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      Board Status   07/20/2018

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Casey

Revell '55 Bel Air Box Art Tribute, Part I - Yellow Car

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Here's my latest new project, which I will loosely describe as an homage to the original issue Revell '55 chevy box art:

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I acquired a modern era 1/25 Revell '55 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop to build the red car in foreground, but decided to use an AMT '55 Bel Air Sedan to build the yellow car. When you can only see 30% of the car, who's to say it's not a Sedan? :P I didn't really want to build two of the same kit, and I prefer the Sedan body, so it was an easy decision to start with the yellow car as a Sedan.

The AMT Bel Air Sedan has some issues right out of the box, namely the hood is a bit too narrow:

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Not ideal, but easily corrected by adding some stryene strips to the edges, then sanding everything to the proper contour. The right fender edge (where it meets the hood) isn't straight on the body, either, so a bit of work with a square file helped clean that up a bit. I should've used thicker strips at the hood edges, as the fender-to-hood gap is much improved, but could be better:

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While I was working on the hood, I knew I wanted to add a small, semi-unique hood scoop, since the yellow box art model wears one. After digging out the vintage scoops in my parts box, I found one I liked, which turned out to be from the Monogram '39 Chevy coupe kit (thanks to Bob Taber for identifying it). The scoop has a small flange at the bottom, which made marking the hood, cutting the hole, and cementing the scoop into place much easier:

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One of the downfalls of the AMT Sedan is the overly thick/tall front valance/splash shield behind the bumper. If you're using the front bumper it's mostly hidden, so no worries, but running sans front bumper means cutting the excess off, then reshaping the entire panel, in particular the two arched sections directly under the parking lamps. I managed to scribe the upper edge/gap on both sides without messing up, but I still need to scribe two more panel lines, as the valance is actually three pieces bolted together, so not quite done yet, but gettin' there:

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The red car has radiused rear wheel arches, but the yellow car? I decided it does, too, so I opened those up on the body using my Dremel tool and a carbide straight cutting bit after drawing a 1.25" diameter guideline. I haven't opened them up to the final shape as I need to get the suspension, wheels and slicks all in place to final fitting prior to paint. Still not sure how I'm going to handle the rear quarter panel trim pieces which got cut in the process of radiusing the wheel arches, but I will probably go with a cleaner, no-sections-missing look:

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I'm using a 1/25 Revell '57 150 Sedan "Black Widow" chassis/floorpan under the AMT body shell, and I have to say, they are an excellent match. The front and rear frame rail ends need to be trimmed a bit, but the width is near perfect. Here's an underneath shot after a lot of cleaning up and a test fit:

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The underhood area of the AMT Sedan is not great, and really look like hot garbage compare to the more modern Revell kit, so it was determined the owner of the yellow car decided to remove the inner fenders, so I did what I had to do in the name of accuracy. ^_^  I figure these two cars are still streetable, but trending towards strictly strip use, so a short trip from garage to strip would be tolerable with no inner fenders. Plus, it saved me some work, and I could put that effort toward improving the firewall and radiator support areas. The firewall was fully removed, and a Revell firewall (the '57 kit includes both '55 and '57 firewalls) piece substituted. I'm using the '57 Utility Sedan's interior floor as it's very basic and has no rear seat, again saving me some work. I'll cover the interior work in a later post, but for now, the firewall was cemented to the interior floor piece, reshaped in some areas and filler pieces added in others to get a solid rough shape with no gaps. Still lots of work to do on the firewall and engine compartment, but nothing too complicated. The below shows the progress so far, and also tips off my engine choice (thanks to Paul Gardner for supplying the 409), but more on that later: 

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Edited by Casey

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Looks like a great project Casey, I'll be following.

Look like '56s but some inspiration nonetheless:

Picture

Edited by afx

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Man, that is a great start on one of my favorite box arts! Gotta say though I've had the same idea for years. I always wondered where you'd get those "Big R" decals...

When I was young I always thought the Boxart told a story and my imagination was unlimited.

When I seen this boxart the first thing that came to my mind was the yellow car is the early years Monogram "Badman" takin on the Revell "Big R" 55 (BigRed)? at the 64' Nationals where the Red 55 took the championship (looks like he's gettin out on the yellow car). The following year the newly decaled "Badman" won the Winter Nationals agianst the pink 55 (visiable at the corner of the Badman boxart) giving him his own boxart. I want to build all 4 cars eventually. Rock on dude! I'll be watching to see it all come to life!

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Edited by disconovaman

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Enjoying this so far! Thanks for detailing the various corrections you've made to the body, that's always interesting to follow.

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Love this so far! Great hood scoop, perfect for the car. A  '55 Gasser Sedan is about as cool as it gets! When I was a kid there was a guy up the road that had a  '55 Sedan that kind of looked like the American Graffiti car, but red and with Cragar Mags. Certainly rough around the edges ,but It was seriously fast, saw it run on more than one occasion. Turns out it had a big bore Pontiac under the hood! That car is burned into my memory and to this day is a strong  influence on my automotive tastes! -Larry

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14 hours ago, afx said:

Look like '56s but some inspiration nonetheless:

Life imitating art or vice-versa? Maybe too close to call in this case, but I love 'em both.

10 hours ago, disconovaman said:

Man, that is a great start on one of my favorite box arts! Gotta say though I've had the same idea for years. I always wondered where you'd get those "Big R" decals...

I think I would just hand paint those (I would think the "real" car would've had hand painted lettering) if it came down to it, but at least the Weiand and Chevy logos are easy to source. There are a very few vintage speed equipment logo decals which I have kept for many years, so I may use one or two of them on the yellow car.

It's funny there are three kits with such similar box art, but always a yellow car in the far lane, and always at the Winternationals. :D

JOHANMavswinternats.jpg.6edcfd9cc9b2db229864e4ebb3621b07.jpg

 

3 hours ago, larman said:

Great hood scoop, perfect for the car. *snip* it had a big bore Pontiac under the hood! 

Thanks, I have had it for many years, and when you find a part that just looks "right", you keep it for that some day project. :) I'm actually planning to use the Super Duty 421 Pontiac V8 from the AMT '62 Catalina in the red car, so both cars should have similar power-to-weight ratios, end up in the same Gas class, and run head to head.

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On 2/15/2018 at 6:07 AM, afx said:

Yellow must be a slow color.:)

At least it's not unlucky, like green...or Corvettes. :blink:

Here are a few more pics of the various parts and sub-assemblies I've made progress on so far.

Wheels and tires: M&H Racemaster pie crust slicks from the Revell Tony Nancy Roadster/Dragster double kit and the 5-window Halibrand wheels from the Roadster. Front wheels are the front wheels from the Revell '64 Ford T-bolt with parts box tires (not sure on the source, possibly Lindberg '64 Belvedere?):

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The rear halves of the rear wheels needed to be thin enough to allow the brake drums to clear, so I ended up turning a pair of rings on the lathe to get enough clearance:

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I turned the O.D. (wheel lip) of the wheel backs/drum brake backing plate pieces down on the lathe, but the drum's wall is still a bit too thick and the gap between the drum's I.D. and the backing plate's O.D. is still too large. I'll have to live with it. -_-

I'm using the AMT '62 Pontiac Catalina' rearend because it was (and still is) a common upgrade able to handle more power, and the part in the AMT kit is nicely designed and detailed, too, so a win-win. The stock control arm brackets all need to be removed and the flange ends turned down to fit inside the brake backing plates' holes, but it's a nice starting point:

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I made up some brackets from brass u-channel so I could positively locate the rear ale tubes on the leaf springs, and added an alignment pin to each, as plenty of test fitting awaits:

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Additional look at the underside of the hood, which has decent bracing detail:

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Better(?) shot of the hood scoop in it's final position:

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Firewall detail shots, showing the patches I added to make up for the differences between the '57 floorpan/toe kick area and the '55 firewall. The interior side should be mostly hidden, so it won't need to be perfect. The engine compartment can be fudged a bit as the ball peen hammer "clearancing" method may have been use to gain a bit more space for the 409 V-8:

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I removed some material from the edges of the floorpan, too, but I'm still working on getting the '57 interior panels and '55 dash to all fit together nicely.

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On 2/14/2018 at 10:48 AM, disconovaman said:

:)

Edited by Casey

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Very nice start Casey. I really like how you pulled the different ‘55’s together to make this killer version .

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Looks great!! As far as the ball peen approach to the firewall, I've been there. I once had to slightly "modify" the fire wall of a 55 (with a hammer) to make a H.E.I. clear.

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57 minutes ago, DRIPTROIT 71 said:

Looks great!! As far as the ball peen approach to the firewall, I've been there. I once had to slightly "modify" the fire wall of a 55 (with a hammer) to make a H.E.I. clear.

Thanks Brian (and everyone else, too :)). I did a lot of poking around on the H.A.M.B. and Tri-Five.com before starting this project, and I was concerned about firewall clearance using the 409 engine, not wanting to use a modern, smoothed firewall. I will be able to get away with moving the radiator to the front of the support panel, leaving just enough clearance for the fan...more on that later, though. ^_^

On 2/16/2018 at 11:19 AM, afx said:

Wheel/tire combo is very nice.

Thanks. The Revell slicks are showing their age and have some molds flaws which aren't ideal, but I should be able to hide them for the most part. I debated using the Halibrand rear wheels as they seem to be a bit too high dollar for a car like this, but they do have the period look, and the Tony Nancy kit contains two sets of rear wheels and tires, so...done. :D 

I've always liked the steel wheels from the T-bolt kits, and wanted to run steel wheels up front on both cars per the box art, so that was easy. Turns out the front tires aren't from the Lindberg '64 Belvedere kit, so still trying to source those. One sidewall on each tire has the lettering printed out of register, but I can turn those to the inside. Not sure how realistic the straight implement style tread is on these, but they look good to me and the wheels are a nice snug fit inside them, too.

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On 2/14/2018 at 1:38 PM, cobraman said:

Nice project. I will be looking in.

x2

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On 2/14/2018 at 10:21 PM, Casey said:

 

JOHANMavswinternats.jpg.6edcfd9cc9b2db229864e4ebb3621b07.jpg

 

Nice work on that '55...reminds me of the days when I had a 2-dr post 55 Chevy with a 327 in it.

It appears the blue Maverick is right-hand steering.

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9 hours ago, Casey said:

Thanks. The Revell slicks are showing their age and have some molds flaws which aren't ideal, but I should be able to hide them for the most part. I debated using the Halibrand rear wheels as they seem to be a bit too high dollar for a car like this, but they do have the period look, and the Tony Nancy kit contains two sets of rear wheels and tires, so...done. :D 

I've always liked the steel wheels from the T-bolt kits, and wanted to run steel wheels up front on both cars per the box art, so that was easy. Turns out the front tires aren't from the Lindberg '64 Belvedere kit, so still trying to source those. One sidewall on each tire has the lettering printed out of register, but I can turn those to the inside. Not sure how realistic the straight implement style tread is on these, but they look good to me and the wheels are a nice snug fit inside them, too.

I used the Goodyear Power Cushions on my Dragonsnake build.  Don't know the kit source either, I picked them up in a tire lot on ebay.  Scenes Unlimited has them however.

https://scenesunltd.com/collections/tires/products/t25-goodyear-atlas

DSCN3277

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1 hour ago, BigTallDad said:

Nice work on that '55...reminds me of the days when I had a 2-dr post 55 Chevy with a 327 in it.

It appears the blue Maverick is right-hand steering.

From the looks of the hood scoop going through the windshield, I would guess this is an early funny car and the driver is actually sitting in the middle of the back seat.

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Yes that's the box art for the funny car chassis Maverick kit, with the driver seated on the center line

Edited by afx

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I whittled away at the top edge of the firewall so it would conform to the shape of the new top edge, but I have a little more work to do until the fit is just right. I still need to make something on the back/underside where the two pieces meet so they can be permanently, and neatly joined.

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I also worked on the '57 150 Utility Sedan interior door and quarter panel pieces, shortening them a bit and re-contouring the upper edge a bit to match the AMT body. I still need to integrate the narrower AMT Bel Air dashboard, but I may end up replacing it with the Revell '55 dash if necessary. After test fitting both, it looks like the AMT Sedan windshield and rear window will play nicely with the Revell '57 interior parts, but they are a bit on the thick side. The Revell '57 Sedan windshield and rear window may be substituted and new rear quarter windows made, or I'll thin down the AMT pieces a bit...TBD.

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Oh yeah! Nothing beats a ‘55 post gasser. 

(Except maybe a red ‘55 Coupe gasser.) :P

Looking good. Nice work, Casey. 

Edited by Matt T.

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