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Bernard Kron

Bare Metal '32 Ford Highboy Roadster

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Bare Metal ’32 Ford Highboy Roadster

This is a kit-bashed Deuce Highboy featuring a bare steel finish utilizing a technique I developed consisting of a base color coat of silver lacquer metallic paint (Duplicolor Silver Metallic), Kosutte Gin San metalizing powder and Tamiya Black Panel Line Wash. Everything is plastic except the grill shell support struts (.020 piano wire) and the driveshaft (aluminum tubing stained with black wash). Non-steel surfaces are finished in various combinations of Testors Metalizer paints and Molotow Chrome or are kit chrome. The only color besides metallic tones are black rubber and the blue-gray seat belts.

Here are the details of the kits used and the scratch built or modified items:

Revell ‘32 Ford Highboy kit – Chassis rails, front cross member, radiator, grill shell, hood, main body, knock off hub spinners, head and tail lights, license plate frame. Chassis z’d 6 scale inches at rear. Model A cross member and buggy spring  from Monogram Model A Ford kits grafted in place. Front suspension from Monogram ’32 Ford Roadster kits.
Revell Stacey David Rat Roaster: Hairpins, Moon tank sides, miscellaneous small parts and steering gear.
Revell/Monogram ’37 Ford Van kit: chassis K-member, exhaust mufflers.
AMT ’53 Ford Pickup kit: 8-carb DeSoto Firedome Hemi V8, shift lever.
AMT Phantom Vicky kit: Halibrand front mag wheels used as rear wheels, dashboard, steering wheel, front spot brakes.
Polar Lights Funny Car kits: front wheels.
Aftermarket parts: Modelhaus T120 front tires, Herb Deeks bias-ply rear truck tires, Halibrand quick change rear suspension, ’40 Ford rear brakes  and Schroeder cowl mount sprint car steering by the late Ron Royston at Early Years Resins, louvered rear deck and stock style ’32 Ford firewall by Ed Fluck at Drag City Casting, bomber style seats by Big Donkey Resins.
Scratch built parts: Interior tin work, steering bell crank and tie rod, exhaust system. Chromed Moon tank made from Revell side pieces and AMT ’49 Ford center barrel to avoid a tank seam and preserve kit chrome.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Well done! Good looking build!

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Hi!

Very convincing technique, Thank you for sharing your "recipe". I will certainly experiment with it on a future built. 

Bravo!

CT

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It is great to see this outstanding Deuce model as there has not been many hot rods posted here lately.

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Exceptionally believable bare-metal effect. Looks exactly like a Brookville body that's been handled a little, in the pre-paint fit-up phase. One of the most inspirational builds I've seen on here in some time. Your stance is spot-on too, a nice improvement from how most of these kits turn out. VERY attractive model overall.

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Beautiful looking Roadster. Your paint technique gives a very believable finish. In addition this is a very cleanly built.  

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Very authentic in all categories. Looks 1:1. Well done Bernard!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks to you all for the kind comments!

On 5/30/2019 at 7:59 AM, Ace-Garageguy said:

Exceptionally believable bare-metal effect. Looks exactly like a Brookville body that's been handled a little, in the pre-paint fit-up phase. ...

Thanks so much, Bill. You are far too kind! I still can recall being floored by the effect you achieved on your creation of the bodywork for the original injected version of the Mickey Thompson Challenger. Bare metal is a mysteriously beautiful thing. In my case I was trying to reproduce the look of the steel tub on my frogeye Sprite when we were building it up from bare metal. I wanted it to look a little shop worn.

I accidentally discovered this technique a few years ago when testing the metalizer powder over various paints. It was being hyped as a chrome finish, something which I failed miserably at achieving. But... by varying the brightness, texture and color of the underlying metallic paint, and how much and how you add and remove the black wash after applying and polishing the metalizer powder you can imitate anything from brushed or polished aluminum to old worn steel. It's definitely worth the time to fool round with it and come up with the look(s) that are appropriate to your project. . If you omit the wash completely it becomes quite difficult to get a proper steel look, and you are more likely going to get an aluminum effect.

Also, I should note that this was a particularly hard subject to photograph successfully. The interior in especially tended to act like a black hole and I had to resort to adjusting the exposure of that area during post processing. The color, too, was hard to nail. It tended to be too blue and saturated looking. But the final photos capture the result fairly well.

I'm glad you all enjoyed it,
B.

Edited by Bernard Kron

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Ahhhh, Bernard. The finish is amazingly realistic (I may have to try it on something, once I get the digger done!). Dig your choice of wheels, too. Sweet lookin' Deuce, man!

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18 minutes ago, Straightliner59 said:

Ahhhh, Bernard. The finish is amazingly realistic (I may have to try it on something, once I get the digger done!). Dig your choice of wheels, too. Sweet lookin' Deuce, man!

Thanks so much, Dan. I still haven't taught myself to handle real metal the way you can, so this is my approach to dealing with a material I know better, styrene.

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19 minutes ago, Bernard Kron said:

Thanks so much, Dan. I still haven't taught myself to handle real metal the way you can, so this is my approach to dealing with a material I know better, styrene.

I appreciate that, Bernard. I don't think I'm quite ready to try something like a production car body, yet, so, your method is perfect for things like that!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks again for all your kind comments.

On the TRaK board it was suggested that I could have done a more polished stainless steel look to the grill, perhaps using photo-etch , and highlighted the louvers with fine detailed black paint or a Micron pen. My reply included some more thoughts about this project and what I had in mind so I thought I would post it here for those who might be interested:

"I thought about using various metal parts alongside the plastic, notably a handsome (although inaccurate) machined aluminum Moon Tank I have, as well as a p/e grill. But in the end I decided to focus on one (although not the only) theme of the project - a believable steel bare metal finish. So I did the darkened bare steel grill you see, and made a kit-chrome Moon tank to add mass and contrast to the front.

Development of a sense of mass and bulk, one of the keynotes of lowered Highboy roadsters, especially with chopped windshields, was the other design goal I was after.* This is a natural outcome of the monochrome bare metal look combined with the lowered z'd frame and deep drop front end. It drove the choice of motor, and the addition of a hood panel and Moon tank. Initially I thought about doing this car entirely in rough raw metal tones, but in the end I chose to include contrasting chrome highlights. The windshield, in particular, would have looked awkward and overdone if stripped to a bare metal look. So the car is in a state where most of the chrome parts are back from being plated.
 
If I have a spare weekend, sometime, I'll see about hitting the louvers with a Micron pen...
 
*I'm a fan of the 80's/90's "Ohio Look" Deuces, as exemplified by the cars Barry Lobeck's shop turned out. This look has evolved since then with the influence of the more purist Traditional look popularized by TRJ. This build blends the two, with its narrow bias ply tires and flatter stance. The precursor for the Ohio Look, of course, was the Tom McMullen roadster which contributed the idea of the Moon tank."
Edited by Bernard Kron

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Very cool Bernard. Bill used the word ' inspirational ' and I agree. Enjoyed the build thread too.

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On 5/29/2019 at 9:06 PM, Kit Basher said:

Awesome job! The metal finish looks real.

X2

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