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Curly Tremayne 50 Merc Replica


Ferbz
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My current project is this AMT 49 Merc that will be a replica(as best I can :) )of a  1:1 50 Merc that was built in the late 70s in Salinas, Ca near where I grew up. This is something I've been wanting to do as I've been enamored with the real car since I first saw it in person in the ealry 80s as a young buck modeler :) Thankfully, the 1:1 car has recently been lovingly restored, and it's unlikely that it will ever end up in my garage, I'll hopefully end up with a scale copy in my display cabinet lol

I've modeled an accurate copy of a real car and I'm quickly learning that it is a different kind of model building, really(I've already gotten a little off target here and there as you'll see lol Getting as many of the details correct is paramount, particularly when building a car that is 'typical'(or rather, iconic)like a chopped Merc. Similar to 32 chopped Ford hotrods, many of them are very similar as most of the major modifications follow tried and true aesthetics that come from years of understanding form and function of these cars. I find that the differences that distinguish one Merc or Duece from another are in the details of the modifications. Curly's Merc stood out from the start with it's wild candy tangerine paint job and tasteful and traditional body mods(with some unique touches). I'll start with a pic of the 1:1 car that I took back in the mid 80s. I hope you follow along as I attempt to build my dream car in scale! 

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At one point somebody talked me into trying to make my own B pillars rather than cobbling together the original pieces during the chop(which I've done and do not enjoy doing lol These pics show Evergreen plastic blocks replacing the pillars. I also thought I'd try scratchbuilding the stainless window trim and interior winow moldings(which I've seen Steve Boutte successfully do). It's extra work for sure, but I really like the results so far. While I was at it, I thought I'd try making the front windshield more realistic by creating an inner groove for the 'glass' to sit within then make the stainless trim from Evergreen square rod(I also got this idea from Steve Boutte who I think got it from Rik Hoving :) ).

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I agree with Modlbldr on your trim work, very well done. I have a question on your basic kit. This looks like the older AMT Mercury kit with an excellent chop on the roof ? The Headlights on the 1:1 look like an early '50's Buick design or something the builder fab'd up.   

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3 hours ago, Modlbldr said:

Oh, that extra window trim work looks great! Can't go wrong by following Mr. Boutte's lead. He does great work. Yours is following that pattern well.

Later-

Thanks! Most of the 'jumps' in my skill level have happened when I tried something that an advanced modeler has already done. I bet most of us modeling nerds can say something similar :)

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2 hours ago, espo said:

I agree with Modlbldr on your trim work, very well done. I have a question on your basic kit. This looks like the older AMT Mercury kit with an excellent chop on the roof ? The Headlights on the 1:1 look like an early '50's Buick design or something the builder fab'd up.   

Thanks! Yup, it's an earlier release of the AMT kit that I chopped(twice in fact! lol I'll post some pics about it). The headlights are in fact 53 Buick units that were frenched into the fenders. Even though there are resin pieces available, I ended up scratchbuilding my own doing these steps using sheet plastic and putty:

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I had chopped the top on this body sometime before I decided to make it a copy of the 1:1 car. At somepoint, a friend pointed out that the rear window placement on the 1:1 car was expertly placed farther forward/slightly up ward into the top(by Butch Hurlhey, who did all the custom body mods). I dont like redoing work that I was already pleased with, but after studying pics of the real car, my chop job was quite different. I pushed aside the uneasy feeling in my stomach and grabbed my saw and went to work. I cut away the rear window including the rear part of the top, moved it 3-4" scale inches forward and filled in the gap at the deck. it is a much closer representation of the chop on the real car. My model remains only semi-accurate though because I ended up chopping the model a bit more than the real thing. The 1:1 car was chopped 3.5in while my model is a bit more, maybe more like 4-4.5". It's an accomodation I'm willing to make at this point :)

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Major surgery on the top, but done like the pro's. Great job on the headlights. Always more rewarding when you do it yourself. I personally would take the easy way out and start with the Revell Mercury just because I'm not comfortable with this major body work. 

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Wow, incredible bodywork so far ! 

It's very much like watching one of Mr Bouttes builds , the window trim is a perfect example !

Love the original car, it's one of the few that look better without the rear wheel covers (Ahh what are they called? )

Looking forward to more on this !

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9 hours ago, espo said:

Major surgery on the top, but done like the pro's. Great job on the headlights. Always more rewarding when you do it yourself. I personally would take the easy way out and start with the Revell Mercury just because I'm not comfortable with this major body work. 

Agreed, it is very rewarding to do something yourself. Besides, I wasn't convinced I could make the resin headlights look the way I wanted.

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8 hours ago, Lowlife ! ! said:

 

Wow, incredible bodywork so far ! 

It's very much like watching one of Mr Bouttes builds , the window trim is a perfect example !

Love the original car, it's one of the few that look better without the rear wheel covers (Ahh what are they called? )

Looking forward to more on this !

You must be talking about fender skirts :) I dont know why Curly ran the car w/o them as they were/are very popular. The car does look fine w/o them.

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A couple other things I thought I'd try on this build: I wanted to try and make interior window moldings(another thing I learned from looking at Steve Boutte's builds)and build the subtle lip around the tailight openings. The windshield window moldings(shown here)were made from .020 sheet and glued on the inside. I did the side windows as well, which I'll have to find a pic to show. The tailight opening lip was made using .020 square rod bent to shape then glued into place. Some putty and filing/sanding work was next to flare them into the fender. In hindsight, I would have used round plastic ir brass rod as the lip ended up being a bit exaggerated as you'll see in future pics.

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Back to the molded in 53 Buick style headlights and the front end in general: The plan is to use kit supplied headlight buckets/lenses and file the bezels down to they fit inside holes in the inner face of the headlight area as shown. These pics also show the peaked hood and rounded hood corners. I also deepened the grill opening a bit by adding some sheet styrene to the backsides of the opening.

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