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'57 Vette old skool custom (maybe?)- just for fun


mr moto
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A friend and fellow club member gave me this AMT 1957 Corvette kit that was missing an engine. He buys small lots of models from Ebay to be used in our club raffle and any that are incomplete tend to be passed along to members. I started to install a '57 Chrysler hemi but then decided to be lazy and build a curbside custom. It has '58 Lincoln headlights (Reps & Mins of MD), '59 Cadillac taillights, '63 Plymouth wheel covers, and a grill surround and hood scoop made from a resin '56 Studebaker Hawk hood with photoetch grill mesh. The roof was salvaged and restored as well as I could from a glue-bombed SMP '59 Corvette annual. Paint is Duplicolor Metalcast green and Testors wet look clear over a white pearl base.

Here we go - hope you enjoy.

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Yep, that's just KOOL. The green is deep and gorgeous; I gotta borrow that formula! Fun use of spare parts to make a period kustom that looks straight from the "little pages" of the '60s.

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Didn't I see this in a contest review in Model Car Science around 1963? About the only thing that would make it more era perfect, but not necessarily better, would be corduroy interior with fur carpet. What a great piece of eye candy!

Cheers

Alan

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44 minutes ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Kool Kustom with capital Ks.   :D

There was a Corvette customizer named Bob McNulty back in the wayback who built real cars in similar styles.

Thanks for the compliment and thanks for that tip. I had to Google Bob McNulty. I must have been channeling his vibes!

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18 minutes ago, alan barton said:

Didn't I see this in a contest review in Model Car Science around 1963? About the only thing that would make it more era perfect, but not necessarily better, would be corduroy interior with fur carpet. What a great piece of eye candy!

Cheers

Alan

Thanks, Alan!

Here's what I did with the interior using cast acrylic craft paint and dollhouse carpet.

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Magic!  Like I said, the corduroy wouldn't make it any better but would have been typical of the models in photos back then.  I for one am glad you didn't use it! That dashboard you have pleated is a work of art.

Cheers

Alan

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I think I'm way overdue to give everybody a very large "thank you" for all the great comments and appreciation. THANK YOU, EVERYONE!!

Because of my age I have a built-in tendency to build old school but I still wasn't sure if this one fit into any known era at all. That's the reason for the "maybe" in the title. Thanks again to Ace Garage Guy for showing that it would have fit right in.

A lot of people have commented on the roof. That part came in the SMP Corvette annuals for a few years and it originally had all the outlines of the roof panels and pillars molded into the clear roof so it could be painted to look like the Corvette's optional removable roof by leaving the window areas clear. The one I had was glue damaged from the original build so some creative damage control was needed. Didn't get a picture of the way it started out but here's the annual that it came from:

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And this is what the roof looked like after all the molded-in detail was sanded off:

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So the flames are really there to cover up the damage. From this point it was sanded down with 2000 grit paper (much finer than a 2000 grit polishing pad), buffed with some Novus #2 on a felt Dremel wheel, masked, flame painted and then dipped in Pledge/Future stuff. So that's the full story on that one. Part's like that really can be saved!

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Excellent save, this turned out fantastic! Can you tell us more about how you did the pleasted dash? I just happen to have one on the bench right now that needs the same treatment and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do it.

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11 hours ago, spencer1984 said:

Excellent save, this turned out fantastic! Can you tell us more about how you did the pleasted dash? I just happen to have one on the bench right now that needs the same treatment and I'm trying to figure out the best way to do it.

It was done using flexible tuck n' roll made from acrylic craft paint. I don't know if you're familiar with that method at all but there's a discussion of it somewhere on the forum - maybe someone remembers where and when or you might be able to find it with a search. It helps to have some experience with simple resin casting. That way you'll know of the basics of making a silicone mold and may have the materials around.

I didn't get a lot of photos of what I did on this build but I can post a few. Here's a sheet of tuck n roll just out of the mold:

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You can see that I prefer Anita's brand paints for this. You can get them at Hob Lob for all of $0.89 a bottle. One bottles makes two sheets like that one - plenty enough for almost any model. To apply it I cut a piece large enough to cover the whole dash with some to spare then lightly coated the backside of my piece with Micro Mark liquid PSA glue (tacky glue). You can get similar glues at Hob Lob and such and they seem to work just as well. After it dried to a nice tack I literally wrapped the entire dash with the upholstery. I had never really done that before. I had only used it for maybe the top of the dash, seat inserts, door panels, that kind of thing but it worked great at following the shape. It's very flexible. Just take it slow and work it into all the contours. After that just trim off the excess with a good hobby knife.

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In this case, I put all new gauges to make a totally new instrument panel. More often you would probably not cover the instrument panel section of your dash - up to you how far you go.

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My thinking on the two large round gauges is that, if I was building a 1:1 car, the one in front of the driver would be the real speedometer and the one in front of the passenger would be calibrated to read about 25% high just to really impress them!

Edited by mr moto
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