Project for Skip: 1914 Stutz Bearcat

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My friend and fellow forum member Skip Jordan has proposed a project for me. He asked me to build a model of the Stutz Bearcat that appeared in one of his favorite movies, "The Wings of Eagles" (1957), starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

The car looked like this one (yes, that's Mr. Haney in a still from Green Acres!).

movie-still_zpsbb0ef810.jpg

Skip asked me to build this model as a favor to him, so he can follow along in my WIP. He sent me all of the material needed to do the job, including the kits needed, the movie itself on DVD, and a CD of reference photos. All he asked in return is that I use the kits he sent to kitbash the car from the movie. Actually, he even added that if I wanted to build a version of the car that I want to build... any version of a Bearcat, not necessarily the movie car, that was fine too... as long as I showed how I added the fully detailed engine from one of the kits to the other kit that has no engine. To explain...

This is the kit I'm using as the "base" kit. It's a 1/16 scale 1914 Stutz Bearcat from Aurora. It's a nice kit, but has no engine:

aurora-stutz_zps1154331d.jpg

And this is the Fuman kit of a 1913 Mercer Raceabout, which has the engine and drivetrain detail I'll add to the Aurora Bearcat kit:

fuman_zpsb4fd494a.jpg

Skip even sent me a third kit, a Lindberg 1914 Stutz Racer... just in case I could find any usable parts there for this project.

So, Skip... this build's for you! :D

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Posted (edited) · Report post

It sounds like a nice project for you Harry and it's a cool thing to do for someone.

Edited by DPNM

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Posted · Report post

It sounds like a nice project for you Harry and it's a cool thing to do for someone.

Actually, Skip only asks that I do a WIP so he can see how I do it. The finished model is mine to keep.

BTW... I don't want to embarrass Skip, but I have to say he is one of the most generous people I know. He is always willing to share his knowledge and resources. A few years ago I was building a Pocher Rolls Royce, and he sent me not only hundreds of reference photos, but an actual, original RR owner's manual, filled with tons of great reference photos. Obviously I returned the owner's manual after I had scanned all the pages, but the point is, Skip sent me that "care package" of RR references–including what has to be a pretty valuable original RR owner's manual from the 1930s–no questions asked. And he is always sharing his knowledge and reference sources here on the forum.

He's a good man. B)

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BTW... I don't want to embarrass Skip, but I have to say he is one of the most generous people I know. He is always willing to share his knowledge and resources. And he is always sharing his knowledge and reference sources here on the forum.

He's a good man. B)

Well said Harry but an understatement at that.

Skip is a marvelous archivist of wonderful, tasteful cars of distinction and historical significance. He collects reams of stuff of interest to him and becomes expert on every subject he chooses.

But as Harry said, beyond all that, he freely shares as a contributor here and contacts many individuals to offer reference assistance on complex and obscure builds. Harry's Rolls, Teresi's Benz hauler, several Gullwing builds and many large scale models over on SMC are but a few examples.

He's a talented and kind man who deserves recognition like this. More of us should share as he does.

Harry-do your usual over-the-top and show Skip how this should look. It's a great 'thank you'. ;)

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Posted · Report post

Thanks, Cato. I couldn't agree more.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Howdy Harry P.

I have become a fan and have searched the Forum for your threads........outstanding workmanship and attention to detail.

Will watch this w/interest.

Rick B)

Edited by Pocherphile

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Posted · Report post

Thanks, Rick!

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P.S. the gas tank and tool box are mounted too high on the Aurora car. the actual model box shows a more authentic mounting level. the tool box is easy enough to saw off ,however for the tank to be lowered I cut the body where it glues to the frame so I could lower it mounts and all. the model I posted here is as Aurora supplied it [.tank and tool box too high].

post-12926-0-17101400-1391669281_thumb.j

post-12926-0-37947700-1391669365_thumb.j

Edited by f1ford48

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Posted · Report post

Oh I shall be following this one, I'm looking forward to see it finished ...

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Let's get started. I'll begin with the front axle. As you can see, the axle has the spindles molded in place:

1_zps41b7c51b.jpg

I want posable steering, so this won't do. First step is to drill a hole into the spindles with a pin vise:

2_zps763f8928.jpg

Now the spindles need to be cut free of the axle. That's easily done with a razor saw, making a cut at the top and the bottom of the spindles:

3_zpse56d3d5c.jpg

The spindles are now separated from the axle:

4_zps71316807.jpg

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The tie rod is molded as a unit with the steering arms. Since I want posable steering, this will also not do; the steering arms need to pivot at the tie rod ends:

5_zpsb1e3b00c.jpg

The steering arms are cut away from the tie rod:

6_zpsfbe050ac.jpg

Now a pivot hole is drilled into each steering arm:

7_zps0eda320e.jpg

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The steering arms are now glued to the spindles, a length of brass rod inserted through the axle and spindles as a pivot, and a new tie rod made of brass and styrene rod. Eventually the tie rod pins (brass planking nails from a wooden ship kit) will be inserted into the holes I drilled in the steering arms, and the pins secured with small "nuts" I'll make with hex-shaped styrene rod.

8_zps7a639dd6.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Harry, your WIP's are always interesting and informative, I usually pick up a new or better way to detail things, I'll follow along too !

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In order for posable steering to work, the drag link also has to allow for movement. The kit piece has to be modified:

10_zpsb3f075a5.jpg

I cut the piece apart and made a new drag link:

11_zpsfdf48285.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Great tutorial thnx for taking the time to take pics!!

I'm sure this will be another stunner!!

Happy building

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As you may know, I tend to skip around when building a model... I rarely follow the instruction sheet's sequence. So now I'm jumping to the dashboard/firewall. The kit piece has "wood" grain molded into it, but nothing looks more like real wood than real wood... so I'll make a new piece using some birch veneer that I got at the local woodworking supply store. It's about 1/32 inch thick, so I glued two pieces together, with the grain at 90 degrees to minimize warping:

13_zpsa7b3751c.jpg

Once the glue was dry, I used the kit piece as a template to shape the new dash and drill out the holes for the instruments:

14_zpsf2207590.jpg

More to come...

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Posted · Report post

Har-What diameter drill bit do you use for most of these pin-tigether parts?

Also-somebody wake up Skip and tell him that school's in session! :lol:

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Har-What diameter drill bit do you use for most of these pin-tigether parts?

Also-somebody wake up Skip and tell him that school's in session! :lol:

If you're asking me for a specific bit size... I have no idea. I just grab the one that looks right for the particular hole(s) I need to drill. I don't keep the bits in any sort of marked holder or anything... I go strictly by eye.

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Posted · Report post

Looks alot like a #75

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Posted · Report post

Very cool I will be following this

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Har-What diameter drill bit do you use for most of these pin-tigether parts?

Also-somebody wake up Skip and tell him that school's in session! :lol:

Watching avidly (but restraining myself from shouting Bravo with every post). And cutting the grain on an angle is a tip I never knew about. But I know there are more to come.

BTW Frank, that's a great weathering job on your Stutz.

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The wooden dash has been stained, so while that dries let's get to work on the floorboards. Because the Aurora kit I'm using as the basis of this project is a curbside, the floorboards have only simplified engine detail molded on the underside. I'll need room for a three-dimensional flywheel, so the area marked has to be removed from the forward part of the floorboards:

15_zps0ae39274.jpg

Removing that area is simple, it's just three straight cuts. The "vertical" cuts were made with a razor saw, while the "horizontal" cut was made by scribing with the backside of my X-cto blade. No need to scribe all the way through... I just made the razor saw cuts to the scribed line, then snapped off the piece at the scribed line:

16_zps0eda412a.jpg

After a little cleanup of the edges, this is what I get. Now there will be room for the flywheel and back end of the engine:

17_zpsf4ebf95d.jpg

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It's a great build as ever Harry - but why are you using the (smaller and less powerful engine) from a Mercer raceabout in a Stutz? I hope this isn't a silly question and I certainly don't want to give offence! just interested..

-Don.

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I like to glue together items that are molded in halves or several pieces, but will be painted all one color, early on in the process, so those items can sit for several days while I work on other things... giving the cement a good long time to dry. Then once the cement is completely dried, I can sand the seams and the joint lines will disappear (because I use liquid cement to "fuse" the parts together instead of tube glue). Items like mufflers, gas tanks, engine block halves, etc...

18_zps9f40395d.jpg

That's all for today. Time to do some "real" work... I have a magazine to put together... ;)

More tomorrow...

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Posted · Report post

Looks like another silk purse out of a sows ear in the works.

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