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Monogram Turbo Trans Am model in 1/8 scale!


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I wanted to have a large scale model which would hopefully breathe some new excitement into the scale car modeling profession.  As a kid in the 1970s and 1980s, scale modeling was quite popular.  Video games on a regular television was even a new concept (i.e., Pong, Atari 2600).  There were also no iPods or X-Boxes, and both the Apple home computer and cable television industries were then in their infancies.  So the kids of the day, myself included, were quite interested in building scale models and slot car racing, and I wanted to bring some of that excitement back into today's interconnected world. 

I found this forum yesterday, and I think it will become among my favorites to visit!

Behold is my partially assembled Monogram Turbo Trans Am model in 1/8 scale.  I cannot take credit for this build.  My friend Randy is a scale modeler whom I met with on eBay about 14 years ago!  I was so impressed with his builds that I had asked him to create this custom build for me.  He generously agreed. 

These are the original photos which Randy emailed me years ago as he was building the model!  I'll upload photos of the finished model in a subsequent post!






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I am sharing the finished photos of this build.

This Turbo Trans Am model has working headlights, high beams, and taillights, parking and side marker lights, and interior gauges.  All lights can be individually activated by switches located on the front panel of a finished wooden (and glass-enclosed) base upon which the model sits.  The wooden base is hollowed out to hide the electrical wiring that the model needs, and covered on top by simulated asphalt. 

During the build, I had inquired with Randy whether we could have opening doors on this model.  Unfortunately, the interior door molds (of the interior tub) do not line up precisely with the exterior door edges on these models, and furthermore, the structural integrity would be noticeably weakened because the model has T-Tops rather than a solid roof.  Interior carpet and rear deck are covered in black felt to simulate carpeting with individual carpeted floor mats (thin rubber edges around each mat too).  Randy even used thin gold modeling tape around the bumpers, T-tops, and wheel wells to create the custom exterior stripes of the Bandit edition of the car!  Engine is wired and fully detailed also with rubber bands (for belts), miniature rubber hoses, and the coolant in the "reservoir" is visible!  The only thing I can't do with this model is turn the key and drive off!

The Testors glue started losing its adhesive properties after 10 years, causing the suspension to eventually collapse.  The model was reconditioned last year and brought back to perfection by a local modeler (Steve) who works at a popular hobby shop.   I have a disability but Randy and Steve worked their magic to create and maintain this model for me! 

Enjoy!  Comments welcomed.  I'll try to upload a video of the finished model after this weekend.






Edited by Dr.Paul
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That's a good lookin' car!! Is that backlighting on those IP gauges? I remember getting one of those cars in my stall when I worked in Dallas at Vista Ridge Pontiac. Of course at that time all the bolts and nuts on the whole intake setup were rusted in place!!

Really great looking build there Paul!

Edited by mustang1989
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Thank you!

Yes, the IP gauges indeed have backlighting.  The backlit IP bulbs are activated by an individual switch on the wooden base that also turns on the parking and side marker lights.

A Trans Am aficionado looked at these pics years ago and told me that the speedo and tach are in the wrong spots!  lol  I don't care myself, Randy's effort is phenomenal!




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Thank you for your fabulous comments everyone!  Yes, I am certainly proud to own this scale model replica of the real thing.

I laughed at Phil's comment about the engine.  haha  The photo indeed shows the engine of the Monogram model!  When Steve was reconditioning this model for me last year, he added a custom brass rod, painted black, to keep the hood propped open in its glass display case.  I do not think the original model came with a hood prop.  But I agree that the engine compartment is too nice to be kept hidden beneath a closed hood, so I agreed with Steve to insert the custom hood prop ... which can be quickly and easily removed as needed in the future.

Indeed the model and its base takes up a lot of shelf space.  But it is a definite conversation piece for everyone who spots it!

Oh, I forgot, the wiring inside the wooden base plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet that provides the power for the lighting.  Not batteries.  There is either a transformer/resistor in the base that reduces this 120-volt current to 5-volts sufficient to activate the tiny lights.



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