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Art Laski

Jim Bailey's '71 El Camino

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My father-in-law has a collection of some classic cars that he takes to car shows, and one of his friends who goes to car shows with him, Jim Bailey, has an excellent example of a 1971 El Camino. Jim's wife asked me if I would build a replica of his car as a gift for him, so that's what this build is all about.

The build won't be full-detail, but even so, will have a few challenges. This first issue is that no model companies have ever made a '71 El Camino. The closest I found is a Jimmy Flintstone '72 El Camino resin body that uses the AMT '72 Chevelle as a donor kit. While this cominations is close, there will still be some alterations that will be necessary to represent a '71, and then some more work to make it look like Jim's Elco.

Here are some pics of the original.

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Edited by Art Laski

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Here is what I gathered up to pull this together.

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I picked up some Keith Marks decals for the graphics. Also, I wasn't sure what to do about the tires, but miraculously, Fireball Model Works had the Cooper tire lettering.
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I'm stealing the wheels from the '67 El Camino with the soap box car I just got. I'll use the other ones in the kit on that build later.
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My friend, Chris Sobak, was kind enough to send me his Flinstone kit of the '72 El Camino. While mine was just a body, his was a more of a kit with an interior, chassis pan and rear bumper. I used his interior to measure and cut mine.

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Modified the dash from the SS version to match Jim's. 
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Mocked up a printout of the gauges. It will be a little smaller than this.
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Edited by Art Laski

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I also started in on the seat. The model comes with individual bucket seats, but Jim's truck has a bench, but with split seat backs. So I used the bench back seat from the Chevelle and modified it.

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Stealing the headrests from the bucket seats.
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I got lucky and found some images of the exact floor mats that match this car. I printed some up on paper to size and will make a decal to go on some sheet styrene.
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I scratchbuilt a steering column, adding an ignition switch and the shifter mount. I curt some grooves in a styrene tube to make a boot of sorts at the end.
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The steering wheel is done. I found a wheel in the spares box that had the right thickness on the rim, then used a paper pattern to make the center from styrene. 
This is the original wheel.
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Lovin this... I'm gonna follow along. 

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Art........Oh Brother!!!!!.......this is going to be good......great start already:)

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Art, I recently built this Flintstone 72 Elcamino. I really like what you did making the split bench. I am doing something very similar with a 60 starliner bench right now.

I found a few things out as I built mine that I wish I had known before I started the car.

The rear side marker light are wrong for a 72, they need removed.

The resin chassis that mine came with was too long of a wheelbase, the styrene chassis actually fit better. I did move the front wheels forward about 1mm for a better fit. 

The way the headlight surrounds meet to hood is completely wrong to the real car. Hard to describe, but studying so Google images will help. The styrene car body is correct.

I found the styrene grill assembly to fit far better than the resin, resin was too wide.

Rear bumper was way to wide for the body. I think I took about 4mm out of mine, also cut the tail lights off the bumper and made new ones. Styrene housing and red lenses cut from the tailgate reflector stripe on the 92-96 f150 kit.

I too cut the kit interior bucket down as the fit of the resin bucket was terrible.

I've been meaning to get a few pictures posted of mine. Didn't do a build thread as I built it right in the middle of the photobucket issues. Maybe this will prompt me to get it done.

Can't wait to see how this one turns out.

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I have had success replicating the 71 front end by adding a small slice of pinstripe tape painted the body color to replicate the horizontal division between the turn signals (although it looks like the subject's turn signal bezels may have been re-chromed omitting the yellow in the divider). In the photos below you can see the body colored stripe which is 5/8" tall and the chrome trim is .25". Also note that the amber reflector is side facing only. From head on the lens is clear with an amber bulb being used.

The grill needs a horizontal center bar added from fine strip syrene covered in BMF and a black wash to the rest which makes it a suitable likeness. 

Don't forget that there will also be body color between the headlight trim and the grill as shown in the original photos.

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Edited by Flynlo
Added photos

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Great job replicating Jim's El Camino. I'll enjoy watching your build.

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Very interesting and ambitious project. I'll be following along. 

I have one of those JF '72 Elky bodies. Main reason I haven't built it is the typical JF thickness in the windshield area. Looks like it will be a chore fitting glass in there. Will be interesting to see how you handle this. 

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Jason, thanks for the comments and insight.

23 hours ago, 68shortfleet said:

Art, I recently built this Flintstone 72 Elcamino. I really like what you did making the split bench. I am doing something very similar with a 60 starliner bench right now.

I found a few things out as I built mine that I wish I had known before I started the car.

The rear side marker light are wrong for a 72, they need removed.

Yeah, I caught that one. These are already marked for deletion.

23 hours ago, 68shortfleet said:

The resin chassis that mine came with was too long of a wheelbase, the styrene chassis actually fit better. I did move the front wheels forward about 1mm for a better fit. 

I found the same thing. I couldn't figure out why the resin one was longer when I mocked it up. I'll consider the front wheel adjustment.

23 hours ago, 68shortfleet said:

The way the headlight surrounds meet to hood is completely wrong to the real car. Hard to describe, but studying so Google images will help. The styrene car body is correct.

I found the styrene grill assembly to fit far better than the resin, resin was too wide.

Yeah, I'm still working out the headlights and grill. I don't have a resin grill, so modifying the styrene one is my only option. I haven't gotten to the rear bumper yet, but the resin one from my buddy Chris' kit looked like it fit pretty well when I glanced at it.

I would love to see your build, Jason, and thanks again for the observations.

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23 hours ago, Flynlo said:

I have had success replicating the 71 front end by adding a small slice of pinstripe tape painted the body color to replicate the horizontal division between the turn signals (although it looks like the subject's turn signal bezels may have been re-chromed omitting the yellow in the divider). In the photos below you can see the body colored stripe which is 5/8" tall and the chrome trim is .25". Also note that the amber reflector is side facing only. From head on the lens is clear with an amber bulb being used.

The grill needs a horizontal center bar added from fine strip syrene covered in BMF and a black wash to the rest which makes it a suitable likeness. 

Don't forget that there will also be body color between the headlight trim and the grill as shown in the original photos.

Thanks, Tim. I did notice there was a bit of work to do in that area, so I'm working that out in my mind still. I appreciate your input!

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10 hours ago, espo said:

Great job replicating Jim's El Camino. I'll enjoy watching your build.

Thanks, espo!

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Art... I am loving this build. You know all to well that I am a big fan El Camino's considering I have a '71 my self. So glad that I was able to help out with the Flinstone kit that I had. Everything is looking killer so far what you have done. I know you will do an awesome job Replicating Jim's Camino. I will be following along on the journey of this build. Keep up the great work Brother!!

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You have got a few challenges but it appears that you have this project well in hand, Art!!!  I will be patiently waiting for updates on your Elky.  Your building this as a gift from Mr. Bailey's wife to him is a really cool deal.  😎👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻🏁

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As an El Camino addict I'll be watching this one closely . You're off to a great start ! :D

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Great progress. Good thing Jimmy Flintstone filled this model gap.

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On ‎11‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 6:45 PM, KWT said:

Lovin this... I'm gonna follow along. 

x2

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OK, wondering about what's going on with the chassis. The resin one is too long , does the Chevelle kit chassis fit? If so, that's wrong. The Elkys were built on the 4 inch longer wagon chassis. 

So, is the body too short?

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1 hour ago, Can-Con said:

OK, wondering about what's going on with the chassis. The resin one is too long , does the Chevelle kit chassis fit? If so, that's wrong. The Elkys were built on the 4 inch longer wagon chassis. 

So, is the body too short?

Sorry Art, feels like we are hi-jacking your thread here. Hope you find some of this useful info for your build.

I found the resin chassis to be about 2mm too long(for the body) and very poorly cast. Basically it was going to take a massive amount of cleanup to be acceptable. While the styrene chassis was about a 1mm(maybe 1.5) too short and just needed normal chassis mold line, ejector pin and sink mark cleanup. The styrene chassis front suspension(spindles) were really easy to modify to fudge a little bit of wheelbase length. this same method could have easily been used to "shorten" the resin chassis too.

I think that is was a combination of several things that made the wheelbase length an issue. I think the chassis was easy for somebody to have accurately lengthened it 4mm(4in), I think that if we were to really get into measuring one that the rear fender arches are not long enough. I think the front side of them was really close to correct, but the rear of them should have been closer to the rear bumper. I also felt like the wheelbase didn't quite match from left to right, really close, but I struggled with getting both front tires centered in the wheelwell, it seemed different every time I mocked it up.

 

Edited by 68shortfleet

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