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Ford Econoline High-Top Conversion Van

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Here’s my Econoline Conversion Van, finally finished after about 6 months. I really wanted to build a 1980s style high roof conversion van, so I had to find a “Matilda” release of AMT’s Ford van. From what I understand, the Matilda release is the only one with this roof. At the time, the cheapest one on eBay was this complete, yet water damaged kit that also REEKED of cigarette smoke. I checked today and there are two nice kits available for less than I paid 6 months ago, so snap one up if you want a high top!CDD04870-F134-4CE0-B620-504AF4713944.thumb.jpeg.47afb9ae88e8e4e35483d7d71822c136.jpeg

AMT’s Ford van depicts a ‘75-‘78 model, so I used the custom square headlight grill in the kit to give it more of a mid-80’s vibe. The Matilda release doesn’t include the rear spare tire mount so I swiped this one from my recent “Cruising Van” release. The front and middle row seats are the custom option from ‘90s releases of the AMT 1940 Ford coupe and sedan delivery. They are similar to C4 Corvette seats and look right at home in a luxury conversion van. I only had two ‘90s ‘40 Ford kits, so the 3rd row seats are the custom option from the MPC ‘82 Cavalier. Close enough!1CA93FE4-9767-4CE8-8329-BEC2EF80EA53.thumb.jpeg.b986ab707fdc3b006b052211f10348eb.jpeg

The interior brown and tan are Krylon. For the wood trim, I first used Tamiya flat “Light Brown” and then brushed with Tamiya clear orange. The picnic table is scratch built from scrap styrene.


The Matilda release includes the trapezoid rearmost side windows but only two of them. The middle side windows are leftover camper shell windows from the recent AMT Courier Mini Van. The high top “windows” are molded closed with no glass available so I just used black Sharpie to look like limo tint. The main body is painted Tamiya TS75 “Champagne Gold”, and the roof and ground effects are painted Testors Extreme Lacquer “Bronze”. The body stripes are leftover decals from the Courier Mini Van kit. 7A24CA22-E4DA-4F18-8F6C-71AD8DB2468D.jpeg.8a5157c74f3dd9a483c3a47c6ccfbaad.jpeg9EB92805-3EF2-48D0-97A5-41326C8657F5.jpeg.7a87a4037e57afa5a301662d51bd8424.jpeg6243DBF6-3CFA-4D22-B6C9-15FAFBAEDEA8.jpeg.e2afb2f3db642ed49e055f7df759fc76.jpeg30AB84B5-B7AF-40B1-BA3C-C64F5260E6FA.jpeg.93d17068f6f8cb398a7b79fcab08a216.jpegC6669F84-5D94-4344-9041-C8EF6E655E8F.jpeg.d81326c483a274613dbeec7ed2b33369.jpegEDE247F9-D38C-4BFF-9A76-639D27C4E500.jpeg.6d3674a59c96e6a0ad6d8f436b66ce8f.jpeg02E802B2-C4ED-4D87-A8D1-3B1E38F552D4.jpeg.a6e028e3a8d68fc90a44eb8334841a1e.jpeg1C509DB2-227D-4EE8-BF4E-281A39B18C7A.jpeg.8a38c95cb92b84a7ac76580a8de89585.jpegA6838A8D-CF88-437F-902F-7F19836121A3.jpeg.efedfb63539e17e0d1b4b66217973c4d.jpeg5265CDC8-898B-42B5-989D-717923153DFC.jpeg.3451e09b798fc2fcdd277e19ce58b387.jpegA8FC8CB3-8F65-4652-B15E-7E32975083FF.jpeg.3f309aaa6b54b57745b76c97493a4bd7.jpeg

Overall this kit builds up pretty nice for its age, but even in the older Matilda release there’s a ton of flash to deal with. I’m very pleased with how this one turned out! If Round 2 is listening: please bring back the high roof option! I know it would be a smash hit. Maybe leave off the kangaroo dome window though…

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Great looking finishes, especially like the interior detailing. You got the 1970's vibe alright. The flared fenders and paint treatment remind me of some of the Vans sold by the dealers in my area at the time. 

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Nice work. It’s a shame that of all of the van model releases over the years, no one ever did a proper “stock” conversion van as you’d often see on the roads in the 80’s and even into the 90’s - the “family vans” that evolved from the 70’s cruisin’ vans.

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