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Oldcarfan27

69 Firebird, redesigned.

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Ha! There's really no bad choices there, it's a nice body style that can wear many colors well! I think that silver would be mighty fetching on it, but that's my taste. I notice your reference pics favor a black vinyl top...

Looking forward to more progress on this one.

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Pat you def have my attention - great job so far

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I like what you are doing. I would have built mine (someday) with all the flaws included. When my skillset eventually includes bodywork. I will use this tutorial to improve my result. Color for yours? I vote for Bright Metallic Blue.

77246-1969-pontiac-firebird-400-2-door-coupe.jpg

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Posted (edited)

When I recently (and briefly) dug mine out to slap together, I was going to paint it Carousel Red (Chevy Hugger Orange). It was a mid-year color and you didn't see many Firebirds wearing it. I don't think I EVER saw one in real life. 

When I was Snake-whipping that wretched diecast to the ground, I noticed in my research that the "tunnels" of the '69 Firebird headlight buckets are chrome, which isn't represented in the kit. On the diecast I did this area with Silver Sharpie. I have no idea how you'd handle this on a "good" model such as yours is going to be. Careful application of Molotow, maybe? :unsure:

Edited by Snake45

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Looks like a great project, I'll be following.

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8 hours ago, bisc63 said:

I notice your reference pics favor a black vinyl top...

I noticed that too, but I haven't decided whether to put that on mine yet.

I do like the color combinations with it though. 

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9 hours ago, Oldcarfan27 said:

I may have to replace the lenses, but as of yet, I can't figure out how to redo those tiny bezels to make them more accurate. 

Any ideas, anyone?

OK, here's what you do ,,,

You'll need some thin sheet material. Thin enough to slip between the chrome kit bezel and the opening. They should be wide enough to stick out beyond the opening slightly when installed.

Cut 4 thin strips, one for each bezel,  and glue them around the headlight bezels, seam at the top center. Check fit,  you want it a touch loose to accommodate paint buildup.  If it's a bit snug, open the holes in the body up a touch with needle files.

Check fit again, if it's right, hold the bezels in the body and sand the strips you glued on flush with the body. Remove and sand again so they're slightly inside the opening.

Now carefully drill out and remove the headlight lens area.  It goes without saying ,, be verry careful!!. 

Ideally, I'd now work some putty into the seam where the strips are glued to the bezel but that may be too tricky. You might be able to do it, depending on guts and still. 😉

If the seam's tight, another option may be to simply heavily paint the inside with gloss black enamel a couple times. A water based enamel would be preferable as it would dry a lot quicker. This will not only fill the seam but make a good base for Alacad or Moloto .

Anyway, that's how I would do it.  Looking at the body work you have already done, I suspect  you should be able to pull it off without problems.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I really dig (and appreciate) the work you've put into this conversion so far! You really have to be in-love with a subject matter to labor like this. I've been there myself with numerous projects! Two things have always bothered me about the Revell '69 Camaro; and kept me from building one despite an otherwise superb kit. The roof is totally screwed up........flat across the top of the door windows (as far as the drip rail line is concerned),  and even slightly chopped at the windshield pillars. The second issue is that the front end appears a hair too long over all......from certain angles. Yet, it doesn't seem to be as noticeable once built.

Here are some comparison photos of a 1:1 '69 Camaro and the Revell kit; as well as the Revell '68 Firebird and AMT '68 Camaro. I know that angle of the photo is off for the '68 Firebird; but you can see that the roof is closer on the '68 Firebird (yet not tall enough over all), and the general shape of the AMT '68 Camaro roof is closer (from the side profile only). If you could figure out a way to put the graceful contour of the 1:1 roof lines back into Revell's '69 Camaro it would be a night and day transition! Revell's large scale Camaro kit (which I read the 1/25th scale kit was based on) did not suffer these maladies!

Capture-vi.jpg

Captureb-vi.jpg
Capturec-vi.jpg

 

Edited by krassandbernie

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You seem to be looking for color ideas so I'll offer mine. I like that you mentioned keeping the color a little more on the subdued side. The #40 Butternut Yellow was a "soft yellow" much like a late '60's Chevrolet color. #75 Dark Gold Met. is like the photo you showed and I like that as it is a rich looking color. #81 Sunset Silver Met., hard to tell from the photo of the color chart  as Silvers in general seem to confuse camera lenses and often doesn't show it's true color. The color chart one looks as if it has a hint of the 1965 color Evening Orchid that is either a love or hate it color, I love it. The Firebirds and Camaros, in my mind, always looked cleaner and sleeker without the Vinyl Roofs that were so popular at the time, mostly because dealers ordered their inventory that way for additional profits. The Camaro style Spoiler would look better than what Firebird had at the time, or go with out. What ever you do I'm sure it's going to look great and I'm enjoying watching your build, especially the body work. 

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3 hours ago, krassandbernie said:

Two things have always bothered me about the Revell '69 Camaro; and kept me from building one despite an otherwise superb kit. The roof is totally screwed up........flat across the top of the door windows (as far as the drip rail line is concerned),  and even slightly chopped at the windshield pillars. The second issue is that the front end appears a hair too long over all......from certain angles. Yet, it doesn't seem to be as noticeable once built.

I never noticed that before, I'm pretty sure I can do something about that.

Easy fix

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18 hours ago, Monty said:

Happily!  I'm secretly hoping he'll eventually do a tutorial on how to do that kind of bodywork.  Think of all the kits that could be improved with those abilities.  

I'm not good at step by step tutorials, mostly because I don't know what the result will be until I've done it.

That's why I take pictures after the mods are done, but before I have it in primer so you can see where to make the cuts and changes. I hope it still gives the same results. 

Basically, I build as if it were a real car. I try to cut and join at the easiest contours to blend together. I carefully plan my cuts. Cut as accurately as I can and sand the edges to match and fit BEFORE I glue it together. I also try to minimize my use of putty as putty is just the "frosting on the cake", not the substance of the work. Like real body men say - Bondo is not the replacement for good body work,  it just smooths out the small imperfections. 

I use Crazy Glue brand super glue as my adhesive as it doesn't shrink over time, sets quickly and is cheap and easy to find anywhere. 

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3 minutes ago, Oldcarfan27 said:

I use Crazy Glue brand super glue as my adhesive as it doesn't shrink over time, sets quickly and is cheap and easy to find anywhere. 

I've discovered that superglue and superglue gel make excellent putties/fillers, as they don't shrink.

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23 minutes ago, Snake45 said:

I've discovered that superglue and superglue gel make excellent putties/fillers, as they don't shrink.

I always stick with Crazy Glue brand because I've had other brands come out like water and take too long to set. Also, the cap seems to work best at keeping the nozzle from getting clogged. Others will clog every time and the tube kind will glue the cap on solid!

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On 4/4/2020 at 3:20 PM, Oldcarfan27 said:

I never noticed that before, I'm pretty sure I can do something about that.

Easy fix

I'd be highly impressed if you are able to remedy this roof line on the Revell Camaro body! That first comparison photo I posted with the built yellow Revell Camaro really shows just how awful the roof line (or more accurately, the drip rail molding/window opening) really is. I don't see you nailing it without raising the windshield pillars a hair. I have confidence you will make an improvement in the roof line at the very least based on what I've seen of your work so far. You seem to tackle things in a similar manner (or thought process) to my own.

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Olive is my suggestion. Some really nice work going into this indeed!

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12 hours ago, krassandbernie said:

I'd be highly impressed if you are able to remedy this roof line on the Revell Camaro body! That first comparison photo I posted with the built yellow Revell Camaro really shows just how awful the roof line (or more accurately, the drip rail molding/window opening) really is. I don't see you nailing it without raising the windshield pillars a hair. I have confidence you will make an improvement in the roof line at the very least based on what I've seen of your work so far. You seem to tackle things in a similar manner (or thought process) to my own.

K&B, I'm just not seeing the same problems you are. And there aren't many bigger 1G Camaro nuts here than I am. 

As I mentioned, the "corner" of the drip molding could be rounded off a little. If I really look, I can see that the top edge of the drip rail is straight where it should have a SLIGHT curve to it, though this problem isn't nearly as bad as it is on their '65 Chevelle (or the New Ray '64 Nova diecast). And the roof "ridges" could be rounded off a little. I've built three Revell Camaros and didn't fix any of these things and they look fine to me. 

Now there are REAL problems with the Revell '69 Camaro Rally Sport front end, and at both ends of their '67 Camaro, and in a couple places on the '69 Nova, and there's something off with the '70 Cuda. But the roof of the '69 Camaro just isn't offending my eye the way it is yours, apparently. :unsure:

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5 hours ago, Snake45 said:

K&B, I'm just not seeing the same problems you are. And there aren't many bigger 1G Camaro nuts here than I am. 

As I mentioned, the "corner" of the drip molding could be rounded off a little. If I really look, I can see that the top edge of the drip rail is straight where it should have a SLIGHT curve to it, though this problem isn't nearly as bad as it is on their '65 Chevelle (or the New Ray '64 Nova diecast). And the roof "ridges" could be rounded off a little. I've built three Revell Camaros and didn't fix any of these things and they look fine to me. 

Now there are REAL problems with the Revell '69 Camaro Rally Sport front end, and at both ends of their '67 Camaro, and in a couple places on the '69 Nova, and there's something off with the '70 Cuda. But the roof of the '69 Camaro just isn't offending my eye the way it is yours, apparently. :unsure:

It is good that the roof line doesn't bother you like it does me........seriously. Something about it bugged me for years until I finally put my finger on it. Once I saw it I could not un-see it. It's night and day to me looking at the first photo I posted of the yellow Revell Camaro and the 1:1 green Camaro.  I studied each of the model bodies I posted above; and compared them to each other and 1:1 pics; and took measurements.  Simply rounding off the rear corner of the drip rail molding will not correct the overall 'die cast' lines of this roof; but it might improve it a little bit. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Revell body's roof is slightly chopped at the front windshield pillars and the drip rail is perfectly flat where there should be a graceful curve.  Revell is notorious for screwing up the roof line on almost every body they've come out with for the past 20 years. They also suffer from being too 'computer generated' and squared off where contours and lines should be more graceful. It is just something I can not look past. Having done my own master work for over 15 years now (for my resin business) has made me more aware of body proportions and more anal I suppose. When you have to pretty much scratch build an entire body you tend to make sure you have all of your proportions nailed down since one are of the body will throw off another. We all take something different or personal from the hobby; and some things bother one person and not the other......and that is perfectly fine too.

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Posted (edited)

Next up the Rally IIs.

We all know how shallow the stock Rally II wheels are in the kit and you guys may have your own personal preferences on replacements. However, I'm not about to spend a lot of time and money trying to find better representations, so I'm going to try to improve the wheels in this kit.

 In the original issue, the wheels weren't that thick because they went inside solid, narrow polyglas tires from the era. But, over time the tooling gained some bulk so they could fit into wider, hollow, more modern tires. Even after all the cutting,  they only added thickness to the BACK of the wheels, not to the front, so they are still too shallow looking on the business end.

First off, is to separate the centers from the rings. I ended up cutting off about half the thickness of the wheel just to get close to where the wheel center is to sand it away from the trim ring.

20200407_141530.thumb.jpg.d67b14eac1daec8e77e8c32aef46f5dc.jpg

Once separated from all 4 wheels, I set aside the wheel centers and looked for suitable replacements for the trim rings. I found a bunch of deep dish custom wheels that I had too many of, so that's what I decided would fit my needs. I could adjust the depth to look closer to OEM.

20200407_144809.thumb.jpg.9d0ba5f8cdbba1d1c29021b630d66161.jpg

20200407_144842.thumb.jpg.9301229f9cfcc79fa9f246e61c671a67.jpg

I took the first wheel and cut away the center and then sanded the rim down to the depth that I liked. Once satisfied, I used it to mark the point to cut the other 3 rims to match.

20200407_150512.thumb.jpg.d9bac602b714ac2388bcd1ccd6185de1.jpg

I glued the original centers to a sheet plastic backing and then detail painted them, before attaching the trim rings to finish. 

20200407_163739.thumb.jpg.3884116cbfa6c92667397a5ae82712ed.jpg

I've decided I like the look of the BF Goodrich Radial T/As for this car. Now I just need to figure out what paint to use for the white letters.  Enamel stays sticky forever and acrylic will peel off when the tire flexes.

20200407_170034.thumb.jpg.20c8b4d829af1dd4f510a23ae274b98c.jpg

All in all this little project only took me a couple hours to do and I'm happy with the results.

Edited by Oldcarfan27

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Yup, I did the exact same thing for this one. 

IMG 1879

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12 minutes ago, Can-Con said:

Yup, I did the exact same thing for this one. 

IMG 1879

Beautiful TA, Steve!

I really like the deep dish look to the Rally II's, too bad MPC never got that right from the beginning. 

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Per the attention of Krass, I quickly fixed the drip rail on the driver side.

Relaxing the straight line from the A pillar to just before where it curves down.

BEFORE:

20200408_101806.jpg.4c18f115af703a5b5b4bc0c19543e92a.jpg

AFTER:

20200408_101659.jpg.01fd1ba390ddedbdd3be9c6fff223120.jpg

Notice that all I replaced was the trim representing the drip rail - and saved the weatherstrip underneath. 

Easy fix!

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5 hours ago, Oldcarfan27 said:

Per the attention of Krass, I quickly fixed the drip rail on the driver side.

Relaxing the straight line from the A pillar to just before where it curves down.

BEFORE:

20200408_101806.jpg.4c18f115af703a5b5b4bc0c19543e92a.jpg

AFTER:

20200408_101659.jpg.01fd1ba390ddedbdd3be9c6fff223120.jpg

Notice that all I replaced was the trim representing the drip rail - and saved the weatherstrip underneath. 

Easy fix!

That is a vast improvement! I had eye balled that very same 'fix' myself; but kept thinking that there simply wasn't enough roof thickness above the drip rail molding to get away with it......and it would be compromised........leading to another issue. But, your remedy seems to have worked out quite well; and is the most corrected/accurate looking one that I've seen to date!

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5 hours ago, krassandbernie said:

That is a vast improvement! I had eye balled that very same 'fix' myself; but kept thinking that there simply wasn't enough roof thickness above the drip rail molding to get away with it......and it would be compromised........leading to another issue. But, your remedy seems to have worked out quite well; and is the most corrected/accurate looking one that I've seen to date!

Thanks for bringing it to my attention. 

Now I'll never be able to leave that part alone from now on. 

Luckily, it's so easy to fix, it's not a hard repair to do again and again. 

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I have a suggestion for you BFG tires. Use a Gelly Roll pen in white. I have done many BFGs and Goodyears with one. The technique is a very light touch with a slight drag to get the ball to let the ink out.

70 RT SE LF.jpg

68 Chevelle SS 396 RF.jpg

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