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A Lil' Red Roadster - Channeled Revell '29 Ford - 4-22 Bonus Pics added

Bernard Kron

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Lil’ Red Roadster – Revell Channeled ’29 Ford Model A

The release of Revell’s hugely popular ’29 Ford Model Roadster kit in 2015 was a source of mixed feelings for me. A veritable treasure trove of superbly detailed hot rod parts, the channeled variant in particular left me frustrated. With its mile-high stance it sat nearly as tall as the highboy version, and while I thought the Buick Nailhead motor was perhaps the finest version yet done to scale, it makes such a strong  Hot Rod statement that it borders on cliché and tends to dominate a project. The size of the big Buick mill, combined with a large modern transmission also forced Revell to opt for a stretched wheelbase which, combined with the high ground clearance and large rear radius arms sticking out below the body, gave the channeled version a rather awkward overall look.

So when the kit came out I set about trying to correct the things. I landed up increasing the drop on the z’d frame by about 3 ½ scale inches and dropping the front suspension a like amount by shaving the front spring and substituting a flat front crossmember. The wheelbase remained unchanged, as did the center crossmember position because initially I thought I would build it with the kit Nailhead. But the modern coil spring rear suspension didn’t go with the generally old school vibe of the body and interior so I substituted a Revell ’40 Ford rear cross member and the rear suspension from a Monogram ’37 Ford Delivery Van. I scratch-built some simple oval section trailing arms from styrene stock, their shallow section remaining tucked up under the chassis rails. Once that was done the natural thing to do was give the car Flathead power, which was also sourced from the Monogram truck kit. At this point it was beginning to strongly resemble a Lil’ Red Roadster Photoshop mockup I had done about 9 years ago, so this became the theme of the build.

The Lil’ Red Roadster Photoshop mockup done about 9 years ago

For some reason, though, I caught a case of builder’s block just as I got going on the project, and at the beginning of 2016 I put everything away and went on to other projects. But the other week I took the box out and, much to my surprise, it didn’t look as bad as I remembered and was quite far along. So I decided to finish it up.

The funky, ultra-simple and basic look is emphasized by the stock heads on the flat motor, finished in Testors Metalizer Steel to resemble the high-compression aluminum “Denver” heads Ford offered as a dealer-installed option for heavy ,duty truck use. The Edelbrock dual-carb setup is from a Revell ’40 Ford Street Rod Coupe, which also provided the exhaust manifolds. The transmission is a Hydramatic from a Revell Small Block Chevy Parts Pak, the total length of the engine and trannny fitting the kit frame dimensions. I have forgotten where I sourced the wheels but the hub caps and and trim rings are from a Revell ’32 Ford 5-window Coupe kit. The windshield is the Ala Kart piece from an AMT ’29 Ford Roadster kit ,which has a more pleasing rake to it that the rather upright Revell piece. I chopped it, removed the Ala Kart dashboard and scratched together a basic dash panel and used a leftover photoetch instrument panel from a Model Car Garage ’32 Ford p/e set. Just about everything else is straight out of the basic Revell ’29 Ford Roadster kit with most chrome parts stripped and finished in various shades of Testors Metalizer to go with the Simple Hot Rod theme. The body is finished in Duplicolor Flash Red lacquer.

Thanx for lookin',


Edited by Bernard Kron
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Thanks to all of you for the kind words. I'm glad you all dig it! It's got to be one of the simplest looking models I've ever built, which stands in contrast to the work required to convert the Revell kit into a proper Old Skool ride like this. Given my tastes in hot rods this must be the kit I wished Revell would have released.:P:lol: Nevertheless, despite the builder's block, it was great fun getting there.

Below are three additional photos of the model done in the black background style made popular by The Rodder's Journal.

Many thanx once again for your appreciation.




Edited by Bernard Kron
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Thanx to you all. 

Very nice!  I really like the simplicity of this straightforward rod.

Speaking of simplicity, Gerald your avatar is of one of my all-time favorite pieces of automotive design, the 1964 Alfa Romeo TZ1 Canguro by Bertone, which pushes all my buttons for its purity of lines and its  graceful simplicity!


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Well done Bernard! Your modifications, especially the channel, overall stance and the simple flathead really make this build stand out and look like an authentic hot rod rather than the somewhat "toy-like" presentation the kit has(to me) straight out of the box. Take a bow Sir!

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks, Bernard; I only wish there were a 1/24 or 1/25 scale Canguro.  I may attempt to do one myself - the Toyota 2000 GT is very close in size and shape.  I started modifying a Viper as a pseudo Canguro, then Alfa beat me to it.

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