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My 24 Hour Build- 1930 Ford Model A Woody

Tom Geiger

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I have been participating in the 24 Hour Build since 2013. There are years I finished, years I came close and years that I crashed and burned! Not ashamed to say it! 
This year I was successful! As board members will note, I've been on this Monogram Model A trip recently. So why not add vehicle number four? That had me choosing the Woody Wagon. And so it goes....


Early on I decided this wagon was a packing crate on wheels. This photo is a pregame taped mockup done early in the week to gain knowledge about how the kit assembles and get some inspiration. I had been burned in the past with kits where the body panels were to be finished before assembly.... think Heller Citroen Borden's milk truck, where things didn't pan out as planned. So I was leery! Also shown in this photo are seats I found in my parts box but still have not identified. They were used in this build. Also, the wheel set was chosen for my Model A chopped coupe build, then some board heroes came forward and gave me the stock cool wheel covers I actually used on that build, leaving this set for a future build. So here they went... they are the custom cap set from the AMT 41 Plymouth kit.


I decided I wanted to build a woody roadster pickup. I sat and stared at the mockup and came up with the plan. Later in the week I saw I should lower the bed one wood row lower to add interest, and mimic the one roadster pickup I had already completed. Since I had determined what I wanted to do, and that the modifications were essentially just cuts, here we were at 1:38pm. I taped up the panels for a fit and photo. I hadn't decided to add a top cap of Evergreen half round strip stock to the top of the bed sides at that point. They worked brilliantly to finish it off!


By 6:45pm I had the chassis up on wheels. I had predetermined how I wanted to lower it... I left out the rear spring and cut down the front suspension mount. I also had to scratch build a drag link because the kit one was a lump. I also had the main body parts primed and color painted with Dupicolor by this time. This photo was taken at 9:30pm, when I had the first color done on the wood graining. The engine was ready to wire, with a prewired dizzy at that point.



A lot of details happened into the wee hours of the morning. These photos were shot at 4:45 am. There were a few more coats of paint on body parts. I had detailed out the grill shell and headlights. The chrome was stripped on these before the build started, allowed in the rules.


Engine was finalized by 5:30 am and I started final assembly. That didn't go without it's problems. Many of my issues were because of the speed of the build. Where I would've taken a break for things to dry, I had to keep moving forward. The nice dashboard fell into the interior. Left to dry over night it would've been fine. Things refused to assemble according to plan. New words were added to our dictionary in the wee hours. I learned a few things about this series of kits. I knew that the later versions had narrowed suspension parts to allow for wider tires. BUT I didn't know that the rear assembly had changed to allow for a longer engine assembly! I had used an older rear, and had to pry it off, prep and paint a later one and glue it in place. That took precious time! And because of my chassis lowering, the exhaust system didn't fit. We don't need no stinkin' exhaust, so I simply tossed it aside. I will modify and install it another day. My wife woke up and came into the model room about 8am. She left shortly thereafter because I was in the middle of fit issues!


In the end, it was all worth it! I finished at 11am with an hour to spare! I took some photos, posted my completion on the site by 11:30am. Then I fell asleep in my chair! I slept most of the day! The rest of the photos don't need captions!





Here's my two roadster pickups. I'd really love to own a 1:1! One of these days!



And here's the whole set so far! I have not duplicated any details between them, it's a work in progress!




I successfully completed the challenge. This isn't a contest, we're not seeing who can finish first. This is a personal challenge to see if you can build a credible model within the 24 hour time span. Cheating only cheats oneself from the accomplishment. And then there is the camaraderie of working with over 100 modelers around the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia! There is nothing like posting your progress photos in the middle of the night and instantly having people "Like" and comment! And of course seeing where everyone else was, and cheering them on to finish! Like with many races, there were people who had issues and had to bail out. There were people who just gave up and went to bed. There was one guy who decided to dry his painted body on top of bricks set on top of his wood stove. He ruined his body... did he quit? Nooooo, he went on to start a new kit in the middle of the night AND FINISHED! That's tenacity!

This was a lotta fun for the past seven years, and I hope to participate until I can no longer hold an exacto! Not only was it a fun exercise, but you learn a lot about building overall. I've learned things that make my building more organized and systematic. I tried things I wouldn't have changed on a "serious" build that worked!

Thanks to all Gary Kulchock for organizing this lunacy and to all who participated!

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Thanks Guys!  The 24 Hour Build is a planning exercise, where you preplan everything so that you can continue to detail parts while assemblies and such are drying. Early on you focus on getting the body into primer, then into paint so it will dry. This was Duplicolor over Plastikote primer so it dried quickly.  There is no clear coat.   Things like the running board covers would have been taped off and sprayed on a serious build, I just taped them off and brush painted them to save time.  And they came out acceptable!  

What I find is that I build more organized and systematically on my regular builds once I learned to plan for efficiency.  And in the end, the irony is that the 24 Hour Builds don't look much worse than the ones you've fretted over for a long time!   A learning exercise for sure!  And you learn to have fun and not take it all too seriously.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Pretty impressive 24 build, Tom. I built a Woody Wagon clone from one of those a couple of years ago and took me 3 weeks. And that was mostly out of the box. BTW the engine in the Woody wagon has never changed in length. The only change to the rear axle is the ends where the wheels mount. Anyway, cool build.


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20 hours ago, Dave Darby said:

Pretty impressive 24 build, Tom. I built a Woody Wagon clone from one of those a couple of years ago and took me 3 weeks. And that was mostly out of the box. BTW the engine in the Woody wagon has never changed in length. The only change to the rear axle is the ends where the wheels mount. Anyway, cool build.

Dave, my hoard of Monogram Model As is in parts boxes and I mix and match.  The chassis I used no doubt had the rear, with attached driveshaft from one of the earlier As.. the ones with the short little transmission.  I got as far as popping in the engine before I noticed that over the years they had two different length transmissions / driveshafts. I did peel off the rear before I remembered I already had a completely built and wired engine from one of the early kits!  It was going in my 1962 era phaeton before I found a 4 cylinder for it!  Doh!  That would've been the easiest course of action.  But you don't make the most rational decisions after 20 straight hours of building!

And that's a very nice woody wagon you have there!  I do have to build one of those correctly one of these days!

Edited by Tom Geiger
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