1959 Chevy Impala-----Update! Some TEDIOUS Seat work! 2/16/14

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I think it's about time I start another project! This has been a somewhat upside-down year for me where I wasn't in the building mood for quite some time. I sure liked looking at everyone's work, and those dozens of kits I have stashed in my house sure keep looking at me everytime I go where they are.

Recently I decided to branch out a bit and start my own blog--------kinda like having my own corner in the world to show off what I'm building, and maybe get a bit personal with thoughts about certain kits in the industry and whatnot.

The guinea pig for this venture I've decided to be Revell-Monogram's '59 Chevy. A nice kit in its day (still is) but there are some foibles that have bugged me since day one of this kit being intro'd.

Chief of which is the too flat roof (to my eyes) that Revell corrected (IMO) with the '60 version.

What to do?? Simply swap roofs! Sooooo.............I began to hack away at both and here are the results so far.......

First, let me point out what bugged me so about the roof.........here is a shot of the '60.....

P7084356.jpg

The windshield header curves in the right places just as I've seen from memory, and according to the bunches of photos I have of the 1:1.

Here's a pic of the '59 and it's windshield header............

P7084359.jpg

As you can see, not quite the same as the '60------GM used the exact same rooflines for both model years, and somehow Revell missed the mark on getting this right on the '59, but corrected it for the '60. Now, I'm not here to step on anyone's toes that's built this kit. The examples I've seen are beautiful, especially the recent black on red one that featured a fuel injected motor. Something quite rare for a '59, and it will be the engine I'll eventually use in my version. I have to say that particular thread inspired me to start work on this one! '59 Chevys were all over the roads when I was a kid in the '60's.............you could hardly go a few blocks without seeing at least one version of a '59 (or '60) sometime along the way. So this car has some bit of nostalgic effect for me as well.

OK.........here's a pic with the roof totally hacked away..................


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And just for grins...............here's a pic of the '60 after it lost it head! http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/wink.png

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Hmmmm........now what to do with this '60 body. Let's see------I've got Tom Coolidges very nice 2 door sedan roof section to do a Bel AIr.....I also have The Modelhaus' four door flattop roof section to do a four door hardtop Impala...........We'll have to see won't we! http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/tongue.png

After the '60's roof was cut away, I sorta dry fitted it onto the '59 to see how well it would fit with a lot of drama..................here's what she looks like........

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Not bad at all if I must say so myself! Looks to me more to my view like the 1:1 as far as the roof profile, and with some cleanup and trimming, it'll be good to go.

Of course I'll need to add that little roof vent which was exclusive to the '59, among other things, but so far the hard part is done.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned! http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/wink.png

Edited by MrObsessive

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Posted · Report post

99% of modelers would never have seen anything wrong with the original roof, but I guess there's a reason you're known as "Mr. Obsessive"... ;)

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I've decided to do opening panels on this one, so one of the first things I want to cut out is the trunk. Now since doing this I've learned that this was easier said than done. My standard mode of operation is to use the BACK EDGE of an Exacto blade to cut body panels out.................

I want to cut out the trunk for another reason..............there are some NASTY sink marks/valleys that run the entire length of the fins on the rear deck! It'll be easier for me to cut the trunk away, and not attach the roof at this time to tackle these bad areas.

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The trick will be to get rid of those valleys, and try to preserve the chrome trim on the sides. If worse comes to worst.......I can always replicate the trim along the fins with some styrene strip, but first I'd like to keep as much as I can.

Well, now the fun begins.............as I mentioned above, the back edge of the exacto is what I used to start cutting out the trunk.

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One needs plenty of patience when doing this. If you want to speed things up, you can always take a dremel tool on the inside of the body and grind away at the plastic around the perimeter of the opening.

One trouble spot I ran into was getting to the back end. Due to the complex shape of the rear, and the thickness of the plastic, I came close to swearing to get the exacto blade to make progress in getting the cuts made. I didn't want to use the Dremel too much as I didn't want to risk grinding through to the outside of the bodywork.

This is a pic of looking at the body on the inside rear............

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Finally I started making progress as the knife was making its way through the outside of the body. I also was cutting on the outside following the chrome trim until the cuts "met".

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OK..........after about an hour of near cursing, the trunk was finally free!

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Sorry for the blurry pics at times....I have an older digicam that doesn't do certain closeups as well as I'd like. :(

Here's the trunk..........

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The emblem will go by the wayside.........I do have a PE piece that will replace that.

One thing I want to point out here. and this is just an observation. Whenever you cut out panels it's a VERY GOOD IDEA to thin out your panels! You're trying to get the panels to open and appear as close to the 1:1 as possible. Taking the time to thin out the panels will go a long way.

Another challenge for me will be to make hinges that are a reasonable facsimile to the 1:1. The '59 essentially has no tulip panel as the trunk goes all the way up to the backlite. I think I have a solution to this issue.......but I'll have to play around with some things.

Next time, I'll try and have those sink marks puttied up and smoothed out, and get to having the trunk hinged, or at least in the process of making hinges, as well as the inner trunk panel.

Thanks for checkin' this out! ;)

Edited by MrObsessive

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Posted · Report post

Excellent tutorial.

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Posted · Report post

Keen observation on that roof,dude.Nice work B)

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As one who's also had issue with the '59 roof, this is something I've always had in the back of my head. I look forward to watching this one...and it's good to see you back at it, Bill!

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I argreee glad to have a Mrobsessive build to watch..

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Subscribed to topic..

This 59 build is gonna be fun and informative all at once.

Thanks for sharing and for getting back on the bench.

James

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one of my favorite year chevys

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Great start Bill. The trunk lid looks good so far. I'll be watching this build also and I'll start a thread on the 60 that I'm able to build thanks to you sir. I have already started to fit the top and it looks ok so far. Glad that you're back at it my friend. Have a good day. :) Dan

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Bill, it's great to see you back at the bench again, I'm sure we're all gonna learn something along the way, I know I always do. And I've got something that will make opening those panels easier for you, Trumpeter makes an excellent panel scriber that does the same thing you're doing with the backside of the X-Acto blade but it's much easier and cleaner. Here's a pic of it, it has quickly become my favorite tool next to my polishing kit!

TrumpeterPanelScriber-vi.jpg

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This is gonna be badass. BUT does this mean the olds is completed?

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Great to see you back Bill, and i will be watching every step of this build up!

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TrumpeterPanelScriber-vi.jpg

Hmmm........I've not seen that before. I've tried other scribers in the past, and they somehow never seemed to work right for me. I'll certainly check around for that! One can never have too many tools! :)

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Very cool project. Great to see you back on the bench, I always enjoy (and learn!) when watching your builds. This is going to look awesome when finished. What you did for the roof, I would never noticed that mistake on Revell's kit. Actually when you said it, I can see the difference with those roofs, and that original one sure looks incorrect.

Great job all in all, keep at it. I'm going to follow this build very surely.

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I just pulled the body from my convertible kit to see close up, that trunk. Under no friggin' circumstances would I have attempted that disection. Yep, trunk closed would have been all right with me.

Once agian Bill, my hat is off to you. I'll be following right along.

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This is gonna be badass. BUT does this mean the olds is completed?

Well, almost.........

I've lost interest in the Olds for the time being. In fact, it was literally on the shelf collecting dust when I decided to take it down and snap a few photos of its status now.

Here she is about 80% done.......................

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This is one model that refuses to cooperate with things I'm trying to correct on it! First there were hood troubles, so I ended up scratchbuilding my own. Not 100% to my liking, but that's it as far as that. Then paint troubles occurring-----glass troubles, etc. There have been threads about kits fighting you the whole way, and this has certainly been one of them. I may try to finish this alongside the Chevy----------or simply leave it for another time.

Thanks for asking about it though! ;)

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Bill, would you mind sharing your technique for removing the roof from the donor? Looks pretty clean for such a delicate piece.

Thanks.

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Bill, would you mind sharing your technique for removing the roof from the donor? Looks pretty clean for such a delicate piece.

Thanks.

Mike the above video from my blog shows how I cut the roof off of the '59. I did pretty much the same with the '60. I would have added this text along with the video, but since the board has been reformatted---------it's not as user friendly to post vids here as it used to be, when you want to add a message to it. :(

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Kool lookin sofar.

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Bill, I've always enjoyed watching your builds come together. I'm sure this one will be no exception.

I'm glad you're back.

David G.

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Glad you're back here posting, Bill. I bookmarked your blog and am trying to get into the habit of checking it at least once a week.

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Took you long enough to get back, Bill.

I have a Revell '60 Impala that I am having trouble with Revell getting a replacement body and glass for, as it was crushed when I opened the box. I do not feel like begging to them for the replacement parts, so.... Here is what I would am going to do with that scrap 1960 Revell Impala.

DSCF2936.jpg

No, you are not seeing things. This is a genuine 1960 "California" El Camino, in other words, a factory built '60 El Camino, with Impala Grade Trim. I was going to do one of these anyway, but when I saw the real deal, I decided to do it. I am leaning towards Roman Red and Ermine White, or Suntan Copper and Ermine White.

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WELCOME BACK BILL GREAT WORK I BE WATCHING YOUR BUILD

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