Lakes-style Chopped Deuce 5-window - Completed

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Starting another project, another racer, and another spare parts special. This time it’s a Revell 5-window Deuce done as a full-on Bonneville racer, a highboy with a radical 6 ½ inch chop and full bellypan. Motivation will be from a Revell Parts Pack blown Ford 427. So far I have the top cut and the edges and rolled pan for the belly pan installed. I also smoothed the stock hood to get rid of the center hinge. I think the hood will stay smooth since the highboy configuration is probably tall enough to contain the top mounted blower and injectors. With the mail slot windows and the belly pan hiding most of the chassis I’m tempted to forego the interior and most of the chassis and suspension. We’ll see as the build progresses. I’m planning on Krylon Mango (a bright yellow-orange solid) for the main color with red home-made team decals. I may also make provision to display the car as a part-time drag racer with switchable tires and wheels. Again, we’ll see how elaborate I want to make this one…

Thanx for lookin’,

B.

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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That looks killer already Bernard. Will be checking this one out.

Corey

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nice start! that krylon mango is an awesome color too, ive got a can of it here......

lookin forward to more of this one.

cheers

bryan

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Looking very good already! I like the Chop Top a lot, it's just low enough, but not too low. Sounds very interesting. Did all, or at least most of the Bonneville Racers have a Belly Pan? I'm just thinking if I have to make one for my '32 3W Coupe, which will be another Bonneville Racer.

And another question, what do you do to your pictures? They look fantastic.

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Love it. The heavy chop, the bellypan and all those louvers just scream "dry-lakes racer".

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Posted · Report post

Sweet so far!!! Can't wait to see more!

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This is what a Deuce should look like!

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It looks great already. Nice work, so far.

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Thanks everyone. I still have the bodywork to wrestle with, but otherwise it should be pretty straightforward.

...Did all, or at least most of the Bonneville Racers have a Belly Pan?...

And ...what do you do to your pictures?

Bellypans are not simple or cheap to fabricate so most dry lakes participants who ran modified street machines avoided them. Once you lightened your car by gutting it and removing the fenders and put as much power under the hood as your budget, social connections, and practical use of the car would alow, it came time to attack your two biggest enemies: frontal area and parisitic drag. For frontal area you chopped the top as much as you dared (lakes cars became known for their radical - and often quite impractical - chop jobs). This left parisitic drag, the resistance caused by the turbulence which results when the layer of air flowing over the bodywork becomes disturbed. The worst of all is the layer between the ground and all the garbage which forms the undercarriage of the car. Installing a bellypan cleans all of that up, but you must fabricate a very large area of new bodywork to do it. This represents quite a bit of work both in the 1:1 world and in scale.

Regarding the photos, first off Thanx!!! I'm glad you like them. Here's a quick step by step. This might seem like a lot of work but it's really quite simple and I've done it so often I can knock one out in a minute or two. It's a technique that was used quite often in the old hot rod mags, generally with a white or light colored background.

Here's the original picture. I shot it using my worklights on my bench against a black card with the body held in position by a thrid hand. I work under three 60 watt incandescent spot lights. The lights are ordinary household bulbs. As you can see I keep a very messy workbench! It's a miracle I ever get anything done...

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Next, using Adobe Photoshop, I select various areas that will require a solid black background. In this case you can see the flare from the spot lamp and the part where the front of the car extends beyond the black card, All this will be filled with solid black color.

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Here are the areas that have been initially filled. The result is the body of the car "floating" against solid black. Among other things I have eliminated the third hand from the image.

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Next I select the entire rest of the image, being sure to overlap into the black area I have already created. The selected area is show here as the red shaded zone. After I select it I fill it with solid black.

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Next I select a pleasing rectangular area which is filled mainly by the image of the car (indicated here by the red outline) and crop the image, eliminating the rest of the picture.

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Below is the result. I often will adjust the brightness and contrast slightly at this point but that's about all the processing I do anymore. One thing I do that's very important, is to adjust the white balance of my camera for the photo environment I'm working in (in this case under the tungsten lighting on my workbench). This ensures a relatively true color in the image.

The original image was 3488 pixels x 2616 pixels with a resolution of 240 pixels per inch. I resize the width of the cropped image to 1024 pixels, which is a common computer monitor image width. I set Photoshop to automatically resize the height to maintain the proportions. Then I "Save For Web" in Photoshop which creates a compressed 72 pixel resolution JPG image. When I upload the image to my Photobucket account it is set to resize the image to 800 pixel width, again a common image width found on older computer monitors and quite often the default image size on popular forums.

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I hope this explains what I do and that you all have enjoyed my little photography digression...

Thanx for lookin',

B.

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Lookin' great Bernard,

thanx for the photo tutorial...guess i'd better get back to playin' with photoshop

c'ya buddie

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Thanks for the Belly Pan info & picture tutorial, Bernard!

Needs to try what I can do with my photo shopping skills, since your pictures are so great, and they look Old School, and fit nicely to this kind of builds. B)

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I like it.

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Lookin good!

cheers

bryan

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sweet project Bernard, this should be good!

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Thanks again, everyone.

I’ve gotten it up on its wheels. No rear suspension since it will be hidden under the bellypan, just a simple tubular rod connecting the rear wheels. The front suspension is the Revell Deuce kit piece with a few leaves removed. Wheels are the LSR Moon disc set from Early Years Resin. The front tires are Revell ’37 Ford Delivery Van pieces and the rear are truck tires courtesy of Herb Deeks. The level stance, typical of lakes cars, takes some getting used to, I’m so accustomed to the extreme rubber rake of street rods and drag strip racers. It makes me think some more about making up a set of drag strip tires and wheels as an alternative setup. Here are some pics (sorry about the blurry side view…).

Thanx for lookin’,

B.

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Posted · Report post

thats lookin pretty slick!

cheers

bryan

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Chop, stance and proportions...perfect.

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Thanx guys! But... :D

I’ve always believed that dialing in the proper stance on a car is largely a matter of instinct and is difficult to reduce to a set of rules. The stance on this car bugged me, and as much as I knew that a flat stance was historically “correct” it didn’t look right on this particular car. It needed the nose to come down, primarily because of the curvature of the bellypan and the severe chop. The front end needed to “settle in” to the front wheels more. So this morning I took .06” (1.5 scale inches) out of the front height by de-arching the front spring and shaving the front spring mount. Below are a couple of pictures. The top one is a “before and after” with “before” on the left. The second one is a front ¾ view. As you can see the car now has a very slight rake but the shadow line below the bottom edge of the body is largely parallel to the ground line forward to the firewall and then moves only slightly upward to the grill shell. Also, the arch of the front tire now complements the ends of the louver rows. Most importantly, the little man inside my head is says “much better” and will now leave me alone to move forward on this build!

Thanx for lookin,’

B.

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Posted · Report post

That looks cool the stance is spot on now are you puttin anything on the inside or are you just having black glass ?

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That looks cool the stance is spot on now are you puttin anything on the inside or are you just having black glass ?

Thanx!

As this thing comes together I'm increasingly inclined to add detail. Chances are I'll do an interior of some sort but I'm definitely running tinted plexiglas in the windows so the interior won't be a great work of art I'm sure... I just want some sort of roll bar and steering wheel to show up.

Edited by Bernard Kron

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Posted · Report post

What color are you do it in?

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What color are you do it in?

Earlier I had said Krylon Mango, but in fact it's Krylon Bauhaus Gold, a yellow-orange non-metallic solid. I'll be creating home-made team decals, numbers and graphics in red and black over it.

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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Nice...

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that mango/ bahaus gold is a great color bern........ive used it before, and its nice. you got the stance lookin perfect now!

im diggin this build, keep it goin!

cheers

bryan

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Thanx everyone!

However, this build is definitely going non-linear on me which is why I haven’t posted in a while. The issue is the bellypan. The interior will have to be built, painted and glued in place before the bellypan is installed. In order for things to be relatively well finished this implies that all the sub-assemblies for the build will have to be fabricated, painted and built up before assembly. Now I know that that’s the theoretical best practice for any modeling project, but personally I’m a pretty improvisational builder and planning that far ahead isn’t necessarily something I always do. So I’ve spent the last couple of weeks thrashing around determining what the sub-assemblies actually are, the sequence of assembly, and what will need to be touched up or repainted after final assembly (notably the bellypan).

I have gotten several things done, however.

First off, after looking at the car some more I realized that the Ford 427 V-8, which dates from 1964, and was expensive and rare at that point, just didn’t make sense for the type of car this was turning out to be. The general vibe is more 1962 and relatively modestly budgeted, rather than mid to late 60’s. So I decided to change motors. I settled on the blown Nailhead from the Revell Tony Nancy Double Dragster kit because I could be sure the motor would be narrow enough to fit within the bodywork. That, and it was period appropriate. I built it up with some minor changes to make it look more utilitarian. All the chrome parts were stripped, the stock valve covers were painted gold and the block red with Tony Nancy style red trim on the blower. I’ll be using the block hugger headers from the AMT ’40 Ford Sedan Delivery kit, again stripped of their chrome and finished in stainless steel metalizer. Despite the fact that I’m using Hilborn 4-port injectors rather than the taller Enderles from the Nancy kit, it appears highly likely I’ll have to cut a relief hole in the hood and install a low scoop over it.

With the motor largely built it was time to cut and install the bellypan to test for fit and clearances. The basic bellypan was made from .020” styrene stock and glued in position. The motor was then mocked up into place. It was immediately obvious that a relief panel would be needed to clear the oil pan. This was fabricated from various shapes of styrene and molded into the bellypan itself. I then filed the edges to shape and broke the bellypan out from the bottom in order to allow access to the interior. The pan will be re-glued into place during final assembly, any gaps filled and smoothed, and, with the entire rest of the car masked, painted to match the bodywork.

The interior will be based on the stock Revell 5-window parts. However, I’ve decided to make new parts rather than using the kit ones so that I still have a relatively complete 5-window kit for future use (the body for this project was a spare). I’ll be cutting and fitting the panels in the next few days. The interior will be bare bones sheet metal with a single aircraft style bucket seat.

Below are a couple of pictures showing the bellypan and the motor.

Thanx for lookin’,

B.

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