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I started with a Thunder Chopper glue bomb I got a NNL East a while back when I lived in New Jersey. After removing all the parts and cleaning off the glue I cut the frame and added a scratchbuilt hardtail frame. I also cut off the neck and raked it to the proper angle.

I took apart the forks and never liked the springer part. It just looks to be the wrong scale. So I cleaned up the forks and shortened them. I also removed the springs and made my own. To make the springs I have several sizes of wood screws. I choose the correct scale of screw thread and find the correct scale aluminum wire and wrap the wire around the screw threads. After getting the correct amount of coils I cut the wire and separate the coils with the back of my Exacto knife.

For the fenders I used a nightlight I got from the dollar store years ago. I actually bought about 7 of them as I use them for other projects. The radius is a bit large so I cut the side of the curve off on both sides and its thin enough to bend to the correct radius. I add a slice of evergreen stock to the middle and round off the top with putty. Then I cut it to fit the tire. I’m not sure I want the front wheel with the drum brake, I may not want any front brake.

I couldn’t find a premade gas tank and the one that comes with the kit wasn’t what I was looking for. I ended up taking two of the same tanks from the motorcycle parts box and glued them together. The parts box ones had flat bottoms and I wanted a curved bottom (nothing wrong with a curved bottom!). 

For the handlebars I used wire solder and form it using a trace of the bends. I used the correct size tubing for the hand grips. I cut off a hand control from a handgrip from the parts box and drilled a small hole in the end of the handle to insert the cable wire when the time comes. I glued it to the grip. 

I didn’t want use the oil tank that came with the kit as I didn’t like the shape for the chopper look. I took the big mufflers from the kit and altered them to create the oil tank.

All constructive criticism is welcome.

Thanks for looking and I hope you like it.


Edited by Nosferatu
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HI David!

Interesting project, it recreate the essence of what a late 60's custom could be.

I remember building the Thunder chopper when it came out ( I must have been 15 back then). The springer was the best part of the kit, but shortening it makes it even better IMHO. Plus, the crescent shaped rockers in the kit are a bit outdated. I'm certain yours will be much more refined. Clever idea for the fender. I'll borrow it on my next chopper project!

Keep on!


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