premium in terms of the attention I'll avail them, whereas other items won't rate consideration given I (or others) know of some better rendering of such on some other diecast model, typically in 1:18th again.  In sum and in a manner of speaking, yes I resin cast for the 1:18th community - albeit quietly via backboard PM traffic.  Kind thanks...

Mike K.

Edited by swede70

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I always wondered how Chrysler was able to run special (if not reliable) destroked versions of the 340 for this series without making factory street versions with that displacement, while Ford and Chevrolet had to manufacture 302 cubic inch street versions in order to homologate their engines for the series.

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    Not sure how Chrysler pulled it off, but Pontiac snuck in saying some Firebirds in Canada were sold with Chevy 302's in 'em!

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WHOLLY COW!!  WHAT A COOL PROJECT. A WHOLE LOT OF WORK AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL HERE.  LOOKING FORWARD TO THE END RESULT.

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Greetings (and thanks for the kind comments of those looking in),

It seems I stalled pondering whether or not to cast a clone of the Autodynamics Challenger A-pillar fresh air duct, finally deciding to scratch build two new versions entire.  Here may be seen the 'Cuda A-pillar mounted fresh air duct after having fabricated the same last evening.  At the very least, there seems to have been at least two distinct designs employed, differing for length and shape of either end.  See the photos provided:

Swede_Cuda_eight_017.thumb.JPG.759195025

...the caption suggests Mid-Ohio '70, but I'm thinking it was captured a bit later.  This is basically what I want; i.e. rather tight of dimension, larger rectangular pick up and shallow oval opening inside the car.

Swede_Cuda_eight_018.thumb.JPG.2475f38bb

...Gurney at Riverside/Mission Bell 250 '70.  This would be the later and longer duct.  If I ever do a 'retirement ride' Gurney entry, this is likely what I'll work for.

Swede_Cuda_eight_006.thumb.JPG.f8939c942

...and in a manner of a few words - how I do it.  The photo is from Michael Keyser's title The Speed Merchants and shows the Savage 'Cuda at Mt. Tremblant/St. Jovite '70.  Note the lighter body color again.  As for the scoop fabrication, the shape and dimensions are roughly mocked up with a small length of plastic sheet bent to suit, whereas here I've stacked about seven layers of plastic sheet in laminate fashion.  Hence to the left is mass without form, whereas right may be seen form without mass.  Seven and a half hours later I had:

Swede_Cuda_eight_009.thumb.JPG.9e602e289

...mostly good, fairly tight and short too! 

Swede_Cuda_eight_013.thumb.JPG.77e20d1ba

...another view of the same.

Swede_Cuda_eight_015.thumb.JPG.0333af29f

...while here the inlet has been drilled to suggest that the item is functional.  More work needs to be done here, although such time dedicated over an evening is quite enough for me.  Thanks for reviewing this update.  Indeed, the Chrysler teams ran 303.8 c.i.d. short stroke LA small block engines allowed for the destroking options afforded by the SCCA looking into the '70 season.  And yes - they often went KABOOM! 

Mike K.

Edited by swede70
...my usual habit of redoing everything.

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...this would be my Swede Savage Hwy. 61-based project a bit further along then.  Considerable work have been performed to bring it up to the level of what has been done to my Autodynamics Challenger, and hence the post.  Two full race chassis are being built up independently with all the attendant tubing and panel work, although I've yet to photograph such.  This understood, know that more work has been done than is suggested by photos thus far provided. M.K.

Swede_Cuda_seventeen_032.thumb.JPG.82052

Swede_Cuda_seventeen_027.thumb.JPG.0b442

Mike K.

Edited by swede70

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