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alan barton

AMT 32 Ford Phaeton

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This is a project that has been sitting unloved for at least 10 years, probably more, so after finishing a Vicky and a Tudor I thought it would make a good addition to the stable, if only it was finished.

It came from the worst AMT box art in history, the one with the ugly orange hiboy  on the front.  Sheeesh, that must have put a lot of people off buying it!  At least it had the correct interior tub, unlike some later releases.  

I have had in my stash for, easy 40 years,  the dual side mount fender unit, from , I think, the second release of the AMT 32 roadster.  It seemed like a natural for a full seventies style resto rod so that is the theme of this build.  But one of the reasons that it took so long to finish was that I chose the Jag style front and rear suspension from the Buttera 27 T kits and that took a lot of fiddling.

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Posted (edited)

As you can see, the fender unit wasn't in mint condition but I managed to clean it up fairly well. As you probably know, the first series of AMT Deuces had no fuel tank at all and the second series ( Vicky and Phaeton) had something that looked like bean bag furniture!  Anyhow, many years ago I was shaving one morning when I realised that my Wilkinson Sword disposable razors had a cover that looked remarkably similar to a Deuce fuel tank so after buying another bag of them on my next shopping trip I was assured of never running out! 

You could just stick the razor cover straight on but it is more accurate to shorten it about 3mm.  Being clear styrene it is quite easy to fix.  I also extended the frame horns to make the rear of the frame look more convincing.  I then began construction of a reasonably modern style centre crossmember to stiffen the frame to keep the independent underpinnings working as they should. 

I used Evergreen styrene channel to accomplish this modification. I first removed the centre of the AMT crossmember but kept the front legs as a foundation. The photos also show where I relieved a big chunk out of the transverse rear crossmember in preparation for fitting the Buttera Jag crossmember. And it hasn't been done yet in these photos but if you want to get reasonable sized rubber under the back of the AMT kits you need to hog out most of the rear wheel inner fender panels. I see Misha had clearance issues on his stunning red tub but I had fortunately already crossed this bridge on my black Tudor from last year.

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Modifying the frame.JPG

Constructing a crossmember.JPG

Edited by alan barton

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If the rear end install wasn't hard enough, the front end was a nightmare.  You need at least seven hands to balance all the bits to try and establish the very critical front wheel positioning.   I decided the only way I could be assured of getting this to happen was to glue the frame to the fender unit at this stage.  The car was always going to be two toned black and silver so this worked out as reliable way of keeping everything where it belonged.  I cut the too-short front frame horns off and then fabricated some new ones to match the fenders.  This left a gap that eased the pain of installing bits of the Buttera front end mounts.

I dug a gluebombed assembled front end from the parts box and this definitely aided with front end setup. When everything was locked in place I went back and filled in the gap in the frame horn that you see here.

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Jag front suspension.JPG

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This was easily the most complex suspension install I have ever tackled but I am glad I persevered as it it the right style for the era.  I did end up with one slightly wonky wheel that I am going to have to go back and manipulate.  Surprisingly the setup off the Model T was the right width to keep the tyres well under the crown of the fenders.  You can also see in these undercarriage shots that I used a small block from a Monogram 37 Tudor as well as the exhausts, albeit extensively modified! 

You can also see that the early fender units don't have running board braces moulded in but I figured anything I glued on to imitate them would interrupt the flow of the running boards when viewed from alongside so I chose to ignore them.

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Posted (edited)

Just going backwards a bit here, you can see how I got the somewhat largish Monogram engine to fit.After gluing the floorboard in place I hogged out as much as I could for transmission clearance but it wasn't enough.  This car had already suffered from overcomplicationitis for way too long so I took the down and dirty way out and filed off the top of the transmission until it fitted.  Yeah, I know, I should have fabbed up a floor hump but I always intended to have the roof glued onto this one  so I didn't bother.  I also had to do some massaging on the block hugger headers from the 37 kit as the AMT frame was very tight in that region.

Openong up the floorboards.JPG

Side mount fenders.JPG

Transmission filed down to fit.jpg

Edited by alan barton

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Back in the seventies, a resto rod just had to run a set of chromed wires.  This is the set I came up with to suit the phaeton.  The deep and deeper Borrani style wires came from a Monogram Street Stalker Camaro.  I picked this kit up many years ago at a clearance sale and I reckon it just might be the best parts kit I ever bought!  The front clip went onto a forty frame, as did the leaf spring rear end.  The nicely detailed SBC went into another forty coupe, which also got a very sliced and diced version of the Camaro interior.  The nose and hood went onto a dirt track late model and I cant really remember where the back half of the body and floor ended up but they are about the only parts I didn't use! 

Unfortunately the wheels suffered some rim damage from my youthful exuberance decades ago but a bit of Molotow pen did a reasonable job of hiding that.  The wires for the spares came from the yellow version of the the Monogram 32 roadster.  It was the only way I could get a reasonable looking wire that would fit in those wells.

 

As you can see, I had to take a file to the back of the front Borranis as well as the spindles to try to get everything tucked under the front fenders.

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I believe those "shortcuts" like that happen more often to other builders than you may realize, or that they would admit. If you are judisiocus in your placement, things that will often be hidden and of little consequence.

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Thanks Mark!  Yeah, I guess it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you are the only one who makes mistakes when we could probably all write a book on them.  But at the end of the day, the only person who has to be happy is the guy who built it and I'm pretty happy with most of my builds.  I know where the faults are but if it looks good on the shelf I'm happy and I'll just try to improve a bit more next time.

Speaking of errors, the horrible mess below was my first attempt at flocking this interior. I wanted a mohair look for this car but the attempt you see here was done using flock by a wellknown aftermarket detail supplier.  Now I'm sure his resin and photo-etch is great, I've got plenty of it, but there was something seriously wrong with his flock.  His instructions said do a section at a time, put a decent coat of flock on and tamp it down and then let everything dry  and dust off the excess next day. That gave me a bigger collection of furballs than I have ever seen under a bed.  

I then brushed off as much of the ugliness as I could and tried my way, which is to cover everything with paint and then put the tub in a sealed container and do the old 'shake and bake" trick.  AS you can see below, it didn't do much better!

So recently realising I couldn't live with the attack of the fuzzy monsters I chucked the interior into a caustic soda solution and left it overnight.  The old Humbrol paint I had used came off easy peasy and I had a fresh interior to start again.

While I was at it, I added some Evergreen strips to give some indication of the door openings. 

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Looks like the photos came out in the wrong order but you get the picture.

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This one is coming together nicely. I'll be watching in.

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After my dramas with the U.S. sourced flocking material I obtained some here in Oz from Jason and Michelle at thepartsbox.com.  This worked a treat.  I simply slopped on a thick wet coat of Humbrol maroon paint and dropped the tub into a takeaway container with a lid.  I sprinkled some flock over the whole thing, did the shake and bake trick for a few minutes and then set the tub aside to dry.  

The carpet is a bronze shade of embossing powder.  I'm not great at colour combos but it does the job and with the roof on all the time I doubt whether many people will even see it!

 

Cheers

Alan

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Posted (edited)

When I painted this decades ago I was just going to use the standard AMT windshield frame and posts. Problem is, they are very toylike and don't compare well to the real thing.  Monogram did a far better job on the screen on its 1/24 roadster but I figured that unit would be too big.  Turns out, it's not!  The fit isn't perfect but it reads way better than AMT's effort. Next time I would make some slight modifications to the cowl to make a perfect fit but I didn't want to have yet another shelving of this project so I continued on.   I used Micro Liquitape to attach it without risking the paint.

That's it for construction - I will ow post the finished job in Under Glass.  Thanks for watching!

Cheers

Alan

Windscreen_comparison.jpg

Edited by alan barton

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Nice save on the flocking. I have learned over the years that they are not all created equal, AND, some from the same supplier might respond the same. I don't use them much anymore due to mess, but when they work, they look good. In the future, try testing on scrap pieces, and use Elmers, paint several options.  Looking good.

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On 7/21/2019 at 9:16 PM, Modelbuilder Mark said:

I believe those "shortcuts" like that happen more often to other builders than you may realize, or that they would admit. If you are judisiocus in your placement, things that will often be hidden and of little consequence.

One of my favorite hidden mistakes are the builders who cut off the tops of tires for fender clearance so they can get the car lower to the ground.  It is not seen and it works.

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Posted (edited)

You're dead right there, Rick!  Two things that the purists might fail to realise is that a) 1:1 rodders have a massive variety of tyres to choose from whereas most model tyres are 15" and are remarkably similar profile and b) real cars have fenders that are barely a millimetre thick while models have fenders that might be up to 2 inches thick in scale!  I would much rather sacrifice scale accuracy by slicing a tyre rather than having it sitting up in the air like a monster truck!

I often take a small slice off the bottom of the tyre as well.  Sure, the tread disappears from that spot and you can see it when you turn the model upside down but for the rest of the time, the model sits on its tyres with some realistic "weight". And, you get a little closer to the ground again!

Thanks for the hints on practising, Mark.  I must admit, I had never practised on flock because until this build I had never had any problems with it!  I always wondered why people had issues when I had been using it since I was fourteen years old and it always gave a good result.  Lesson learned I guess.  I must say that thepartsbox.com flock worked extremely well and achieved the results I was after.

Cheers

Alan

Edited by alan barton

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Wow! That is an amazing amount of work. 

Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

David G.

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Don't want to hijack this thread, BUT, here are a couple of tips I use for flocking.  First, I use a small handheld kitchen strainer, pour the flocking in it and shake it, any flocking that stays in the strainer I will gently rub against the inside of the strainer.  I then dump any residue out of the strainer and run it through one more time.  To apply flocking, I have never had any luck using the diluted white glue method; instead I will mask off any part not to be flocked and spray the area with spray glue.  Keep the flocking close by, because the glue dries rather quickly.  The glue I use is called Elmer's Craft Bond.  Once the glue has dried, remove the masking, and lightly  dust off the residue. 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks David, I'm glad you liked it.  This tub just wouldn't talk to me for years but once I got all the right elements together I was really happy with the result.

Thanks Rick, I will keep those tips in mind for the next one!

Cheers

Alan

Edited by alan barton

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