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1959scudetto

1948 Chevrolet Aerosedan (Galaxie 1/25)

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Free at last – or: Happy end of an (almost) neverending story

How it all began: in October, 1999 I’ve been commissioned to build a model of a ’48 Chevrolet Aerosedan for its owner, a dentist from Germany. He sent me a check as a prepayment for the kit and the spray-can (BMW royalbluemetallic, in which his original restored car had been painted), a photo of his car and some information and closed with the words “… then I will hear from you as soon as the little car is finished”.

He surely thought that would  take a few weeks, maybe months (that was, what I also expected) – but not MORE THAN 20 YEARS !

How it all ended: I sent it to him as a Christmas present, it arrived – obviously undamaged – on Dec. 22nd, 2020 in Germany.

In these 21 years I more than once lost my joy in modeling: I wanted to create the perfect model – and did not succeed. Several failures, various obstacles, some fitting problems in the final stages (hood-fenders-firewall), necessary improvisations for lost tiny parts (door handles, additional headlights), scratch-built headlight visors etc.

The ignition cables did not work as I wanted, so I left them off, the sun visor of a ’50 Chevy PU was used as it looked more like the real one, but I lost the supports so I had to scratch some, the self-sticking chrome trim was a real pain, and finally the stance is not right (too high in the back) – but in the final assembly stages there could not be done anything so I left it.

As I had no contact to the real owner for more than 20 years, I was hoping that he was in a good health and that he still owns the car. So I said to myself: do it as good as you can (I’m rather out of practice and  20 years ago my eyes have been better!) and send it off instead of putting it back once again.

His surprise and joy when unpacking the box must have been really big according to the e-mail he sent me immediately.

Finally, I can move on to other building projects that have been stalled because I always had in my mind : “at first, you have to finish the car for Dr. S. …”

Such situations can really block you – I never ever will build for anyone else but for myself again!

Here are some pics – an early mock-up from 2005 and the final result before sending it off.

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Edited by 1959scudetto

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Very nice build, looks like a whole lot of chrome foil - almost as much as a mid-60's Cadillac. I have a couple of started kits in my stash that have been there for 20 or more years, so I can feel your pain.

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It came out very nice!

Helmut, you're not alone, I have some 20-year-old projects too. Some even older. But none of them are for paying clients, but for friends or relatives.

I have that kit and IIRC, the lower body chrome are metal stickers that are included with the kit.

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Beautiful looking finish. I like seeing all of the trim done this way. I built one of these last year and couldn't get the peal and stick chrome foil to look this good. I like how you protected the model for shipping . 

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Nicely done!  I have built this kit in the past and know the many issues with the kit that you had do deal with.

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Beautiful work, Helmut.  I can see why your client was happy - even after 20 years!

I have this kit in my stash and your build may have inspired me to dig it out and give it a go.

Great Job!

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Its amazingly lucky the guy hadnt moved in the 20 years. I have moved 4 times in the past 20 years

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Beautifully built! I admire your conviction to complete this project. 

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Thanks guys, for all of your kind word - I appreciate that very much !

@ Sam (Sixties)  : I would rather say over 20 years in the waiting/sleeping - and a few months in the making.

@ Peter/Peteski  :  As I was ashamed that it took that long, I dispensed the agreed payment for the building and sent it off as a present.

@David/Espo  :   obviously it worked - the model arrived undamaged.

@Miles/youpey  : people in Germany (and here in Austria, too) don't move so often (especially when they have a big house and a doctor's office in a small town...)

@Chris/BeakDoc  :  I just wanted to prove myself that I could bring this finally to an end!

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Wow!! That is really really beautiful Helmut, superb job!!

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Nice work.  Glad you finished it.  I built this kit when it first came out and I also had the same problem with the self-sticking chrome trim.  It kept on coming off so I ended up gluing the trim with CA glue.

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Nice job, I have currently started the 47 Coupe. I have a question, did you paint the body and firewall all separately or after you glued them together?

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Thanks for the nice comments, guys!

@ Tom: I spray-painted (rattle-can) body, hood, fenders and firewall at once, but glued them together almost 20 years later in final assembly: Here I first glued the firewall to the floor, a few weeks later after assembling the interior, I glued the front edge of the body to the firewall, pushing the body forward as far as possible (I was even afraid that the body would break) - then I pushed the front fenders as far back as I could and glued them with super-glue.

If you don't push the fenders back as far as possible, you won't be able to place the hood correctly - a huge gap will remain (on a German modeling board a guy even wrote that he had to lengthen the hood with about 1,5 mm plastic sheet to close the gap in front of the windshield) and the brackets for the bumpers will not stick out enough so you may become troubles with mounting the bumpers (front and rear).

The hood hinges were a pain in the a.. for me : they fell off several times when I tried to install the hood - so finally the hood is only lying on fenders and firewall and not fixed anyhow.

 

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