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Bullet Bird Mild Custom ('62 Thunderbird)


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I was SO VERY excited when I found out that this kit was re-released.... Just had to get one! Started on it as soon as I got it. The plan is a brown exterior (may try to do some sort of panel paint job outlining the brown with gold), and a black and white interior. So far I have the wheels detailed and the basis of the dash painted. I have the seats painted, but they're just white.



Still need to detail the dash and finish the door panels to have the interior done. Also need to find a set of knock-offs for the wheels, as the kit ones are kinda clunky....

Anyways, this is my current project! I just love a Thunderbird (as you all well know), so I have a real good feeling about this going in, and what I hope is a solid plan.....

Thanks, and any comments are welcome.....

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Thanks, you two......

23 hours ago, slusher said:

I always follow your builds…

I know you do, my friend! I always look forward to your replies.....

Some more work on the interior. There's some touch-ups to do, but you get the general idea as to how it's gonna look.



The more I work with this kit, the better I like it! It's very detailed and such..... The dash even represents the swing-away column. I've got my brown on order, hopefully it will be here soon so I can move along with this....

Thanks, and feel free to comment!

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I've been working on some of the small parts for the last couple of days. Still waiting on my paint for the body, and since I want things like the engine block and chassis to be keyed with the body, I'm at kind of a waiting stage......



Anyways, that's progress for now, thanks!

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I have just a quick question regarding detailing the chassis..... The front and rear subframes, were they painted with the floor pan, or were they painted black then installed? You can see the subframe in the rear, some structural braces around the transmission tunnel, and the front subframe that ties into the bottom of the firewall area.....



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The "subframes" on Fords and Mercurys are not like the GMS. They are not removable and are part of the floor assemblies. IE not removable


The floors would be primer and overspray along the edges (OR complete body color), engine compartment  (inner fenders, firewall etc) would be body color

Edited by chris chabre
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Thanks for the info, guys! You've made my job that much easier.....

1 hour ago, slusher said:

I would tape off my gas tank and paint my chassis black then paint my tank silver or aluminum..

Carl, what I was thinking of doing was to paint the chassis body color, since I'm wanting this to be a show car/custom. Then I could paint the gas tank aluminum with maybe some black foil for the straps...... We'll see! I did get the paint for this thing finally. Still need the gold to use as a base coat. What I have planned is to paint the whole thing in gold, then mask off some panel accents where I want the gold to stay. Then I could use the brown on it.....


When this kit was released about 8 or 10 years ago, I bought one only to ruin it with the paint I was trying to use on it. I'm glad I'm getting a second chance with it to try and do it justice.....


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  • 2 weeks later...

Got a little more progress to show! The body and all associated parts are in primer..... Also, I found some knock-offs for the wheels.



I've read about some fitment issues when it comes time to mate the body to the chassis/interior assembly, so I plan on building up the "guts" as much as I can and test fit them to the body before I continue with the paint work....

That's it for now, please comment freely!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks fantastic so far! I'm watching with great interest as I'm a huge fan of the Bullet Birds and have this kit on order. I'm gonna go with Emerald Green Metallic for the body, and a slightly lighter shade of green for the interior, with silver for the dash and door panel inserts. I might use a few of the custom parts, and maybe get the PE set for emblems, etc, but it will be mostly stock. I'm curious to see how you do the taillights.

Here's the car that inspired me, done in a beautiful color called Deep Sea Blue.

The '62 is so clean in its side detailing...the '63 with the door hash marks just doesn't work for me. 



tbird front.jpg

Edited by rightrudder
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I meant how you detail them, with the silver part in the recessed part of the lens. Depending on how they're molded, maybe paint would sort of flow into that well?

I'm worried that I'll really mess this part up! I guess some solvent on a Q-tip could remedy anything I botch with an unsteady hand. Part of me really wants to go with tiny LEDs for head- and tail light illumination, but I think I'll have my hands full with other stuff.

Looking forward to seeing your progress!



tbird rear.jpg

Edited by rightrudder
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Fun facts about the Bullet Bird...you may already know these, but I thought they were interesting.

  • President Kennedy had 50(!) of them in his inaugural parade. Obviously a man of good taste (see also: Jackie, Marilyn Monroe!)
  • Stylist Bill Boyer was really a pioneer of the center console. He had fabbed one up earlier for his daily driver, and he incorporated that into the T-Birds.
  • Bullet Bird was early adopter of unit body construction. Chrysler really led the way in 1960 for unibodies in American mass-produced cars, although there were earlier examples that saw smaller production numbers.  
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4 hours ago, ratdoggy said:

And that's why I bought my 1:1 1962 instead of a 1963

THAT is a nice car...... I'm guessing it has the 390 engine?

6 hours ago, rightrudder said:

I meant how you detail them

Most likely I'll be using the custom tail lights for this build...... If I was to use the factory ones, I would get some silver acrylic craft paint. They rinse cleanly until dry, so any mistakes could be cleaned with water....

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