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  1. Many folks know that I collect old survivors, especially interesting customs, that people built back in the heyday of modeling. I find that these are historical time capsules of where the hobby was at the time, both in imagination and in level of skill put into these works. I cringe when I see people take one of these neat old models that has somehow survived intact 50-60 years and strip them down for a new build. Here's some work I've done recently... Once upon a time I found this beat to death 1957 Ford custom in a dealers junk box at the MidAtlantic NNL in Maryland. It had the roof smashed off, and was missing all the suspension, as those parts are pretty delicate on that kit. As I held it up to look at it, the dealer told me to either take it for free for parts, or he was going to throw it away. Of course I took it. The roof you see here is from a much used '57 Ford body. The hood went to my blue '57 custom, the wheel wells to someone on the board here to better the ones on the newer Revell body. So it was sacrificed for three projects. Nothing went to waste! I was able to date this one back to the original kit release, as a first issue. I found the original instructions and decal sheet on the Drastic Plastic site on Fotki. Now on to the restoration: Here's the original interior. Nothing needed changing here. There was a glue mark where the rear view mirror was on the dash so we replaced it. The horn trim ring was missing so we replaced it as well. The back shelf was a glue mess so I added a piece of fabric that I had in my junk box for years. I thought it fit into the intent of the build and was something someone would do back in the day. I like the pet mascots that came in these early kits so I painted up and added the doggie. He actually sits on a tire burn. I never did pull this one apart so it was an "on frame" restoration. I knew I'd never match the paint on the roof so I found I had a crusty 69 cent can of Testors gold that still sprayed.. sorta.. and gave it a squirt. That led me to thinking it looked plain and the original builder would've used a kit decal there. So I picked out the largest decal on the sheet, which also was one not already on the car, and sized it up to fit the roof in Irfanview. Then I saw the decal had a yellowish background you can see in the large image, so I cleaned it up in Word, as you see in the top photo. There is a command to eliminate background that I used to get the clean image. Once cleaned up, I set it up to print 3 images on decal paper. Always print multiple copies. I screwed up my first one so the one on the car is image two. I still have the third one. And here we are with the finished roof decal. I did a tutorial on making decals for a Facebook group that requested it, so I have more on the process if anyone is interested. Front view- I blacked in the grill area and added the Meteor one from the kit. The car had glue marks where there were mirrors and antennas, so I added period pieces. I drilled holes and pinned them in for future strength. The mirrors came from the '61 Ranchero kit, while the antennas were in the '60 Plymouth wagon. I bought a '57 Ford parts box at the Liars Show that had an unfinished project and extra parts in it. These tires and wheels were in it. They fit perfectly so I used them. The exhaust held on from the original build. The car had a flattish finish, no doubt the characteristic of the paint rather than the builders intent. The decals were all flaking off, so I masked off much of the car and painted everything green with Tamiya gloss clear. I generally leave classics as they were, but wanted to preserve those decals. Curse those old AMT doors. The right side one opens, but the left one came off in my hand. I glued it shut. Interior was brush painted to match and used the piston shifter from the kit. I didn't touch the engine compartment, it's all original from the early 1960s. Rear views, didn't change anything here at all. Note that I usually add one of the old AutoWorld 1962 license plates to the classic builds. In honor of the Meteor grill, I used the Alberta, Canada plate. And here's both my '57 Ford custom restorations. They are cool together since the each use a different set of parts. And the complete set for full effect! On the right is the '58 Chevy custom I just finished up. Hope you enjoy the old classics as much as I do. If only these cars could talk!
  2. Many folks know that I collect old survivors, especially interesting customs, that people built back in the heyday of modeling. I find that these are historical time capsules of where the hobby was at the time, both in imagination and in level of skill put into these works. I cringe when I see people take one of these neat old models that has somehow survived intact 50-60 years and strip them down for a new build. Here's some work I've done recently... I bought this '58 Chevy custom on eBay a few years ago for the grand sum of $10. I liked the color scheme, but I"m not sure how old this one is since that's a fairly modern color and the kit hasn't changed at all since it was first released so I cannot date it by discontinued accessories etc. Overall this one suffered from a poor build. Original builder did no body prep so there are mold lines and sprue nubs. There is no primer under the paint. It arrived in jostled condition and easily came apart so I set to clean it up to make a decent shelf model. There were glue marks where the original builder had put mirrors and antennas, so I replaced them. I drilled them in per my usual practice. The mirrors came from the parts box, no doubt from a kit of the same era. I made the antennas from wire and the bases are Grandt Line scale nuts. The car came to me with only three matching tires, two of which had cracked sidewalls. It had huge wheels (one piece baby moons with trim rings - all chrome) that wouldn't fit any of my tires. I replaced it all with tires from the Revell '50 Ford pickup and some nifty wheels from my parts collection. It has the custom interior with that really neat floating dashboard. I made a mental note to use my spare one in a street rod someday. One of the doors was broken off so I fixed that. I was originally going to just glue it shut, but the missing piece fell out when I took the body off the chassis. So I strengthened it with a bit of straight pin wire upon gluing it back in place. Original builder used Testors silver for the chrome and wasn't that good with the emblems. Since I didn't have access to the original paint, I left all that intact as part of the history of the build. I did crack open a fresh kit for parts. The glass had visible glue marks so I replaced it all with new. The front end wobbled and upon investigation I saw that our builder had glued each wheel on at a different build height. So I pulled it all off and redid with fresh parts. Now it sits flat and the original moving steering was restored. One of the things that had me buy this kit was the thread wiring like we did as kids. I did have the engine out for cleaning and a repaint but I left the thread for old times sake. It was missing the tri-carb so those came from my parts kit. Here she is sitting with a friend. That's a similar '57 Ford I restored from a junker as well. Both of these sit in my Old Kustom Kollection showcase. Fun stuff to own and very relaxing to restore as it's pretty low-tech work. I will share another '57 Ford in my next thread!
  3. I picked up one of these Jimmy Flintstone resin bodies. They recommend the AMT 57 Ford or the Revell Ranchero kit. Any experience plus or minus?
  4. I've been watching the forums to see if anyone has cut the trunk open on either the Revell or AMT '57 Fords and if so, how challenging was it - especially the Revell kit as the body shell seems a bit thicker. Mostly, I am concerned about the lower edge of the back of the deck lid where the license plate cove is. I'm no where near as talented as many of the people posting on the site are and I am not much of a fabricator, so I am looking to see what I can learn through the experience of others here. I am considering using the chassis from an AMT kit under the Revell body to give the sedan pose-able steering. The trunk floor on the Revell kit seems to be more accommodating to creating a respectable trunk compartment as the AMT model has quite an angle sloping toward the rear of the car. My second question is has anyone ever used the AMT hardtop to create a two door imitation hardtop like the car that Robert Mitchum drove in the movie Thunder road? Again, I am looking for ideas and input into framing the door and side window openings to make a sedan. And has anyone ever found the colour combination of that car? Mitchum's son seems to think that it was green and white although he is not totally certain.. it is difficult to tell from the photos that I can find. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.
  5. The 1957 Ford came in four main types, Custom, Custom 300, Fairlane and Fairlane 500, with numerous derivatives thereoff. Besides a longer wheelbase, the Fairlane and Fairlane 500 series were distinguished by the hardtop body style in two and four door designated repsectively Club and Town Victoria. In addition, there were the Sedan type in two and four doors similar to the Custom and Custom 300. Now my question: Did the Customs share the same roof with the Fairlane (B-Pillar) sedans? Or to put it simple: Can I fit the new Revell '57 Ford Custom on an AMT Fairlane 500 Club Victoria to get a Fairlane Club Sedan?
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