1966 El Camino Pro Touring - Getting Closer - Update 1/1/2013

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The C.A.R.S. in Miniature 2012 theme project is Pro “Something”. That is Pro-Street, Pro-Touring, Pro-Mod, etc. I decided to do a 1966 El Camino as a Pro-Touring version, with moderate upgrades.

The Revell 1966 El Camino 2’n1 kit is a good basis for this. In general, I find the model a good representation of the 1:1 car with a great chassis, engine and drive-line. Although not Pro-Touring, I had one about 90% complete when we moved from Bellevue Washington to suburban Chicago area. However, it (and about 4 other models in work) got severely damaged in the move. I was able to salvage the wheels, engine and one of the bucket seats. The wheels and engine were repurposed to other models and that was that.

When C.A.R.S. announced this year’s theme, I thought this would be a good time to get back on it as the kit is still available, this time with optional accessories. I also wanted to get an early start, unlike the 48 Ford Custom for the Lake Michigan Model Car Club 2011 theme. So I acquired another Revell El Camino and set off.

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Starting with the body, I shaved off all emblems and hood trim. I decided to do a custom door handle for a smoother look when finished. I had bought a few automotive bodies for paint testing, a couple of them Japanese cars. One of them had door handles that looked good and the body had an upper curvature close the El Camino body. So I sliced them out and merged them into the doors. I also decided to french the radio aerial to keep the smoother appearance.

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I may change my mind, but at this point I have decided to keep the bumpers chrome rather than strip them and paint a body color. I am considering a two tone paint job but am still working on the colors. The body and hood are in first pass priming at this point.

Next update will be the chassis.

Edited by Exotics_Builder

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Posted · Report post

NICE WORK LOKKING GOOD SO FAR

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Keep it up. Let's see some progress. Moving is very tough on models. I lost an 06 Mustang custom in my move in 2007.

Later-

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First pass primer on the body. Still needs some tweaking before color coat.

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like where this one is heading

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Nice start Gerry, I like the new door handles and can't wait to see the progress on this. I have several of the kits and pro-touring is one option I was looking at.

What do you have in mind for colors?

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Nice start Gerry, I like the new door handles and can't wait to see the progress on this. I have several of the kits and pro-touring is one option I was looking at.

What do you have in mind for colors?

I decided rattle can Testor's lacquers for this rather than airbrush colors. For sure I was going to go with White Lightning on the bottom over the gray primer to darken it a bit. For the top, I am still deciding on whether to use Purple Licious, Flaming Orange or Mythical Maroon. Any opinions are welcome. At the moment, Purple Licious is on the top of the list.

Edited by Exotics_Builder

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Posted · Report post

awesome start and glad to see someone from my neck of the woods!

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Progress has been slow the past week and a half.

Body Preparation

I have gotten to final primer on the body. I am using the Tamiya fine light gray primer and will likely not cover with white primer. I want a darker version of the colors, and I believe the light gray will provide the effect. Again, I will be using shaker can paint only on this build. I’ll have to see how the Testors’ One Coat White Lightning will look over the gray primer and go from there. The top color will be Testors’ Flaming Orange.

I also decided to part out a 2006 Revell Snap Concept Camaro kit for the wheels, tires, bucket seats and side view mirrors. I think the Concept car side view mirrors will work on this model and help keep the exterior smoother. Here’s a shot of the body with the mirrors (unprimered):

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I also will be applying flat black primer on the bottom of the body for future mating with the chassis.

Chassis and suspension

I started the subassemblies for the chassis and suspension. It would be nice to do an Art Morrison chassis, but that will be for another build. The Revell chassis would need considerable modification as the frame and body pan are one molding. So for this build, beefing up the kit chassis will be the plan.

The Revell kit does provide the aftermarket wheels and disk brakes. They are a good choice, but I decided to use the Revell Concept Camaro wheels and tires and thought the brakes needed a little beefing up as well. So, I went to the parts box and pulled out some Fujimi large Brembo disks. As these will be reasonably exposed, I sacrificed the calipers from a second set, sanded them down and glued them to the calipers of the first set. This will give a better effect.

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The front suspension will retain the A-arm configuration and I also decided to keep the recirculating ball steering provided in the kit rather than try to find and adapt a rack and pinion set up. Only the Brembo brake set will be added.

To adapt the brakes to the suspension, I needed to remove the wheel stubs that the kit wheels “snap” over. After an incident several years back at a show, I now always glue my wheels so they don’t roll. I drilled out the rotor to center on the stub. To accept the Camaro wheels, I trimmed the wheel post to near the hub and added Evergreen plastic tube cut down to act as a shim that centered the wheel.

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Then, I perhaps got a bit anal and decided to drill out the rotor cooling holes. A wash could have been used to accentuate the cooling holes from the front, but the rear would still be a flat disk. So, I went ahead and drilled them out. There are 58 cooling holes per brake rotor.

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For the rear suspension, I started the build of the solid rear axle. EL Caminos, as other Chevelles of that era, have a 4-link trailing arm solid rear axle sprung with coils. I wanted to notch this up a bit, so I took the panhard rod from a parts kit Revell 65 Impala to make a 5-link. I glued a piece of Evergreen plastic stock to the axle to attach the rod.

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In assembling the axle, I found an error in the kit instructions. Although the parts are included, the upper trailing arms assembly is missing from the instructions. I found I still had original El Camino instructions in my instruction folder and dug it out. It is not in that either, but is in the 66 Chevelle Wagon kit. The parts are numbers 98 and 52 and here is how they appear assembled.

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Parts on tree:

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This is not very visible on the assembled model and can be finicky to glue up. So, if you also are building this model, you can decide if it matters. Anyway, the rear suspension subassembly is about done and a little work with the brakes on the front remains.

Interior Started

I started to look at what I’m going to do on the interior while waiting for glue to dry and get my fingers “unlocked” from the brake rotor drilling exercise (front brakes yet to do). I will use the Revell Concept Camaro buckets and decided to also change the instrument panel. In looking at the kit instructions (yes I DO read them, multiple times for an unfamiliar vehicle), I found another error.

On page 3, instruction panel 2, the dashboard top depiction shows the defroster vents towards the driver and the radio grill towards the window. This is the reverse of how it should be. The part can be glued on correct way only without looking odd, but it can be confusing. As a reference point, the original instructions are correct as is the Chevelle wagon.

Instructions in current kit:

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Instructions in old kit:

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More to come.

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Recap:

Let’s recap where we are at. C.A.R.S. in Miniature 2012 theme is Pro “Anything”. I decided to do a Pro-Touring version of the 1966 El Camino to finish off a started but severely damaged (in a move) model. So, I acquired the reissue California Wheels kit and reached into the parts bins. Unlike some modelers, I don’t assign a name to a project unless it is intrinsic to the outcome, like a race car or diorama. But, I do work up a theme on the project, getting more detailed if the topic warrants it. For a replica stock, out of box or curbside build, the theme is somewhat moderate. For a project such as this, a beefier theme is warranted.

The general theme is old style/new style. For old style, I am:

  • Keeping the stock chassis but augmenting it.
  • Staying with a solid rear axle, but going to 5-point versus 4-point link to support the beefier engine.
  • Keeping a Muncie 4-speed.
  • Going with a firewall plenum cold air intake. I had one of these on my real 68 Camaro Z/28 and it was great except for the occasional smell of raw fuel coming in through the interior air vent on the passenger side.
  • No air conditioning.
  • Staying carbureted instead of doing EFI.

    For new style:

    • Updated interior with more comfortable bucket seats, instruments and sound system.
    • ZZ502 modern crate engine with headers. This is pretty easy as the modifications to the kit supplied big block are pretty straight forward.
    • Updated plumbing, with catalytic converters and, likely, an H-tube (or X-tube) exhaust.
    • Modern tires, wheels and brakes.
    • Smoothed and shaved body.

    Chassis and components:

    The El Camino chassis is not fully boxed, allowing fuel and brake line to be routed in the channel. The channel is not in the Revell chassis plus body pan, so to simulate, I will drill a few holes to “hide” the lines where appropriate. The fuel line will come over the top of the rear chassis brace where the suspension is located and then down to the passenger side. The brake line will run on the axle to the pumpkin and then up and over to the driver side. Finally, the parking brake is a cable assembly that will hang down the chassis and needs to be worked around the exhaust system and avoid driveline components. I am working on these components now, but this is what I will be emulating:

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    For the fuel delivery system, I dug into my parts stash and pulled out Replicas and Miniatures of Maryland resin Holley electric fuel pump. As usual for Norm’s work, this is a quality casting and replicates a Holley component you can buy today.

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    Engine:

    Since I am doing a 502 motor, and keeping the 4-speed, the basic engine is fine. To replicate a 502 simply requires different paint schemes and some aftermarket parts. Basically I am aiming to do a GM Performance Parts ZZ502 – Big Block Chevy.

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    So, for what I intend, in the real world you would start with Part #12496963, the long block. This would require an electric fuel pump (already in the plans) and comes with an automatic transmission flexplate which would have to be replaced. With a little putty on the Revell big block, we just need to go with a performance intake manifold, Holley 4BBL, chrome valve covers and headers.

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    The intake manifold and Holley carburetor are again from Replicas and Miniatures of Maryland. I mounted the intake manifold with a little fitting and will leave the carburetor for later.

    The 502 does not use coil packs, and for a distributor I have several choices. I decided to use one of my few remaining SJS Details wired distributors. Before running the wiring, I usually do a mockup of the exhaust system to figure out how to run the wiring.

    The fit in the engine bay area is tight even for the stock exhaust manifolds. I did not have a lot of options in the parts bins were promising, even the Revell Yenko Camaro headers are a very tight fit. Looking through the kit stash, I decided to use the BBC headers from the AMT 72 Nova with some cleanup. It is not the most ideal, but fabricating a set with solder and coming up with a good result would take a lot of time, and I have two more projects that need to be done for set dates.

    The mockup process with the headers and how to run the plug wires yielded an option to run the wires below the header and to the back of the block. I also need to add the dipstick and tube. Photos of this in next update.

    Body:

    The color coat is now done. As I was getting ready to do finish work, I found a problem relating to the engine compartment. Revell casts into the engine compartment a detailed battery. The engraving includes the terminals, locking bar, and caps. The caps are the problem.

    The battery is typical of the period, not maintenance free. As I am doing a Pro-Touring modern update, a maintenance free battery is a necessity. As I looked at carving off the caps and modernizing, I realized I would likely destroy the fine engraving. So, I cut out the battery, patched the stand and will use an aftermarket product with Detail Master Battery detail kit as a replacement.

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    In the next update, the clear coat and body decals will be shown. More to come!

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Posted · Report post

That's looking COOL man!!!

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... as Freddie Prinze used to say " Looking Good!"

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Got slowed down because of work, but finally have the final clear coat on and started the polishing process. About 75% through with polishing. In the pictures, you’ll see some compound residue in the seams.

Getting ready for a visit from a very good friend from Seattle. Then it will be back to finish polish, chassis, engine and interior.

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Very nice work! Looks like the white lightning paint worked out well for you.. I've heard horror stories about that color... Can't wait to see it come together...

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Very nice work! Looks like the white lightning paint worked out well for you.. I've heard horror stories about that color... Can't wait to see it come together...

I experimented and shot it directly over Tamiya fine white primer that had been polished down to 2000 grit. Then the entire model was sprayed with Testors Wet Look Clear. In the future, I think I will decant some of these and go with the airbrush. The Testors spray can come out fine one time and try to orange peel the next. And I keep the noozle clean and clear.

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Oh cool... Thanks for the info...

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Looking good, Gerry. What did you use for the separation stripe?

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Looking good, Gerry. What did you use for the separation stripe?

Microscale "gold" parallel stripe decal (although it looks more copperish than gold) and Modelers flourescent red and yellow multiwidth decals. I had these in the decal stash for some years (late 90's) and this is one of the first shots at using them. I used some of the yellow some years back, but haven't touched them for a long time.

I was looking at using SLIXX graphics, but couldn't find anything to fit the body style and provide a nice separation. I thought of making my own decal (I have a color laser printer) but decided on this combination.

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nice color combo/ paintwork!

cheers

bryan

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Thanks. The stripe is great looking with the colors you used! Can wait to see more! I have about ten or twelve of these kits in the stash. I have yet to finish even one, although I have three painted and one near completion...

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VERY NICE

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SWEET WORK I NEED TO RETAKE PHOTOS OF MINE

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That color combo looks sharp! One thing I can warn you about this kit is that the rear wheels won't center in the fenderwells if you place the trailing arm pegs into the holes in the frame or the one I built didn't. I had the same problem with the frontend,but that could have been my doing since I had converted it to a '67 and had swapped frontends.

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...I had the same problem with the frontend,but that could have been my doing since I had converted it to a '67 and had swapped frontends.

Roger, that could be the case if you used the Clip from the 67 SS. The station wagons and El Camino's used a slightly shorter (door to Wheel opening) fender than the rest of the Chevelle lineup. If Revell's cars are true to scale that very well could have been your issue...

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Now that the big project at work is over and I’m using up some vacation days, I am catching up on the 66 El Camino Pro-Touring. I have a week and a half to complete this for the club project. Hopefully, I’ll get it done.

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