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Bernard Kron

Revell Based AMT Trophy Series '32 Ford Roadster Box Art

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Revell-Trophy-Street-Rod-Box-Art-Detail-
Revell/Monogram based box art model of original issue AMT Trophy Series No. 132 ’32 Ford Roadster Street Rod illustration
(more photos below)

This is an idea I’ve had for several years now. The inaccuracies and distortions of the old AMT ’32 Ford models are well known, and yet they build into very compelling hot rods despite it. In particular I always admired the blue “Street Rod” roadster on the box top of the original issue AMT ’32 Ford Roadster kit (No. 132) from 1959. The 1/25th scale Revell ’32 Ford kits are far more accurate in both detail and proportions. I thought it would be fun to try and capture both the flavor and the specific details of the illustration in a model using Revell parts to the maximum possible. To be clear, since it would not be otherwise possible, by “Revell” I mean the Revell family of models including Monogram.

Now box art builds are always problematical, even when you build out-of-the-box. This is because box art artists typically take great liberties with their illustrations, often distorting the proportions of the car and rendering many of the details in ways that will not be found in the box. This is especially the case with this example, where the flames are nearly twice as big as the kit decals, extending all the way back to the rear wheel well arches. The car itself is severely foreshortened in perspective and many of the details, such as the headlight mounts, shock absorbers, etc., are simply missing-in-action. The dwarfed supercharger presents quite a challenge, too. So capturing the “flavor” is as much matter of re-interpreting the artist’s intention as it is rendering the details with any sort of scale accuracy. It’s all a matter of “picking your battles”, which is exactly what I did.

Below is a list of the parts sources I used to build this. I started by focusing on the signature detail of the illustration, the decals. Beginning with a set of original issue decals lent to me by a friend I scanned them and rescaled them to the Revell Stacey David ’32 Ford Roadster kit that would form the basis of my project. I then re-drew them using Adobe Photoshop. I used the decal sheet from the Revell ’32 Ford 5-window coupe as my guide for details like the cowl decals. Once the design work was done I had the new art work custom printed using an Alps printer which allowed for a white underlayment so the colors would hold up over a relatively dark body.

The same Revell ’32 Ford 5-window coupe kit provided the Hemi engine. The artist’s scrawny little rendering of what is presumably a GMC 6-71 blower was reinterpreted as a smaller GMC 4-71 unit sourced from a Revell Roth Beatnik Bandit.

And so it went, stepping my way through the original AMT version and finding equivalents in the Revellogram universe. But one part was impossible to translate. That was the cycle fenders. There were simply no equivalents in shape and proportion to them in a non-AMT kit. So, thanks to the generosity of a fellow modeler who prefers to remain anonymous, I was able to obtain a set of original issue fenders, which, fortunately, fit the Revell Deuce quite well without significant modification. As a result the fender flames are 1:1 renditions of the original decals unlikely the body decals.

Three other AMT parts found their way onto the model. The shiny chrome wheel covers, AMT’s interpretation of Moon discs at the time, can still be found today, although not in an AMT ’32 Ford kit – they’re in the Round 2 re-issued AMT Double Dragster kit, and, as luck would have it, fit the Revell ’48 Ford steelies I was using perfectly. And the wide whitewall tires from that same ’48 Ford kit fit the ancient AMT cycle fenders just as perfectly. Phew!

The paint color I chose is the same as that used by MCM board member Mr. Moto (see http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/topic/123803-amt-32-ford-roadster-1959-box-art-build/ ) in his excellent real AMT box art build which I used as my guide. It’s Duplicolor Bahama Blue Metallic. Interpreting box art colors given the relatively crude color printing of 1959 is a black art in itself. I thought that color was a good choice and would show off the decals to advantage.

In building the chassis I tried to emulate the AMT setup wherever I could. That’s why I converted the rear suspension to a transverse leaf spring setup. But overall my goal wasn’t so much to duplicate the AMT model using Revell parts as to interpret it,  capturing as much of the feel of the box art illustration as I could.

Here’s the parts list:

Base kit used: Revell Stacey David ’32 Ford Roadster kit. Body and chassis.
Revell 1/25th scale ’32 Ford Highboy Roadster Street Rod kit: Interior bucket, dashboard, grille shell, radiator, windshield, head lights, tail lights and firewall.
Revell 1/25th scale ’32 Ford 5-window Coupe: Flame decals used as guide to redrawing AMT flame decals.
Revell 1/25th scale ’32 Ford Sedan: Rear seat cut and reshaped.
Revell/Monogram ’37 Ford Delivery Van: Rear suspension. Rear axle narrowed to fit. Suspension control arms, front and rear. Brake backing plates, front steering parts.
Revell/Monogram ‘30 Ford Sedan: Houdaille vane type “friction” shocks.
Revell/Monogram ’40 Ford Pickup: I-beam dropped front axle.
Revell ’48 Ford Coupe: Front and rear wheels and tires, steering wheel.
Revell Roth Beatnik Bandit: GMC 4-71 Blower
Revell/Monogram 1/24th scale ’32 Ford Roadster: Wind wings. Filigree engraving sanded out and polished.
Revell Parts Pak Ford 427 V8: Headers
AMT Parts used: Cycle fenders from original AMT ’32 Ford Roadster kit, chain drive for supercharger from AMT ‘39/’40 Ford sedan kit, DeSoto Hemi valve covers from AMT '53 Ford pickup kit, chromed wheel discs from AMT Double Dragster kit.
Aftermarket parts: 3D printed Stromberg 97 carburetors from Maple Leaf Model Works (see: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/maple-leaf-modelworks?section=1%2F25+Hot+Rod+Parts&s=0 ), Photoetch 7 gauge dashboard courtesy of Replicas & Miniatures Co. of Maryland.
Scratch built parts: Carburetor stacks, headlight mounts, miscellaneous chassis fittings, rear rolled pan.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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A most ambitious and creative project, masterfully and imaginatively delivered.  In other words, "cool"!!!!    TIM 

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That's a great build and a great idea that had never occurred to me. Even though we started from totally different sources your statements about the problems of box art building exactly mirror my own experience. I was totally surprised by how many changes were needed to build the box art from what was in the box!

Beautiful job!

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Thank you all! It's greatly appreciated.

7 hours ago, tim boyd said:

A most ambitious and creative project, masterfully and imaginatively delivered.  In other words, "cool"!!!!    TIM 

Thanks Tim. You are too kind!

6 hours ago, mr moto said:

That's a great build and a great idea that had never occurred to me. Even though we started from totally different sources your statements about the problems of box art building exactly mirror my own experience. I was totally surprised by how many changes were needed to build the box art from what was in the box!

Beautiful job!

Thanks Manuel! Your True Box Art project was the inspiration for this one, and I referred to it repeatedly as I worked through the details of my Revell clone. You are right about box art illustrations., A few years back I did a box art rendition of an AMT '39/'40 Ford Tudor Sedan, the yellow custom version on the side panel of the original 1st issue. I swear the artist worked largely without benefit of a completed model. But somehow he got the "feel" of the completed model right, and that's what I used as my guide when doing it. Box Art modeling is its own bizarre sub-specialty...

Edited by Bernard Kron

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As always an excellent post of an excellent model. I really hope you can make it to Victoria next July for Deuce Days and Deuce Days Scale. Your Deuce models - this one in particular - would bound to be a highlight.

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Thanks again, to you both, for your inspiration and for your support ;).

15 minutes ago, Phildaupho said:

... I really hope you can make it to Victoria next July for Deuce Days and Deuce Days Scale. ...

I meant to go to the last one but time and budget made it impossible and I sincerely hope to make it this time. But this Deuce fixation of ours does lead to  un embarras de choix, as it were :lol:

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Box art builds are always nice, the older the box art the better..... I think this is a great capture!

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Thanks again.

Box arts are always fun, and even more so when you set yourself some extra challenges, whether its like this one by using different parts and sources than the original, or trying to capture the liberties the artist took with his illustration.

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One nice thing about the AMT 32 Trophys is that the frame pines allowed you to swap for motors from the 36 ford, other 32 ford, and 40 fords( Buick, Pontiac, Olds, chevy, mopar,ford combos)

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