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Ace-Garageguy

Split-Personality Chopped '34 Ford 3-Window. UPDATE: IFS, Ford 9", etc.

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I post a lot, but I haven't put up anything on the build threads for quite a while. This one has been going for a long time, but I've never shown all of it on this forum before. The basis is the horrible AMT early issue '34 Ford 3-window. The body shell is really the only useful part of the kit. The chassis is very bad, the front fenders and nose are wrong, wrong, wrong, and there's even stuff wrong with the main shell. This kit shares absolutely nothing with any other AMT '34, and as far as I'm concerned, everything in the box other than the basic body shell is scrap plastic. Great box art though.  ;)

                                                      Image result for AMT 34 ford

The body shell is really too wonky to build a decent stock 1/25 3-window, but it does have potential for a hot-rod. This will be a layback-style chop, where the roof comes straight down, and the pillars get massaged to fit it. It's similar to the chop on the Flintstone lakes-style '34 body, and because the windshield pillars get laid back a bunch, the roof doesn't need to be lengthened, as some builders choose to do. Once I roughed in the chop, some playing in the parts stash resulted in this first mockup.

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It's a very different style of chop compared to others I've done, and almost looks like a '36. It's sitting on the other AMT '34 chassis (5-window and sedan). Engine's from the AMT Fiat double dragster kit, with Revell blower, injectors and mystery scoop from the stash. Grille and shell are from the Revell '37 pickup. Rear wheels and tires are Monogram sprint-car. Front wheels are some generic steelies.

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The other side of the personality is a "big-wheel" car, with a lot of traditional influences. I really wanted to do this one with a Chebby 348/409 in the beginning, but all I had in big lumps when I started the build were Hemis. When she went back on the bench, I also decided have a look at updated suspension instead of the period buggy-springs...independent in front, and coils with long bars in back. Updated wheel-tire package too.

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I'll be posting the procedure for doing this chop in depth (posted years ago in tutorial form), so stay tuned.  B)

 

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Really like the traditional hot rod version, modern rods are not my cup of tea.

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I'm partial to the ultra mean lookin' traditional first version!
I think the second version could use some side pipes or chromed zoomies and maybe a passel of Webers instead of the blower to match the hi-tech vibe of the wheels and tires. Just my 2 cents. Either way it's awesome to see some shots of what you've been working on.

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Thanks for the interest, gentlemen. The main reason I set this one aside is that I couldn't decide if I liked the period version or the contemporary version better. 

Looking at her now, I'm leaning towards the period build...but I already have a fair bit of work in the contemporary chassis. 

Good news is that I have extra chassis and noses, so she'll probably get built both ways.  B)

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Good news is that I have extra chassis and noses, so she'll probably get built both ways.  B)

A 21st-Century Switcher! I like it!

Your blower scoop is just WAY too big, though. What is that, from some 1/20 scale kit? JADA diecast? Whatever it is, I hate it. B)

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Your blower scoop is just WAY too big, though. What is that, from some 1/20 scale kit? JADA diecast? Whatever it is, I hate it. B)

Some o' the old mailbox scoops were pretty big, and the one on the mockup is the first thing I came up with that had the overall look I was after. You'll notice in the photo below, the main body of the scoop is the same height as the 4-pot injector body, and it's almost as long as a 4-71 with the drive and rear plates bolted on. If I cut some off the front of the one on the mockup, we're there.  B)

                                                             Image result for dragster mailbox scoop

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Some o' the old mailbox scoops were pretty big, and the one on the mockup is the first thing I came up with that had the overall look I was after. You'll notice in the photo below, the main body of the scoop is the same height as the 4-pot injector body, and it's almost as long as a 4-71 with the drive and rear plates bolted on. If I cut some off the front of the one on the mockup, we're there.  B)

                                                             Image result for dragster mailbox scoop

That scoop's not bad at all. The one you have on there is MUCH bigger, or at least looks so. If you could find something about this size, it would look great.

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Cool project Bill. 

It’s interesting how the modern tires and wheels change the look of the car so much. I definitely prefer the more classic look of steel wheels and wide whites, which got me to thinking how hard it is to do a “modern” hot rod - I mean if the proportions  look so good on one version and but then so so on the next. 

Actually, looking back at the photos, the modern set up looks pretty good from the rear 3/4 angle. Either way it’s cool. 

Edited by Erik Smith

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Once again, thanks for the interest and comments. The more I look at this thing on the big screen, the more I like the traditional style.

AND...I WAS going to post the chop sequence as a part of this build thread, but it's all explained in a tutorial I did on this very forum back in January 2013...on this car. Rather than wasting bandwidth by posting everything again, I'll just give anyone who's interested this link...

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I'll never forget when I bought one of these AMT 34's years ago and how disappointed I was when I opened the box and saw the body and grill! If you pull this one off, Bill, it will be the ultimate turd-polish. Haha!

I prefer early traditional stuff but I think you should do the modern version with those Phantom Vicky wheels and IFS. 

B)

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...If you pull this one off, Bill, it will be the ultimate turd-polish...

I think you just solved the color dilemma...an old Mercedes medium-dark brown called "Tobacco".  :D

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This is looking good Ace, I have picked up a couple of these kits this last year. The styling here is very reminiscent of what would come out of the Rolling ones Shop. Thanks for the reposting of the tutorial, I’m definitely going to do this.

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This is looking good Ace, I have picked up a couple of these kits this last year. The styling here is very reminiscent of what would come out of the Rolling ones Shop. Thanks for the reposting of the tutorial, I’m definitely going to do this.

:D Glad you found it helpful. Chassis mods are coming up, so stay tuned. :D

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Darned fat fingers, what I ment was The Rolling Bones Shop. I’ll be watching to see your chassis build. Thanks for sharing your skills.

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For the big-wheel version, the new front crossmember is sourced from the AMT Phantom Vickie kit. It's set up for independent suspension, and goes in just like a real one. I've left the original crossmember in place to keep the chassis square while I determine exactly where the new crossmember has to go to get the wheelbase and ride height I want. The rear end is NASCAR mystery-kit parts-box sourced...a big fat reinforced Ford 9" on trailing arms, with a Panhard bar. Yeah, it's probably 1/24 and this is a 1/25 build, but I don't particularly care. I might slim down the housing a little bit, and I might not.

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Below, the rear crossmember for the trailing arm pivots has been narrowed and installed in between the chassis X-members. Pockets for coil springs now have to be made up, and the ride height checked carefully to determine if the rear of the frame will need to be zeed or just C-notched for clearance. It looks like the floor will need to be raised a tad to clear the arms, too. As usual, I'm building the thing as if it will have to function, and dimensions could be taken from the model, multiplied by 25, and applied to a full-scale car. 

Here, the IFS has also been mocked up so I'll know where everything goes, how much room it takes up, and where the front crossmember will need to end up.

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With her sitting on her feet, mocked up, we see the front ride height will determine where the crossmember goes relative to the frame rails. If you look close, you see the center of the stub-axle is way lower than the center of the wheel. The solution is, of course, to raise the crossmember in the frame. A little measuring and cutting filing is in order. Going to narrow the crossmember a little too, as I think the front track looks too wide as is.

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I don't have a problem with late model large diameter wheels, especially these ones, but I thought the early style mags and whitewalls /slicks worked better with the aggressive chop. Just my two cents.  Have you thought about a Greer Black Prudhomme or Tony Nancy style scoop - a pointy sheetmetal style in body colour rather than a polished aluminium style?  Might work well with the chop/grille/wheel combo.

What amazes me is your vision in seeing something usable in this car.  I have the kit myself but with a reasonable stash of AMT 5 windows, Monogram 3 windows and even a tatty pair of Aurora 5 windows, I basically hang onto it for its historical aspect.  Who knew you could do something cool with it!

I will be very interested to see how this pans out.

 

Cheers

Alan

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This is going to be one very tough looking hot rod. I really like the way you incorporated the NASCAR rearend. The Phantom Vickie wheels are very appropriate seeing as you are using the IFS from the same kit. The wheels would look less conspicuous if you painted or dull coated them which would give them a crossover look blending traditional and modern.

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The wheels would look less conspicuous if you painted or dull coated them which would give them a crossover look blending traditional and modern.

Thanks for everyone's interest and comments.

I agree about the "big" wheels. The plan from the start was to strip them, and do the rims as polished alloy (with Testors buffing aluminum metalizer) and the centers as cast magnesium, with a Dow7 coating. All in all, a royal PITA, but it should be worth it. The tough part is that neither the fake Dow coating nor the metalizer like to be masked, so doing a 2-tone wheel takes a little magic.

I think if you put the wheel backs on you will find the front end track is better than you think. I'm digging this build, either way you go with it

The problem is that it's already a little too wide for my taste with the stub-axles butting up against the backs of the outer wheel halves. I can shorten the stub axles, but the problem there is that the spindles, as supplied in the kit, are too tall to go inside the rims as they would on a real car. I may shorten the height of the spindles and make it look right, or I may just narrow the crossmember and say bad-word it.

 

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Love the concept, love the suspension ideas and yes once that scoop is cut down it'll look perfect on top of that huffer!!!!!!!!!!

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... once that scoop is cut down it'll look perfect on top of that huffer!!!!!!!!!!

:D I agree. The thing on that Fiat comp coupe is exactly what it'll be. 

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