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Present your growth as a builder?


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I thought it would be cool if we could show how each of us have grown as builders.... This Monte Carlo was built right after I joined the forum in 2012. I thought I had really done something making the headlight covers!


This '48 Ford was built in 2017....


Please feel free to show how you have progressed as a builder......



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I built this 1961 Pontiac Bonneville I believe back in 2014.

At the time, I thought that it was a pretty nice attempt.

Since then, I have begun to delve into more detailing, scratch building and just general refinement.


The Bonneville is just basically built straight from the box.

The '65 Plymouth has had every aspect of the model modified in some respect.














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Lets see. My oldest surviving model circa 1987? 

MPC '67 Charger street freak (soooo much bad here, a real four footer)



And my latest. Revell '41 Willys with a turbo'd and EFI'd slant six. 


Edited by Jantrix
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This is good stuff, guys........

Rob, there's a way around photobucket's fingerprint on your pics. Just download the pic to your computer from the bucket (it will go into downloads)... then just name it something else and save it as a pic. Then you can attach it directly to the forum...... that's what I had to do with the Monte Carlo pic......

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10 minutes ago, JollySipper said:

This is good stuff, guys........

Rob, there's a way around photobucket's fingerprint on your pics. Just download the pic to your computer from the bucket (it will go into downloads)... then just name it something else and save it as a pic. Then you can attach it directly to the forum...... that's what I had to do with the Monte Carlo pic......

I don't see anything, but I have before so I'll take your word for it. Working on it.

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First Cobra I built shortly after the kit came out . Mid 60’s ? I did change wheels and tires at some point . The next Cobra is one I did not long ago where I grafted on the roof of a split window Vette . I used part of a hood from a 40 Ford to fill in the bottom part of the tail point . 




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anglia leftrear

In the beginning...  Here's an Anglia that I painted in my teens that has survived!  I didn't know to prep the body for mold lines and such.  At least I did know to prime the body with silver paint, but still the Testors lime metallic is all runny!  Also notice how I free handed the roof with a brush!    The final straw was trying to brush paint the dark red plastic on the interior with Testors white from the little bottle!


Then I decided to give modeling another try in my 20s. I was collecting car brochures and had the one for the 1960 Desoto so I thought I'd copy the cover car.  I believe I painted the entire car with hardware store white paint.  Then I masked off the roof and attempted to paint the body with Testors Burgundy spray paint.  When I messed up, I'd sand the mess and give it another shot of paint.  What I didn't notice was I was sanding the detail off the chrome. Still, once I got the body finished, I then went for the trim with Testors sticky silver. I didn't know to mask and made a general mess of it.  And here's my brushwork on the interior as well.

My problem was that yes, I was probably 10 years older than the previous model, but I was still using my 15 year old kid skills. I had not progressed at all.  I had no peer group to confer with nor teach me.  Of course I gave up.


At around 30 I got the bug again. I found this Johan Studebaker in a hobby shop and brought it home because my father had a 1962 Lark sedan when I was a kid.  I figured I'd try really really hard this time!  Again, I started out with hardware store paint.. Pergament's (long defunct NJ chain) store brand antique white.  Somehow it came out nice and even shiny over the Johan black plastic!  Then I used Scotch Magic Tape to tape off the chrome trim before I brushed on the Testors sticky silver!  I was really pleased with this model!   

I found Scale Auto Enthusiast Magazine in a magazine store in Boston and bought a copy.  I stayed up all night in my hotel reading it cover to cover.  It was the first aftermarket issue, and I was amazed at everything I saw.  The store had back issues on a shelf under every current magazine so I went back and bought three more issues.  In the back of one, someone had used their annual free subscriber ad to advertise the Tri-State Scale Model Car Club.  I sent them a SASE for information (little did I know that this was a pivotal moment in my life!)

I brought the Studebaker to my first club meeting and timidly put it on the table.  Immediately a guy came over to look and started criticizing me.  Told me I wasn't allowed to use hardware store paint on a model, I needed to airbrush.  That I didn't open up the hood and put a full detail chassis under it.  All things that were way beyond my understanding or wildest dreams at the time.  He just chewed me up and down.  I was devastated and almost quit the hobby right there!   Later on I learned to understand the character!  Yea, he was one of those guys who chewed on everyone critically about perfection, but had never completed a model himself.  I wound up knowing him for 30 years and don't think he ever finished a model!   

So I kept at it and the club had a little contest at their Christmas party each year.  It was a same kit contest, AMT 1957 Ford.  I ran to the hobby shop and bought one.  As I built it and brought it to the club meetings every month, people were giving me tips.  What glues to use, canopy cement for the glass. My favorite new tool... Bare Metal Foil!   How to mask off a two tone, and a load of other dos and don'ts.   Aha!  I had sucked as a modeler not because I didn't have any ability, but because I hadn't learned a lot of the basics on my own!  


And I completed this!  I even went back to the hobby shop and bought a second kit for parts I had screwed up the first time! It was no trophy winner, but I was really excited.  I had completed a credible model that was eons ahead of what I ever thought I could achieve!  I was on  my way.

And along the way I met Joe Cavorley.  I was instantly drawn to the light commercial weathered vehicles he built. We became fast friends and he was a great teacher and encouraged me along.   It did take about 5 years before I actually won awards at shows, working harder on every model.


With Joe's encouragement and instruction I was able to build the Christmas Tree Truck.  He taught me to look at life through his eyes, and see everything around me.  He taught me how to look at an assembly and to break it down to a set of basic shapes to scratch build. He showed me the tools and materials to do so.  And he was ever so pleased to have a student who listened to all of his advise!  Joel Naprestek did a demo on hand lettering at a club meeting and I was able to letter the doors. This was when I started placing in shows.  I won a lot of first and second place Light Commercial awards!

pyrite front

And the following year I built the Pyrite's Paddler,  again taking Joe's advise.  The Paddler is a replica of a real truck.  I was amazed that I was doing this as it took shape in front of me. It wasn't easy, that's the third work box I built on the truck. That year I swept through the Light Commercial categories with first place trophies!  

I was approached by Don Banes, who was writing for Car Modeler at the time, about an article on my trucks.  That became the centerfold in the magazine around 1995.  Soon after, I stopped building models with the idea of winning at contests. I had proven to myself what I had set out to do and then some.  From that point on, I continued to build my skills and listened to advise.  I had decided I was done chasing the leading edge.  I didn't want to work in metal, or buy a lathe.  I still don't like to use an airbrush.  

Today I still use the most precious gift that Joe Cavorley had taught me.  How to look at life around me!  I build for myself and the few odd folks I call my friends.  I'm pleased if the models come out like I saw them in my head and am blessed that I'm able to do so.  I like to restore old built ups and build things from sad junk.  I still seek out new skills and will build things just to see if I can do it.  I enjoy showing off my work on the boards as well as at shows.  If I win something at a show, so be it.  If not I had a good day out with friends.  Things I've built recently...

IMG 1148

IMG 1998



Mostly I'm having fun.  I'm spending a lot of time finishing old projects. Some of them aren't the greatest but I've pushed myself to work past the mistakes, things that would've shelved projects years ago.  If it's not perfect, so what?   I am getting wiser as I get older!    

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Two AMT '69 Chevelles. I built the one with the black top in 1969, took it apart and cleaned it and repaired as necessary but didn't rebuild anything a couple years ago. The one with the white stripe I started in the early '90s and finally finished around 2014. 



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I believe this Dick Landy Charger is my oldest surviving build. I was around 11 or 12 then, so 25 years ago. I didn’t even paint the body, since I couldn’t get any spray paint, and I was too impatient to wait!

The GTX is my latest build. I’m getting more and more info detailing and scratch building to push myself.



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1st picture is my 56 Ford pickup I built in 1975.

2nd pic is my TransAm Ford Courier I built in 1980.

Next pic is my 56 Victoria I built in 2015.

36 Ford roadster I did this year,2019

I do love building models & love repairing old kits & old builds.

The Vega I originally built in 1975. Been repairing the hacked quarter panel wheel wells on it.

Also repairing the quarter panel wheel wells on the Falcon.









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15 hours ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

I built this 1961 Pontiac Bonneville I believe back in 2014.

Steve, that Pontiac is just so terrible! But I guess we all have to start somewhere.?

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1 hour ago, Rich Chernosky said:

Original IMC Chaparral 2E (the yellowed one) built circa 1965,  rebuild of the same kit (boxed as a Union) 9/25/2015.  We don't spray clear enamel over white plastic anymore. 


Absolutely fabulous illustration of "Then and Now" modeling! B)

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It would be interesting if people gave a rough estimate of how many models they completed between pictures as well to show what it takes for your skills to improve.  Unfortunately, for me, although I've been "modelling" for years I can count on both hands and have fingers left, the models that I've actually completed so I'm not sure my skills have really improved that much.

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This is a clever topic! I started building model cars almost 60 years ago. Back then, my cars were brush painted ( or Q-Tip painted!). They looked good to me as a kid. I saved a number of my early builds and plan to strip the paint and restore them all someday. 

This is a 61 Buick Invicta pre-built model that I painted.





This is a 64 T-Bird - brush painted. If you have a good imagination, you might even be able to read the poorly painted Thunderbird script on the side.





This is a 1960 Lincoln Mark V - originally built in 1960. This is one that I stripped the paint from a few years and rebuilt it to look like this.



These are some of my more recent builds- a 59 Caddy Eldorado, a Ford GT, a 2010 Mustang and a 58 Edsel. I think my skills have improved a bit!








Thanks for looking!



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Warning! This model may do harm to your eyes! I know it hurts mine to look at it. This is my oldest surviving model. Built in the early '70s and painted countless times. Sometime in the '90s, I took it apart, scraped and sanded all of the old paint off. I repainted it with Terry Labonte Yellow. I used suspension pieces from a Revell '64 T-Bolt that I had given up on painting the trim. Wheels from the Monogram '70 Chevelle. Tires from the parts box. Sometime later, I came up with the decals from, I think, a '70 GSX. 




And this is my '62 F-100. It has the most work I've ever put into a model. The most body work and scratch building I've ever done. 





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