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Christmas Amnesty Project 2017 - Valiant Stocker 2-9-18 Update

Tom Geiger

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Wow! I've been doing this a long time (since 2000), and there are people who have joined in with me.   The premise is that over the years I've had the week between Christmas and New Years off from work.  And that's been the same for several companies.   The president grants Thanksgiving Amnesty to a turkey every year.  So I got the idea of granting Christmas Amnesty to a model car.  I realized that I really didn't have enough time in a week to build a full project, but how about some half built model that's been languishing for years?  So we began back in the year 2000 with a Dodge Ramcharger that I had completed the chassis and walked away.  And we went on from there...  and I've fallen off the past two years... not finishing in 2015 and I don't think I actually did a project at all in 2016.  But here we are!  

So this year's project (Chuck are you with us so far?)   is....


The Martin Terry 1963 Valiant.  Many years ago someone gave me this body. It's an old promo that no doubt was given to young Martin as a toy. It has much play wear on it, and to keep him from losing his toys, it appears Mommy would write his name on them.  Anyway, this poor old body came to me many years ago and went into the Valiant hoard I have, thinking maybe someday it would give up wheel wells or something towards another build.


When the Modified Stocker series came out, my first thought was to take the Falcon and put the guts under a Valiant body.  Then I discovered the chassis was a bit too simple so I employed the chassis from an AMT 1971 Duster old built up with this experiment. 


Here's the modified chassis,  taking 5 scale inches out of it where you see the pins.


The project got serious enough that I took the roof off a decent 1964 Valiant body! And I chose better tires.   Then the project stalled!

Here we go!  The rule to Christmas Amnesty is that the model has to be done before going back to work on January 2nd.  If a build gets more complicated, it can be built to completion later than Jan 2nd, as long as the work is continuous.  That kicked in on the '34 Ford. There was so much good work I wanted to do on this, so it didn't get finished until late January. But I never quit, which is the spirit of this build.

So who is gonna watch and cheer me on?  And more important, who is gonna dig out an old project and go for it?!  

The link below is an album of all the Model Car Amnesty builds over the years.  


Edited by Tom Geiger
fixed photos
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Okay I'm back. It's been quite a holiday season,  we went away for 3 days over Christmas so I haven't had as much bench time as I would've liked.  Of course once you pull a long languishing model from the shelf and get started, that's when you remember why it was on the shelf!   This one was dry docked because I couldn't decide on how to do an interior.   1963 Valiant interiors are too valuable to gut. In fact with Modelhaus out of the picture, any '63 Valiant parts are gold.  So all I have to work with is this body.


I spent time playing with different ideas.  Since this car is built on the 1971 Duster chassis and that's also the floor in that kit, I thought I'd go that way and make all the interior tin.  Then I thought otherwise and remembered that I had extra parts kits of both the Fireball 500 and the Hemi Under Glass funny car.  Both of these kits are based on the '66 Barracuda and held remnants of the '63-66 Valiants.  So I pulled them out and saw that the HUG interior was truly devoid of any detail.  That led me to play with the Fireball 500 interior. I was fortunate that I bought a box with three of this kit stuffed in it for $10 at a show once.  No doubt the seller wanted the trailers.  So I got to mess one interior without worry.  

I thinned the sidewalls of the interior to fit snugly into the Valiant body.  Then I added the Evergreen to the exteriors as my glue point inside the body.  Note that this interior was the last hurrah for the '66 Barracuda interior.  It was cut in half and the seats were molded in.  That left me with two seats, so be it.  This will be a modern era exhibition racing car, so you can take a passenger out for a lap.  


So after I did all those interior concepts and blew through two of the Fireball interiors, I went to the roll cage.  Yea, I built three of them before I got one to sorta work.  The small one to the left was out of the '53 Studebaker kit and was way too low, no doubt because it was meant for the chopped top. The other two are out of the '68 Falcon Stocker.   Somehow I have three of these and I built them all.  The one in the back of the photo is completely stock and was too wide. Then I butchered one to pieces.  The last attempt works.  I narrowed it and made the top half angle inward. 


And since I was gonna be tuggin' and pullin' on this cage to get it to the shape I needed, I didn't just glue it together.  Any time I do that I regret it. So I took the tougher trail and pinned it all together.  All friggin THREE cages!  And the one I ruined.  That was a lot of drilling and a lot of pins!


The beauty of doing this is that I can pin it all together without glue, then adjust, shorten, sand as needed. Nothing is glued in this photo.


And here's a final shot of my interior.  I used the stock dashboard from the Falcon stock car. Since this photo, I added plastic sheet to the back of the interior and it's drying now.   Note that the pedals are molded in and are for an automatic.  I am using the stock V8 from the Duster and that's got an automatic on it too.   So we're moving on...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm back!  My holiday season was quite busy,  we spent a lot of time with friends and family. We slept away from home on three occasions that week. So I didn't get in a lot of bench time.  But as long as I don't stop working, it's still the Amnesty Project.

It's been one of those projects! When I pulled it from the shelf, I thought it would be fairly easy. I had a built chassis and engine, from an old builtup. Body mods had been done, I just needed to figure out an interior and put the whole thing together... yea right!

As with the Plymouth Airport stretch wagon, I wound up redoing most of the work I had considered done. It's funny when you look at work you did maybe a dozen years ago. There were issues with the chassis and the engine so I started over and by the end of Christmas week, I was pretty much just back to where I had started. I have been working since when I can. Today I had a holiday but my wife had to work. Home alone? What to do? Spend the day in the model room!


It turned out the biggest hurdle I had was to make a roll cage. This is attempt three, fashioned from the one in the Falcon Modified Stocker kit. It was sliced and diced in a dozen pieces and then reassembled a few times by drilling out and pinning the joints together. I finally got it to fit snugly into the Valiant. Last thing I did tonight was to prime the cage to see where I needed to work on it.


Sharp eyes may have noticed two headrests in the last photo of the cage. Yup, we have two seats. I used the interior from the Fireball 500, since it originally was the Valiant interior. It fit right in. I thought I'd build it as an exhibition type modern car that may exist today. Why not take a buddy for a lap? The back of the cage is actually the back from two cages spliced together. Yea, there are a lot of pins in that roll cage.


Here we are up on wheels. I shortened the 1971 Duster chassis 5 scale inches and modified it to fit into the Valiant body with hogged out wheel wells. I also created the exhaust system to fit the mount holes in the chassis from multiple parts each.

I started out with a stray and abused Valiant body, and with the current parts situation losing ModelHaus, I wasn't going to sacrifice '63 Valiant bumpers from a clean kit! So I made some. These started life as '59 Chevy units. I spliced them a few times, to get what you see here.


Side view. I did paint those wheels today too.


Interior fit- I finally got the roll cage to sit where it needs to be. The Falcon cage was too wide and pretty much square, where the Valiant greenhouse tapers in on the sides. Dash board is not shown in this mock up, I'm using the one from the Hemi Under Glass.


Rear View- Another 59 Chevy bumper set out from the body.  So this is where I'm at today. Still a lot of work to go!

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  • 4 weeks later...


I am still working diligently on my Christmas Amnesty Build, only pausing to participate in the 24 Hour Build.

As with some previous Amnesty Builds, I wound up redoing a lot of the original work I had done.  On this one, I realized that the reused chassis had the front spindles installed incorrectly.. one right side up, one upside down. That made the car sit on an  angle.  So I decided to just take a clean chassis from a fresh kit and build a new chassis.  Sometimes the economy of old beaters just doesn't pan out.

So at this point, we have the chassis completed and up on wheels.  I used the wheels from the Falcon Modified Stocker, but didn't like the four large slicks that came with it so I grabbed better tires many years ago, so I don't remember the  source.

I had bought the .1  Molotov chrome pen and these wheels were my test.  I chromed the lug nuts and caps. It worked very well.

The car has it's first color of white over gray primer, all Duplicolor. 


Here I'm using Tamiya Tape prior to adding a second color. The side coves, as taped off and the roof will be white. The rest of the car will be red to match the interior. I'm hoping to spray tonight.


The interior is nearly done. I just have to add details and fashion up some seat belts. The roll cage is heavily modified from the Falcon Modified stocker... it was only too tall, too wide and too long.  I ruined two of them fabricating this. There are something like 20 parts, all fused together with lengths of straight pin  or bendable wire where I needed to make adjustments.


Dash was also swiped from the Modified Stocker, with a Detail Master gauge set.  You really cannot see the pedals here, they came from the '71 Duster. 


Engine is ready to mount in the chassis. It's the 340 from the Duster kit, so it matches the chassis. The only modifications in the installation are that I had to take 5 scale inches out of the drive shaft to match the shortning of the chassis.  And I made an exhaust system.

Edited by Tom Geiger
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  • 1 month later...
23 hours ago, Psychographic said:

Someone in my neighborhood still has Christmas decorations up, so I guess Tom still has some time left. But if he waits much longer, he won't be late for last Xmas, but early for the next one.

Gee! Give a guy a break, it's a hobby isn't it?    I have been super busy between work going on overload and working on the upcoming NNL East.  Work has me traveling so there is no chance to work on models.  In fact, I was away last week, here this week and away again the next two weeks leading up to the show...  an end in sight? Nope! The Sunday after NNL East, I take off again for a week away.


There has been progress since the last post...   above is the finished paint and narrowed front bumper from the Revell 59 Chevy.


And how it looks today..  As you can see, it's still front and center on my work bench. One good day of work (I don't know when!) and it'll be done!

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9 minutes ago, Tom Geiger said:

Gee! Give a guy a break, it's a hobby isn't it? 


Nope, no breaks allowed if it's the other guys project.:D Now my own projects, that's another story.


Do you happen to drive a dark Blue HHR with steelies and NNL plates?

Edited by Psychographic
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22 minutes ago, Psychographic said:

Do you happen to drive a dark Blue HHR with steelies and NNL plates?

No, that's Al Raab.  He sold the HHR a while back.  He had close to 300,000 miles on that sucker!

12 minutes ago, bobthehobbyguy said:

Thanks for the update. Just was letting you know there was iinterest in it.

Thanks Bob! No worries, I appreciate the interest.  I just wish there were more hours in the day.  Nobody wants the Valiant in the showcase more than me!

Edited by Tom Geiger
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