Stacey David's Rat Roaster Revisited - 3-31 Done! Final Photos and Under Glass Tomorrow

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Revell has finally given us a new tool Deuce Roadster in the form of the Stacy David Rat Roaster. Just in time, too, as the old highboy roadster kit has become quite scarce. Recently, when I was at the NNL West there were absolutely none of the old kit to be found! So the Rat Roaster is what we will have going forward.

I must admit to mixed feelings about this kit. The 1:1 is highly stylized, a very contemporary vision of a 60s style 32 Ford highboy roadster. Definitely one mans taste, with its massive exhausts and intake trumpets, the B&M blower, the polished bare metal chrome molding along the bodyline, and the oval ports atop the hood. Unfortunately, many of these details are not to my taste, and some, like the hood top ports, are not easily undone without either extensive bodywork or reaching into the parts box. The interior, too, is aggressively done and very much in the modern style. But it is more to my taste than some of the other details. So I decided I would do a version of the Rat Roaster, keeping the details that I like and changing the details that I dont like. This isnt a backdating of the car, but rather a revisiting of the basic style of the 1:1, toning down some of the details, and emphasizing some of the others.

To start with I was surprised to see that the holes in the interior were missing from the kit. At first I thought Revell had wimped out by leaving the holes filled and including decals to indicate the dark areas on the original car. But more close examination of the 1:1 indicates that these holes are not holes at all, but indentations which are then filled with padded upholstery material. In my minds eye I wanted holes. So I drilled out all the holes so they are now holes, period.

My vision of the interior was more along the lines of a bare metal look with just a smattering of upholstery. So I decided on finishing it out in Testors Aluminum Plate Metalizer with the black diamond pattern panels of the 1:1. To emphasize this look I have replaced the kit seats with drilled out resin items from ThePartsBox.com, again finished in Aluminum Plate.

One of the most successful details of the 1:1, something which Revell has translated quite well in kit form, are the wheels and tires. To give the wheels a bit more realism I painted out the centers in Metalizer Stainless Steel to mimic the finish on the 1:1.

These details have set the tone of the overall look. Ill keep as much of the rest of the car as I can, sticking with the kit Small Block Chevy, but changing the hood to a more stock appearing one. The blower is a problem for me, lacking definition and personality, so Im looking into alternate carburetion and/or blower setups (GMC 671, a brace of 97s, injection? not decided yet). The exhausts are problematic too. Do I keep them to emphasize the link with the 1:1, do I refinish them to tone down the kit chrome, do I substitute block huggers for them and go with full side panels, or do I build out a set of Limefires (which I have started on)? Again Im not sure.

Meanwhile, Ive settled on a color. At first I considered a deep red metallic, but it didnt go all that well with the strong silver and black interior. Then I considered a black car, but I decided it would just be too black all over. So Ive gone with a rich, deep blue metallic, Duplicolor Nightshadow Pearl, applied over white primer and a silver metallic base for a candy effect. Below is a color check I did.

I think the overall look will be far more conservative than the 1:1, but Im trying to avoid backdating this car too much, partially because Im planning a straight-up traditional highboy for later this year, complete with buggy spring rear end, juice brakes, either flathead or early OHV power, tuck and roll interior, etc. That car will almost certainly be done in black, another reason I wanted to avoid black for this one.

As usual, this build is somewhat of an improvisation, so well see where it takes me. In the meantime

Thanx for loookin,
B.

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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Great start Bernard, that color is sweet too, I've gotta get some of it, do you have the number to go along with the name? Drilling out the interior panels is a nice touch, and the old bomber style seats should look right at home along side those panels!

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Posted · Report post

You will do justice to this 32....

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Posted · Report post

I like it so far Bernard, keep us posted

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Posted · Report post

Looking good so far. I always especailly enjoy reading your commentary, and how much thought you put into your builds.

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Looking good so far. I always especailly enjoy reading your commentary, and how much thought you put into your builds.

Bill just said what I was going to. I have always enjoyed about the style of your builds, too. I'm a Hot Rod guy too and really like them, but somehow I build them only a few in smaller scale. Maybe it would be a time to fix that problem... Also when I like Old School stuff, it's pretty obvious that I enjoy following these threads! I like what you did for the interior and wheels. They look Great! Color choice is perfect also. I'm tuned in for more.

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Posted · Report post

Watching! :D

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Posted · Report post

looking great !!!! love the seats !

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Posted · Report post

Excellent start Bernard, great color, love the seats......

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Nice start! Revell's nineties '32 highboy appears on eBay frequently, and often at the right price. They're out there.

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I’ve competed all the subassemblies and paint with the exception of the motor. It’s all pretty much out of the box with some detail changes to reflect the difference between my vision of this car and the 1:1. A good example of this is the front axle. The Rat Roaster’s kit front axle is different that an all the other Revell Deuces, even though it looks virtually identical. For the Rat Roaster Revell removed the square shoulders on the center mounting tab of the axle and also cut down the two locating tabs at the ends of the spring. The result is an axle that sits lower than the other ones. It is, in effect, the “Tim Boyd drop”. But the front tires on the Rat Roaster are about .06” taller than the front tires that come on the old Goodguys Highboy, almost exactly the amount of height they took out of the front axle. So, despite the modification, the stance of the Rat Roaster is essentially unchanged from the Goodguys. Here are some pictures showing the differences:

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I like my Deuces with more rake than the Revell kits offer, so I generally will not only remove the corners off the tabs, as originally suggested many moons ago by Tim Boyd, but I will also shave down the spring so that there are only one or two leaves left. That’s what I did in this case. Below are some pictures showing the resulting stance, as well as the color of the paint and the contrast between the interior and the bodywork. I also decided to finish the firewall in Duplicolor Silver, the undercoat I used on the rest of the bodywork. It echoes the bare metal look of the interior.

I won’t be running fenders on this car, unlike the 1:1. I want a simple, classic look to this street rod with a minimum of ornamentation. This is essentially the goal of my “revisit”; between the rich dark blue paint, the stock hood, the raked stance and the lack of fenders, this will be a far more severe and conservative looking car than the Rat Roaster. I have pretty much decided to swap out the blower for a GMC 671 and, assuming the fabrication comes off successfully, some Limefire style side exhausts. The motor remains the most elaborate work left to do. I hope to have this project done within the next couple of weeks.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Posted · Report post

Wow! Nice stance! Hot rod at it's max exprecion!

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Posted · Report post

Very nice.

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That is pretty dang nice Bernard! I dig the color, and what you did with the wheels.

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nice job !! great stance

i even removed all the springs on that axle on my last 2 builds and made like a new leaf spring , made the axle fall in the chassis and fitted the new leaf springs ..

but then the schocks need new plates and some filing to be fitted again :lol:

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Posted · Report post

Aside from a nice build, you definitely have a talent for presentation. Nice write-up & photography!

BTW: Wheels + body color = Perfect!

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Coming along nicely, thanks for the comparo too!

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I love your commentary like many have said and also your pictures look dreamy with the fogged background. Would you mind sharing your photo technique? I love the stance in the photos and the paint looks perfect.

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Thanks everyone!

Just a quick update to show that this project is still alive (I got sidetracked building a LoBoy Deuce Roadster – sort of the exact opposite of this car…). As I mentioned earlier, I thought I’d go with Limefire headers instead of the kit sidepipes, until I remembered that the frame rails are notched to accept the exhaust pipes where they exit the underside of the car and join up with side pipes. For some reason I imagined they were mounting points for the hairpins! So…having already painted and assembled the chassis, I have had to stick with the kit headers. Which brings me to the motor. The 1:1 Rat Roaster has quite a few style elements from sprint cars, for example the front tires, wheels, exhausts, and even the exaggerated air filter stacks if you think they quote sprint-style conical air filters. But the motor on the kit version Rat Roaster disappoints me. To my eye the carbs and blower just look wimpy. At first I considered switching to an old school GMC blower. But then I had the idea to extend the sprint car metaphor to the top side of the motor. So I ordered a set of sprint car style injectors with big K&N conical filters from TJ’s Custom Castings. The picture below shows the result.

I’m on the home stretch now, basically just detailing and final assembly. I hope to have this project done within the next week or so..

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Motor-and-car-web.jpg

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Posted · Report post

I'm liken it, Bernard

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...also your pictures look dreamy with the fogged background. Would you mind sharing your photo technique?...

Thanks!

Without drilling down pretty deep into Photoshop I'll stick to a pretty general outline of what I did for those "dreamy" shots. First off, the original shots were just quick grab shots on my work bench. My work area looks like a bomb hit it, I'm an incredibly messy builder. So when it comes time to grab some shots of work in progress I'll shove tools, paint, parts, etc. out of the way to clear a space and then hide as much of it as possible using a plain sheet of white or black plastic or paper braced vertically, usually leaning up against a paint can or rubbing alcohol bottle. I'll put a second sheet of the same color on the workbench top. My workbench is very brightly lit, with 3 75 watt spotlamps shining on it, so there's plenty of light for photography. I never use a flash.

I use the macro setting on my camera (the close up setting) and get in as tight as possible while still including the desired angle, perspective and details I want to include. Most of time the raw pictures still have some details in the background so I need to block them out in some way. So what I do is use the "lasso" tool in Photoshop and draw an encircling shape around the part of the picture I do want to include. Then I "inverse" the selection so I'm actually working with the part of the image I want to get rid of. Now let's say that I am using a white background. I fill the area I'm getting rid of with the same color, in this case white. The "dreamy" effect is the result of "feathering" the edges of the selected area. Feathering is another Photoshop setting that fades the edges of the selected area. You can control how abruptly or gradually you fade in the effect your doing to the selected area. In this case the "dreamy" effect is simply the white fill color overlapping with the image where it fades out, creating a foggy haze.

Finally. I crop the image down to a pleasing proportion and save it in an 800 pixel width so it will look OK on most people's monitors.

I do other things as well in order to make sure the photos reproduce the color properly and also to make sure that the fill color matches the background color properly, but that's basically what I do...

Edited by Bernard Kron

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I thought I’d take some additional time to show the technique I outlined in the previous post. I was shooting a picture of the motor area I plan to use in my Under Glass post and grabbed some additional shots for the Workbench Saturday thread. So I saved some interim shots to illustrate my procedure.

My workbench area showing the black plastic background sheets set up for photography.
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The photo I will use as taken by my camera.
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The photo as I imported it into Photoshop, having adjusted color, saturation, contrast, etc. to more closely resemble the actual color.
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The selection area I will process to darken it in order to match the black background.
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The selected area filled with black, using the “feather” function to fade it in. In this photo I have outlined the selected area in red. You’ll notice I smoothed the contours of the selection using the “selection/smooth” function in Photoshop to get a more natural flow.
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Here is the same shot as above but without the red line.
DSCF1702-initial-darkening-web.jpg

The completed work ready for cropping. I touched up some light spots in the dark background and sharpened up the colors and contrast in the main image. Yes I know, there’s dust on the trunk lid!
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The final cropped image.
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The motor shot I will use in the Under Glass post. I wanted to have an image without the grill shell in place.
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All done! Tomorrow it rolls into the studio for some beauty shots and then Under Glass.

Thanx for following along,
B.

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came out awsome !!

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