Don Garlits "Swamp Rat 12C"

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The release of the MPC Young American front engined dragster was a big huge bit of great news for me. You see, this kit is the same plastic that was originally released as the Dan Garlits car way back in the Dark Ages. And that is a kit I have been searching for for years and years. On the very rare occasion that one did show up on eBay, the price immediately soared up into the 1:1 scale car payment category. Too much for me.

So, of course, first chance I had to get these new re-issues, I immediately bought two. (More about the second one in a minute)

This is a photo of the car as it sits in the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida.

1205015-vi.jpg

I have the 'scraps' of several decal sheets from the original kit, enough to do the car, but they're pretty old and brittle and I wasn't sure if they would work or not. And so, just on a hunch, I checked the Slixx decal website and what to my wondering eyes do I see? They have a new sheet for this very car coming soon. I placed my pre-order immediately. :D

So, here's a photo of the mock-up to show the progress so far.

garlits-vi.jpg

Mostly straight out of the box except for the engine. The engine that comes in this kit, like most MPC 426 Hemis, is notoriously poorly done so I've replaced it almost entirely with the engine from an AMT Tommy Ivo kit. A much better representation. The blower and injectors, however, are from my spares box. (They are both available in resin too)

So that's where I'm at with this one. I will finish the engine and then wait for the decals to arrive from Slixx before going any farther.

Oh yea, that second kit.

This kit can also be used to built SR 12-C's successor, Swamp Rat 13, shown here again in the museum.

1205013-vi.jpg

This one will require building a new frame from the engine forward but that's easy and something I described in the April 2010 issue of Model Cars Magazine. The big problem with this car will be the markings because none of the decals from any previous Gralits kits are exactly right. Maybe Slixx will come through for me on this one too! :lol:

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Posted · Report post

Garlits was 'the man'. Great start, looking forward to more.

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Drew, I will be checking in on this. I love the early drag stuff and the only subjects I build myself. If you need detailing stuff please check us out. Contact me if you'd like.

Charlie

Pro Tech Model Parts

321-960-0532

http://protechmodelparts.com/

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Posted · Report post

GREAT START!!!

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I had the chance yesterday to run out to the local Hobbytown USA and pick up some more Evergreen rod that I was out of so I decided to get started on the second Garlits car that I'm building from this kit, "Swamp Rat 13". Garlits built this car to be long, light, and fast. It's 220" wheel base is 5" longer than SR-12C so a new frame is necessary. This isn't a bad thing as the kit frame rails are not perfectly round and are inconsistent in size with the diameter varying from .052" to .072" and several sizes in between!

garlits13-vi.jpg

Like I said above, I covered how I do this in MCM, April 2010. I used .062" diameter Evergreen rod which scales out to 1-1/2" and is just about right. The original frame is close enough to 115 scale inches that I simply made this come out to 5 scale inches longer. The uprights are .040" Evergreen rod.

The black roll bar is from the MPC Garlits rear engined car, "Swamp Rat 1-R" I use it because it has the molded on padding.

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Posted · Report post

Very Kool, I'll be watching this one. I was and still am a Garlits fan. He can still get it done....

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Very nice Drew. This will be kool.

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I learned over the weekend that the decal sheet I pre-ordered for the Swamp Rat 12-C project won't be ready to ship until late January so I decided to concentrate on on Swamp Rat 13.

So here's the progress so far:

garlits13a-vi.jpg

The engine is about 90% done, still needs the barrel valve and linkage and a few other details.

I made the weight bar on the front axle from some .080" Evergreen rod and the wing is from the MPC Garllits rear engine car.

The body is in paint and still drying. Like I said earlier, the markings will be the hardest part as there is nothing exact available, but I think I can get close.

Maybe Slixx will do this car next and then I'll re-do the body. :)

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Posted · Report post

Great work on both of these cars Drew.

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Great work Drew, as usual, you've captured the essence of this car, I would recognize it as Garlets car even without the decals. thanks for posting.

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Looks great, Now if we can get someone to make the Garlits decals, among others. This was a fantastic rerelease with many possibilties.

Thanks for sharing your photos, keep us posted on your progress.

Happy Modeling, Vernon

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Great work Drew, as usual, you've captured the essence of this car,

Roger, thank you. That's the highest compliment you could give me.

That has always been my goal in modeling, not to replicate a car down to the last tiniest, perfect detail, but to capture the essence of the machine in miniature. I want people to look at my models and say; "Yea, that's the ____________ car!"

Thanks.

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Hey Drew, is that NHRA Black or NASCAR Black? LOL!

That is looking very cool! That is one car I would like to replicate in 1/16th

Jesse C.

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Hey Drew, is that NHRA Black or NASCAR Black? LOL!

It's "Garlits Black", a very special blend that I had custom mixed so that it matched perfectly. ;)

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Posted · Report post

Nice! :D

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EXCELLENT!!!!! PLEASE KEEP US INFORMED OF YOU PROGRESS?

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