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SSNJim

Hubley 1960 Ford Country Sedan

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So I picked this up today at a toy show today, and here it is in "as found" condition. Body is painted, interior looks unpainted except for detail on the dash and floor, the only things that seem to be missing are a portion of the right fender ornament, and the aerial. There are some glue spots on the front and rear windshields. It's not real obvious from these pictures, but the front bumper seems to have been repaired with silver paint.

 I guess the question is, preserve or restore? I'm kind of leaning toward restore, but I'm worried about getting the windows out without damaging the body. I'm not sure I would do anything at all with the interior, chassis or wheels. Preservation is a good option too; it's pretty clean for the most part.

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I"m someone who preserves significant old builds, especially customs with interesting or unique features done back in the day.  That said, there's nothing significant about this build, so I would take it apart and restore it.  A clean coat of paint and BMF would make this wagon very nice!

Once you have it apart you can judge if the glass will come out easily.  If not, I believe Super Clean will not hurt the glass. (correct me if I'm wrong, guys!)  I know 90% alcohol won't, in fact it made age tinted glass clearer for me!   I had the glass issue with a number of cars I've restored and have simply masked off the glass on both sides and it worked well, not contest quality, but good enough for a rebuild.  That paint appears to be right over plastic and should fall off easily.

I think I see that the ribbed panel behind the rear wheels is distorted, as if there were fender skirts at one point.  The same panels on the '59 Ford retractable hardtop are separate pieces and you may be able to piece them in, or foil cast off of them.  

The good part is that your wagon is pretty straight.  I've seen many of them warped like pretzels!  Even the kit version.

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I agree with Tom, go for a restoration and share with us the results.  Nice find BTW.

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This is in really nice shape, almost no warpage. For that reason I'd say restore to original. If you prefer to paint and BMF, then I recommend using enamels that won't etch into the plastic like lacquer so the next generation owner can strip and restore if they wish.

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4 hours ago, Tom Geiger said:

 

Once you have it apart you can judge if the glass will come out easily.  If not, I believe Super Clean will not hurt the glass. (correct me if I'm wrong, guys!)  I know 90% alcohol won't, in fact it made age tinted glass clearer for me!   

i always put glass in superclean. I've never had a problem, mine usually comes out looking way better.

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If you're going to restore it, you might consider using parts, and maybe the chassis too, from an AMT  1960 Ford Starliner. Just about all of the AMT parts should work. You can check out the parts available HERE. You can also check Fred's Model World. He has a mostly built (very well) Starliner (Open & Complete, BTW) listed for 7 bucks. You can strip it down and also use the windshield in the Hubley.  The side and rear glass can be scratched from cleat acetate.

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 wonder if the windshield and windshield frame from the AMT Deora would work for the rear window hatch ?

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5 hours ago, Gramps46 said:

I agree with Tom, go for a restoration and share with us the results.  Nice find BTW.

I agree.

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Congrats on a good find! I have a couple of them myself. Preservation with some improvements, maybe? The paint looks like it could be buffed out; you'd have to match the bare spots on the tailgate and hood, and redo the silver paint with BMF.  The lower rear quarters can probably be fixed with careful sanding and rescribing; if not get two of the custom rear bumpers from the AMT '66 Mercury and you can cut new lower ribbed sections from them

One big warning (voice of experience): DON'T GET PURPLE POWER ON THE GLASS! Hubley used a form of acetate for windows and it will soften and shrivel. If you want to strip it, get the glass out first.

Yes, the Deora windshield glass fits the back window opening (no need for the hatch), but nothing fits the windshield frame except another Hubley '60 wagon windshield. Even the '61 Hubley wagon windshield is different.

You're going to have issues fitting AMT '60 Ford chassis components due to the Hubley kit being 1/24 scale; you may want to scavenge the engine/trans, front suspension and rear axle from the Monogram 1/24 '58 T-bird, plus the tires and wheel backs to keep the size consistent. Good luck!

Edited by ChrisBcritter
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2 hours ago, ChrisBcritter said:

One big warning (voice of experience): DON'T GET PURPLE POWER ON THE GLASS! Hubley used a form of acetate for windows and it will soften and shrivel. If you want to strip it, get the glass out first.

Thanks for the "voice of experience" Chris!   I haven't used CSC,   which is why I hesitated to give that advise, and asked for other opinions..  I used to use Chameleon Stripper.  They went out of business and my well finally ran dry!  

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It's my opinion that ALL of these old vintage kits deserve a total restoration.

As a general rule, they were rarely built very well, and it can be a real sense of accomplishment to see what can be done with these old kits with modern tools and techniques.

 

I soak kit glass in Super Clean all of the time with very good results and have never had any detrimental effects.

If the glass in Hubley kits is any different than any other kit it would be news to me, but regardless, the glass in yours appears to be beyond repair anyway.

At least the rear glass is so full of cracks and checking that I would not use it.

The windshield doesn't look a whole lot better.

Personally, I would replace it all with some thin clear plastic.

I use .007 "clear lay film" with good results.

The glass in this kit should not be too difficult to reproduce.

 

If this is truly the 4 in 1 Hubley kit, the bright work behind the rear wheel would be a separate chrome piece.

If the panels are beyond repair, you may be able to remove them and improvise with modified replacements from another kit, or you may be able to scratch build them with styrene strip.

 

10 hours ago, Lunajammer said:

If you prefer to paint and BMF, then I recommend using enamels that won't etch into the plastic like lacquer so the next generation owner can strip and restore if they wish.

If done correctly, the type of paint that you use will have no affect on a future restorers ability to strip and repaint without any damage to the plastic.

I do it all of the time with automotive lacquers.

My current 1965 Plymouth Fury project has been painted with multiple coats of automotive lacquer twice, stripped twice, and is currently awaiting round 3. :)

 

 

Steve

Edited by StevenGuthmiller

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Since most models are built with model cement that fuses the two pieces together (essentially melting the plastic), is there a safe way to dissolve the cement?  I've always used Elmer's white glue to build models.

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15 minutes ago, Motor City said:

Since most models are built with model cement that fuses the two pieces together (essentially melting the plastic), is there a safe way to dissolve the cement?  I've always used Elmer's white glue to build models.

Not really.

Once the plastic is "melted" together, there is really no consistent way to disassemble.

This is one reason why I don't use any solvent type glues on my builds.

Anything that can be done with plastic cement can be done with CA glues, epoxies, or a myriad of other adhesives.

 

Some people say that you can drop the parts into water, seal them in a plastic bag, and throw it in the freezer.

The theory is that the water gets into the joints and forces them apart as the water freezes and expands.

I have never had any luck with this technique myself.

 

 

Steve

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Thanks for all the advice, guys. It doesn't seem to be in bad shape; I looked at it carefully and there wasn't any noticeable warpage. If there was, the seller would have taken it home. I know what an issue that was for models of this vintage.

The ribbed panel issues seem like more of a bad paint job than glue issues. I'll see what they look like once stripped. I'm thinking a sand and scribe job will suffice, if that. They are definitely molded into the body, and not separate. All the "damage" appears to be after the wheel wells. Maybe the builder was going to glue the skirts on, and pulled them off prior to them drying? Who knows? There aren't any marks on the wheel well forward of the ribbed panel.

The glass appears to be molded in a very light green - I guess the car has A/C. I did consider using the glass from the AMT kit, but I will probably vacuform new front and rear windows if I can get them out in one piece. The side windows are easy enough to replace with clear plastic. There are some slight depressions in the roof where the windows were glued in; they can be filled easily enough.

I probably won't do any significant improvements to the kit; the chassis, and to some degree the interior, will not be changed. I actually like Craftsman-style kits with no or little engine/chassis detail. I'm more into the body. There's no joy for me in putting together a 37 piece live axle assembly and so forth - in fact, that's the quick route to the shelf of doom. Jamming a solid steel axle or two through the chassis makes me perfectly happy. I had the AMT 60 Ford in mind for replacement parts when I bought it; now I'm not so sure since they are different scales.

I'm pretty much with Tom - a clean coat of paint and BMF would be perfect for this car, and that is the target for this. I think I'll go with the shave and a haircut option: paint and BMF. I bought it with that in mind, but I know there are people here who like to keep models in near as -found condition, and thought I would get their advice.

One more quick question - there's the technique of freezing parts to break glue joints (think windows). I haven't had much luck with it so far. Maybe not enough water in the bag? Should the entire body be submerged? Is this the right technique for the windows? I know I seem pretty leery of the windows, but I've taken chunks of the body out with the windows before. Fortunately nothing too rare or irreparable. I'd like to avoid that with this if at all possible.

I do appreciate everyone's advice. Sorry for the length, but I'm pretty excited about this project.

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Jim 

 I started a 60 wagon like yours and  I found that the parts from the AMT kit wiill work. But the windsheild is to narrow for the wagon. The chassic is also to short, this a wagon and may correct.

I cut the hood out and found the underhood fenders are almost their but there is a gap that need to filled. The grill fits which is surprising and I think the custom grills from the AMT 53 Ford pickup will also fit.

Tony

 

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4 hours ago, SSNJim said:

I probably won't do any significant improvements to the kit; the chassis, and to some degree the interior, will not be changed. I actually like Craftsman-style kits with no or little engine/chassis detail. I'm more into the body. There's no joy for me in putting together a 37 piece live axle assembly and so forth - in fact, that's the quick route to the shelf of doom. Jamming a solid steel axle or two through the chassis makes me perfectly happy. I had the AMT 60 Ford in mind for replacement parts when I bought it; now I'm not so sure since they are different scales.

I'm with you Jim.

I really don't think that it's worth the substantial effort to turn this model into a full detail build.

When I do mine, it will be a simple curbside build with a few possible interior and exterior upgrades.

 

4 hours ago, SSNJim said:

The ribbed panel issues seem like more of a bad paint job than glue issues. I'll see what they look like once stripped. I'm thinking a sand and scribe job will suffice, if that. They are definitely molded into the body, and not separate. All the "damage" appears to be after the wheel wells. Maybe the builder was going to glue the skirts on, and pulled them off prior to them drying? Who knows? There aren't any marks on the wheel well forward of the ribbed panel.

I can tell you definitively that the damage to the bright work panel behind the wheels is in fact from a separate "finned panel" that was offered as an option in the kit.

There were no skirts in the kit, and while the panel is molded into the body, there were also separate chrome pieces.

While they don't fit particularly well, with a little modification by either thinning the panels themselves, or modifying the body for a better fit, I think that I'll be using them on my wagon.

I'm even considering possibly saving the wood grain "stickers" to see if they could be cut and reapplied. ;)

 

 

Steve

 

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Thanks for the info, Steve. I had no idea that there were separate chrome ribbed panels. It doesn't look like they  were glued on after painting and came off. It looks like the glue was painted over after the panels came off. Trying to save those stickers would be cool. I remember the wood grain wagons.

Thanks for the information, Tony. I'm not going all out on this, but it is nice to know that the front grille will fit. The grille and bumpers aren't wonderful on this car and will need some work.

Maybe I'll paint it a color close to the molded color. A buddy of mine had a 64 Galaxy 4 door in a  similar color which I liked.

Thanks for the pictures, Steve and Tony.

Edited by SSNJim

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Very coll find..!  I wish I could find the parts my old 61 wagon needs but might not be able to..?  Needs the body,glass,bumpers...interior tub might not hurt it ether..?   I am a wagon and 4 door nut just love them.  

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Steve- Someone who frequents the boards was producing wood grain stickers for various cars, I believe this one too.  Maybe he'll speak up or someone can identify him.

MVC-003S

 

12 hours ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

It's my opinion that ALL of these old vintage kits deserve a total restoration.

Here's the one that will change your opinion!   I do have some that are so well done, they represent the folk art of our youth.  I can imagine them in hobby store contests, if only they could speak!

10 hours ago, SSNJim said:

I'm pretty much with Tom - a clean coat of paint and BMF would be perfect for this car, and that is the target for this. I think I'll go with the shave and a haircut option: paint and BMF. I bought it with that in mind, but I know there are people here who like to keep models in near as -found condition, and thought I would get their advice.

I do appreciate everyone's advice. Sorry for the length, but I'm pretty excited about this project.

I do have a  collection of old customs and builds from that era.  The above '60 Ford wagon is so over the top I just had to have it.  In fact several people who know my collecting disease forwarded me the eBay auction information. And there were several competitors to win it!  I believe this one started out as a convertible.  The entire roof and extension is balsa wood. It's been restored!  I polished it up and replaced the rear wheel covers to match the others, someone on one of the boards donated them!

And never apologize for a cool discussion thread!  This one is fun!

Edited by Tom Geiger

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4 hours ago, Tom Geiger said:

 

MVC-003S

 

Here's the one that will change your opinion!   I do have some that are so well done, they represent the folk art of our youth.  I can imagine them in hobby store contests, if only they could speak!

Sorry Tom.

I should have been more clear by saying that I believe that all of these vintage kits deserve a restoration, IF POSSIBLE. :P

Your wagon has obviously gone beyond the POSSIBLE designation. ;)

 

Steve

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6 hours ago, SSNJim said:

Thanks for the info, Steve. I had no idea that there were separate chrome ribbed panels. It doesn't look like they  were glued on after painting and came off. It looks like the glue was painted over after the panels came off.

My guess would be that this is not the first time that this model has been built.

Chances are pretty high that it was originally built with the chrome ribbed panels, and then somewhere along the line, those pieces were lost and the next owner painted the entire body and over the glue left by the missing panels.

Often times, these old vintage kits have multiple lives. ;)

 

 

Steve

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On a side note, to my eye, this kit looks to be 1/24, while the wheels on all examples I've seen look 1/25. A bit too small. Monogram's 1/24 GT Radial with the scripts sanded off might look nice if you don't need a bias ply tire.

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3 hours ago, Lunajammer said:

On a side note, to my eye, this kit looks to be 1/24, while the wheels on all examples I've seen look 1/25. A bit too small. Monogram's 1/24 GT Radial with the scripts sanded off might look nice if you don't need a bias ply tire.

Agreed.

According to the box, it is 1/24th scale.

The tires look under sized even for 1/25th scale large cars to me.

This would likely be a great circumstance to use the AMT parts pack "Firestone Deluxe Champion" wide white wall tires.

They seem to be a little over sized for most 1/25th cars.

They look spot on for this one to me. (sorry, I'm all out of the wide whites) ^_^

 

The wheel covers are far too small to fit into the correct sized tires.

My solution would be to grind the backs of the wheel covers flat, essentially turning them into a true hub cap to fit onto a correct sized steel wheel.

This would not only allow for the re-use of the original hub caps, but would add the exposed outer wheel detail.

 

 

Steve

 

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8 hours ago, Tom Geiger said:

MVC-003S

 

Here's the one that will change your opinion!   I do have some that are so well done, they represent the folk art of our youth.  I can imagine them in hobby store contests, if only they could speak!

I do have a  collection of old customs and builds from that era.  The above '60 Ford wagon is so over the top I just had to have it.  In fact several people who know my collecting disease forwarded me the eBay auction information. And there were several competitors to win it!  I believe this one started out as a convertible.  The entire roof and extension is balsa wood. It's been restored!  I polished it up and replaced the rear wheel covers to match the others, someone on one of the boards donated them!

 

Thanks for posting a pic of this one, Tom.  I remember seeing it years ago on the Spotlight board.

It's good to see someone preserving these old builds.  I can envision some kid having a lot of fun putting this thing together on a kitchen table many years ago. 

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The lesser of my two '60 wagons when I got it, as a $6 special from Model Empire:

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A lot worse than it looks! Rear 2/3 of the roof is cut off, interior's broken at the top of the back seat, and the gold lacquer resisted nearly everything I soaked it in until I rubbed it down with Testor's ELO, and it still needed sanding to get the residue off. Lost the windshield to the Purple Power as well (I did say "voice of experience", remember).  Finally parked it in the to-do pile, and later scored a MUCH better wagon from eBay that just needed a rear bumper. So now I'm thinking I should complete the Ranchero-ization on this heap and finish it as a curbside full custom.

It's either that or the firecrackers...tango_face_grin.png.93f55ea20fdd124e24712dddefc78315.png

Edited by ChrisBcritter

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