[[Template core/front/global/utilitiesMenu does not exist. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]]
spencer1984

Beverly Hills Cop Nova

Recommended Posts

Having been long on my "to do" list, I've finally started in on building a replica of the "crappy blue Chevy Nova" from Beverly Hills Cop.  As erratic as my schedule is, I wanted to have some actual progress to show before I started posting this build (though no promises that there won't still be gaps when I get distracted by other ideas...).  As always, any comments and criticisms are welcome!

AMT-R2-836-2.jpg.0595ffb4bdfafd4634eba11f0d3a55f7.jpg

I'm using the official release by AMT, even though there's a lot wrong with the kit. Considering how much needs to be altered to match the movie car, though, Revell's really would have only been marginally more helpful. One of those changes is the engine: Axel's car didn't have a number badge over the front marker light, suggesting it had one of the base engines.  The '69 Chevy I had years ago had a straight six, so I decided to go with that and ordered one from MCW.

bhcnova01.jpg.af7912abb11b0d20f63ef90cedfe98eb.jpg

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I was hoping. The oil filter, distributor, coil, and starter are all cast into the block; the side panels aren't sized correctly; and the Powerglide is a little rough looking.

bhcnova02.jpg.e184e748c45c5203202500410f45748d.jpg

I took off all of the cast-in details, and did what I could to restore missing details like the cyl3 spark plug socket. It's far from perfect, but once it's finished and dirtied up some of these remaining problems will disappear.

bhcnova03.jpg.5f5009634c94877d2a717611978d4e88.jpg

Painted & weathered, it doesn't look too bad. In addition to removing the side details, I added a dipstick, drilled out for the distributor, corrected the oil pan, and replaced the breather with a cap from Detail Master.

bhcnova04.jpg.ce11414f7f19b208aec2c0a91520fe11.jpg

On the other side, I took off the carburetor and header pipe. Weathering was done using a combination of paints, pastels, chalks, charcoal, and weathering effects by Tamiya, Vallejo, and AK Interactive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your weathering on the engine makes it look like its on it's last legs, which is good. In the movie the sound track would leave you to believe the Nova had a V8, but its what ever you want it to be. You're going to want to get rid of the SS in the grill. You might be able to use the Revell COPO Nova for a standard grill and a bench seat. I really don't remember what kind of wheels the movie car had but I don't think the were the Rally wheels. This should be an interesting build, I hope you can work in with your work schedule.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff Spencer, looking forward to see this progressing.

This kit has its reputation, but it remains my personal first choice when it comes to building a Chevy Nova. You can end up with a very nice body if you take good care of the fender assembly and maybe even replace the side window framing. It is possible to remove the SS badge from the grille and rescribe it to downgrade it into a base model grille. And you can carefully cut off the top part from the grille to glue it to the hood.

This is a progress pic of my AMT Nova. The rocker panel trim was removed after the fenders had been installed. This way everything will end up being super straight. The side window framing was redone with sheet. I actually glued in full sheets into the body, then marked the posts and cut out the three window areas on each side. Now they are nice and thin and not so terribly bowed outwards. It was quick and easy work and a big improvement on the look of the body. I´m also using Revell Nova axles with the the AMT chassis plate on this build. Front end modified to be steerable aswell. There is tons of potential in this kit.

IMAG1097.jpg.55fea4d937b0c772aac080e3dc14fc70.jpg

 

Great job on the engine so far, I´m sure this is going to be a very neat build.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, guys!

2 hours ago, espo said:

You're going to want to get rid of the SS in the grill. You might be able to use the Revell COPO Nova for a standard grill and a bench seat. I really don't remember what kind of wheels the movie car had but I don't think the were the Rally wheels. This should be an interesting build, I hope you can work in with your work schedule.   

Yeah, AMT really missed with the trim level on this car. Model Car Garage and Harts Parts Resin will be providing the grille, bench, and 3/4 of the wheels (with COPO hubcaps). The fourth will be a bare steelie courtesy of my parts box.

24 minutes ago, 440 6BBL said:

This kit has its reputation, but it remains my personal first choice when it comes to building a Chevy Nova. You can end up with a very nice body if you take good care of the fender assembly and maybe even replace the side window framing...There is tons of potential in this kit.

In this case getting a nice straight body would be a bad thing! :lol:

I'm with you, though. My earlier build of this kit taught me a lot, including the troublesome roof pillars and window frames. I missed fixing the hunchbacked C pillar on that one, but will be sure to fix it this time.  Yours looks great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My choice would be the Revell Copo version because of the dog dish caps, lack of badges, and overall quality of the model. Way better than the Amt kit, albeit the go to kit that we all love it's still a difficult kit to make nice.

The good news is that the subject matter will make it easier to build. Don't forget the side moldings and dents. I wanna say somewhere there is screen still that shows the roof partially pushed in. I've always wanted to build the car as a model because I read that after filming it accidentally got sent to the crusher. Here's some reference photos.

Screenshot_20180327-201958.png

DJ BHC-screengrabs[03].jpg

Screenshot_20180327-205002.png

Edited by disconovaman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Anthony! The dents were one of the things holding me up on this build, and one of the reasons why the choice of kit wasn't as critical as it may be for some other models. The smaller dents like the front fender can be done by shaping the plastic, but big ones like the doors need something more aggressive:

bhcnova05.jpg.29f9285cd2750cd58c1d8ff16f9fb185.jpg

What I did was I made a foil copy of the panel, dented it, carved out the plastic, then replaced the panel with my new banged-up sheetmetal.

bhcnova06.jpg.bfd1f788376493b6ba2cb11ebe9748d9.jpg

bhcnova07.jpg.f12ffb987a19f61b7de142252f7b7f78.jpg

It's getting close to the right shape here, and you can also see the difference between the corrected (passenger) and curved (driver) window frames.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing work! It's coming along nicely and I know you can make it look great. About 8 years ago I emailed you with a suggestion to build the BHC nova. I've always wondered if you ever received it? I've followed your builds for years and have learned so much from reading your website. Keep up the good work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Anthony!  Sorry, I checked back through my e-mails and the only ones that come up for "Nova" around that time were conversations about the then-recent Death Proof car.  If you can, shoot me another e-mail at spencer1984@yahoo.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good,finally someone is building this kit as the beat up sky blue POS Nova that appeared in the movie.Most people just build it box stock.Yours looks good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/27/2018 at 7:51 PM, disconovaman said:

My choice would be the Revell Copo version because of the dog dish caps, lack of badges, and overall quality of the model. Way better than the Amt kit, albeit the go to kit that we all love it's still a difficult kit to make nice.

The good news is that the subject matter will make it easier to build. Don't forget the side moldings and dents. I wanna say somewhere there is screen still that shows the roof partially pushed in. I've always wanted to build the car as a model because I read that after filming it accidentally got sent to the crusher. Here's some reference photos.

Screenshot_20180327-201958.png

DJ BHC-screengrabs[03].jpg

Screenshot_20180327-205002.png

You will notice from the top picure there is no dent in the door.The chrome is straight and not dented like on the bottom picture..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking the same thing on the driver's door. However looking at the picture I also noticed what looks like the body side molding sticking out just a little on the first picture. It could also be that the door is already damaged but at the angle of the door you can't see the dent but the side molding to me indicates that the dent may have already happened. Either way this was a pretty funny movie and I'm thinking of watching it again. I'm also interested in how the build is progressing.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

This is an interesting build to me in that I worked on making set stuff for the BHC2 movie. I did not work on Cop 1 though. And never got near the Nova. So I can't offer any info on it.

A large percentage of what I made for Cop 2 wound up on the cutting room floor. I made a big complex sky light, items for a dive hotel room (fire escape section and "HOTEL" sign section to be seen through the window). But the bank interior partition fences I made, the huge metal bank gates that the armored truck crashes through I made, and a few other items that did wind up on film.

 

Regarding the curved side window frames. Note in the screen stills that the window frames actually ARE curved. The glass too, and all 3 windows on each side: wing, door, and 1/4 windows, were ALL curved. Just AMT got them a little exaggerated.

Edited by DustyMojave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, DustyMojave said:

Regarding the curved side window frames. Note in the screen stills that the window frames actually ARE curved. The glass too, and all 3 windows on each side: wing, door, and 1/4 windows, were ALL curved. Just AMT got them a little exaggerated.

I had a '69 Nova for about 15 years and can confirm that the side glass is curved. The original issue of the AMT kit circa mid-'70s had this all right. Apparently at some point the molds got damaged in the window post/roof area and they went in and modified things into the hideous shape they are now. Every one I've bought in the last 20 years is this way. The first couple I got, I just thought the body had been taken out of the molds too fast (a common problem in those days) but I've bought several since then and they're ALL like that. (I've bought at least six reissues of this kit just because it's a "parts mine.") 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like most Hollywood cars, the dents seemed to move around a bit depending one which car was used for which scene...the most obvious tell I could find was the top of the front fender, which went from pretty mangled to just a single small dent:

22-Front-Fender-Dents.jpg.65373b968978af9b6c14bdd877ae2943.jpg

15 hours ago, DustyMojave said:

Regarding the curved side window frames. Note in the screen stills that the window frames actually ARE curved. The glass too, and all 3 windows on each side: wing, door, and 1/4 windows, were ALL curved. Just AMT got them a little exaggerated.

Ideally I'm trying to keep the curves, just lessen them back to correct from AMT's severe bowing.  I overshot on the one side, but brought it back out a little bit closer to correct. Also, I got some paint on it!

bhcnova08.jpg.71c19be927c1cb9c873d38ae439c4a0e.jpg

bhcnova09.jpg.67f9a004eae6bba6836a779e3bae5f1b.jpg

I used Nassau Blue as a stand-in for Astro Blue, which is what the movie car was supposed to have been originally painted. It's a little darker than the sun-faded and dusty wreck, but that will come with weathering.  After the red primer, I sprayed it with gray primer and then the blue. That way I could sand and scrape through the edges to get the paint/primer/rust look from the movie.

bhcnova10.jpg.bb33b8d3b143c6a7de8e0efd115bdb07.jpg

bhcnova11.jpg.a81611561b2c17c70b6422adcf7c79e7.jpg

Now it's starting to look more like Axel's car!

I made the vinyl top out of making tape, cut and layered to give it the right overlaps and applied to show some places where it's starting to lift. I used this particular tape because the coarser texture looks like an old top that starting to crack. It only got one layer of Reefer White, because I didn't want to make it too stark, though I may go back and do a second coat just to even it up a little more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spencer, you got that roof and window frames about as good as I've ever seen them done on this kit. But when we first started talking about this project, I was pretty confident that you'd do it up right. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work.  The denting process is terrific.

I have to say that I'm disappointed that you where striving for such accuracy and the decided to paint it the wrong color.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Snake45 said:

Spencer, you got that roof and window frames about as good as I've ever seen them done on this kit. But when we first started talking about this project, I was pretty confident that you'd do it up right. B)

I appreciate that, thanks!  This was a good model to try it out on since there was a bit of wiggle room for making mistakes.

7 hours ago, Reeves Racing said:

I have to say that I'm disappointed that you where striving for such accuracy and the decided to paint it the wrong color.

Thanks for the feedback, all I can say is check back after weathering - you may be surprised what the color looks like after it's all done!

m223a.jpg.f6b739568e0ca4df17f621602e3320b0.jpg

m231a.jpg.cbbc692ed8aed2280ef4d3438b37e1fa.jpg

These two were painted using the same paint (EDIT: as each other, not the Nova). The only difference is what happened after!

Edited by spencer1984

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, spencer1984 said:

I appreciate that, thanks!  This was a good model to try it out on since there was a bit of wiggle room for making mistakes.

Thanks for the feedback, all I can say is check back after weathering - you may be surprised what the color looks like after it's all done!

These two were painted using the same paint (EDIT: as each other, not the Nova). The only difference is what happened after!

Yeah, you could put a drop of flat white in Dullcoat (since there's no shine on the thing anyway) and lighten it up quite a bit. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Progress on the Nova has been slow this past week between everyone in the family having a cold and what time I do have at the bench trying to get my NNL East model finished...but I do have an update!

bhcnova12.jpg.7054f77b24d5e0593b57137b1dd6db26.jpg

AMT bucket, bench seat from Harts Parts Resin, and rear seat from the Revell kit. The resin bench needed to have the split cut in the back and a little trimmed off the sides of the pad to fit. I was just planning to use the AMT rear seat, but the different patterns were really obvious in blue–last time I painted the interior black, so everything kind of blended together. Revell's seat had the correct pattern, but needed to be shortened to fit so I cut the back off and removed a couple scale inches. In retrospect I wish I had cut the front seat the same way, as the split between cushion and back looks a lot better as an actual split.

bhcnova13.jpg.a7b950e6a588b274b2be62b05dfe4bf2.jpg

Painted and partially weathered. I used Model Master Ice Blue for the vinyl, light blue flocking for the carpet, and MCG window cranks. The arm rests were from Monogram's '69 GTO, and are a bit bigger than they should be but still better than the tiny blips that were cast into the bucket.

bhcnova14.jpg.9a370058d8d0bfac3bbabafc7b400865.jpg

Next up is more color blending.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The body damage replication on this is incredible. I really enjoy good work like this taking shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool project, perfect weathering and damage!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good! Nice job on the interior

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome build so far, the detail so far is great 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now