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I haven't posted a work-in-progress chronicle here in years. Usually the number one way to kill a project for me is to start posting progress on a forum. :P But, since this project has pretty strong momentum, I think I'll wing it this time and present it as my way of celebrating 10 years as a forum member. 

Of course, I began with AMT's deathless '53 Ford F-100 Trophy Series kit. One of my all-time favorite kits of one of my all-time favorite subjects, so I always try to have a couple handy. The first little task was making up a heater box and duct work for the inside of the cowl. I have a 1:1 '54 F650, but since it's out in a cold shed (the door of which is pretty much drifted shut at this point), I used online photos and a little artistic license when creating the components. Since this Effie will feature an engine swap, I also added some auxiliary gauges from a Detail Master photo etch sheet. Also from a Detail Master set is the cassette deck and cassette. The face is the photoetched piece from the set, while the body is made from styrene strip. The photo etch cassette tape was fattened up with a thin strip of styrene on the back. It was then stuck into the opening on the head unit. 

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Loose wires seem to sprout from everywhere under the dash on these old F-Series rigs, even more so if extra electrical accessories are added, as is the case here. So various scraps of plug and detailing wire were strung out from under the kit dash. I added photetched keys and ring, also from a Detail Master set, and to say that tested my patience would be a dramatic understatement. All that work and I doubt it'll ever be noticed. Oh, well! The gauges and cassette deck were also hung under the dash. 

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The steering wheel and column were not overlooked. A turn signal stalk was added, and a machined aluminum tach (source unknown) was slung onto the side. The wheel itself was fitted with a scratchbuilt Brody knob. 

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I've always wanted to try a ripped up seat. After messing around with some balsa foam for another project, I hit upon an idea. The molded cushion detail was cut out of the seat, and replaced with flat sheet. New "cushions" were then carved, and wrapped in some scrap fabric. Once the adhesive had cured, I sanded along the edges to wear through the fabric. 

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It is kind of hard to see, but I worked a sag into the driver's side of the cushion to simulate years of use. I also weathered the seat a bit, by dragging a piece of sandpaper I'd used to shape the foam over the fabric. Here you can also see the shifter, made from scratch as the kit-supplied floor shifter wasn't quite as "burly" as I'd wanted. 

Moving on to the floor, it was sanded to wear down the engraved detail, then hit with some weathering powder. 

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And a peek in through the back window.... yep, much of this won't even be visible. :P

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Here we can sort of see one of the flaws with the AMT kit- the wide open areas around the toe board, which makes the tops of the tires visible from certain angles when you peek into the cab. I have a fix in mind for that, and there's quite a bit more to come once I venture outside the cab. 

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Really like what you are doing with this old Effy.  Looking forward to updates.

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Nice work on the seat and the dash..

Happy 10th Anniversary ! ;)

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I mentioned the engine swap earlier. Well... here it is...

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The bulk of it is an AMT '57 Thunderbird Y-Block, with the Lincoln valve covers from the AMT Chris Craft boat and a later-model four-barrel carb. I'm calling it a Lincoln 368. I did swap on the four-blade fan from the '53 flathead, and modified some small block Chevy headers to fit. It also has an on-board air compressor, which was taken from the recent AMT Tip Top Shop accessories set. I added the filter and fitting to flesh it out a bit, and it's driven by an AC clutch from an old S&S photoetch sheet. A line will run back to a remote tank. You can also see the heater hoses, which will be fitted into the firewall once the cab is installed. 

I've also settled on the wheels and tires- open steel 8-bolt wheels and Firestone Town and Country mud & snow tires, both from Scenes Unlimited. The inner wheels are the modified kit parts for the custom wheel option provided in the '53 kit. 

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Posted (edited)

Great choice in building an 8 lug workhorse.  I would like to do a 8' Ford Flareside bed ( used between 1953 and 1979 ) when someone offers it in resin. The only thing interchangeable between the short and long bed Flaresides  is the fenders and tail lights.

Edited by leafsprings

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7 hours ago, leafsprings said:

Great choice in building an 8 lug workhorse.  I would like to do a 8' Ford Flareside bed ( used between 1953 and 1979 ) when someone offers it in resin. The only thing interchangeable between the short and long bed Flaresides  is the fenders and tail lights.

Did one of those a few  years back. :) 

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Added a makeshift PTO unit. Probably not the most accurate representation of such a unit, but it'll work for what I need. You'll see the reason I added the PTO unit sometime later. 

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The addition of the PTO box necessitated another change to the interior- a second lever jutting out of the floor. :)

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I also finished out the interior by making kick panels to 1- house the aftermarket speakers, and 2- cover up the open sections in the inner fenders. I also cluttered the floor with a crushed Motorcraft box and an empty oil can. A tool box was set on the seat- it was pushed into the balsa foam a bit to simulate a weighted box squishing into the seat cushion. So that's another benefit to using the balsa foam to simulate the exposed seat foam. :) 

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The body and chassis are joined permanently at this point.

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I added one of the air horns but put it under the hood, right next to the air compressor. I also added the bracing and fitted the heater hoses. I still haven't settled on what type of air cleaner housing I want to use. I installed a steering box from the spares pile, but I'm not sure why- much like the interior doodads, it's practically invisible now. 

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The basic cab had some "rust" cut into the door lowers and cab corners. Some spares box turn signals and spotlights were added, and the mirrors are leftover white metal mirrors from an AITM Ford F600 transkit. I added a couple of custom touches in the photoetched hood scoop and the '60 Olds grille, which came from the old AMT Blueprinter parts pack. 

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I used the kit's F100 6.5 bed, reconfigured slightly. This and the PTO might give you an idea of where I"m headed with this. :) The idea was an F250 with the standard 8 foot bed that was rear-ended and rebuilt as a wrecker at some point back in the sands of time. A junkyard- sourced F100 bed was installed, with the fenders moved back and given a quick white respray over the factory dark green paint. The bumper was scratchbuilt, and the mud flaps are stick-ons from Diecast Promotions. 

Aside from lack of an air cleaner and exhaust, the model is close to representing a runner. :)

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And here's what will be going into the bed. A makeshift wrecker boom and a bit ol' PTO winch, both scratched from various bits of scraps, and odds and ends. 

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The business end of the truck is pretty well dialed in. The wrecker boom was made from various bits of Evergreen stock. It's loosely based on an old Canfield crane. The boom was fixed into place with a fabricated a-frame. Since the boom no longer goes down, I figured right behind the winch would be a perfect place for the air tank. Originally the idea was for the tank to power an impact wrench via the retractable hose, but it never had quite the capacity to do that, though the tank still came in handy when the customer had a spare in the car, but the spare was low on air pressure. So there's that. :P Maybe the siren works, maybe it's just for looks. There was just enough room on the driver's side step for a jerry can, so onto the driver's side step that jerry can went 

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Air cleaner and exhaust have been figured out. The black washes are still wet in these photos. :rolleyes:

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Fantastic weathering and attention to detail Chuck. I'm likin' this!

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May have this finished shortly- it's down to a front bumper, possible door lettering, and a CB antenna. 

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I've always wanted to do some "hastily redone" door graphics. You know- where someone will buy a vehicle with existing lettering, sand it off, then hand-paint their own lettering. A cotton swab was soaked in 91% alcohol and wiped across the door, then the dissolved paint was wiped away with a blue shop towel. The J&G lettering was written on with a fine-point Sharpie acrylic paint marker. The J&G is a nod to The Terminator- the tanker truck chasing Sara and Kyle near the end is lettered J&G Oil Company- the J standing for James Cameron and the G standing for his co-producer (and future ex wife) Gale Anne Hurd. 

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