'41 Willys Retro-Mod, with emphasis on Retro - Completed 11-07

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After Dinky's killer black Willys modern rod I just had to move my '41 project to the front burner. I was inspired. But the problem was that although I believe that Revell's Street Rod was meant to be lowered I felt that model's as good as Dinky's pretty much say it all when it comes to the modern look. So what to do?

First some background. I've had this kit sitting ready to be built for a couple of years now. I bought it from a good friend and modeling buddy when both of us attended the NNL West in 2011. I fly down there each year to hang with my buddies Raul and Curt. I bought the kit from Curt that year and it included a resin lowered chassis from a now notorious resin caster known for his high quality work and the unbelievably long waits to get your order filled (we're talking years in some cases). It's a shame because it is a full transkit with narrowed rear end, modified tubbed interior piece and a beautifully engineered chassis.

So... I decided I wouldn't actually use the trick resin chassis, but that I would employ it as a model for my own modifications, since, based on the caster's terrible reputation it was highly unlikely I could ever replace it. With Dinky's inspiration the time has come to build my own lowered '41.

Up to now I mainly build Old Skool, But lately I've thought about easing into a more modern style. But, as I said, Dinky's build pretty much nails the modern style. So I decided to do a project that's my take on "Retro-Mod" but with the emphasis on the "Retro" part, rather than the "Mod" part, which Revell has already handled quite well in the basic kit.

So here's the plan. The body remains stock with the stock grill. But all the 90's billet era bling and design cues have to go! And yet I want to retain an aggressive Big Power look and start to include some more contemporary design aspects. So this will be a sort of Post Modern street rod. The only body modification is a hood scoop from an AMT ’49 Ford kit. The motor will be the kit Hemi, but it will have Hilborn injection instead of a Jimmy blower. I chose a real Retro color, a Depression era light blue, a Tamiya military color, but it will have a somewhat Billet Era monochrome look, but with Retro design cues:

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The front end is lowered about 3 ½ scale inches by raising the suspension as shown below:

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For now the rear end stays kit stock until I can see the rake and determine if any further dialing in is required.

To “sell” the Old Skool, bling-free aspect I’ve decided to go with steelies. The fronts are AMT ’40 Ford items and the rears, in order to conserve the kit’s monster meats, were made by using some junk wide chrome reversed rims from an AMT ’29 Ford Roadster kit with the centers hogged out to adapt a set of Baby Moons from an AMT ’40 Ford Sedan Delivery kit. I used the worst ones I could find in my parts box since they would be stripped and painted body color. Even then I needed to use some giant rear wheel halves from a Too Much kit to provide adequate width for the huge rear tires from the Revell kit. I used matching Baby Moons on the front as well.

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And finally there’s the kit’s interior, which is classic 90’s billet fare. The key piece is an aftermarket resin part from Altered States Models, their AS07-005 'Tubbed 40/41 Willys Floorpan, which combines the tubbed wheel wells from the Street Rod kit with the simplified floorpan from the Revell Stone Woods & Cook gasser. This eliminates the rectangular center console from the Street Rod kit and better suits the look I’m after. I decided to use the diamond tufted buckets from the recent Revell Stacey David Rat Roaster kit and combine them with diamond tufted door panels which I made by cutting out the billet-style panels from the kit and substituting square pattern styrene stock rotated 45 degrees:

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This should give you an idea of where I’m headed with this thing…

Thanx for lookin’,

B.

Edited by Bernard Kron

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Posted · Report post

NICE start Bernard!! :D

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Posted · Report post

Very cool to see you are inspired by my Willys :)

The Willys are awesome, I will follow your project to the end to see what great build you will create!

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Posted · Report post

Nice, I'll be watchin this one!!!!

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Posted · Report post

I really like the styling, Bernard!

-Art

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Posted · Report post

Really liking the concept, love the color. Looks like a sure winner so far.

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Posted · Report post

Bernard may l ask how you cut out the baby moons?? Great wip by the way..

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Thanx for all the interest and kind words!

Things are progressing well on this project, with most of the parts painted, the chassis and motor partially assembled and the interior completed. I added a padded header and diamond tuft insert to the rear panel to echo the inserts I added to the door panels. Paint is Testors Acryl Heileblau and Light Gray (more military colors…). The Corvette steering wheel is from a Monogram 1/24th Scale ’32 Ford Roadster. The shifter, door handles and gas pedal are scratch built. As mentioned above, the floor assembly is courtesy of Altered Sates Models and is a resin piece, a combination of the interior surfaces from the Stone, Woods & Cook gasser and the tubbed wheel wells from the Street Rod kit. Eliminating the console, combined with the colors, the classic style bucket seats and steering wheel, and the diamond tuft upholstery, I think gets rid of much of the 90’s billet vibe and establishes more of the neo-Retro thing.

I’ve managed to misplace the rear axle and have ordered a replacement from Revell. Very frustrating because I was looking forward to dialing in the stance. While I wait for the part I’ll polish out the paint, finish detailing the motor and get ready for final assembly. With or without the replacement axle, more next week as I finish up the retro-styled injected Hemi.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Posted · Report post

Very nice!

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Bernard may l ask how you cut out the baby moons?? Great wip by the way..

Thanx! I didn't cut out the Baby Moons that I'm using. The molded in Baby Moons on the rear wheels were simple drilled out to make a hole of the proper diameter to accept the separate Baby Moons I did use. They can be found in various vintages of the AMT '40 Ford Sedan Delivery kit. In the case of the recent Round2 re-releases I think they're in the Three Stooges version.

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Posted · Report post

This is looking great, Bernard. I like that you've started out with a well defined styling plan. Every thing you've done really suits your stated pupose.

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Thanx! I didn't cut out the Baby Moons that I'm using. The molded in Baby Moons on the rear wheels were simple drilled out to make a hole of the proper diameter to accept the separate Baby Moons I did use. They can be found in various vintages of the AMT '40 Ford Sedan Delivery kit. In the case of the recent Round2 re-releases I think they're in the Three Stooges version.

Thanxs... Interior really looks nice...

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I got the paint cleared and polished which brings out the blue a bit more. Here are some quick workbench snaps.

Thanx for lookin'
B.

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Posted · Report post

Paint looks great. Has a real nice reflection....

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Posted · Report post

Looks like the is dust in the paint or is the quality of the pics bad, I hope the last.

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Looks like the is dust in the paint or is the quality of the pics bad, I hope the last.

Neither, thankfully. There's dust on the paint. It brushes off (which I didn't do - ah the responsibilities of shiny paint...). But you had me going so I went and checked!

Edited by Bernard Kron

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Posted · Report post

Ah cool, lucky you :-)

Any progress on the engine?

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Ah cool, lucky you :-)

Any progress on the engine?

Yes. I'm continuing on the retro route, with Old Skool Chrysler Firepower valve covers and Hilborn injectors on the kit motor. I dechromed most everything and am going with a black block and heads and polished aluminum and steel finishes. I'll try to get some pictures up in the next day or two. Thanks for the interest!

Edited by Bernard Kron

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the info, sounds cool.

Looking forward to the pics, goodluck building :D

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Thanks for the info, sounds cool.

Looking forward to the pics, goodluck building :D

Here's a quick snap from the workbench I just took. It gives a sense of the look I'm going after. As I said originally, your model encapsulates the modern style so well I feel obliged to explore another area - a modern stance, tires and chassis, but perhaps being built by a contemporary collector of vintage parts. Still lots to do...

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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Posted · Report post

Oh yes...a man after my own heart. Looking great, love the color.

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Thanx Bill!

Here’s the completed motor. The basic injectors and Chrysler Firepower valve covers are left over from a Ross Gibson 392 I used a few months ago to build a Junior Fueler rail. The really nice injector stacks are 7” items from Speed City Resin. The injector pump is courtesy of Altered States Models. As mentioned earlier most metallic finishes you see are Testors Metalizers except for the valve covers, accessory drive and oil pan, which are all finished in Duplicolor Chrome. I find that Duplicolor Chrome can be made to resemble a variety of metals depending on how much you cover it in black wash. The valve covers have no wash, the oil pan only a slight wash around the edges, and the accessory drive has been washed fairly heavily with thinned black acrylic.

Now I’m essentially on hold on this project until the rear axle arrives, at which point it will be time for final assembly. I have plenty of other modeling projects to keep me busy in the meantime...

Thanx for lookin’.
B.

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The replacement parts arrived from Revell – one week from order instead of the 2 to 4 weeks they indicated! Massive thumzupz to them for service “surpassing expectations”. So I immediately got to work on the chassis. With the lowered front end, getting the posable steering working was a real bear. Ditto fitting the non-standard motor. But I think I’ve gotten most of the hard stuff out of the way now (here’s hoping…). Below are some quicky snaps of the roller showing its radical stance. (Sorry about the plastic dust and dodgy focus.) Tuff enuff? Now to get this baby buttoned up. I’m shooting for the weekend…

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Edited by Bernard Kron

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Posted · Report post

Great looking engine. Very nice progress. nice stance also..

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Thanx!

The chassis is all painted, detailed and finished with the engine installed. One of the great pleasures of the Revell Willy’s Street Rod is the highly detailed mechanicals, both the motor and the chassis. The kit is designed to simulate building a 1:1 chassis with many finely made parts and sub-assemblies. It’s well engineered, too, with excellent fit and location during build up. I used Duplicolor Gunmetal as the main chassis color with most parts finished out in various shades of Testors Metalizers to give it a utilitarian look in keeping with the overall tone of the project. Below are some final shots of the chassis before it disappears under the bodywork, along with a test drop of the body shell and interior over the chassis to make sure all the clearances are OK. IO had to include it as a teaser to show all those stacks sticking up out of the engine compartment!

Not too much left to do, now…

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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