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W-409

'55 Chevy Bel Air A/GS -Finished!-

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Thanks Chris! Yep it feels great to be back on the bench, even though I still spend a lot time in the garage with that 1:1 Chevy II. But whenever I have time I try to work on these little things. This '55 and the Thunderbolt are two that should be finished pretty soon, hopefully everything will go nice and smooth with them....

 

I've done a bit more polishing on the body but there's still a long way to go. But most of the white areas are polished now, hopefully I can continue polishing the blue areas tomorrow. So stay tuned.;)

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You had me right up to the decals, but I do like the build. I find decal selection can really Boggs me down sometimes. 

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Thanks James! I agree that finding a set of decals is often really tricky, even though I have a big bunch of decal sheets in my parts box.:D

The door itself turned out pretty good. Not perfect, but I'm happy with it. I added some masking tape to rear quarter panel area behind the door line and to front fender to protect the paint job from those areas while I polish the door. When I pulled the masking tapes off, it pulled off also clear coat and part of the decals.

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The good thing is, clear came off only on top of the decals so the blue paint job didn't get messed up. Bad thing is that I don't have a replacement for that A/GS decal or for that Isky Cams decal on front fender. I have several of those Good Year decals so that's not a problem, but I'll replace those Isky Cams decals with something else after I've polished those areas. And for that A/GS decal, the only way to fix it was to try painting it back there. It's not perfect, but it'll have to do.

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On a positive note, you discovered a great way to weather decals! That would look great on a beater or old barn find. 

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Thanks James! I agree that finding a set of decals is often really tricky, even though I have a big bunch of decal sheets in my parts box.:D

The door itself turned out pretty good. Not perfect, but I'm happy with it. I added some masking tape to rear quarter panel area behind the door line and to front fender to protect the paint job from those areas while I polish the door. When I pulled the masking tapes off, it pulled off also clear coat and part of the decals.

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The good thing is, clear came off only on top of the decals so the blue paint job didn't get messed up. Bad thing is that I don't have a replacement for that A/GS decal or for that Isky Cams decal on front fender. I have several of those Good Year decals so that's not a problem, but I'll replace those Isky Cams decals with something else after I've polished those areas. And for that A/GS decal, the only way to fix it was to try painting it back there. It's not perfect, but it'll have to do.

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I have had this happen before and now I always stick the tape to my shirt before applying and it grabs some lint and allows it not to bite as hard on the clear. Love this project, your attention to detail and craftsmanship is amazing.

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Great build Niko.  I'll check my decal stash to see if I might have a pair of those Isky decal.  Beautiful paint too.  The polishing job you did really makes it shine.  I'll let you know soon.  cheers, tim

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Thanks guys for the kind words, I really appreciate them!

Travis: I kind of thought that myself too!:) Too bad pretty much everything I build is shiny and clean, but that's partly because I'm not very good at weathering stuff. Well, that's just more practise I guess!

Ryan: That sounds like a great idea...Why didn't I think of that! I'll definitely try that tomorrow when I'll try to finish the polishing.

Tim: Thanks, it would be great if you had a spare set of those decals! But if not, I think I have a back up plan that might work on there. Polishing sure ain't fun but I have to agree that the results are worth it.:)

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I just finished polishing the body and I think it turned out pretty good. It's not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it anyway. I also found two Isky Cams decals from my parts box so even though they're yellow instead of the red ones I installed earlier. I'll take a few more pics of the polished body tomorrow when it's not dark and post them here. But here's a proof that the decal issue is now happily fixed.:D

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Thanks! Yes, BMF will be the next step, in fact I already started that but I'll have to continue tomorrow on it. Now it's time to head to a Car Show to check out some Rods & Customs!

But as I promised, here are some better pics of that polished body. Overall I think it turned out pretty good, now let's just hope that BMF goes on with no problems. I'm very happy to see that this build is finally coming together!

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Niko, I promised to check and I came up empty on that Isky decal for you.  Just wanted to let  you know.  cheers

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Randy: Thank You! Your projects have always been a big source of inspiration!

Tim: Thanks, no worries about the decals, I'm glad I got lucky and found those from my parts box even though I was almost certain that I had used them on earlier builds. Thanks for taking the time to check your stash for me, I appreciate it!

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That looks great Niko, I wouldn't be too happy if I raced the same lane after someone who used Solder Seal in their race car though, lol...

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Thanks Mitch and Dave!

Heh, I agree with you Mitch, hopefully the guy building this '55 didn't use too much Solder Seal on it :D! That decal just happened to be the right size and it looked old enough to be installed in there...:lol:

I got BMF done on the body. That wasn't too easy and I'm not completely happy with it, but it could be worse so I think I'll have to live with it. Once the underside of the body is painted black and glasses are installed, I think it'll look pretty good anyway.

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Well I was able to do some progress on this last night. First I glued steering column to the dash and steering wheel was glued on too. It's painted and clear coated with Tamiya sprays and after that the spokes were painted with Revell 91 silver. I also added a tachometer and a cable from my parts box. The tach was painted silver, I painted some black to the cauge face and wiped paint off from those raised letters/numbers.

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Then I glued everything together and the interior is now finished. Pedals are from the kit and they as well as the dashboard assembly fit fine. Shifter is made from a sewing needle (if that is what it is in English...) and that rubber part is taken from my parts box.

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Well I've made some more progress on this thing and it's getting closer of being done. First I installed windows to the body. They don't fit perfectly to the body shapes, but there's not much I can do about it... It's not too bad though so I can live with it. I also painted engine bay gloss black except for the firewall that stays body color.

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Then I added some light black washing to the engine to make it look a bit more realistic. I also painted bolts from timing chain cover and oil pan and added belt and pulleys for water pump. Pulleys are from my parts box and the belt is paper that I painted flat black.

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Then it was time to put the body on chassis. I didn't glue the engine on place quite yet, as otherwise I can't slide the body on place.

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Then in these pics body is already glued to the chassis and so is the engine. It required some minor work to get the body and chassis glued together but overall they fit fine. Next up will be a lot of work in the engine bay and then I can install all body trim and final details. But it will take a few days to get the engine details done...

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Edited by W-409

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Well it has been a while since the latest update, but I've been doing tons of little details especially to the engine bay. Blower belt and pulleys are Pro Tech items, but I had to build a mounting bracket for that Blower Belt Tensioner. That Pro Tech Blower Belt Kit was really easy to use, I think I'll be ordering a couple of more sets sometime!

Fuel lines are made from small diameter electric wire that I painted black (It was originally red), fuel junction block on firewall is made from styrene tubing and all fuel line fittings are scratchbuilt from plastic rod too. Carburetor linkage was done using Detail Master's Photo Etch parts and copper wire, but it still requires a throttle returning spring before I can call it done.

The radiator wall that came in the kit was decent, but the radiator was molded only on one side of that radiator wall while the other side was smooth. That wasn't good, so a radiator wall from Monogram '56 Bel Air was modified to fit on the '55. After some narrowing and lowering it fits under the hood properly. Radiator overflow tank was found in my parts box and the hose between that radiator and overflow tank is made from mold sprue that I heated and "stretched" so that it looks like a piece of thin wire.

Other small things I've done include adding a brake master cylinder from AMT '62 Catalina, brake lines, valve cover T-Bolts and some other wiring and plumbing here and there.

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I also added center caps to the wheels. They're made from piece of chrome mold sprue cut in correct length and glued on place. Wheels got also some black wash, but I'll probably add one more round of black washing on them before I can call them good.

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Niko... been a little bit since I have checked things out. Man she is looking sharp. I love the paint and decals. Nice work on the engine details too.

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Yep, same thing for me as Chris. Been I a while since I've checked out this build and now I can't see any photos. I'm not sure what's happened but based on others' responses to your photos, I can tell I'm really missing out. Help!!

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Thanks guys! I appreciate the kind words! I'm very happy to see this thing is very close of being finished. Now I guess it's a couple of days and I can call it done.:)

Brad, don't know what's wrong with the pics. At least on my computer they open up nicely and looks like other guys can see them too... Don't know if this helps, but here is a link to my Photobucket album where are the most recent pics on this build. http://s482.photobucket.com/user/Greaser/library/55 Chevrolet Bel Air Gasser?sort=3&page=1

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Thanks Dave! Throttle linkage is always a nightmare to do, but usually the end result is worth it.:D  But of course this time it was a bit easier than on my previous build (Fiat Altered with 8-Carb Hemi)...

Next step was to add shocks to the chassis. I found suitable shocks from my parts box and after painting them they were glued on place. Then I started building the driveshaft. I took one driveshaft from my parts box that was too short, but as my plan was to use only the joints and make the actual driveshaft from plastic rod. So first I cut those joints apart:

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Then I mocked up those joints on place and cut correct length driveshaft tube from plastic rod. Then everything was glued together.

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After some painting and some touchups to the chassis, I can call the chassis finished.

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Then I polished the hood. The paint job was already decent so there wasn't much orange peel to polish smooth. The hood turned out pretty much as good as the body did earlier.

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Now all that was left was to install all chrome parts and exterior trim etc. Headlights were painted white and then I wiped a bit of that white off from the center of the lights so that chrome became a bit transparent. That way it looks a bit more realistic like there would be separate headlight lenses. Grill was black washed with The Detailer's liquid, Chevy badge was painted and installed on the hood just like the hood ornament too. Scoop was mounted on place as well. Rear bumper had some fit issues, but there's not much I can do about it at this point. Revell '55 Bel Air rear bumper seems to fit a bit better, but it has bumper guards so I think I prefer the kit part anyway. Tail lights were painted with Clear Red & white and blue dots with blue of course. The fitment of those tail lights wasn't perfect either, they were a bit too big to fit properly on body shapes. But again, I just have to live with it.

Anyway, after some minor touchups this thing is now Finally Finished! Here's one teaser shot of the finished product, I'll try to shoot some better pics tomorrow and post them in here.

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