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1980 Datsun 720 - Update 25/2/15

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I must admit, with the re-issue of this kit I'm surprised there haven't been more of these on the go. A search for Datsun yields few results; I guess this little guy isn't that popular!

This current project has its beginnings about seven years ago when I built it up as so:


It was pretty good for my skills at the time. After I built this, I moved a few times and with all the packing and un-packing of my built models, I noticed something on this build each time that I wish I had done differently. Last year, a friend of mine gave me another one of these kits boxed as a snap version. I got to looking and reckoned I could build a longbed version out of the two kits. Let me tell you, it ended rather disastrously. So now I had two kits, without beds, and a bit mangled. In my searches, I only found reference to one other builder that separated the cab from the bed and now I know why: it creates a lot of issues! My club's annual New Year's Challenge is on the go; I already finished the Scout II and with a few weeks to go before the judging, I thought maybe I could squeeze in another build. This simple kit fit the bill and I dug around in my stash to figure out my options and came up with this.



California Step Side! I figured if the conversion bed was good enough for a 620, it was good enough for a 720. The above pictures were taken last night as I was getting things sorted out to make sure it would work. Today was a productive day, although the end shots of the mock up don't look too different from the above pictures, even though there was a lot of work to get to that point!

I drilled out the wheels and grabbed another one to turn into a spare.



The pictures turned out kinda fuzzy, so I will take better ones in the morning. To get to this point, I cut everything out between the frame rails from the cab back and rebuilt it all. I also built the rear cab wall and for the first time tried using the sprue + glue mixture for filling in gaps. Going to let it sit overnight and try sanding and see how it turned out.

Edited by kataranga
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Cool little project! I built a Chevy Luv that had the stepside bed and I had an old fleetside bed also that was beyond restoring. I took the matching rear fender arches from the fleetside bed and grafted them onto the stepside fenders. It looked a lot better with matching fender arches.

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For the purposes of this project, I will be proceeding with the bed as depicted. I do have a number of these 1/4-ton sized beds, however. At some point I will attempt putting the Datsun wheel arches on one and painting the bed to match. :)

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Okay, I took some pictures of current progress with my proper camera rather than my phone. Since the last update I've smoothed out the new rear cab wall and scribed the panel lines.




I tried to take a close-up of what I did to the portion of the seat backs that can be seen from the back window, but it turned out a little fuzzy:

And, again, a little fuzzy but shows the back of the cab:

And here's the back half of the frame with new crossmembers and bed mounts. Don't have anything done for the fuel tank yet.

I guess I really need to take some good pictures in the sunlight, but it was -16°C today so no outside pictures!

Edited by kataranga
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Thanks, Dad! B)

Managed to get most of the paint work done today. By the time the paint was dry enough to handle it was too dark to take any good pictures, but I did manage to get a few shots in primer. It was satisfying to see it all in one colour.




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  • 1 month later...

Not being able to leave well enough alone, and having the extra parts available, I built a trailer for my Desert Rat Datsun to haul around. It will be painted to match the truck.





The frame rails, leaf springs, and wheels and tires are from the same parts kit as the cab for the truck. The hitch and trailer tongue are from the MPC Open Road camper. I cut out the axle's centre section and replaced it with brass tubing sleeved with styrene. The bed itself is the Revell mini-truck piece, this time from a Datsun 620 kit.

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