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torinobradley

AM Corvette Grand Sport Chassis #4

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I have started the Accurate Miniatures Grand Sport Corvette. My goal is to replicate Chassis No4 in it's 1964 Sebring trim. To begin with, I got the Accurate Miniatures kit:

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Along with this, I have purchased the MCG Detail set, VRM Decals, HRM Halibrand wheels and tires (for the spare), HRM upper control arms and exhaust headers, along with MCG nuts, bolts and screw heads and Detail Master velocity stacks.

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The velocity stacks are not exactly what I was looking for as they are a bit long and not hollow enough for my taste. I may go ahead and make my own so I can include the small jet tube inside. The VRM decal sheet is amazing! Almost every detail is on this sheet and this sheet does 5 cars! The gauges can be made with black centers or silver centers and you can actually read them! Almost every detail is on there including radiator stickers, inspection stickers, gas filler indicators and even the copper strips my chosen version has down the back of the car for the CB radio.

I have had this kit in my collection for some years now (since it came out, actually) along with the detail set and was only receintly inspired to build it. My good friend Cratecruncher on AF builds world class models and encouraged me to build such an animal. Three of my kits fit what I like to build along with the potential to build it to the max. This Corvette Grand Sport, the Gunze Cobra Daytona and the AM McLaren. This one won the opportunity and away I went. All other projects were put on hold and this one was dropped on the bench. I ordered the remainder of the needed parts and the Grand Sport book and I am set.

I started this kit several weeks ago in my spare time. Not by opening the box but by doing as much research as I could regarding the actual car. Bookmarking websites, finding out just what tires and paint were on the car and all that stuff us anal modelers do. It wasn't until Friday when I actually cut the first part off the sprue and dug in...

The frame has slots on the bottom of it because of the thickness of the casting to prevent the plastic from caving in as it cools. These needed to be addressed so I started shoving plastic into the notches, let them dry and started hacking them down to size. For the most part, all is pretty smooth but it will take some more filling and sanding to make it all pretty in gloss black.

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All the cast in mounts and brackets were removed so they could be replaced with the photo-etched wonders in the MCG kit. One of the first modifications to the GS Corvettes was moving the battery to the rear of the car. So, I cut off and sanded smooth the battery mount on the front of the frame. The AM frame also does not have any front spring detail. It only has a boss on the bottom of the frame where the lower control arms sits. I started to grind this off with a ball bit and a low speed mini cutter being careful to avoid the radiator mounting support. Once the area was fairly flat and matched the inset area indicating the bottom of the frame, I switched to a smaller bit and started to grind out the pocket for the spring. In the pictures, you can see the unmodified frame (groves and all) along with the modified smoothed frame, one of the spring pockets has been flattened and the other hogged out.

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Here is the frame with both hogged out and ready.

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Next, I got out my trusty Flex-I-File and after giving the entire frame a once over, started to thin down the radiator supports. The kit supports are about twice as thick as they look on the real car.

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You can see the difference in size on this picture.

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And here is the thined support with just a little cleanup left.

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Edited by torinobradley

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I put the frame aside to work a bit on the body. I started by grinding out the inside of the cowl vents until I could see the white edges of the vents starting to show through the back. Mind you this was with a very small burr and working very slowly. Then using a new blade, I trimmed the vents so they were open.

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After this one was done, I followed suite with the second side. I then tried to gently cut out the doors and trunk lid. I have a few cuts and marks to clean up but the deed is done.

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That's all for this weekend. Stay tuned for more...

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Yeeesh,Andrew! and i thought this was a pretty nice kit to begin with!!! Your gonna make it a KILLER!!! It's lookin REALLY GOOD so far Daddy-O, DON'T stop NOW!!!! :D;)

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Looks like a very good start! I like the way you've opened it up and make it more realistic. I'll be watching this one come alive!

Can you get a picture of the wheels up close? I've been looking for 5 slot wheels for a build I've been wanting to do, but I can't tell if those wheels are what I'm looking for.

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Nice job so far.

I seem to remember a pretty comprehensive write up on this kit in SAE several years ago. Might be worth a look.

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Thanks everyone for all the encouraging words. I am stoked about this project and really want to push my abilities to the edge with it.

What paint are you going to use on it?

VRM will be coming out with a line of paints with the Mecom blue in it and as this is a long term project, hopefully it comes out in time to use it on this car. Otherwise, I might be forced to use the Pelham blue Caddy color that is the closest match. That's the plan, any way...

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Looks great so far! I might have to pick up one of these kits, it looks like a fun build...! B)

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Great start to a great project. I, too, have started the very same GS a few years ago and just recently found that same decal sheet to do GS # 004. Do you have the book (Corvette Grand Sport by Dave Friedman & Lowell C. Paddock)? It contains a wealth of knowledge and has photos of all the cars at all stages of their development...a must to build this car. I question your choice of the Halibrand 'kidney bean' wheels. I think they were last used at Bridgehampton in Sept. of 1963. The cars were returned to Chevrolet after that and totally rebuilt with 9.5 inch wide Halibrands (like the kit wheels) for the Nassau Tourist races in Dec. of 1963.

I like the way you are prepping the chassis for coil springs. The only work I've done on my chassis as yet is to plug the casting slots and paint it. I prepped, painted and polished the body several years ago with MCW Nassau blue. I saw the car at Lime Rock CT. last year and I took some photos which I'll post. Good luck on your build and keep us posted with updates.

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Yeeesh,Andrew! and i thought this was a pretty nice kit to begin with!!! Your gonna make it a KILLER!!! It's lookin REALLY GOOD so far Daddy-O, DON'T stop NOW!!!! :P:P

Nice job so far.

I seem to remember a pretty comprehensive write up on this kit in SAE several years ago. Might be worth a look.

The guys speak loudly......WOWSER!!!!!

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Looks good so far man. I love the stance that 'vette has !!! It looks really tough, can't wait to see it Under Glass :P

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Great start to a great project. I, too, have started the very same GS a few years ago and just recently found that same decal sheet to do GS # 004. Do you have the book (Corvette Grand Sport by Dave Friedman & Lowell C. Paddock)? It contains a wealth of knowledge and has photos of all the cars at all stages of their development...a must to build this car. I question your choice of the Halibrand 'kidney bean' wheels. I think they were last used at Bridgehampton in Sept. of 1963.

I just ordered that book and it shipped this morning. Mind you, that book is going up in price or at least appears to be. When I did the search, a couple came back at under $20 but when I went to the sites listed, they were $80+. I got lucky and found it for $28 and some change shipped.

The kidney bean halibrand wheel is just for the spare. The kit has a not very nice looking spare molded with the rear body bracing and since I was opening the trunk, I needed a killer looking spare. What better wheel to buy than an HRM one! I am looking for a suitable tire that would fit in the space allowed.

I have so many plans for this car and hope to keep the momentum. I'm shooting for a "Holy Cr..!" Type of reaction on the order of many of the awesome builders on this page. Plans include making vacuformed replacement parts to make the hood, trunk and fender skirts thin to scale, all the chains, cables, lines and wires on the real car, every paint and chalk mark, every brace, nut and bolt. Hopefully, putting it out there will keep me honest and working on the car. So much to do, so many new skills to perfect...

Thank you all for your encouragement, support and suggestions. I look up to so many of you on this board it's unreal and your kind words are like nectar of the gods...

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I just ordered that book and it shipped this morning. Mind you, that book is going up in price or at least appears to be. When I did the search, a couple came back at under $20 but when I went to the sites listed, they were $80+. I got lucky and found it for $28 and some change shipped.

The kidney bean halibrand wheel is just for the spare. The kit has a not very nice looking spare molded with the rear body bracing and since I was opening the trunk, I needed a killer looking spare. What better wheel to buy than an HRM one! I am looking for a suitable tire that would fit in the space allowed.

I have so many plans for this car and hope to keep the momentum. I'm shooting for a "Holy Cr..!" Type of reaction on the order of many of the awesome builders on this page. Plans include making vacuformed replacement parts to make the hood, trunk and fender skirts thin to scale, all the chains, cables, lines and wires on the real car, every paint and chalk mark, every brace, nut and bolt. Hopefully, putting it out there will keep me honest and working on the car. So much to do, so many new skills to perfect...

Thank you all for your encouragement, support and suggestions. I look up to so many of you on this board it's unreal and your kind words are like nectar of the gods...

Just reading your thread gives me inspiration to do mine. While it won't be as detailed as your GS, the AM kit is a great starting point to build an accurate model. Good luck...can't wait to see an update.

PS: The book will answer a million questions about the history of all five GS's.

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I got a little bit of an update on the GS. In between family time, friends time, party time and recovery time, I was able to spend a little while at the bench. I didn't like the way the rear vents looked as they made the body look like it was 2" thick. So, I started working on it by hollowing out and trimming the area around the inside of the body. Then I sanded the back so that it was all flush to the openings, then cleaned em up a bit and here I am. I put an un-altered body next to it so you can see the difference.

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I took the kit provided fuel cap and started trying to clean it up by sticking it on a dremel stone and using chisels, files and a hobby knife to make it look more like the real car's. I ended up with a modified cap that may be usefull on another build, but not this one. So, I grabbed a parts box roll bar, cut a chunk off, chucked it in a drill and went to work. A short time later along with some super glue, a mini pin and a little piece of wire and I ended up with this...

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I thought it came out okay considering how small it is. Should look right once it's painted.

Then, I turned my attention to the rear fender vents. This body is supposed to be one layer of fiberglass thick so the kit body needed some work here too. I ground out and sanded the inside and then trimmed up the outside. Then hit is with a sanding stick to true everything up. Here's the results.

Unaltered:

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Altered:

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Along with this, I have been working on the interior and a few other parts. I have been sanding the carpet from the floor and removing molded in details that are not present on my chosen subject. I have also been truing up and correcting the chassis in prep to adding the photo-etched details. I will update again soon.

Enjoy and as always, comments and critique welcome!

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Nice bro, all the small subtle details are important to ultimately achieve a nice, clean and professional model! I will be following this so please, keep posting progress pictures, greatly appreciated!!

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Truly impressive with all the thinning and prep work.

This is one to watch and the end result is going to be a show stopper I'm certain.

Bob

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Looks like a stellar build underway. Nice subject, and like others will be following along!

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Which version of #004 are you building?

The 1965 Sebring #3 Car in Mecom Blue. (see previous posts for pics of the real car.)

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Okay, time for an update.

I have been working on and off on this thing trying out new stuff and fixing things that don't look right. Seems I will have modified each part I pull off the sprues.

I took a look at the rear end half-shafts and driveshaft u-joints. Real ones have an inset that has a clip in to hold on the u-joint caps. I didn't like the little bumps on the models parts so I took out an appropriate sized drill bit and went to work. Once the holes were drilled, it left a conical bottom so I sanded the backside of the drill flat and used it like a punch. I filled the cavity with putty and then used the back of the drill bit to make a flat area just below the surface. The plan was to take some really thin wire and make the little clips but it seems much better as an Idea. Kind of hard to create a 1mm clip, even with the smallest tweezers. My other idea options would be decal or photo-etched but we will see what works out.

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Here is my replacement spare, thanks to Harold at Historic Miniatures. Great stuff this is...

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After seeing the progress on another Grand Sport, I was inspired to make some modifications to my wheels and mounts. I grabbed some resin knock-offs and the kit wheels and went to the local hobby stores. I found some fine threaded 3mm screws that appeared the correct size and got the matching drill and tap. The results are thus...

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I'm waiting on some photo-etched brake disks, solid for the rear, vented for the front and will modify the model to have removable wheels. There will be so much detail that I think it would be a crime to hide some of it with the wheels and tires.

I noticed that one of the un-restored cars had no inspection plate over the bellhousing so the flywheel was exposed. I have a flywheel from one of the Blueprinter parts pack motors I was planning to use but then realized I had a more visually stimulating idea. I pulled out some of the watch gears I purchased in a lot and found one that was the right size. Then, cut a plastic backing for it. With a bit more detailing, I'm sure it will be perfect. The five spoke vs six design won't matter much as you won't see all that much of it behind the oil pan. Just enough to make it look good.

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I also started work on the interior tub. The 004 raced with no carpet in the '64 Sebring so some sanding and shaping were in order. It's not done yet but you can see where it's going.

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I got some needle files and attacked the spindles in the hopes of giving them a little more accurate shape. Will also put on ball joints, nuts and washers to make them more presentable.

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Edited by torinobradley

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In these pictures you can see the modified frame, the photo-etched body supports, engine mounts, clutch bracket as well as the lower control arm strentheners and front frame bracket/skid. This chassis has so far eaten up the most time on this project but I want it to look awesome. A lot of time was spent trying to ensure everything lines up so the clutch pivot arm will sit right, the shifter and linkages will be in the correct place and so forth. I will cut off the kit trans mount now that I have the motor mounts installed and create a more realistic looking one.

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One other thing I was working on was the instrament cluster. The kit supplies us with a clear unit that is about twice as thick as it should be and the guages are little marks on the lense covers. The detail set provided one is photoetched and lacks the 3-D-ness of the real unit. The option I chose was to use the kits clear panel and modify it for the gauge decals on the VRM sheet. That way, if you wanted to, you could read the odometer!

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One last thing I did was remove the molded in air boxes for the rear brake cooling ducts. This way, I can make more realistic and HOLLOW looking ducts so when the rear tires are off, they look amazing...

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Other projects in progress are the vent box under the cowl vents complete with wiper control arms, cutting the dash 'wings' off (actually part of the door panels), working on the gas filler interior cover, figuring out how to build the grill, modify the front turn signal area and creating the missing lower portion of the firewall so the front outside body mounts actually connect to something...

Hope you enjoyed this little taste of what I have been doing. As always, comments are welcomed and encouraged.

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