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MrObsessive

1955 Ford Fairlane Victoria

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I mentioned the other day when I posted my Corvette that I had another resto on my mind instead of jumping back into the Shelby......... just yet. This is a model I started way back in 2005, but got shelved due to bad paint. It's been sitting languishing all this time, and it's literally sitting on top of the cigar box where I'm keeping the Shelby for the time being.

I took some quick pics on what the Ford looks like now. I hope to be able to find the rest of the bits and pieces I made before I shelved it, such as the grille, rear chrome piece for the trunk, wheels and tires and a couple other odd and ends.

On to the pics!

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What's going to happen is I'm going to totally disassemble this and repaint it as there are some trouble spots. Thin out the door jambs and I may reconfigure certain contours on the body.

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This is a MAJOR trouble spot for me. I tried using Future as a barrier for some of the bodywork. I must not have used enough as the bodyword ended up showing up in the paint. So back on the shelf it went undone for literally YEARS.

I have a new angle of attack to ward off the ghosting and hopefully no new snags will turn up so I can get 'er done.

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I'll be thinning the door jambs a bit as there is some interference with the seat. Also, I may add a bit more detail as the jambs are rather 'plain'.

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Definitely some engine bay detail needed here. Much too bare looking even for a '55 so along the way, I'll have to see what's needed.

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I'm going to try and make new taillight bezels as the ones that came off a diecast are a touch too big. I'll either get them chromed, or use the Molotow paint.

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I have the grille (somewhere) so there's not much needed here except some chrome around the headlight eyebrows.

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The chassis will need some tweaking to make it a bit more tidy. I might make new exhausts as the ones shown appear a bit thin. I'll have to see what's in my supply box. If you're interested, here is the original work done to the model years ago on Fotki. This will show how I did the roof and other mods.

Well, it's bedtime for me (third shift) so thanks for looking! If there's any questions, I'll try to answer 'em before I go into work tonight.

Edited by MrObsessive

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I like it.  I went ahead and bought the diecast mint car in this combination.    I Have the 56 in plastic though and these are great kits to mess with.  Nice to see the "Obssessive" treatment given to one.

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Cool project! If you think you can get it finished by the end of September, you might want to register it in the current round Bring Out Your Dead Completion Build, as it certainly looks like a candidate. We'd love to have you! 

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That'll be a real stretch Snake, but we'll see as the days go by.

Right now I'm REALLY struggling to get the dash out without wrecking the cowl. It's not so much that it's epoxied in tight, but it's resting on the clear stencil sheet windshield that I made and that's the real struggle getting it free as the A pillars want to come with it. I hate to ruin the dash as that did come out of a Franklin Mint junker with some mods, but it's a real hassle right now.

I have to modify the windshield header somewhat (don't like the shape of it) so maybe it's just as well.

2 hours ago, randyc said:

I like it.  I went ahead and bought the diecast mint car in this combination.    I Have the 56 in plastic though and these are great kits to mess with.  Nice to see the "Obssessive" treatment given to one.

Thanks Randy! I originally was going to do a '56 four door hardtop using that roof (would have saved me some side trim work), but decided to go for the '55. The '56 four door hardtop is a rather rare bird as that was essentially a one year deal with the '57 being a completely different car. Maybe way down the road if I get the ambition again, I'd like to build that one. I've not seen anyone else do that in scale.

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Looks good.  I haven't started work on my 56 Victoria kit that I will be downgrading model wise.  Its a shame they don't come out with some newer molds that are a bit more detailed especially under the hood.

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Glad to see you back on this one as it's my favorite out of all your various projects. Hope you can resolve the issues!

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Thanks John! Yes, I was able to get the dash out with no damage to the A pillars. Everything's been disconnected now.....glass is out, original hinges cut away from the doors and body. I have some epoxy I'd like to get clean up from the doors and inside the body and tomorrow it'll get a Easy-Off Oven Cleaner soaking to get the old paint off. I have to be careful what I use since the fender skirts are actually resin ones I got from Modelhaus (I think) years ago.

After the old paint is all cleaned off, I can go about doing some body tweaks that I want to do and then see about reconstructing the door jambs and hinges, among other things.

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Glad you brought this out again. I've saving parts for a similar project and just scored a '55 diecast to glean from. Love the color scheme; reminds me of an old '56 Meteor 4dr seen lurking behind a gas station many years ago in the same livery ^_^  

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I finally was able to get everything apart. There was no way to fix the damage on the roof without doing paint damage to surrounding areas, so I thought it best to simply disassemble this and sorta start over. One casualty was the dashboard as the top part of it cracked trying to get it out. I'll just rebuild that section as it was where work was done originally to get the dash to fit along the doglegs of the windshield posts better.

Unfortunately since I used Oven Cleaner to take off the old paint, it also took away the body putty that was originally used (Dynatron). That's OK as this time I'm going to be using as much plastic as possible to fill in the voids and when it comes down to final painting, the entire thing will be barrier coated with BIN Zinsser sealer. Something I didn't know about in 2005.

P1016672-vi.jpg

Here was the original culprit of the trouble. Too much putty in this area which reacted with the paint when fully cured. This will be filled with as much plastic as needed and then smoothed out. Any pinholes or very shallow voids I'll use a little putty, or simply fill it in with more plastic.

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I don't have pics yet, but I did get this side of the car (rear fender) filled in with plastic so far.

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I'm going to try my hand at vacuforming a headliner down the road. It'll be a different technique for me as I'll be using a very dense (virtually non shrinking) type of clay to make a mold of the inside, let it harden then using my vacuform machine to do the rest. This is a ways off as I want to make sure the bodywork including the windows template/molds are done first.

P1016676-vi.jpg

I'll be tackling other things as this comes along. Making new door hinges (brass) in sort of the same style as I did the '59 Chevy so some soldering is in order, new trunk hinges, and reshaping the tulip panel as the rear window aperture is not quite right in that area.

So I've got some work cut out for me but I'm determined to get this thing done once and for all! ;)

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This is going to be GREAT - I’ll be watching!  I’ll be interested to see the vacuum-forming especially, when we get that far along 👍🏻

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1 hour ago, Chromecop said:

Nice to see a '55 being built !

Thanks Darryl! Still plugging away at the bodywork. Got the roof and sides mostly done now and it's on to the doors. While I'm at it, I'll make new hinges (brass) and probably end up crafting new door jambs as the ones on the doors were breaking apart from the stripping/disassembly.

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Not the greatest pics, but some engine/bay ideas. Those of the 55 I used to own.

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956F497A-D406-4FDF-B7EA-FA0B4641E670.jpeg

8D38E136-8D28-4230-AAE6-3F49AD71DC8D.jpeg

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I always enjoy following your work Bill. I'll certainly be along for the ride on this one.

David G.

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Tom, just seeing your post.........thanks for those pics! I see something on the engine which I will be changing...........the angle of the distributor. I had it straight up and down and it should be at an angle as seen here. Thankfully I do have the correct air cleaner as I got the one off of the junker Danbury Mint car.

956F497A-D406-4FDF-B7EA-FA0B4641E670.jpeg

20 hours ago, David G. said:

I always enjoy following your work Bill. I'll certainly be along for the ride on this one.

David G.

Thanks David! :D

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Beautiful model! Are you planning on doing it in the same color combo? Looks awesome! I wanted to ask what grille you used/are going to use? 

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Here's the latest on the bodywork...........more work than I thought, but at this point I can feel confident there won't be anymore "mishaps" as far as the bodywork showing through a completed and cured paint job.

The roof split was the largest (and hardest) to fill in. In hindsight, this should have been the route to go....use as much plastic to fill in the deep split/valley and not rely solely on the putty to not have a reaction with whatever paint/primers that are going to be used.

P1016677-vi.jpg

Bodywork is at this point about 80% done. Both sides as can be seen by the pics are
totally filled in and this time I tried to use as much plastic as possible, with just a very small amount of putty to fill in any divots and tiny voids.

P1016678-vi.jpg
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1 hour ago, fordf-100 said:

Beautiful model! Are you planning on doing it in the same color combo? Looks awesome! I wanted to ask what grille you used/are going to use? 

Phillip, the grille I'm using is a modified one from the Danbury Mint diecast. It had to be narrowed a bit as that one is 1/24, while this model is 1/25.

P1016680-vi.jpg

The middle trim piece will need to be fastened back in place as it's broken loose on the bottom over the years. To make things fit a bit better on the sides, I'll rework the leading edges of the fenders to better conform to the outer edges of the grille.

That's it for now. At the moment, I'm working on the doors as far as getting the outer door skin work done on those and then it's on to making new door jambs, hinges and hinge supports. More work than I anticipated, but I'm going to try something a bit different in making them open/close and fit better in the body. The hood has a bit of work needed too as where I filled in the scored lines with putty, the oven cleaner made that come loose as well. So far I got those filled back in with plastic and then it's on to smoothing things out.

Thanks for tuning in!

EDIT: I almost forgot......yes Phillip, I'll be using the same colors as before. Snowshoe White with Regency Purple two-toned. I still have a bunch of paint left over from PaintScratch.com of the purple and not long ago I had to order some Snowshoe White as I had no more of that.

Edited by MrObsessive

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Great resurrection Bill!  I'll be watching you perform magic!  🙂

See you at Super September Showdown?

Edited by Tom Geiger

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It always a really pleasure to watch and follow your projects Bill. This is looking great and it's going to be fun to follow. 

Edited by Rider

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Thanks for the nice words guys!

14 hours ago, Tom Geiger said:

Great resurrection Bill!  I'll be watching you perform magic!  🙂

See you at Super September Showdown?

If there's no bad weather like there was last year, I hope to be there Tom.

Last year it was raining so bad and I'm not a fan of driving the Challenger in heavy rain......especially here in PA with trucks everywhere you turn on the highway. :huh:

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Well, it's FINALLY good to be able to sit down after over two months and get building again! The new house is a bit smaller than the last one so my model room is not as big. That's OK though as I'm still able to have the "essentials" with me in the room. The last time I posted was back in August which would make sense because it was very shortly afterwards I had finalized things to be moving roughly a month later. In a sense I'm glad some time had passed since I was working on this '55. When I was finally able to zero in which box this was packed in, I was able to see once again where the bodywork was going to rear its ugly head on the roof.

So this time I got out the sanding block to sand away any "memory" of the plastic I had used and any imperfections were filled in with super glue. I'm not going to worry about any paint reaction with the super glue as this will be sealed with BIN Zinsser sealer. I highly recommend it for any extensive bodywork that will eventually be painted with hot automotive paints.

So now here's where I am at this point............not a lot of progress, but considering trying to get things together in the new place and the shape the Ford is in, I'm liking where this is going so far.

Since I had to take the body pretty much apart, I figured I may as well spend the time and redo the door structure. This involved thinning out the door jambs on the body a bit more by using a Moto tool and then checking to make sure both sides were equal using dial calipers.

Whenever I need to build up door jambs for opening doors, I like to start with the corners. I'll take some round tubing of a particular size (varies) and cut it so that there's a nice radius for the bottoms of the doors. If you take a look at any 1:1 car, the door jambs for the most part do not have straight corners (there are exceptions......Studebaker comes to mind), but they do have a radius to them.

I took some MEK and flowed it on and let it sit for a bit. Later on, I'll use super glue to reinforce the jamb around the perimeter for strength.

P1016682-vi.jpg

Here's the door hinges for the driver's side so far. Originally, I had soldered up flat type gooseneck hinges as I was looking to make them more like the 1:1. Then I remembered what happened to the '59 Chevy when due to excessive handling/bending, one of them eventually snapped. Sooooo.............I want sturdiness this time around instead of 100% accuracy, so I went with .020 brass rod and bent it to shape to get the correct opening arc without any binding. The retainers on the inside of the door are glued in at the moment, but once again for strength they'll be superglued in so the rods can slide right in during final assembly, and then I'll epoxy those in so that there's no fore and aft movement of the door during opening and closing.

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Now that I have everything positioned where I want it, I can make the leading portion of the door jamb and then try to position the interior door panel. Hopefully the dimensions haven't changed too much so I don't have to redo those.

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With the hinges in place, the door fits in the opening nicely without excessively huge door shut lines. I may tighten up the leading edge of the door just a wee bit more, but I'll have to take in consideration paint buildup to ward off any binding/scraping.

I'll be making new vent windows from H channel brass stock........pretty much like I did with the Shelby a while back. The previous ones were plastic and did not survive the tear down of the body.

P1016686-vi.jpg

One thing I'm a real stickler about is how the doors appear when they are open. This is where your hinge support placement is critical. If the supports are mounted in any way too crooked and tilted, this will show up on the final assembly if pics are taken of the doors open. You want the supports as straight as possible from a dead on frontal view, and then from the sides you want them straight. So far from this shot here we can see the doors are opening pretty darn straight. You'll need to take into account any flexing outward (or inward) of the body when it's time for final assembly. Too much inward or outward flexing of the body will either have your doors hitting the curb, or looking like butterflies up in the air. :D

P1016687-vi.jpg

Another consideration is the making of the hinges themselves. This is where trial and error come in as you need large enough radii of the hinges so that once again there's no binding and also to give the doors a wide enough opening "arc" to be realistic.

So, with the driver's door out of the way as far as hinges, I get to now focus on the passenger side!

So that's it for the time being! One thing I like about the house is the way it sits, the second floor is nearly somewhat level with the main road. It's interesting that it was built that way so I get to see some neat cars pass right by the window while I'm working. Directly in front of the house is a one way street and since I have a driveway, I don't have to worry about someone being silly and running into the car. It's interesting also that this is the only part of the street in town that's like that.......everyone else's place is level with the street. One potential drawback is that I can literally see the Susquehanna river right out the kitchen window and especially from the second floor in the bedroom. I'll have to ask one of the neighbors how high does the river have to get before we worry about flooding, but just the same, I'm keeping nothing of value in the basement. Been there and done that!

Thanks for tuning in folks!

Edited by MrObsessive

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I was catching up on how this build was going. I hadn't seen the pictures of your 1:1 Ford before. That was one clean machine.  

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Thanks for the update.   I love seeing how you make these things work and come together.    Carry on and good luck in the new house.

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