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1959 Chevy 4-door sedan. Revell/Promolite/Scratch


Mr.Zombie
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Hello,

I thought I begin a new project.

In Denmark where I live, there is this old series of movies called "The Olsen Gang", it's a slapstick comedy type of movies revolving around three main characters, Egon, Benny and Kjeld. Usually their means of transportation are old American sedans that happen to be 1959-1960 Chevys mostly.

As a kid I loved the series, and now with 33 I still enjoy those movies. For a while now I had the idea to build one of their cars, the KD 22 528 Chevy Bel Air (choose that one as the most iconic, and it's in four movies vs. two which is the most the other cars apeared in).

The car called by Benny, who is the exclusive owner and driver, "gammel spand" (old bucket), is a Danish version of the Bel Air assembled in Copenhagen, complete with a different cutout for the numberplate, fillercap relocated to the right rear quarter, and amber turnsignals in the front wings. Alerady when the movies were shot the car was in a dreadful state, but surprisingly it's still around, but it's been sitting disassembled for years now, noone knows what happens to it.

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It took only a short question here in forum to get a link to Mr. Tom Coolidge from Promolite, a little company that has a GM Sedan roof in their offer, and sourcing the Impala from Revell was of course a nobrainer.

Mr. Coolidge kindly send me a roof and two sets of glass, one for the messy construction, the other for the final product. The cast itself is basically the upper half of a GM body, complete with windowframes and part of the cowl, all cast bubblefree and seamless in light creme resine, all sent perfectly protected to me. I can only recomend Mr. Coolidges stuff, I'm really more than happy with what I got. Now, there are a number of ways the body and the roof can be cut so that everything can be assembled, I wanted to cut and sand as little as possible, and after weeks of thinking I decided to cut it away around the rear window so that when glued on, the gap between the frame and the trunklid will automatically be created, thus eliminating the need of filling, the front pillars were cut where the vent windows begin, and where the doorgaps are, again, a natural gap on the real car, thus eliminating the need for too much filling.

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Of course the real car is so rusty that I don't have to be as crazy precise as I would have to be if I built the car in new. I scaled some pics of real cars to estimate the door lenghts, filled the groves for the side trim where needed, sanded away the doorgap, scribbled new ones, built the B- and C-pillars, and mocked up the chassis. And... I tell you what, if it wasn't that particular car, and if there was any alternative to this thing, the Revell junk would fly across the room straight to the bin! The suspension in the front, out of some four or five pieces doesn't line up even though there are mounting holes, the chassis still doesn't sink in the body, though I removed half an inch of material on the inner fenderwells! I don't even mention the flash on every dumb little piece! After my A I built two kits, a Tamiya Beetle that just flies together, and is pure joy, and 1984 Transit by Esci with such an exceptional fit that most of the car was just snapped together, no glue whatsoever! This will be my last Revell kit ever. I have a 2CV that I wanted to build like the one I owned, and because of this Chevy I ordered the 2CV from TAMIYA... But yea... Here is some pics of the current state the kit is in. I will not be defeatet, and I will have a small 4 door Chevy in really good on my desk before May...

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I was able to source most of the stuff I miss (steelies for Chevies, 6 cylinder engine) within hours only thru help from guys in this very forum! Thanks friends! I hope you'll find that I put it into good use when you see some more progress!

Thanks for now, have a nice day.

Edited by Mr.Zombie
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Cool project, beign a Norwegian means that I'm also a fan of the Olsen gang but I'm more used to the norwegian versions of the movies (I belive the danish ones came a couple of years before the norwegian versions and apart from the cast and locations the movies are much the same). In the norwegian movies Benny had a different car every time.

They drove this 59 Impala in the movie For full musikk from 1976

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http://imcdb.org/vehicle_246637-Chevrolet-Impala-1837-1959.html

Most of the time they used american cars in the norwegian movies aswell but in the movie Olsenbanden møter kongen og knekten from 1974 they drove a Mercedes 190

i241841.jpg

http://imcdb.org/vehicle_241841-Mercedes-Benz-190-W110-1966.html

Great films in my eyes, I have seen some of the danish ones and ofcourse all of the norwegian ones.

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Hi Adam,

on German TV they also broadcasted - and still do today - the "Olsen Gang". Also because of the vintage American cars they drove, I am a big fan of this series. Mostly they had Chevys but I recall that in one Episode the even had a 1960 Plymouth (Savoy? Belvedere?) with BIG tailfins.

Regards

Ludwig

Edited by YBlock292
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Yes, in the very first movie they had a Belvedere from 1959. Then it was 1959-60 Chevys, and in the very last one they had a Ford Transit.

The Norwegian Versions came after the Danes, never understood why though, given the fact how close Danish and Norwegian is, they could have easily lived with the Danish. Fun fact, the dude who plays Biffen in the Norwegian films, plays the same character in the Danish movies, and therefore owns the record of most Olsenbanden movies starred :D...

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Nice start. Do you know if Promolite offers a station wagon roof?

I was not aware of the Danish version but i was a big fan of the Norwegian movies,mostly because

of the cars and wild car chases and dynamite Harry lol.

As a guy who has a real soft spot in my heart for the '59 Chevrolets, I find this thread to be very interesting, to say the least. Please do keep us informed withhiw this project goes. I am really curious as to what you are going to do about the Bel Air side trim. The AMY '59 El camino has the same trimif you can somehow make a mold off the body and cast the trim pieces. If you do that, please show in detail the steps and products used to do this.

Tom Coolidge actually has a 1960 Nomad ( Impala series ) that is nothing short of spectacular!!!! The roof could always be removed from the '60 and used on a Modelhaus 2 door wagon to create a four door Brookwood. I'm wondering if the roof off of a Flintstone '60 wagon may work too, but the Promolite roof would almost certainly be a better bet. I have Tom's '59 Ford Custom 300 2 door sedan as well and his stuff puts most styrene kits out there to shame. Tom is a really decent man and his products are second to nothing out there from any kit manufacturer be it styrene or resin. I think that anyone who has ever dealt with him will say the same.

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I think that the reason for making Norwegian versions was to have a better appeal to the home market. The actors where all well-known for the people and with the action taking place mostly in Oslo it would be familiar to many.

Here in Norway we also have a restaurant chain named after Egon Olsen: http://www.egon.no/

The first one was started in Oslo in 1984 and Arve Opsahl (who played Egon in the movies) was at the opeing dressed in the familar clothing of Egon.

http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egon_%28restaurantkjede%29

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Tom Coolidges stuff puts most styrene kits out there to shame. Tom is a really decent man and his products are second to nothing out there from any kit manufacturer be it styrene or resin. I think that anyone who has ever dealt with him will say the same.

I second that. I think that the cast is spectacular. Just the fact that it's a big chunk of roof on flimsy pillars, stuff plastic kit makers manage to warp and make corooket makes it worth for me. Contact with Tom is great too, very patient guy, willing to explain, sending pics of what he has and what you get. Great person.

As for the side trim, als you can see, the car I build has almost none left, and what it has can be easily modified from the Impala kit. I think how to do the "Bel Air" badges, but it's a long way to go yet.

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Mr. Zombie I failed totally when I tried to follow the same route: Revell Impala+TC resin roof. Could you please save your model in "standard" conditions and consider using it as a master for a resin caster? I do not think Tom coolidge will reject the idea. Knowing him, he is a '59-'60 GM fan too, but with very limited time to realize all his ideas. Please please please Mr. Zombie come back to life and hear my call. Me, too, have special memories with '59 Chevy 4DR sedan, but with an Impala rather than Bel Air.

Edited by khier
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I can't cast :( ... Can you?

I was scared of failing too, but I thought for quite a while and I came up with a solution that was quite easy and with minimal sanding and filling. It took me only two evenings to get the roof on the Revell body.

Well, I did not talk about me casting it. I meant we can send it to Tom to cast it. In case everything else fails I may do the casting adventure myself. But I know in advance it will not be the same level as TC.

To be precise I tried to make a flat top 4DR hardtop using a Modelhaus top, which is a copy of a Jo-Han top, and a Revell Impala convertible. My attempts with a sedan roof were very limited in comparison with the flat top. However, both tops come from Jo-Han kits.

The biggest problem was the differences in size and shape of the windshield, especially the corners, between the Revell kit and the Jo-Han roof. The Revell parts are more suare than the Jo-Han parts, and also slightly wider. I read somewhere Art Anderson, who made siimlar conversion, had to widen the roof about 3mm to get it fit properly.

I was thinking to try again using an SMP kit instead of Revell hoping to have a better fit. However, SMP kits are scarse.

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Jo Han's kits are wrong as they are scaled to fit a certain size box.

Get in touch with Tom, he'll send you a roof that fits. In retrospective, the next time I'd do that conversion I'll use a convertible to do so.

Might be that Tom would cast it, but I don't really want to send it off, wait, get back, blabla. And who knows if I even did a good enough job crafting the roof on. I certainly did a good job for what I'll do with it, but good enough for a product regardless of how low the quantity might be?

Besides, I already filled the side trim holes, and that how I needed it, what to do with it now? Fill the rest? Rip it out? No Sir. Not gonna' happen.

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Get in touch with Tom, he'll send you a roof that fits. In retrospective, the next time I'd do that conversion I'll use a convertible to do so.

I got the sedan roof from him. It was a direct copy of Jo-Han '59 Cadillac roof. Did he send you a different roof adapted for the Impala?

Too bad you do not want to prepare and copy it :(

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