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Russell C
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Running a bit behind on posting this to Under Glass. It goes with my "When Hybrid Engines go Rogue" WIP since that's where the flat 5 Porsche / VW hybrid engine ended up. It managed to place second at the GSL contest's "Common Kit" category, where all of us needed to build a Tamiya '66 Beetle, but could build it any way we wanted, with the exception of substituting resin body variations. Here, I rotated the greenhouse 180° around the vertical door line, and swapped fenders front-to-back. The slice out of the former front lid grafted onto the new front windshield area easier than I expected. Customized 1966 Utah license plate from this site to create a paper printout — if this was a regular Beetle, it would be a VW 1300, but if my calculations are correct, the displacement for a 5-cylinder works out to 1659, based on a '64-'69 Porsche 6 being a 2 liter. Overall, it looks like a Soviet-era East German nightmare ripoff design, if you ask me.

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The main operator of the GSL contest, Mark Gustavson, is a ripe target for this sort of weirdness, and remember - we can always blame our model's apparent weak points as being accurate depictions of what is seen on the 1:1 car we are replicating.

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Now, here's a few construction photos for the interior.

Should have used a medium gray for the gauge panel lines, the black is too intense. Detailed as the Tamiya kit is, it's really devoid of the underseat framework. So, I created some framework out of heat-stretched white sprue and bits of flat sheet stock.

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The big central pedestals aren't correct of course, but they also can't be easily seen, and are good otherwise for glueing the seats down solid.

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Couldn't resist cutting out and hollowing out the map pocket, so that I could stuff a commuter-reduced paper printout of a 1966 Model Car Science magazine in it.

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Prior to building the model, I did two photo alterations to see if it was possible to pull off the mental image I had in my mind. The top alteration was of some guy's box stock Tamiya build-up, and apart from changing the interior from tan to white, and from getting the new front deck lid to look right, the finished model looks just like the altered photo. I had forgotten to put in parts of the front fender inner liners when I took it to the GSL contest, but I fixed that afterward.

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Fun thing for me is how it messes with the mind. Car guys in general and Bug guys in particular will readily ID it as a VW Beetle, it's what the senses tell you at a gut level identification, but there's something not right at all about it. When I emailed a photo to my VW mechanic, his reply captured this best: "So cool, and so disturbing at the same time."

Edited by Russell C
typos
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Cool project! Great modification work! Reminds me of a '56 BelAir that ran around here a long time ago that had two front halves joined together. You didn't know if that car was coming, or going!!!!

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I saw this one at GSL, a really cool little model. Really well done. I spent a good bit of time looking at it and trying to figure out why it didn't look "wrong", when it quite obviously should. In the end I never did figure it out. Terrific work.

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As a german, I used to see hundreds of beetles every day when I was a kid, so this one looks a bit disturbing to me. Nevertheless it´s an awesome build! Very creative and nicely executed! After having a few more looks at it I wish VW would have actually built something like that!

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