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alan barton

1927 Ford T coupe

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This is the second 27 T coupe I have fabricated but as my first one ended up turning into a commission build for a local hot rodder I decided to do a second one and try a few different techniques to see if it made things easier.  I want to share this with people because none of the manufacturers ever did a decent 1/25th scale one and they are such a cool car, especially with the rat rod/nostalgia rod craze as it is.  Best of all, this was easily one of the most straight forward body conversions I have ever attempted so if you have a spare Revell 27 T Tudor or Delivery in your stash, it is worth having a crack!

I won't be taking this thread through to a finished model just yet as I have a lot of other UFOs waiting in line but I will get it up to primer so that it is ready when the time comes.

Here is the first coupe I built.  I modified the Tudor body and added a vacformed turtledeck that I made over a carved wooden mould.  It worked pretty good but I did not get the dimensions exactly right and it did not match up well to the stock full fenders.  When Ben asked me  to produce a model of his fenderless rod, it was an easy decision to use this one! As you can see, after he received the model he decided to have a custom made vinyl banner of a fictitious AMT  box art ( FAB is a local "in joke" about makeshift engineering and unfortunately the explanation would be inappropriate for a family oriented site such as this - I'm sure you get the picture!) The model is sitting on the pedestal in front of is car.

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alan...jimmy flintstone has a resin 1926-27 model t coupe...it was mastered by Anthony hazilet (spelling?? )oldr-n-drt

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Cool looking traditional rod. Gold on black wheels with white walls is such a timeless combo. 

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Thanks for posting his project. Tall roof T's are very seldom seen anywhere in modeling. I have cut up a bunch of these since this kit first was released the same year I graduated from high school('60). The engine has an unusual card and air cleaner set up for sure. Good stuff all around.

Edited by misterNNL
kindle thinks it knows what I want to say:)

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Thanks for the info about the resin body, Oldr n dirt.  I have bought quite a bit of resin the past but have pretty much stopped buying anything from the USA because of the outrageous postage rates that people charge these days.  It's not uncommon for a $20 item to have a $50-70  postage fee.  Takes all the fun out of it - I know Perth is a long way from America but fair dinkum, that is obscene!

The full size T you see here has an interesting story.  Ben got about sixty mates together on a cold Saturday morning and said, "Lets see if we can build a running hot rod in two days!!!!"  Now they did already have a frame fabbed up, the flattie was in running condition and a floor had been welded into the T body but that was it.  At about 6.30pm on the Sunday, they drove a painted, upholstered hot rod out the shed door!  The whole thing was videoed and you can buy a dvd on it from Graffiti Publications.

Tom, I am building this one (and did so with the gold one) from the Revell 27 Tudor, not the AMT 25 from long ago.  In fact, when Ben first approached me about building the car he gave me a 25 T kit but we soon decided that was never going to be close enough.  Ironically it took me about nine months to build but then, I didn't have sixty mates helping me!

And yes, it is an interesting induction setup.  I seem to recall that it is a baby Toyota blower with a pair of sidedraft SU carbs.  It runs well!

Cheers

Alan

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To start with, I used some of the dimensions in Jairus Watson's excellent article in our favourite and sadly missed journal, Model Cars Magazine.  I did take some liberties with Jairus' info but it was a great help.  The body was already painted in Tamiya Purple acrylic but I didn't strip it right away so that I could see where I was marking and cutting - my eyesight ain't what it used to be!

I covered most of the car with masking tape to assist with my marking out but also used the edge of the tape in some cases to help guide my razor saw.  You need to remove 7mm from the middle of the C pillar

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Once I was happy with the marking out, I began cutting.  My cuts did not exactly follow Jairus' ideas as I had a few of my own. Particularly, I wanted to use as much of the original T body as possible to ensure alignment of each side and squareness, something I have struggled with in the past.  I also very carefully sawed in such a manner that the whole body stayed intact until i was ready to separate everything - this made it easier to see what I was doing and also avoided the problems associated with cutting very small pieces of plastic with a razor saw - anyone gotta  Band-Aid?

Before separating the top from the body I also cut some thin slices of styrene to glue into the body to make up for the plastic lost by the saw kerf. This was superglued to the bottom half of the body only for now,  to minimise filling and sanding later on

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Edited by alan barton

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To aid in working out where to cut the side windows and also to aid in aligning the reassembly of the back of the roof I then began to shorten the roof.  I still had a protoype f the roof insert used on Ben's coupe so I used that as a guide.  I could have simply cut off one end of the Tudor roof but I wanted retain the rebate around the edge to help in gluing later.  You can see in Ben's model that I didn't quite nail the roof to body joint and I wanted to improve on that. You can see from the NNL East ruler (thanks, Tom!) that it ended up being sectioned about 23 mm.

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After trial fitting the position of the roof,  I worked out the best place to cut the window frames.  At this point it was time to strip the body.  I have never had any success stripping Tamiya acrylic .  My favourite, caustic soda, wont touch it and neither will brake fluid.  I had read on the net that you could use Dettol antiseptic liquid.  Turns out it works!  Only thing is, it is very icky and sticky and cleanup takes some extra effort.

We can't get Super Clean here in Australia.  After reading about it here, many years ago, I rang Castrol Australia and asked where I could buy it. The guy put me on hold and went off to find out.  When he came back, he said that if Castrol were to import that into Australia, they would all be locked up in jail!  Must be good stuff!!!!

In the article, Jairus pointed out that a coupe rear window is 1 inch narrower than a Tudor.  I didn't know that when I built the gold coupe and it really didn't show so rather than turn this model into a bigger jigsaw puzzle than it already was, I elected not to narrow the panel. I'm still comfortable with that decision, it is only a milimetre  inch difference in scale after all and reduces the risk of wonky window moulds and swage lines.

Finally, I rejoined the back of the roof to the C pillar.  Here's the bit that drives me crazy.  Despite all my measure twice, cut once procedures, it still came out a bit on the wonk. Even with constant checking with my pre-shortened roof, it didn't get my attention until it was glued in place.  Some days I wonder why I am allowed to use sharp tools - after all, it's not my first rodeo!

Nothing to do but re severe the join on the left hand side, use needle files to create a bit of a tapered gap, and try again We got there eventually.

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Edited by alan barton
Added photos and text

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Here is where I made a major change in the process.  I elected to glue the floor pan to the body.  I could see things getting very floppy before long and me and floppy don't play nice!  It does mean that I will have to build the interior ship-in-a-bottle style but I don't think that will be insurmountable.  Next, I marked up about 6mm from the bottom of the tub and sliced off the panel above it.

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 In preparation for the construction of the trunk area, I traced the profile of the wheel arches onto a piece of styrene and cut two pieces to shape and put them aside.

In the Model Cars Magazine article there was a template for a floor extension so I created one of those from 1mm styrene and then glued it to the rear of the body

I then used magnets to hold everything to my metal alignment plate and let it glue up nice and solid and straight. Next, I cut the quarter panels away from the rear section and then used a set of wide, smooth jawed pliers to gently coerce the original 90 degree bend into a flatter curve to replica the contours of a coupe. From this photo, you can also see where I used my finger and thumb to gently bend the rear quarters towards the centre line of the car.  Tudor bodies flair out to the rear while coupe bodies ever so slightly taper in.  I used photos of the joint between the fender and the wheel arch to determine just how far I had to squeeze them

I then eyeballed the shape of the contour of the rear deck, using photos on the net for reference, and made a cardboard template that was then trial and error fitted to the body.  When it looked right I copied two bulkheads from styrene.  These two pieces would help me shape up the rear of the car.

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It's starting to look like a coupe!  Using the remains of the tub, I made a filler piece for the panel below the trunk lid.  After it was all glued in place, while rechecking photos I realised that I had made it way too tall so I had to trim it down about 2mm.  Frustrating but at least it had a gentle curve it in as per the original and I was recycling and saving the planet!  No waste at my place!

You can also see where I took those bulkheads and glued them in place to the body, the floor and the rear panel.  This thing is going to be solid as a rock.

Various strips of plastic were then cut and fitted to the gaps you see her to start to flesh out the quarter panels.  Unfortunately I was in the zone and forgot to take photos of this step.

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Edited by alan barton

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We're on the home stretch now.  The first coat of primer revealed a few small flaws around the reworked mouldings which will take a few hours of fill-sand-prime-repeat. Overall, I am very happy with the look of my conversion. I still have a trunk lid to fabricate and I think i will scratchbuild one using the same vacform that I used for the whole rear of the gold coupe.

 At this stage my plans call for an early sixties look with short slicks hanging out the rear fenders, no hole or small hole Halibrands and an injected nailhead.  Maybe metallic Rootbeer.  But that's for another day.  I hope these photos will help you tackle your own conversion, or maybe a similar but different one.  I was pleasantly surprised about just how smoothly this want, taking maybe a week of evenings to get to this stage. That's fun modelling in my book!

Cheers

Alan

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alan...what exact is the magazine article from?? maybe I can find one??  thanks oldr-n-drt

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Mate, is was a copy of Model Cars Magazine and while it was by Jairus, it wasn't a normal sketchpad type article.  It was two pages, not double but back to back with very clear line diagrams to explain the conversion. Unfortunately I am not at home right now to be able to tell you exactly what issue it was in. I would estimate it was around 10 years ago but that is a wild guess.

One thing I did not follow from the article was in regard to the shape of the rear side window opening.  Jairus advised to add some extra plastic to the inside of the lower rear corner to make a more sweeping radius but all my research both on the net and with real cars shows the radius on the coupe window to be pretty darn close to the Tudor, if not identical. Now Jairus is no fool and his artwork is alive with beautifully accurate detail so I am not sure where this disparity has occurred but I went for the stock Tudor curve  and am happy with the results.

Cheers

Alan

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Model Cars Magazine of April 2005 (#104) ran the story. 

I was not as careful as you describe building the trunk and the curve is not right. Good idea to glue in the floor for support.

2011 0318 MoreRust0015as

My version on the way to creating a rat...

 

Edited by mvadrag

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alan...I spelled Anthony name badly..it is hazelaar...go to...  members.home.nl/ahazelaar/model-t.htm            he is know as the model t man..he tells  yall about his builds also...good job on the tall t coupe....oldr-n-drt

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Looks good so far. I have that article and will probably try this conversion.

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You Really have to want a '27 T coupe badly to go to this much work! Wowzer!! Looks great.

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