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I built this car about a year and a half ago, but it's never been an MCM WIP, or shown in the Under Glass section. A couple of MCM regulars asked me if I had a few more pictures to share, so I thought that a mini WIP would provide them with some added pics and info on the car.

So, to begin, I started with Revell's excellent 1:25th 40 Ford kit.


The first order of business was to give it a hair cut. I sliced some Tamiya 6mm tape in half to create some ~3mm strips. These were used to remove a consistent scale 3" from the roof pillars.


After adding some length back into the roof panel, it looked like the fit was close enough to continue.Notice how the B pillars were removed just below the drip rail in a "T" section. This will allow the pillar to be aligned with the lower pillar in the fore-aft direction.


Still no putty yet. At this point the plastic used to lengthen the roof panel was filed down and primed. The roof was then glued in place with some liquid styrene cement. Considering I haven't reached to putty stage yet, the roof was looking pretty good.


Still no putty yet. A layer of sheet styrene was added at the C pillar to provide enough material to level the roof panel with the stub on the body.


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Here you can see the B pillar glued into postion with some blocks of raw plastic used as filler.


With the chop job roughed in pretty good, I decided to experiment. I considered leaving the weld seams visible. This attempt ended up with a weld bead that was way to wide. This would be about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in scale. That's some pretty bad welding, so I decided to skip it and smooth things up. The rest of the roof is looking ok though. You may notice that the rear window has lost it's center pillar and is getting a slight reshape as well. I wanted to take away some of the 40 Ford styling que's and make the body a bit more generic.


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Well, thanks guys. Glad you like my little friend Rocky the rat.

As you can see, the top's mostly done, although the drip rails took on some damage during the shaping of the rear pillars. That was fixed with some square section styrene rod; .030 or .040 if I remember right.


Moving on to some other other body mods, the trunk was reshaped. The 40 Ford has a nice flowing trunk which makes it a natural target for a tail dragging custom. That's not the look I was going for. I wanted to give it a "harder" look, so the trunk was shortened. First off, the valance panel at the base of the trunk was cut off, then the trunk was shortened by having it curve downward at a quicker rate. To do this, a bunch of pie cuts were made down each side. Around 6 on each side.


The blue tape was used to hold the curve while the glue set up.


After things set up, I started block sanding over the cuts to restore a nice curve. Unfortunately, a few of the pie cuts cracked. To fix this, some straps of styrene were applied on the inside of the panel for reinforcement. This turned out to be a good fix.


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One thing I"ve never liked is the big holes you see in the firewall of many kits. You know, the slots for the hinges. Real cars don't have these, so I filled them in with some styrene. You can see here the drivers side is now filled in with some styrene strip. The passenger side will get the same treatment, then both will be knocked down flush with coarse sandpaper glued to the end of a piece of eraser (rubber).


Another minor body mod was to raise the bottom of the doors to give the body a rocker panel. Kind of a meaningless modification, but it helped hold things together once the drivers door was cut open.


Since the car won't have front fenders, the foot wells need to be filled in. The lower door hinge was damaged during the reshaping of the passenger door, so it was replaced with a scratch built copy. If you notice the background, you can see that the floor rises above the rocker panel line. This is due to body being channeled over the frame; slightly more so in the front.


Edited by Alyn
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Here's a couple of shots of the grill. I don't much care for 34 Ford grilles, but the way they lay back is pretty cool. On the other hand, I think the 32 grille is as good as it gets. The perfect shape. To give this coupe a different look I decided to combine the two; a 32 grille with a slant.

Starting with a homemade resin shell, I decided to lay the grille back about 10º. In turn, this required some filling in of the side panels to the rear edge vertical. Some side bolsters were also added to give the grille a little character.



Here you can get an idea of the roughed in shape



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For the headlights, I started with the caps off some scrap ball point pens. The slight flat spot on the ends of the caps were filled and rounded over. Once the shape was right, the caps were used as masters to create a mold. This in turn was used to create some resin copies that were trimmed to the length of typical late 30's, early 40's headlight buckets.


To cap them off, I filed down some slices of 5/32" heavy wall aluminum tube to make the headlight bezels. Once they had the correct rounded shape, they were polished with Dupont #7 polishing compound. Luckily I found some lenses the fit with just the slightest bit of sanding.


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Chop looks great! The '40 Ford coupe's got to be one of the toughest cars to chop and have it look as good as the original; you done good! Really like your technique with minimal putty as well.

I like where you're going with rear end treatment. Looking forward to seeing a complete mock-up to get the whole picture.

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Thanks, Chuck. The modified 32 grille shell is one of my favorite body mods of any than I have done. The end result was exactly what I had in mind.

Roger, the cut's in the rear go about a third of the way across from each side; with a third left unmolested in the center. I think if you cut all the pieces apart, you'd have you hands full trying to line them up again.

Todd, the hood was purposely left out to show off engine detail. That's one of the reasons I like to do hot rods. You get to see more of the engine. Besides that, I was trying to make numerous subtle changes to make the car less like a 40 Ford; more of a generic 40's era coupe of unknown origin.

John, here's a shot from the side. The rear is sitting up higher in this picture than it eventually does, but you can get a sense of the profile.


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For those of you that like detail, here's some shots of the door hinges.

I soldered bits of brass tube to some small brass strips.


The strips were bent at 90º so they would lay behind the body panels, yet protrude outward from the door edge. Brass rod is used for the hinge pins.


I started with a full length of rod, extending through both hinges. This keeps the upper and lower hinges aligned so they don't bind as the door swings. Notice that the lower hinge sticks out from the door panel further than the upper hinge. This allows the door to swing out in a horizontal plane. You commonly see doors on these older body's (models) that droop downward in the open position because both hinges are built the same length.


The long straps allow for plenty of gluing area on the inside of the body panels. Notice how the lower strap extends all the way forward to catch a bit of the firewall. The more surface supporting glue (epoxy in this case) the better.


Here's the final product roughed in. I made a small goof when I added the 90º bend in the upper straps. You can see where the trim on the door is cut away to make room for the hinge. The upper hinge was to curve rearward like the lower one. This would have covered over most of the gap in the trim. Unfortunately, I bent the uppers forward and didn't want to start over with anothr set.


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