'49 Merc Pro Mod (Update October 19)

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After paying way too much attention to rules and 1:1 stuff in my Mustang build, I decided to relax a bit and ProMod a ’49 Merc.

Before I go anywhere with this, I want to extend my apologies to Dr. Cranky for what I’m about to do to this beautiful auto. The 49 Merc was off my radar until I found his YouTube links and watched his various builds on this car. In fact, Cranky’s responsible for my being here at all. I found MCM by following the links he posted on his home page at the Lab-Rat-Ory… Gotta love the guy for all he has done for scale auto modeling. Even if weathering isn’t your bag.

Since there’s some interest on the board as to how to whack up a perfectly good model, I’ll post a few more photos as I go. This is how I do this and everyone has a different approach.

As far as NHRA stuff goes, all I need to really concern myself with is wheelbase and width over the rear axle. The limit for wheelbase in PM is 115 inches and the stock Merc is 118, so that’s not a big deal with the fender skirts left on. I figured it needs to be narrowed by around 5 or 6mm to make it the scale equivalent to 70 inches at the back axle. Rather than cut that right out of the middle, I wanted to preserve some of the character of the car in the nose and top so I cut it to the right and left of center in those areas. My way of marking that was to glue strips of 2mm 1/2 round down the length of the car to guide my cuts. Getting glue on the body of a car is a big no-no, but I’m going to throw it away, right?

Here’s what it looks like before the cuts with a little coming off the bottom as well.

1n1y.jpg

The cutting is done with the back side of a fresh razor knife blade that is turned around to the sharp side when the cut starts to show through the plastic. Some of the curves and thicker plastic required a razor saw.

The aftermath.

2hof.jpg

Now to put it back together… I used thin tabs of styrene to help align the sides of the pieces while I reassembled the car. I started at the back and worked towards the front one section at a time using liquid or gel glue or CA, depending on what worked.

a7x9.jpg

And it looked like this. The gaps in the nose are going to take a little more body work than I would like.

nyda.jpg

Here’s the nose after an application of Milliput two part epoxy putty, something that I learned about here on this forum. It works like clay and hardens like sand able rock. The adhesive quality of the epoxy helps a lot in stabilizing a project like this. I applied it to the inside of all of the joints until is started to seep out just a bit. It reacts with water and a wet finger can be used to smith and thin it out. It comes in several grades and this is Standard Yellow-Grey

v2lu.jpg

The first stage of the outside is Milliput Extra Fine White.

lqaq.jpg

This will cure overnight in my dehydrator before I start to sand it.

Thanks for your time.

Dale

Edited by ScaleDale

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Posted · Report post

Wow ! Lots of work but that should be cool .

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Thanks. This is kinda my version of Scotts What Have I Gotten Myself Into thread...:)

I started this as a sideline while I tied up the odds and ends on the P/S Mustang, and I'm way behind on my posting. The body work is way challenging trying to get it all smoothed out. Shouda just hacked out the middle. Live and learn.

Dale

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Posted · Report post

Lots of slicing and dicing there Dale, hindsight is 20/20 for sure, but looks to me as if you got it under control looks good to me!! :D

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Posted · Report post

watching this one

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Posted · Report post

definitely gonna be cool!

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Here's an update on my build.

This is the setup I came up with for the chassis construction. The chassis is a modification of the one I used for the Pro Stock Mustang resized for the '49 Merc body. This time I put the pattern under glass to keep the cement that I used rather liberally from sealing the paper to the plastic of the frame rods. That was a problem before and it helped a lot. The pattern is cut into sections as I build the frame one part at a time. The red is the main floor seen from the top, the blue and orange are the roll cage and tail piece and the black is the main side view. This helps keep me organized.

9vuh.jpg

To make the bends of the roll cage, I made a form from wood using a small saw and power sander. I taped two pieces of styrene rod together and taped them to the form and used a heat gun to form the curves. I only messed this up once, so I consider it a big success. Having two pieces taped together allows me to create both sides as nearly identically as hot plastic will allow.

ww7h.jpg

The resultant base cage with the floor from a Jukebox Ford installed.

gmw6.jpg

I'll post more tomorrow, as the body and frame are finished now.

Dale

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Posted · Report post

i like it keep the info flowing

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Dale... I really love where you are going with this build and I have to give you credit for cutting up the body like you did. But I do think it looks great and looking forward to seeing more progress on this build, its coming along.

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Can't wait Dale!! :D

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Hi, again. Like I said earlier, I'm way behind on posting this and have the chassis finished, so here it is.

pcr4.jpg

With the extra width of the Merc body, I was able to add a second frame rail and keep the engine bay nice and wide.

mw6b.jpg

The pin isn't torture or styrene acupuncture, it marks a shock mount point...

ow13.jpg

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One of my lessons from the Pro Stock build was to completely finish the chassis before painting it. I neglected to add suspension mounts to that one and kept having to scrape paint and brush things up. This time I kept at the details. The vertical struts mount a 4 link suspension.

x2mv.jpg

And this is the front suspension mount. I scratch built the lower control arms and used sheet styrene for the upper mount points. Much cleaner than before.

bpfg.jpg

I like to have the main components constructed before taking on the chassis just to be able to fit things just right. Having the body done allowed me to fit the frame space wise and the engine and suspension were invaluable in finishing the chassis with no real surprises.

The motor is a Blown Alcohol Pro Mod Mish Mash. A Chrysler block with a blower from another kit topped with a hat from Competition Resins and backed up to a Lenco transmission hacked off the Chevy engine in the 55 Pro Sportsman kit. Add Ford valve covers and what do you get? A blown alky Pro Mod Ford BOSS 500!

The rear axel, front strut and Pro Mod 4 link are from Scott at Future Attraction. I scratched the coil over.

0w3z.jpg

I'll post the body tomorrow.

Thanks for your time.

Dale

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Posted · Report post

That Frame is a piece of art. Very nice job. It is not easy to build a roll cage from styrene, but you built lots of more here...Wow! The body looks very good, too. Keep it coming.

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Dale l admire model builders like you who can make models like this. Awsume project. Very nice progres and great looking rollcage..

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nicely done Dale. It's looking good!

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Superb work Dale. I love seeing scratch building like this. I especially admire that chassis. It must be a lot of work getting all those tubes to fit just right. Keep up the good work - I look forward to seeing your progress.

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Niko, Carl, Brett and Sonny: Thanks for the compliments.

Having a good pattern and solvent proof work surface made assembling this chassis a lot easier than I thought. Once I had a section matched to the pattern I could cut several pieces of rod the same length on a razor blade guillotine cutter called a Chopper. The cement I used was Plastic Weld from Plastruct. It's really aggressive and melts the rod so that it really does weld the sections together. It dries super fast, too. So quickly that it's not really usable for other model building. If you apply it to two surfaces and hold them together, it's dry before contact. I dip the end of a rod in it to tack it in place and then add a drop to seal the bond. This is where the glass came in so handy. When I did this on the Mustang, the paper of the pattern became sealed to the rod. No so with the glass.

Thanks again!

Dale

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great job so far did you draw the chassic freehand or do you use a program to do this if so what program and how do you use it.

John Pol

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This is looking sharp! You have my attention. I love the pro mod builds on here. Sure this will be nothing short of spectacular.

This is my favorite one that I found

8454024945_d64e401d3f_z.jpg

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Merci, John. Good to see our friends from French speaking Canada joining in. I live in Washington State and we have a lot of active drag racers from British Colombia who come down for the bigger races here. I remember going to a race in Ontario when I was in High School and the announcer spoke only French.

I have a non professional background in photography and graphic design and I use both of them in these kinds of projects. For the chassis, I took pictures of the body of my Merc and removed the background in PhotoShop. Then I added a copy of a Chris Alston ChassisWorks Pro Mod Avenger 1:1 chassis that I had scaled to match the wheelbase of the Merc and blended the two together. Then I took that package and imported it into a drawing program called Illustrator and traced over the Alston chassis to create one that was matched to the Merc body contours and removed the Alston version. I used different colors for the sections so that I didn't get confused by all the parts of the chassis.

Here's the Alston chassis followed by my version for this model.

ca6v.jpg

42a2.jpg

James: Thanks. Iron Horse is in my reference file for this along with a casino PM that's my avatar.

I'm from Toledo, originally. Ever get out to the drags at Norwalk? I got a ticket for "excessive noise" out that way once. Never drive a Mustang in a small town.

Dale

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Hi dale the reason ask how you did the chassic because I want to scratchbuild a chassic for Bill Jenkins 79 Camaro. Trying to get a start onit.

John Pol

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Hi dale the reason ask how you did the chassic because I want to scratchbuild a chassic for Bill Jenkins 79 Camaro. Trying to get a start onit.

John Pol

I'll look that up. I think it was a box frame with tube reinforcements up front. easier to build than a modern tube frame.

By the way, my mistake on Canada. It's Quebec that is French Canadian. But I did go to a race in Ontario and the announcer did speak French in the '60s.

Dale

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Dale....nice work on the chassis. It looks great.

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Paint update.

So this is where I am with my multi tone paint idea for this build. I made a shield of sorts out of scrap plastic and mesh. I fastened that to the styrofoam block that the test body Chevy was on and sprayed it with the first coat of color, a light yellow. The rig looked like this.

htk2.jpg

After the second coal of orange, it looked like this.

76et.jpg

Then I finished it with a hotter orange. All of this was with one coat only and thicker than I will use on the Merc. No sanding either.

nkr9.jpg

It looks OK, but took three days and would need to be sanded and repeated several times over. I have two airbrushes and may go it freehand and do three coats at one time, sand and repeat. Then I can adjust where the color transitions are if I want to.

Suggestions?

Dale

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This is where the body stands as we speak. I opened the front like the Mustang and got some scratches for my effort. That required more filler and sanding that isn't finished yet. I changed my mind in mid stream while cutting the front, actually the Merc did it for me. When I got to the hood line I intended to cut above the window line and remove the entire front but the hood line that I had puttied over magically reappeared so I decided to follow it instead. It worked OK but left me with the half cut marks in front of the window post that keep coming back after priming. More putty needed here. I may do this area in front of the window in a flat black to mask it off it it won't go away.

8g5i.jpg

This is the chassis fit.

7ggb.jpg

With the engine in place and the front end removed it looks like this.

bn17.jpg

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Dale

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Awesome build! I used to love that Iron horse car when I was a kid! I've seen it many times back when Norwalk was a IHRA track!

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