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Yonks ago a local rodder - Royce Fisher - built a closed cab from a cut down 26 T Tudor sedan. The build started in the early-mid 60's and was on the road in late 60's. I remember seeing it in 69 at a gas station. I lived about 45 minute drive away from the city where the Royce was based. I eventually moved there too. The NZ Hot Rod magazine article attached is from 73 and I remember attending that show. The club that Royce was a founding member of is having their 50th anniversary this year. Unfortunately Royce passed a number of years ago but he is remembered and the profile of his pickup is often used in club monograms and letterheads.


I started the build a number of years ago and it is now at painted stage but I am not happy with some colour choices. The chassis and running train are a bit lighter hue of metallic green than the body - I will redo this

The stumbling block when I first started the build was the chrome headers but we have a work-round for that now 

The kits used are the Lil John 26 T Sedan and the 29 Pickup - both Revell

The sedan was cut as shown


More pix later




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I did the same cuts to the same kit and eventually built a hot rodded dump truck with it. Still in my display case 40 + years later. Just your typical Model AA with a blown engine, Chrome headers,etc.

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Some more pix of where I am at


The rear of the cab if upholstered in vinyl and has a mountain of buttons. The method to make these was to heat stretch some sprue and then cutting into 10mm long pieces. These were placed close to a hot soldering iron to make one mushroom head. Meanwhile the button pattern was marked out on the cab and holes drilled and then countersunk. The next step was to insert the button into a hole cut to length and mushroom with the soldering iron - it took some time from memory


So we now have buttons on both sides


The assembled cab


The chassis is from a Revell 29 RPU  and has been shortened. The motor is from a Revell 40 Convert that had a SB Ford installed into it. The distributor is wrong as the rod has a later model motor with a crab style distributor - another mission to find or make one. The rear tyres shown have white wall inserts that need to be painted and the fronts (not shown) are from a Tamiya Lotus seven. The originals were 14" rims that had V8 centres welded in that gives it a nice tyre rake.

More to come






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One of the major stumbling blocks that I could see was the headers. The originals were made from Holden car tail pipes and snake around the radius rods. The collectors were made from flathead oil filter housing. This was a novel idea but filter housings in 1/25th are few and far between. The other block was chrome plating. When I first started the model just 20 years ago there was no chrome paint systems available.

My first attempt at the headers was not a great success but a couple of attempts later I ended up with that in the pix below. The motor is from an AMT 40 Ford but this has now been replaced by the Revell flattie.


The oil filter that came with the Revell flattie has a big hole in the rear - quick solution machine one from some plastic rod. While I was at I need a couple more for the header collectors. First the oil filter


It looks huge but the main body dimension is just 5mm

Next up machine the collectors. This needed a different machining approach. First turn the barrel part then change the lathe over to mill function and drill the header pipe entries, the back to lathe operation to machine the cover end of the collector.

The lathe/mill is an Emco Unimat 3 which I picked up second hand awhile back with this job at the top of the to do list but such is life other jobs came first.

Pix below is the drill out of the collector for the header tubes. Its a bit hard to see as the white plastic was difficult to photograph



More to come




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Pix of lathe - it has had the original motor replaced with a the smallest three phase motor I could find and fitted with a variable speed drive.



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As I looked at the first photo of the button tufting I thought "why doesn't he just use pins?" and then saw the second photo with the button tufting on the inside as well and thought - "Man, that just might be the cleverest idea I have ever seen!"

Great to see these old rods being recreated in scale.  I have a few Aussie examples on the bench at the moment. Royce must have been a short guy - there can't have been much leg room in that cab, and that comes from a guy who drives a Model A roadster with a recessed firewall!

I have a Model t closed cab project of my own, but lacking any spare T Tudor bodies, I am grafting a Revell 27 tub cowl to a 29 Closed Cab body.  Should get the same result but there is a lot of filling required to blend the smaller cowl into the body. I like your way better!



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Hi Alan, thanks for the kind words

Royce was close to 6ft tall and he had issues with the cramped confines of the cab but he still drove it around. I remember he and another rodder drove from Palmerston North to Auckland in the middle of winter to enter into a show. Auckland is about 500km from Palmy. He also went to the South Island in it too. The guy who has the pick up now said its pretty hard to get into and out of 

I just remembered the back section of the body is the remainder of the top of the 26 T

When I made up the buttons I made heaps as stretching sprue is an inexact science.

I see the occasional 26 T on the local auction site, either sedans or the delivery. Your project looks interesting

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Bill....very sharp work and very creative fabrication techniques!  

The Crab-style distributor is available from Replicas and Miniatures of Maryland....a really good piece and highly recommended...

Have been following your project and looking forward to your further progress as it occurs....


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Thanks for the kind words

Been hammering away at the small stuff

Needed and crab style distributor so made one up. Took a couple of attempts to get it there. Started with some sprue that I machined to the needed diameter then filed a groove for the terminal posts. The posts are insulation striped off some some small wire and cut to length. A cap was glued over the groove and insulation then cut to length on my lathe with a stub to fit into the hole in the front of the engine block



It is now complete but the pix will have to wait as the pix fairies dealt to the photo

The next thing to sort is the fan belt and generator. As a 2 carb manifold is used the generator needs to be moved to one side - in this case to the left hand side of the block. A matter of cutting up fan belts and pulleys, fab up a bracket for the gennie and idler pulley. Royce used the front of a generator in the stock location for the idler




A bracket was made up for the oil filter and pinned to the LH head


Meanwhile while the glue is drying on one part we work on another - The brackets for the pickup bed are made from 1mm square plastic rod. I did these last time I had this out but they all needed regluing and trimming to length.



The next thing to do is paint and chrome so that some assembly work can be done on the chassis. The list is still long

More to come










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On 5/11/2021 at 9:29 PM, Kit Karson said:


Your off to an awesome start!  Fab work is on a level with some of the finest modelers anywhere on our planet, Brother!  -KK

Thanks Kit.

Fab work is a norm as I live a long way from the aftermarket suppliers. I have been "Kit Rodding" as I call it for a long time now and I don't always have the right part to fit the job at hand.

The purchase of the lathe added another dimension to my model fab work - don't know how I  got on without it




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