Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum

El Kabong ('59 El Camino Rat Rod)


Recommended Posts

My apologies in advance for this long post…

This was, by far, the most challenging and fun model I’ve ever created, and it was a real stretch for my “rattle can” modeling skills. I never had “weathered” a rust bucket or built that many Rat Rods.

For inspiration, I cruise the internet looking at SEMA Battle of the Builders entries, Ridler award candidates, and car show showstoppers searching for a project to grow and stretch my imagination and improve my modeling skills. When a particular ride jumps out at me, I have to build it. 

A couple of months ago, I came across Chris Walker’s Hulk Camino. What a cool rat rod! The 800 HP reimagined ‘59 El Camino was one of the most menacing vehicles I’d ever seen. It would be a tough challenge, and I knew I’d have to take a deep dive into the parts bin. Body mods are extensive, and the hand-rubbed patina courtesy of Mother Nature is so ugly; it’s beautiful! And another nice thing about close-up photos is that the closer you get, the more pronounced the flaws, some intended, some not, but all appropriate for this model. The body was shortened and channeled, the hood widened, and the roof narrowed, then moved rearward about three scale feet. It looks like it could have just rolled out of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s design studio. 

Of course, my version had to have a supercharged HEMI, whitewall fronts, pie crust slicks, and NOS. And why not make it a dually? And I had to name it El Kabong after Quick Draw McGraw’s crime-fighting alter-ego. 

And, no, I wasn’t influenced by that high school smoking apparatus. I get as much of a kick out of figuring out how to engineer and fabricate complicated replicas as I do from showing off the finished product. 

Photos of Hulk Camino and an AMT ’59 El Camino kit were great places to start.

Donor Kits:

·      1959 El Camino, AMT – body & glass

·      1938 Custom Ford Van, Lindberg – chassis & front suspension

·      Tony Nancy Hall of Fame Dragster set, Revell – 426 HEMI engine & rear differential

Major Mods:


·      Roof chopped, narrowed & repositioned rearward

·      T-Tops (driver access) opened & hinged 

·      Windshield & Rear window narrowed (split)

·      Body channeled & slammed

·      Hood widened, reshaped & extended & front fenders, tilt-hood

·      Wheel openings moved & reshaped


·      Bomber seats (resin)

·      Seatbelts (masking tape w/ PE buckles)

·      Floor, door, and undercarriage panels (styrene diamond plate)

·      Rollbar (scratch-built styrene rod)

·      Fire Extinguisher (scratch-built styrene rod)


·      Hemi (Tony Nancy – dragster)

·      Plug Wires & Plumbing

·      Blower pully & belt

·      Nos bottle

·      Side pipes 


·      1938 Custom Ford Van Ford - Lindberg

·      Posable Steering (scratch-built)

·      Rear end & suspension narrowed (scratch-built)

·      Coil-Overs (scratch-built)

·      Dually Tires / Wheels

·      Front clip, rear box sections, and roll bar (scratch-built)

·      Driveshaft tunnel & brace (scratch-built)


·      Weathering - First attempt at creating a rust bucket. Devised a “hybrid” rust technique using Elmer’s glue and salt in the following order; 

1.     Prepped body and applied Mr. Surfacer 1000 primer (gray)

2.     Created rust damage and holes with various Dremel tools and picks

3.     Sprayed body (inside and out) with red oxide primer

4.     Highlighted holes and rust damage using various shades of brown and rust colors

5.     Applied Elmer’s glue and salt to major seams and around body panels, holes, spots, and damaged areas

6.     Sprayed body sections Dark Green and Tamiya Coral Blue through vignettes and masks

7.     Removed glue & salt with a toothbrush and x-fine sandpaper

8.     Applied custom decals

9.     Applied Dullcote to the entire body


·      Red-Oxide Primer (Ace Hardware)

·      Gray Primer (Mr. Surfacer 1000)

·      Dark Green (Tamiya TS-91)

·      Corral Blue (Tamiya TS-41)

·      Semi-gloss Bright Gun Metal (Tamiya TS-100)

·      Dark Gun Metal (Tamiya TS-42)

·      Bare Metal (Tamiya TS-12)

·      Dullcote (Testors #1250)

·      MetalicFinish Chrome (Rust-Oleum)

·      Metallic Silver (Testors)

·      Gloss Red (Testors)

·      Flat Black (Testors)

·      Gloss Black (Testors)

·      Flat Bronze (Testors)

·      Flat Rust (Testors)

·      Flat Lt. Brown (Testors)

·      Flat Zinc Chromate (Testors)

·      Flat Yellow (Testors)

·      Flat Black (Testors)

·      Molotow Chrome – pen

·      Bare Metal Foil

·      Ink Jet decals (mascot and dash)











  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, thatz4u said:

Steve, I thought some of my stuff was ratted out, yours' puts mine to shame...my 1/25th hat's off to you sir, very well done....

Hi...this isn't a competition so don't sell yourself short. It was just a fun wild and wacky build. Now I'm really lost on what to do next. Have to sort back through the parts graveyard and see if anything pops out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...