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"Spare Parts" Channeled Deuce Roadster - 50's Style


Bernard Kron
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Recently I scored a huge stash of Revell ’32 Ford spare parts on eBay, enough to build maybe 8 or 9 complete 1/25th scale Deuce roadsters, and 3-window & 5-window coupes, with plenty of parts left over. The only thing missing were wheels and tires. Apparently the seller has bought all these kits  for the wheels and tires and was selling the leftovers – at least that was what he said in his eBay posting. When I got it, however, it was clear he had built at least some Revell Deuces and mocked up but never finished some others. His mockups were weird because he glued them together using super glue, unpainted! This meant, for example, that I had to find a way to rescue 4 chassis which he had assembled (unpainted) with fenders and gas tanks. Using MEK I managed to do that. But there was one fenderless channeled Deuce roadster where he had bonded the full body, including hood sides and grill shell to the chassis. He had done an especially nice job cutting the hood sides to clear the frame rails. He’d also done a first-rate job repositioning the kit fender liners so that the chassis mated perfectly to the rear wheel wells. The glue job was very strong and I didn’t want to risk damaging the body trying the pull it all apart. Besides it looked like the car could be built with a really sweet East Coast lowboy stance.

So I’ve decided to build it from his initial work, masking the undercarriage when it comes time to paint. The photos below show the initial mockup – this time using white glue for the work I’ve done. I managed to pull the grill shell off without damaging anything, buy the chassis and the rest of the bodywork just won’t budge. Fortunately, despite the fact that the chassis is bonded to the body the interior parts can be slipped into position without too much trouble. And I managed to locate the interior side panels that he had already cut to fit the channel job. The seat is a stock kit seat that I trimmed to fit the channel job and to create a slight bolster effect. The tires are Modelhaus Commander 78 wide whites at the rear and smaller front whitewalls of unknown origin from my parts box. The hubcaps are Modelhaus 58 Dodge Lancer items. I’m thinking paint will be a classic mid-50’s shade, maybe baby blue with a white interior.

The original builder did most of the hard work and this is, at this stage, a pretty simple project, so it should go fairly quickly. The motor will be hidden under the hood so I’m using one of the dozens of small-block Fords from these Revell Deuce kits I have in my stash. I’ll back date the motor by smoothing out the Ford Motorsports logos off the valve covers and plan to adapt a kit intake manifold to fit triple Stromberg 97s.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Mockup-and-Stance-Summary-web.jpg

Edited by Bernard Kron
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  • Bernard Kron changed the title to "Spare Parts" Channeled Deuce Roadster - 50's Style

Bernard, over the years I have painted at least six "clamshell" style bodies top and bottom at the same time.  The ones I can remember are the Silhouette, , XR-8, Alumacoupe x 2 and my two Niekamp roadsters.  This would work for you without masking.

Get a piece of flat wood a bit wider and twice as long as the car. Draw two centrelines horizontally and vertically and use them to drill four holes, one at each end of the centrelines. At the end of the long centreline, insert two lengths of coat hanger wire. Bend over the bottom end of the coathanger wire like a staple and hammer it into the underside of the wood.  It will look like you a flagpole at each end.  Take another two, longer lengths of coathanger wire, do the same thing on the short centreline, and bend them inwards at right angles at the same height as the flagpoles.

These two bent pieces of wire can now be inserted through the rear axle ( like an AMT wire axle style unit) or discretely drill two holes in your wheel wells hidden behind the tyres.  Insert the wires through the axle holes and lay the body to rest upside down against one flagpole. Adjust the flagpole so that it touches the car somewhere where a paint blemish wont show, like the front crossmember under the radiator. 

Then rotate the body to where it is the right way up, resting on the other flagpole. Again, adjust the flagpole to touch , say the underside of the crossmember where the spring would go.

 

You're set.  Flip the body back to the other side  ( upside down) and paint as much as you can comfortably reach. Gently rotate the body back to the right side up, resting on the flagpole, and paint the top of the body. Let dry and repeat for additional coats.

I'm at work so cant show you a picture but hope the explanation works.

 

Cheers

Alan

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Thanks everybody. I'm glad you're diggin' it!

I’ve always been interested in how different modelers solve a modeling challenge and what it says about their overall approach to model building. When I got my giant box-‘o-parts and started in on this channeled roadster the obvious thing that jumped out at me was the previous builder's habit of super gluing parts together at what was a very early stage in the project, generally before painting the individual parts. In the case of this channeled roadster I was impressed by the crispness and accuracy of the builder’s cuts and how, to quote from my original post, “He’d also done a first-rate job repositioning the kit fender liners so that the chassis mated perfectly to the rear wheel wells.”

Well…I couldn’t have been more wrong! The reason “the chassis mated perfectly to the rear wheel wells” is because there is no chassis back there! Let me explain.

After priming the body/chassis assembly and painting the floor pan metallic silver I was preparing to mask the floor pan when I noticed two gaps on either side of the body immediately forward of the wheel wells (circled areas in panel A below). I suddenly realized that there are absolutely no chassis rails or cross members beyond where the gaps are (see the shaded area below the wheel well liners in panel B below, where normally you would see some evidence of chassis rails). The chassis side rails are glued to the inside of the body. Then there’s the gap on each side and then the wheel well liners are glued to the floor pan. Except for the gap all the way at the rear this is a kind unit body construction. There is no separate chassis to hold the rear suspension. The plastic tube “axle” was glue to the wheel well liners and the floor pan. The builder clearly had minimal concern about further undercarriage detail.

Panel C and D below show what the original builder cut away. With the work I’ve already done to insert a center section of the rear I’ll proceed to add some springs and shocks and locating rods to create some semblance of detail back there. Meanwhile, I thought you all might find my “discovery” interesting. Of course the stance and overall look that the original builder began is terrific and, if you accept his overall approach, there’s nothing wrong with how he accomplished his channel job.

Thanx for lookin',
B.

Channel-details-summary-web.jpg

 

Edited by Bernard Kron
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Surprise!!!!!  I know the feeling, in recent years I have built three cars that defied any efforts to separate their components, so I just did the best I could with masking and soldiered on.  You have the additional challenge of making it look believable!

Cheers

Alan

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I’ve completed the interior parts and painted both the interior and the body parts. The interior consists mainly of the basic Revell ’32 Ford Roadster Street Rod setup with the seat and side panels trimmed to accommodate the chassis rail depth channel job. The bolster on the seat back has been notched and reshaped slightly to sit above the rear cockpit molding. The dashboard is a modified AMT ’40 Ford piece. The interior color is Duplicolor Universal White. It will receive some blue accent color before final assembly. The body is finished in Plastikote lacquer, a 12 year old can of Baby Blue from my paint stash. After a few days to cure I’ll rub it out and clear coat it with Tamiya TS-13. The motor is nearly completed. I’m very close to final assembly.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Paint-color-summary.jpg

 

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I’ve gotten the interior and drivetrain completed and assembled.

I decided against the ’40 Ford dashboard shown in my last post because it took up too much space in the cramped quarters of a channeled car. I substituted what has grown to be my standard modification of the Revell Street Rod Deuce Roadster dashboard: cut out the dashboard main panel, the one with the eight track and air conditioner outlets, glue in a blank panel and then install a gauge cluster, in this case cut from the roadster dash panel. Here I painted the backing panel body color with the dash surround and gauge cluster painted white to match the upholstery. The blue piping on the seat and side panels is colored wire.

I don’t think the original builder intended to include much detail, if any, to the drivetrain and undercarriage. As I mentioned earlier, he had simply glued a styrene tube in place to act as the rear axle, I landed up installing a full detail undercarriage using primarily Revell Deuce kit parts except for the front axle which is my favorite go-to dropped axle for hot rod builds. It’s from ThePartsBox.com and it’s a resin re-pop of the 4 ½” dropped I-beam from the Revell ’40 Ford kits. Besides the fact that it’s a lovely I-beam with a really deep drop, the Parts Box re-pop is unique in that it is reinforced with an internal wire which keeps it from sagging over time the way unreinforced resin re-pops do. Highly recommended!

The motor is based on the kit small blocks, of which I have dozens. I smoothed the “Ford Motorsports” valve covers and even moved the distributor from the front to the back of the block, so, at this point, it’s definitely a generic V-8, LOL. But, with the .hood sides permanently glued in place by the original builder, it is buried deep in the engine compartment, so I decided there was no sense in doing something special with the engine.

All that’s left is the lighting, windshield and any small details I may have overlooked. My next post will be as a completed model (with the wheels mounted, obviously). I’m pleased with the overall look – it’s got that Little Pages 50’s vibe goin’ on.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Interior-and-Power-Train-Summary-web.jpg

 

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That's a favourite look of mine, Bernard.  When I got into hot rods in the mid to late 60s, nearly every cool rod in Australia was either a channelled 29 roadster, a channelled 32 roadster or a channelled 34 coupe.  I have two on the bench right now but they are a little way from the top of the stack.  Your colour choice was superb!

Cheers

Alan

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I've already commented how much I like the finished build but I never actually looked at your wip until now .  My apologies , you explain the process clearly and it's very easy to see the work you put into combining all those spare parts . . . Well Done ! :)

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