Realistic 41 CHevy Grille

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Posted (edited) · Report post

This is a short tutorial on how to make the 41 Chevy grille a lot better looking.

You will need some mini files, an exacto saw blade and handle, a #61 drill bit and pin vise,some scrap plastic for repairs, Tenax, a good primer like Mr. Surfacer or Tamiya grey and some gloss black Tamiya paint...... and of course Alclad Chrome (don't forget an air brush).

Here we go.....this is what you start with:

StartHere-vi.png

Strip the kit chrome (I use bleach)....

Start by drilling out the surface between the grille bars with a #61 drill. WORK SLOWLY!!!!!!!

Work from the INSIDE to the outer surface.....trust me.... go the other way and disaster will strike...

Like this.......I carefully sawed out the area between the holes with the exacto mini saw blade (fits the #11 handle).

HalfWay-vi.jpg

You end up with this.....

GrilleFullNoPrime-vi.jpg

Clean up the bars with mini-files....and shoot with grey primer.........you get this....

I also added vertical support rod from scrap behind the upper grille area as well....

GrilleInPrimer-vi.jpg

Once the primer is dry shoot the grille with SHINNY GLOSS BLACK paint...... DO NOT USE GREY PRIMER as the base....

It simply does not work well.....unless you want the grille to look like it was painted with silver paint.....

Use Alclad Chrome and lay down several smooth coats at a steep angle so the lacquer will not bounce and spread.....

Polish lightly with a kleenex and......

Final result....... (before and after) you be the judge.... I think it was worth it!!!!!

Regards Bill (Duntov)

SidebySide-vi.jpg

One more of the final product.....you can see the vertical support bar that I added....

Perfect-vi.jpg

Edited by Duntov

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Posted · Report post

Very nice. VAST improvement.

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Posted · Report post

Very nicely done Bill!

Looks GREAT! B)

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Posted · Report post

Really looks great Bill.

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Posted · Report post

That does look good. Thanks for the tip, I'll plan on using it when I build my '41s.

On a side note, if you're building a base model truck, the grille would be painted white.

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Posted · Report post

That's a lot of intensive handiwork there. But the end result is pretty spectacular!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Ok, like a little kid at least one of us will ask...WHY? What happens if you drill from the front side, and how can you tell where to drill from the back?

I'm currently building this kit and want to do something like this to mine, and I really don't want to mess it up. Your help is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

Edited by uncle potts

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Posted · Report post

Ok, like a little kid at least one of us will ask...WHY? What happens if you drill from the front side, and how can you tell where to drill from the back?

I'm currently building this kit and want to do something like this to mine, and I really don't want to mess it up. Your help is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

OK... let me clarify... you have to drill from the front to have a better chance to get the drill centered.... and to your point you can't tell where to drill from the back any way...

But MORE IMPORTANTLY... and I was not clear about this.... my apologies....

Drill out the inner most recess first and progress to the outer ones last..... by the time you get to the outer bars the grille structure is positively delicate / flimsy at best..... if you work inward you run a much greater risk of damaging the part.....as there is no real structure behind it as with the one piece part.... believe it or not there a half dozen or so repairs done with scrap plastic to get the stability needed...and Tenax saved the day in several places....this is all invisible once sanded down and primed..... also the upper vertical brace behind the top horizontal bars are on the 1:1 truck.... so that needs to be added for strength and accuracy.... the outer grille bars and the upper horizontal bars are VERY flimsy so be careful there....

Lastly.... thanks to everyone for the kind words!!!! I will post the finished truck photos when my travel slows a bit.....

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Posted · Report post

That does look good. Thanks for the tip, I'll plan on using it when I build my '41s.

On a side note, if you're building a base model truck, the grille would be painted white.

Bill: I did not know the stock 41 had a white grille.... the build I am doing is a

"Stock Phantom"....basically a dually equipped base truck with a ribbed steel plate bed (instead of wood) and a chrome grille.....

Thanks for the 1:1 info...

Regards

Bill (Duntov)

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Posted · Report post

The chrome grille was an option, a very popular one, too. Seems most of the trucks with the painted grilles were either military or the 1 1/2 ton trucks. Also, almost all of the '42-'46 war production trucks, which are virtually identical to the '41/early '42, had painted grilles.

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Posted · Report post

OK... let me clarify... you have to drill from the front to have a better chance to get the drill centered.... and to your point you can't tell where to drill from the back any way...

But MORE IMPORTANTLY... and I was not clear about this.... my apologies....

Drill out the inner most recess first and progress to the outer ones last..... by the time you get to the outer bars the grille structure is positively delicate / flimsy at best..... if you work inward you run a much greater risk of damaging the part.....as there is no real structure behind it as with the one piece part.... believe it or not there a half dozen or so repairs done with scrap plastic to get the stability needed...and Tenax saved the day in several places....this is all invisible once sanded down and primed..... also the upper vertical brace behind the top horizontal bars are on the 1:1 truck.... so that needs to be added for strength and accuracy.... the outer grille bars and the upper horizontal bars are VERY flimsy so be careful there....

Lastly.... thanks to everyone for the kind words!!!! I will post the finished truck photos when my travel slows a bit.....

Okay.... that makes alot more sense. I really liked the result of the one you did, and I want to try this for myself. Thanks for the clarification this should help alot.

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Posted · Report post

That's hella cool !

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the tip, will have to try it.

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Posted · Report post

That is the best Alclad job I have ever seen. Superb work.

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That is the best Alclad job I have ever seen. Superb work.

Thanks SKip!!

I really attribute it to the gloss black under coat and the angle of the air brush on application....

Bill

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Great tutorial Bill! I open the grilles on every build possible. It makes all the difference. What's the reason for not opening the area between the last two vertical bars on the outside? I know you obviously did for a reason. Just wondering what it was. Is there any way we could talk you into doing a tutorial on your Alclad method? That's some of the best, if not the best results I've seen!

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Nice one.

I opened mine up, too. I did mine a little differently, though. I ground away at the backside until I was nearly to the bars (when I could see the backing material was paper thin by holding it up to a light), and finished up by sanding until the remainder fell out on its own. I do need to go back and re-do the alclad...I was going for a toned-down-chrome look and skipped the black base. Turned out a little toooooo toned down. I'm going to make the bar under the Chevrolet body color while I'm at it.

41_Chevy_Grill_06-vi.jpg

More in my fokti (link in sig) if anyone wants to check out the in-progress (so's not to hijack).

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Christopher....

Very nice work here.... I like this one a bit better than the one I did... I may try the grind out technique on my next one....

I have to admit that the drill and saw method I used can cause some unintended breakage as you work to the outside.... either way I think this effort really helps these trucks to look much better...

Thans for adding to this post.... It's some great work you did here!!!

Regards

Bill (Duntov)

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Thanks, Bill. I'm not sure if one method is better than the other when it gets right down to it. One may be better for some than others...just depends on what one is more comfortable with. :)

You're absolutely right about these grills being very fragile...whichever method is used! Especially at the top corners of the lower grill...things get kinda hairy there. I did have one break on me in that area at the last minute (while I was working the opposite side...go figure. lol), but it was an easy repair.

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Great tutorial Bill! I open the grilles on every build possible. It makes all the difference. What's the reason for not opening the area between the last two vertical bars on the outside? I know you obviously did for a reason. Just wondering what it was. Is there any way we could talk you into doing a tutorial on your Alclad method? That's some of the best, if not the best results I've seen!

Hi Roger:

I did not drill out and clear the outer bars because of a 1:1 error...but MY FAULT.... a local chevy parts after market dealer builds this grille for the hot rod 1:1 trucks.... and it does not have the outer bars opened up...something about strength if I recall.... a small concession to NOT making an exact copy... it is still licensed by GM if I recall so go figure.... I copied that part....... The real part is beautiful and it is crazy expensive... my hot rod friends say it worth every penny and I have to agree!!!!

As for the Alclad Chrome.... there is really no big secret but a couple of tips.....

1) Use a very smooth primer like Tamiya grey or Mr. Surfacer.... a smooth surface it critical (See the tutorial Greg did)

2) Use a shinny black under coat and let it dry for a week or so...at least....(I use Tamiya gloss black)

3) Be sure to shake the Alclad up before adding it to the color cup and only use a little at a time....

4) Several light coats at low pressure should be applied...

5) Paint at a steep angle to the work.... (Again see the tutorial by Greg)...

This last step keeps the lacquer from spreading and bouncing off the part when it hits....low pressure helps too....

That is really all I did here and the results seem to speak for themselves.... But be careful... the smooth black surface helps make the chrome look real but it is also VERY delicate and can rub off easily with too much handling... the trade off is that the shinny black helps the chrome look but has almost no "tooth" for the Alclad....

It is a bit harder to do wheels - especially deeper ones because at some point you have to spray straight on to get into the recess - but I have had good luck there as well...

Hope this helps...

Regards

Bill (Duntov)

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Posted · Report post

Good tip. Thanks!

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This is a short tutorial on how to make the 41 Chevy grille a lot better looking.

You will need some mini files, an exacto saw blade and handle, a #61 drill bit and pin vise,some scrap plastic for repairs, Tenax, a good primer like Mr. Surfacer or Tamiya grey and some gloss black Tamiya paint...... and of course Alclad Chrome (don't forget an air brush).

Here we go.....this is what you start with:

StartHere-vi.png

Strip the kit chrome (I use bleach)....

Start by drilling out the surface between the grille bars with a #61 drill. WORK SLOWLY!!!!!!!

Work from the INSIDE to the outer surface.....trust me.... go the other way and disaster will strike...

Like this.......I carefully sawed out the area between the holes with the exacto mini saw blade (fits the #11 handle).

HalfWay-vi.jpg

You end up with this.....

GrilleFullNoPrime-vi.jpg

Clean up the bars with mini-files....and shoot with grey primer.........you get this....

I also added vertical support rod from scrap behind the upper grille area as well....

GrilleInPrimer-vi.jpg

Once the primer is dry shoot the grille with SHINNY GLOSS BLACK paint...... DO NOT USE GREY PRIMER as the base....

It simply does not work well.....unless you want the grille to look like it was painted with silver paint.....

Use Alclad Chrome and lay down several smooth coats at a steep angle so the lacquer will not bounce and spread.....

Polish lightly with a kleenex and......

Final result....... (before and after) you be the judge.... I think it was worth it!!!!!

Regards Bill (Duntov)

SidebySide-vi.jpg

One more of the final product.....you can see the vertical support bar that I added....

Perfect-vi.jpg

I did a similar approach but didn't drill all the holes. Iused a fine razor saw that fits in a No 11 Xacto handle. Same effect. But really tedious. But the hood hinging to be realistic is the next challenge.

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Posted · Report post

I'm going to have to try this and I don't even have plans to build a 41. Probably will once i'm done

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Posted · Report post

Excellent tip!!!

Thank you for posting it!!!!!!!!

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Posted · Report post

yes on my second build on this truck i really want to try this thanks for sharing.

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