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MPC 1986 El Camino SS Choo Choo Customs


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The recent Round2 reissue inspired me to dig out of my stash some of the older 1:25 MPC and AMT issues of this kit and finally put them to use.  This is the first of three builds that were started at the same time, and this one just happened to get finished first.  These older kits were sitting in open boxes for years, so I soon discovered a missing part or two.  As I'm finding the missing parts the next two will slowly see completion.  

In the meantime, this '86 Elko built up mostly box stock but with some adjustments all around.  Since the earlier MPC El Caminos were also issued as promos, the kit assembly is quite basic with remnants of its promo heritage.  They date back to 1978 and MPC only updated the front clip when it was originally re-popped as this 1986 Choo Choo Customs version.  Even so, it needed quite a bit of reworking to get it closer to the 1:1.  

The color is Dupli-Color Director Red Metallic, and it seemed a reasonable match to the Maroon Metallic offered in the late 80s on these and other GMs.  The carpet got some flocking and some ignition wires added to the otherwise sparse engine bay.  The rally wheels, in my opinion, are the highlight of the kit and likely the reason I amassed so many of them over the years.  They've come in handy for other builds like the '80 Monte Carlo.  The kit's tires were Goodyear Polyglas GT, but by 1986 radial tires had long since become all the rage so these BF Goodrich T/As from some other 80s MPC kit worked just fine.  With this one now finished up and some workspace cleared, the other two builds might move along quickly.  Stay tuned..






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Very nice job on that Elky! I have the same kit and it's definitely not the best quality overall... But looks like you managed to make it look very good. Excellent color choice and a nice paint job. Really nice and clean build. Hopefully mine turns out half as good when I get back to it some day.

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Absolutely beautiful! I hope your other two projects come out as well. B)

BTW, it sounds like they might be great candidates for our "Bring Out Your Dead" completion build project, where we parole ancient projects from the Shelf of Doom and drag them across the finish line. Round Six of the build wraps up the end of next month (March), and I'm hoping there will be enough interest for a Round Seven, which would run to the end of June. We've found this is a great way to encourage each other to GITTER DONE!  I invite you to join the fun, if you have any interest at all. See here: 

At any rate, drive on! B)

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Thanks everyone!  Your encouraging comments are much appreciated!

This is quite a challenging kit as some of you mentioned, although the only other option might be to kitbash Monogram's 1/24 El Camino with their Monte Carlo SS.  I'd imagine someone has done it, but with these old MPC repops at least it provides plenty of exercises in patience and improvisation.   

I tracked down most of the errant parts to get the second of the three Elkys finished.  Other than a washer fluid reservoir from a similar vintage MPC Camaro, only the tailpipes remained missing.  They were scratch built with some aluminum tubing, and were the finishing touches to wrap it up.  

This second '86 El Camino SS was finished in Dupli-Color White Pearl, and the bodyside moldings were removed to give it a mild custom look.  Aside from the blacked-out trim and rear bumper, it also got N90 wheels from the 80-81 Z/28 and 86-88 Monte Carlo SS.  It looks right at home next to the maroon one, and it's a small relief to finally get another one off the bench.  






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  • 2 weeks later...

The third '86 El Camino is now complete.  There were quite a few parts missing including the windows, so I gave in and bought the new Round2 reissue to borrow the clear parts and a few miscellaneous items.  The finish is Dupli-Color Electron Blue Pearl clearcoated and polished.  It started out in black metallic, but the Dupli-Color seemed to react with its own primer and some fisheyes appeared.  After stripping and sanding it smooth again, I decided to go with the non-OE blue.  Since the kits are mysteriously missing a center console to match the bucket seats and floor-shifter, the Monogram Monte Carlo SS donated its center console and it fit nicely.  I also hoped to source some five-spoke Monogram 1/24 1980s Camaro Z-28 wheels to give it a mild custom appearance, but those '82-85 Camaro kits are getting hard to find. 

With this trio off the bench it will be quite a while before I'll want to build another El Camino.  The next one might be an '82-85 quad headlight two-tone SS without the Choo Choo front end.  I'm trying to talk myself out of it, but we'll see.  Until then, enjoy these three Elkies!






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These all look fantastic! I started one of the new reissues when it became available a few months ago, but quickly lost interest and set it aside. You're making me want to dig it out and fire it up again, which is just about my highest compliment. B)

Very well done, and model on! B)

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 Beautiful work! Back in the 80's,  My dad had a car detailing business . I remember cleaning and prepping  a few of those when they were new. They came through the local Chevy dealer. They were a pretty big deal in a sea of Cavaliers, Berettas and Caprice wagons. lol........

Edited by larman
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