Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum

First in-depth look - Revell's new '30 Model A Chopped Five Window Coupe kit...


tim boyd
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thanks Tim for your Great Review and  I second what Harry said in the above post. 

Thank you.    Jeff 

Thanks Jeff, Harry, and the rest of you for your feedback on this review.   Makes me want to continue to do this on selected kits that I think will have broad appeal to the MCM Forum members..TIM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 A number of you have PM'ed me on the use of this new Revell kit for kitbashing various other bodies of 1928/29 and 1930/31 Model A's.  

Having known that these kits were in the works over the last several years, I've been collecting photos of the various bodystyles for future reference, and that "future" is now, well, now!  

Here's a link to each of the photo albums - 

* 1/1 scale 1930/31 Model A ROADSTER bodies -  DSC 0613

* 1/1 scale 1928/29 Model A FIVE WINDOW COUPE bodies (plus a couple of Sport Coupe body images as well) -

 DSC 0310

DSC 0338

* and for comparison, 1/1 scale 1930/31 MODEL A FIVE WINDOW COUPE bodies - DSC 0111

DSC 0497

One of you emailed me that a 1/1 scale Model A body panel supplier stated that the roof and rear window panel of the 1930/31 Five Window Coupe was carryover from the 1928/29 Five Window Coupe, and that the only difference between the two above the beltline was with the quarter window panel shape and window height.

If that info is correct, that would simplify (to a degree) using the Revell Model A Five Window Coupe top on the '28/'29 Roadster body, but remember that the Revell roadster body has rear wheel well openings that are raised upward vs. a stock 1928/29 Roadster configuration.  It might be easier to base a '28/'29A Five Window Coupe conversion on the old AMT 1929 Model A roadster body (which is due for reissue by Round 2 within the next couple of months).  

Hope you guys considering kitbashes of the new Revell Five Window Coupe kit find this info useful  And by all means, post your projects here as you begin to work on 'em!   Cheers....TIM 

 

Edited by tim boyd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Jeff, Harry, and the rest of you for your feedback on this review.   Makes me want to continue to do this on selected kits that I think will have broad appeal to the MCM Forum members..TIM

again Tim thank you so much.you do an amazing work on showing us the kits and explaining differences between kits and all tge possibilties.you take the time to make it underable for me.if it was not for you there would be many kits not boughten.and many projects for me and many others...thank you so much Tim..........Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The REASON the skinny-rail frames in these two kits is "lengthened slightly" is because it's built to the wheelbase of the '32 Ford...which is the fatter-rail frame in the kits.

The BODY SHELL of the recent Revell '29 roadster fits the old AMT '29 fenders and frame fine, and also fits the fenders and frame in the old Revell '29 kits...EXCEPT: The recent '29 roadster body shell has higher rear fender cutouts than stock. That's where the problem is.

There's every reason to believe this new chopped '30 BODY SHELL will also fit the old Revell '31 Ford fenders and frame, which are well scaled and mostly correct, except that the new '30 coupe appears to also have the rear fender cutouts raised like the recent roadster kit.

I stand by my original comment. He was looking to fit fenders to the new Revell kit, not the new Revell body to another kit. People out there are looking for fenders that fit the 29 roadster and 30 coupe because they want to use the new kit. That's why I'm working on the fender set that drops on the new Revell 29 frame.

Thanks for catching the difference between the 29 and 30 fender sets. Looks like maybe I'll have to develop a separate set for the new 30 kit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been looking at Mr. Boyd's most excellent and appreciated photos of this and it looks to me like it's going to be easy to open the doors on this kit.

This is one instance where failing to follow the real car's details completely has worked in favor of the modeler.

If you know these cars, or look at the photos of most 1:1s carefully, you'll see the REAL door overlaps the b-pillar / quarter panel. 

If the model had been made that way, it would have been much more difficult to open the rear edge of the door, as substantial reworking of the pillar and quarter would have been necessary after the cut.

As it is, only the rear edge of the door will need to be extended slightly, and the pillar and quarter sanded down a bit to allow for the overlap.

Flush-fitting doors as shown on the model ARE done occasionally, but it's not really very common.

But anyone who wants to make a correct opening-door overlap on this model will benefit from the decision to model the doors as flush-fit.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not super knowledgeable about these cars, but I like the 29 look better than the 30-31's. Could the cowl from the roadster could be grafted in to make a 29 coupe, or are there other differences?

 

See my discussion of this topic earlier in this thread, including links to photo albums of both '28/'29 and '30/'31 Model A Five Window Coupes.....Cheers....TIM 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not super knowledgeable about these cars, but I like the 29 look better than the 30-31's. Could the cowl from the roadster could be grafted in to make a 29 coupe, or are there other differences?

 

Transplanting a '28-'29 cowl MAY work fairly easily, and be a much better option than trying to transplant the new coupe roof on to the Revell '29 body shell. The coupes are NOT simply roadster bodies with roof sections stuck on, as seems to be the implication elsewhere.

While anything can be adapted to anything with enough effort, I believe you'll find the '28-'29 roadster body is narrower through the 'shoulders' than the '30-'31 coupe, for one thing. Length of the doors is another issue. The horizontal length of the cockpit is another difference.

I have personally converted a plastic '28-'29 roadster into a '30 roadster...which sounds like it would be easy...and it took entirely re-engineering the body shell to make it dimensionally correct.

1928-'29 roadster     $_1.JPG?set_id=880000500F

1930-'31 Ford coupe     1930-Ford-Coupe.jpg

1928-'29 coupe   1929-ford-model-a-five-window-coupe-1.JP

 

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having a 1:1 29 roadster in my shed and a dismantled 29 five window coupe put away for a retirement project, I can tell you a few of the differences.  I haven't yet worked out the best way to get an accurate 29 5W in 1/24 or 1/25 but hopefully this info may help.

The cowl and lower cowl panels are identical between 29 roadster and 29 coupe but are entirely different in every contour and dimension to a 30. Whilst a 30/31 body will easily fit a 28/29 frame, absolutely no body components are the same. They are as different as the first VW Beetle and the last Superbug - similar but different!

The front door pillars or A pillars on a 29 coupe are noticeably thicker and flatter than the detailed ones on a roadster. Not a hard fix but work none the less.

The doors of a coupe are about 4 inches longer than a roadster.  They are the same length as a Tudor, so if you have an original AMT 28 Tudor in your stash, I would build a coupe by using the Tudor cowl and doors joined to  shortened roadster rear quarters. If you choose to cut down a Tudor rear roof quarter to make a coupe, be aware that the window openings have a different shape quite apart from the obvious difference in length.

The rear half of the car is where things get tricky. Just sticking with the 29s for a start, the coupe quarter panel is shorter behind the door and the curvature drops off noticeably quicker than a roadster when viewed in profile. This is because the passenger opening on the coupe and roadster, where it wraps around the seat, is identical.  As the Coupe quarter panel is shorter, due to the longer door, the side curve has to start later and drop off quicker.

To use an AMT or Revell rear quarter, you would first have to carefully cut horizontally away the interior opening from the top edges of the body, shorten the quarter panels at the door jam and then reposition the unmodified roadster cockpit opening to suit. You would then have to sand off the roadster swage marks and fabricate new lower ones from Evergreen.

Also, for some strange reason roadsters have a swage mark along the lower edge of the quarter panel while coupes do not!

The tulip panel behind the passenger opening is narrower than the roadster for the reasons mentioned above.  The truck lid/rumble seat lid is identical but on the coupe it is located lower down the rear curvature, resulting in a narrower beaver panel underneath it as well.  Haven't worked out whether it would be easier to rescribe the trunk lines or simply cut it free and relocate it.

The roadster and coupe bodies are identical lengths from the bottom of the firewall to the rear extremity of the quarter panel. Also, the rear fenders are identical from coupe to roadster.

Whilst a 30 coupe would offer up proportions similar to a 29, they are different and look noticeably bigger than a 29.  Oddly, a 30/31 roof is higher than a 28/29 roof by about 1-1/2 to 2 inches. Usually cars got lower with each new model.  I have seen it done by Chris Dansie in Australia using the Monogram 29 pickup and 30 coupe and it is by far the best conversion I have seen .  You have to remember to change all the body pressings and swage marks because they are much simpler on a 29.

Hope that helps those of you considering such a conversion.  Remember, Google Images is your friend!

 

Cheers

Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No worries, Bill, happy to be of help.  I always enjoy your comments about the hot rod/street rod aspect of our hobby - I have  a vested interest with what is in my garage!

After posting I did think of something else, however.  For a chopped 29 coupe, I think the new 30 roof section combined with either the AMT or Revell roadster body would be a good start.  Reworking the door pillar and rescribing the door lines shouldn't be a deal breaker.  Whether a modeller wants to commit to the reshaping of the rear quarter panels depends entirely how much inaccuracy he is prepared to live with, and that is fine.

One last hint, the 29 sunvisor is a very basic folded flat steel unit, quite straight when looked at head on while the 30/31 sunvisor is a stamped panel with elaborate swage marks and a noticeable curve when viewed from straight ahead. Having said that, it is not unusual to see someone use a 30 sunvisor on a 29 for a classier look (although I prefer the 29 myself.)

Cheers

Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"One last hint, the 29 sunvisor is a very basic folded flat steel unit, quite straight when looked at head on while the 30/31 sunvisor is a stamped panel with elaborate swage marks and a noticeable curve when viewed from straight ahead. "

So far as I can tell, this curve might be a detail that needs correcting on the new '30 body for those builders who are extra nitpicky... :D:D Like me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So far as I can tell, this curve might be a detail that needs correcting on the new '30 body for those builders who are extra nitpicky... :D:D Like me!

Not surprising. They dropped the ball hard on the roof "insert" and the firewall so not a shock that the sunvisor also has issues.

I know that it has been pointed out that maybe the car they used as an example has a roof and firewall like the ones in the kit. I do not believe that to be true. IMO, that is the excuse being given for someone at Revell not properly doing their homework on model A coupes. If someone can post a couple of pictures of a hot rod 1930 model A coupe with both a firewall with a 3 inch shelf around it (to match the 3mm shelf on the kit firewall) and a deuce style roof insert, I will publicly apologise. Until then, pics or it didn't happen.

I have been around hot rods and customs my entire life and around Model A's as long as I can remember and I can only recall one model A with a roof insert like the one in the kit. That one being the Bass coupe and it is a 29. By Brian Bass's own admission the modification was a massive amount of work. I have never seen an oddly modified and proportioned firewall like the one in the kit on a real car.

I spent quite a bit of time examining the kit sprues and the built up example at the NNL East and judjing by the fairly rude response I recieved from Ed Sexton when I asked him about the firewall, I am not the first person to have questioned him about it. When I asked about it, he asked me to show him a photo of a car with the firewall different than the one in the kit. I showed him several different photos of several different cars. At that point, he mumbled something under his breath, went behind the table and ignored my presence. That reaction alone tells me that they (Revell) know that they made a mistake. I feel that Ed wouldn't have gotten upset that quickly if there wasn't a sore spot there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't mean to re-open the whole firewall thing. It's a pretty easy swap from another kit, IMHO, for those who want a stock piece. The visor will be trickier to fix, but as soon as I get the kit in my hands I'll be looking at how to achieve that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not surprising. They dropped the ball hard on the roof "insert" and the firewall so not a shock that the sunvisor also has issues.

I know that it has been pointed out that maybe the car they used as an example has a roof and firewall like the ones in the kit. I do not believe that to be true. IMO, that is the excuse being given for someone at Revell not properly doing their homework on model A coupes. If someone can post a couple of pictures of a hot rod 1930 model A coupe with both a firewall with a 3 inch shelf around it (to match the 3mm shelf on the kit firewall) and a deuce style roof insert, I will publicly apologise. Until then, pics or it didn't happen.

I have been around hot rods and customs my entire life and around Model A's as long as I can remember and I can only recall one model A with a roof insert like the one in the kit. That one being the Bass coupe and it is a 29. By Brian Bass's own admission the modification was a massive amount of work. I have never seen an oddly modified and proportioned firewall like the one in the kit on a real car.

I spent quite a bit of time examining the kit sprues and the built up example at the NNL East and judjing by the fairly rude response I recieved from Ed Sexton when I asked him about the firewall, I am not the first person to have questioned him about it. When I asked about it, he asked me to show him a photo of a car with the firewall different than the one in the kit. I showed him several different photos of several different cars. At that point, he mumbled something under his breath, went behind the table and ignored my presence. That reaction alone tells me that they (Revell) know that they made a mistake. I feel that Ed wouldn't have gotten upset that quickly if there wasn't a sore spot there.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion here.  I don't know all the history behind these decisions, but I do know some, and I can offer somewhat enlightened speculation on related issues as well.  

First, I can assure you that the primary people behind this project (the late Roger Harney as well as model kit development engineer/project manager John Mueller) were and are bona-fide car guys and far more knowledgeable about hot rod related subjects than most in the model car and 1/1 scale automotive worlds.  John even carries the credentials of having built a magazine-quality-featured '34 Ford Street Rod in his own garage a few years back.   

Second is that the model kit development process is far more complicated than most people realize.  It is also subject to the whims and demands of a number of constituencies, and those demands can have an impact on the final design of the kit.  

In the particular situation of this kit, the original development work included a firewall that represented the 1/1 scale configuration.  I have been told that there was a decision along the way to change the firewall to its current configuration so that a future version of this kit would be able to include a hood (thus requiring the ledge on the firewall that you see in the finished kit)   You may or may not agree with that decision (I suspect that most who are following this thread would not agree with it), but that is what happened based on what I have been told.  

As for the roof opening, I don't know any "insider" info on this, but I can speculate that there were probably one or two considerations here.  First was the desire for an open roof to show off what the product development team called the "skeleton" interior of the channeled version.  Second is the complexity of getting consistent molding output from a piece of styrene that is pretty complicated and already has thin sections in the A-pillar/windshield area.  Sometimes a mold design has to be altered from the actual 1/1 scale design to deliver consistent output from the tool.  That may have been the issue here.  Or, alternatively, since this is a one-off custom design and not based on any single 1/1 scale design, it may have simply been a decision by the development team to format the roof opening in this manner rather than choose strict adherence to the original 1/1 scale design.  If I hear any more info on this subject, I will post it here.  

What I do take issue with here is the idea that Revell did not do their "homework" here, and that the kit designers did not know their subject. Most people who have actually built this kit or the companion '29A Roadster kit know just how much Revell DID do their homework on this subject.  Yes, there are elements that can be made more similar to the original 1/1  scale prototype, and yes there are some kit design decisions that some of us wish had been been different (e.g. a Halibrand Quick Change/transverse leaf/Model A Rear Crossmember rear setup, and any early OHV V8 choice other than yet another scale SBC), but I defy anyone to actually build and complete this kit and not acknowledge that the Revell team got most of it right, and did a great job in the process.  

That's my opinion.....TIM   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone is entitled to their opinion here.  I don't know all the history behind these decisions, but I do know some, and I can offer somewhat enlightened speculation on related issues as well.  

First, I can assure you that the primary people behind this project (the late Roger Harney as well as model kit development engineer/project manager John Mueller) were and are bona-fide car guys and far more knowledgeable about hot rod related subjects than most in the model car and 1/1 scale automotive worlds.  John even carries the credentials of having built a magazine-quality-featured '34 Ford Street Rod in his own garage a few years back.   

Second is that the model kit development process is far more complicated than most people realize.  It is also subject to the whims and demands of a number of constituencies, and those demands can have an impact on the final design of the kit.  

In the particular situation of this kit, the original development work included a firewall that represented the 1/1 scale configuration.  I have been told that there was a decision along the way to change the firewall to its current configuration so that a future version of this kit would be able to include a hood (thus requiring the ledge on the firewall that you see in the finished kit)   You may or may not agree with that decision (I suspect that most who are following this thread would not agree with it), but that is what happened based on what I have been told.  

As for the roof opening, I don't know any "insider" info on this, but I can speculate that there were probably one or two considerations here.  First was the desire for an open roof to show off what the product development team called the "skeleton" interior of the channeled version.  Second is the complexity of getting consistent molding output from a piece of styrene that is pretty complicated and already has thin sections in the A-pillar/windshield area.  Sometimes a mold design has to be altered from the actual 1/1 scale design to deliver consistent output from the tool.  That may have been the issue here.  Or, alternatively, since this is a one-off custom design and not based on any single 1/1 scale design, it may have simply been a decision by the development team to format the roof opening in this manner rather than choose strict adherence to the original 1/1 scale design.  If I hear any more info on this subject, I will post it here.  

What I do take issue with here is the idea that Revell did not do their "homework" here, and that the kit designers did not know their subject. Most people who have actually built this kit or the companion '29A Roadster kit know just how much Revell DID do their homework on this subject.  Yes, there are elements that can be made more similar to the original 1/1  scale prototype, and yes there are some kit design decisions that some of us wish had been been different (e.g. a Halibrand Quick Change/transverse leaf/Model A Rear Crossmember rear setup, and any early OHV V8 choice other than yet another scale SBC), but I defy anyone to actually build and complete this kit and not acknowledge that the Revell team got most of it right, and did a great job in the process.  

That's my opinion.....TIM   

 Tim, 

For the record, I have built one of the new Revell 1929 Ford roadsters and I have another in the works. I will also build several examples of the new Coupe kit when it becomes available in Canada. I have 2 on pre-order at my LHS. I have no doubts that the Coupe will build up into a decent looking model without any major issues. The roadster is an excellent kit as far as fit, finish and ease of assembly goes. However even it has issues. 

The most noticeable to myself and pretty much anyone who is familiar with them is the exhaust port spacing on the nailhead engine. The ports are not spaced correctly. That error cannot be explained away as anything other than a lack of math skills on the part of whoever did the scaling on that part of the kit. I have a 401 Nailhead in my garage so that one was easy for me to measure when it looked "off". The gap between the center two ports is too wide. With all of the modern technology available, measuring properly should be a no brainer. In comparison, the Tommy Ivo showboat dragster was drawn, mastered and the tooling cut 60 some years ago. There are four nailhead engines in it and all 8 of the cylinder heads have the exhaust port spacing correct. The error in the port spacing is not an opinion. It is a mathematical fact. Anyone with a tape measure and a calculator can verify it for themselves.

You have stated that the firewall for the new tool kit was changed at some point to allow the use of a hood for a future version of the kit. The Revell 1930 Ford Tudor sedan tooling that was also created 60 some years ago has a full hood included in the kit and the firewall is far closer to a correct scale representation than the one in the new tool kit. Again, if they got it right back then, why is it so difficult to get it right now?

Modern measuring, drawing and computer modeling programs should have made errors like these a thing of the past but in recent history, several of the new offerings from Revell are full of small (and some not so small) proportion and measuring problems. I will not name the kits with the errors that I am speaking of due to the fact that it would probaby open up a big can of worms that we don't want opened but quite a few of the folks reading this will know which kits I am referring to.

Excuses can be made as to why things were done a certain way but IMO most of them are exactly that - excuses. Some are definitely valid reasons but most sound like the folks at Revell know that mistakes were made but they dont want to or won't admit it so they create an excuse that they think the general buying public will accept. 

I know that you are somewhat an industry insider Tim, and I appreciate the insight and behind the scenes information you bring to the board as well as the detailed reviews that you do so please don't take any of my comments in this thread as a personal issue. As a consumer, I just get very frustrated with all of these errors getting past the test shot stage and being put into full production and then the manufacturer acts like it is no big deal. Or as I experienced with my interaction with Mr. Sexton at the NNL East this year, they ignore the issue entirely. Seems to me to be a counter-productive attitude that may eventually come back to haunt them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Tim,

Thank you for your excellent reviews - they always show me what I want to see.  No complaint here.. The top and firewall don't bother me, I had other plans anyway.  The rear suspension is just a preference thing and I'll use what's in the kit.  ...and (should I say it) I would put a small block Chevy in it as well.  I guess that' the way it is, we all want something different from the next builder - there will never be a kit that has everything for everybody.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris....thanks for your well reasoned response and I am reassured to hear that you've build the roadster version several times.  

There is quite a long thread on the Nailhead cylinder head exhaust port spacing in the thread following my "review" of the Roadster kit almost one year ago, so I am not going to comment further on that one here.  (It's quite a read for any of you who missed it the first time around!)   

As for the firewall on the c.1965 tooled 1931 Model A Tudor, it is obviously much closer to 1/1 scale accuracy as you point out.  But the resulting hood setup would not even come close to being acceptable for a c.2016 tooled kit.  Yes, I've built several of these too and the hood design/hinging mechanism, presumably required to get the thin hood section that allowed the original firewall design, is out of scale and poorly aligned with the rest of the body panels.   So that would not have been the right solution this time either.  

We've covered in detail all the "wrongs" with these kits; what troubles me is that we seldom mention how many "rights" there are in these kits at the same time.  Revell went WAY beyond the call of duty, in my opinion, with these kits.  The relatively few "wrongs" are minor issues that can be corrected by any one with moderate skills and  some quality hobby time available.  

Again, thanks for your additional comments and thoughts here....TIM

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Tim,

Thank you for your excellent reviews - they always show me what I want to see.  No complaint here.. The top and firewall don't bother me, I had other plans anyway.  The rear suspension is just a preference thing and I'll use what's in the kit.  ...and (should I say it) I would put a small block Chevy in it as well.  I guess that' the way it is, we all want something different from the next builder - there will never be a kit that has everything for everybody.

Dito. You've hit the nail on the head. (And not the Buick Nailhead. Which I'm still happy with in the roadster kit.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...