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kurth

what color was the underbody of a 80s G-body?

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Hello,

I just received the latest re-issue of the Revell 1986 monte carlo SS. I am gathering the paint I want to use, but I can not find a good reference of the underneath of the car. I found  several pictures of the underneath as they sit today with 30+ years of dirt and grime. and It is all just dusty, rusty and not clear what the color is.  I want to build this  kit show oom fresh.  So does any one remember how these cars came from the factory? 

 

I searched for this on the forum but I could not find it. 

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Being from Noo Yawk, I don't have to worry about that. Just about every car is undercoated so they're black.

Edited by SfanGoch

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6 hours ago, Slick Shifter said:

Body color, but not heavy enough to be glossy. Textured black sound deadener applied to the rear wheelhouses after paint.

thank you. And since it is body on frame, would the frame would still be all black? Presumably the body is lowered on to a finished chassis during assembly

Edited by kurth

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1 hour ago, kurth said:

 And since it is bod on frame, would the frame would still be all black? Presumably the body is lowered on to a finished chassis during assembly

That is correct. The frames were dipped in 'chassis black', a petroleum-based product that's not quite flat black, but in the ballbark. About 20-25% gloss.

Now, after body paint, the bodies were wrapped in 1mil clear plastic , taped to the sides of the cowl, and then the firewalls painted semigloss black down to the flange where the floor pan meets the firewall. This flange is about even with where the top of the gas pedal would be.

 

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There would be minor differences depending on which plant built the car. My new '86 Monte Carlo SS was a west coast car. The under side of the body was a very flat medium gray with no metallic. Mine happened to be white and there was some white over spray, but it was very light and the best way I can think of to describe it was as if a very light fog of white paint over the underside of the body. The frame was a very flat black and the suspension was ever so slightly glossier than the frame. The steering linkage and the A arms, rear trailing arms and springs were a it and miss at best on the black paint. The OEM spiral shocks were gray in color. The differential was also very lightly painted. My suggestion would be practice on a piece of spruce by holding the black spray can several inches away and give it short bursts of paint. As Slick Shifter mentioned the inner wheel wheels in the rear and parts of the front are like an undercoating spray.  

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This is just what I was looking for. It will be a real masking challenge, but I want an accurate model, so I will do it. I have several different shades and sheens of black, so I think I can get the variation required

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When they rolled off the assembly line,  ALL the F&R suspension control arms and transmission crossmember would've have been dipped in about 40% gloss black paint. All coil springs dipped in 40% gloss black paint. They'd hang these parts on an overhead conveyor that went down into a long skinny trough of paint then come out and drip dry. The complete rear axle sprayed 40-50% semi gloss black after assembly.

Can't remember about the steering linkage, sway bars and front brake dust shields but have some i could check for paint.

There are some time-capsule Buick GNXs out there. Those would make good reference material for the coatings on those things.

Ar Mr Espo noted, there was a shot of sound deadener on the underside of the front inner fenders AFTER they were painted about 50% semigloss black. The variation in the amount of deadener on the front inner fenders varies wildly but they usually tried to at least get a shot of it over the 2 fender bolts that secured the inner fender to a body bracket. And if they had time they'd do one 250° pass where tire rocks would be hitting the inner fender but the deadener was generally 3-4 times thicker in the rear wheelhouses. I've commonly seen it up to 1/2" thick in the seams, 1/4" to 3/8" thick elsewhere.

Good Luck!

 

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Okay,  the production steering knuckles, center link, sway bars and idler arm were Grey Phosphate. I remembered i had some pics. Still need to see tie rod assemblies and front brake dust shields.

I have the GNX book that was presented to each original buyer. They made extras, i bought one.  I'll take a look tomorrow.

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Posted (edited)

Hey Guys,

I took your feedback, and did my best to apply it to this model, here is the underside of the chassis.

 

20200513_175650sm-vi.jpg

 

I tried to get a few different shades of black and dark gray on the different components. It required some very intense masking.

 

And as a bonus, here is the interior, I looked at a lot of pictures and tried to simulate the different textures and colors of the seats and other parts of the interior

 

20200513_175607sm-vi.jpg

 

Your help is greatly appreciated. All the pictures I found of the underside of G bodies were very good for used and weathered reference, but my goal is a new car for this one.

 

I am still polishing the body, and I will post pictures of the finished model when the time comes.

 

Thanks again!

Edited by kurth

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Some people will argue what's correct on which day, but ultimately, your model is cleanly built, neatly painted, and looks great, so you did very well.

The only thing which I'd change would be the fabric(?) areas on the seats. I want to say the fabric was velour-like, but maybe not. Tough to replicate in scale no matter what, but I would add a bit more gloss and a hint of texture.

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2 hours ago, kurth said:

Hey Guys,

I took your feedback, and did my best to apply it to this model, here is the underside of the chassis.

 

20200513_175650sm-vi.jpg

 

I tried to get a few different shades of black and dark gray on the different components. It required some very intense masking.

 

And as a bonus, here is the interior, I looked at a lot of pictures and tried to simulate the different textures and colors of the seats and other parts of the interior

 

20200513_175607sm-vi.jpg

 

Your help is greatly appreciated. All the pictures I found of the underside of G bodies were very good for used and weathered reference, but my goal is a new car for this one.

 

I am still polishing the body, and I will post pictures of the finished model when the time comes.

 

Thanks again!

Glad to see you got back on this one. The chassis looks showroom fresh. The interior looks very nice. As Casey mentioned the fabric on the seats is or was a very fine texture almost like the old mohair interiors of old but not itchy to sit on. Your picture looks like you got the vinyl portion done correctly as the seating surface was the only cloth area on the seats and all the other parts were done in vinyl. The color you used also looks good. Years ago I built a model of ours and I used Model Master Enamel #2904 called Kiln Red. I think that they dropped that color several years ago since I have been unable to find any. I still have 1 can laid back for the future. What ever color you used looks great to my eye for what that's worth.  Please post your body pictures when you get to that stage.    

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Speaking of accuracy, most likely that center console top would have been red , not black

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The pad on the top of the console was the interior color. The remainder of the console was what they used to call Piano Black and had a Red stripe along either edge. The panel on the passenger side dash board was done the same way also.as well as the face of the gauge pod.   

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You are right, it looks like I goofed on the top of the console. I consulted reference pictures again and sure enough it is interior color. not sure why I painted it black.  I know I got the steering wheel color wrong too.  🤷‍♂️

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Chassis looks great. Close to what an under coated car would of looked like or what a restored car would look like with new floor boards.  I had a 79 Malibu and when the undercoating peeled off the floorboard, the color was a mix of overspray body color and a dark gray. 

The interiors of these cars used the standard GM fabric at the time. It wasn’t velour but it wasn’t a smooth cloth either.  I had the same fabric in my two 80’s Trans Ams. It’s hard to describe and replicate as the color would shift depending on which way you rubbed the cloth. I did see you painted the door panels the same as you did the dash which was a hard vinyl. The upper part of the door panels, front and back, were fabric colored if I recall.  
 

There’s a MC SS on eBay with the interior you’re painting if you’d like reference.  https://ebayvehicle.com/app/6gXQF3DUb1Spz9aQ8
 

Great job and I look forward to seeing more progress and the finished product. 

0D62C74D-F83E-41B8-989D-E213887C1164.jpeg

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That looks just like our old '86 SS. Ours was a Garage Queen and the driver's seat wasn't worn in this manor but the slightly warped Console Cover is dead on. I remember some getting that way if they sat on the lot to long before getting sold. 

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1 hour ago, espo said:

That looks just like our old '86 SS. Ours was a Garage Queen and the driver's seat wasn't worn in this manor but the slightly warped Console Cover is dead on. I remember some getting that way if they sat on the lot to long before getting sold. 

That's typical GM 80's quality there LOL

My 85 C4 is a garage queen and the console cover did the same thing.

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18 hours ago, Casey said:

Some people will argue what's correct on which day, but ultimately, your model is cleanly built, neatly painted, and looks great, so you did very well.

The only thing which I'd change would be the fabric(?) areas on the seats. I want to say the fabric was velour-like, but maybe not. Tough to replicate in scale no matter what, but I would add a bit more gloss and a hint of texture.

I have been looking at materials to try to get that fabric texture and was thinking about embossing powder as it seems to be ground much finer than most flocking materials I have.

Any thoughts?

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The next step is to paint the black trim on the body. This required a lot of masking

Here is where I did the "fine masking"

20200516_010250sm-vi.jpg

 

and then I filled in the rest of the body with tape

 

20200516_012420sm-vi.jpg

 

almost looks like a blue and yellow NASCAR stock car

 

And with the semigloss black applied tape removed, you can hardly see the difference!

 

20200516_025344sm-vi.jpg

 

I still need to apply decals, and detail paint under the hood, things like the overflow bottle, wiper fluid bottle, and so forth and so on. 

See ya next time

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The paint job and color look real nice. When I built my White one to replicate the SS we had I cheated. Since the kits plastic is Black I just masked off the parts that would be Black and then painted the body White Primer and then White gloss. Just a reminder when it comes to installing the rear quarter glass. This is when GM started to transition to flush mounted windows. All of the windows except the quarter windows mount from the inside in the normal manor  and the other two you want to mount from the outside of the body. 

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