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Revell Chevy Silverado - Crew cab & 4WD conversion

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Got some work done on the axles.

I used Dana 60 differentials from B-N-L resins. These have no axle tubes, so I drilled straight through the diff, working a little at a time from each side with small bits and working up in size to keep it straight. With that done, i could slide in some plastic tubing. The rear one is centered, so that's easy to find the middle and super glue it in place. The front one needs to be offset to clear the engine, so I left that one loose for now so I can find the right spot later when I mount it to the chassis.

The original light duty 1/2 ton "Corporate 10 bolt" diff from the kit is the one to the right. You can clearly see that the 1-ton Dana 60's are much beefier. I don't have a pic of it, but I chopped the ends off the kit axle and glued them to my Dana's axle tubes to make it easy to mount the brakes and wheels.


The front diff gets some simulated u-joints at the ends where a real axle must articulate with the steering. This won't turn though, it's a straight through rod with some small nubs glued in a cross pattern to simulate the U-joint. (you can see the little u-joint nubs I cut near the point of the xacto knife).


I slid another section of tube outboard of the u-joints, built up some kingpin mounts and attached the steering linkage. The brakes are from the kit. I don't like them, but now that everything is together they are staying and we are moving on.


After finishing the axles, I chopped the 2WD tailshaft off the 4l60E transmission and drilled a hole in the trans and Atlas transfer case to insert a plastic rod to align the two components. The TC fits snug on the rod, so I only glued it to the trans and can orient the "clocking" of the TC later to get it to fit in the chassis and align with both driveshafts.


Edited by dmk
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For the rear suspension, I'm going with a triangulated four-link. This article explains the basic Technical theory.

For starters I used the kit's front coils to support the rear axle. I used a paper punch to cut mounting plates and glued them to the springs.


I used plastic strip to make a crossmember on the frame and spring mounts. The springs and the axle were then glued to the frame.


The four axle links were made with plastic rod. The joints were small sections of rod glued perpendicular to the end.


I used plastic strip to make a mount and rounded off one end of small sections to make brackets. The brackets were glued to the links and the assembly glued to the mount. I carefully measured the space between the frame rails and cut a toothpick to use as a spacer to align the rods.


While waiting to the link assembly to dry, I assembled four shocks from plastic rod.


Plastic tubing was used for the shock mounting points.


Here's the assembly with all the links attached and the shocks mounted. The crossmember for the lower links was from the rear section of the frame I removed.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the long break between updates. Got back into it a bit this weekend, working on the front three link suspension using the theory explained here.

To make coil springs, I wrapped some craft store beading wire around an appropriate sized wood screw. No special tools were required, the wire is fairly pliable. Once you have the spring formed, just twist the screw to back it out.


To make coil-overs, I used the technique I showed earlier to make shocks. I trimmed the "springs" to an appropriate length and then added plastic disks made with a hole punch. I drilled them in the center to slide over the shocks and hold the springs in place.


Shock hoops were formed with plastic rod bent around a dowel. I don't have a picture of it, but I glued a cross brace in place and taped the assembly to dry overnight so the hoop would hold its shape.


Here are the coil-overs glued to the front axle, the hoops with the cross brace and the lower axle links with the ends.


The next step was to glue the tops of the coil-overs to the hoops, let that dry for a bit, so I had a strong, but still flexible bond, then glue the shock hoops to the chassis in the appropriate position. This involved a bit of trial & errors and testing with the body on to verify that the wheels were centered in the wheel openings and that the ride height was correct. Once that was done, I attached the upper and lower axle links. the lower links attached to the axle tubes, the upper link attached to the top of the diff 'pumpkin'.


With the axle attached, I fabricated a Pitman Arm for the steering box out of plastic strip bent and filed to shape. The Tie Rod was already in place from when I assembled the axle earlier, so I needed to add the Drag Link diagonally from the Pitman Arm to the Tie Rod. I also added a Track Bar (AKA: Panhard Rod) running parallel to the Drag link, but attached from the frame to the axle tube. The theory behind the Track Bar is explained here, but basically its job is to prevent bump steer when the axle compresses (on a real truck of course).


I liked the coil spring setup on the front so much that I cut off the cheesy molded kit springs in the rear and replaced them with my scratch built coil-overs as well. (the wheels were temporarily on there to verify that all four wheels say square on the ground.)


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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry I hadn't posted an update in a while. You guys following this probably thought this one went on the shelf.

So since our last episode, I have made some progress on the body work.

Here's a mock up showing the body painted. After waffling on the color, I finally decided on OD green and I'm going with a black hood (representing an unpainted fiberglass hood, since the kit hood is obviously aftermarket). The wheels are painted with Light Aluminum Alclad and the resin spare tire is painted with Tamiya Nato Black.



It's hard to see in the previous two pictures, but I dented up the body a bit to simulate a purpose built trail rig that regularly sees hard use off road and is no stranger to body damage. I dented the lower part of the doors on both sides, some slight scrapes on the front fender and the rear corner of the cab. The rails and tailgate of the bed were also dented up a bit. (Of course I did this before painting BTW)



The dents were done with a craft heat gun (hotter but more precise than a hair dryer) and I found some stones in the back yard to give me some random organic corners to use. I just put the heat gun right up close to the spot, held it there for about ten seconds, then pushed the rock in, sometimes at an angle rather than just straight in from the side.


Edited by dmk
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Here's the door handle attached to the door.


This is the first time I have opened this build thread. I was wandering why you didn't just use the door handles off the spare cab. But then I started thinking. Now you have a spare you can make into a regular cab! I'm not a four wheel drive guy but, I am working on one of these right now. And I must say you are doing quite a nice job on this one so far.

Edited by Skydime
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This is the first time I have opened this build thread. I was wandering why you didn't just use the door handles off the spare cab. But then I started thinking. Now you have a spare you can make into a regular cab! I'm not a four wheel drive guy but, I am working on one of these right now. And I must say you are doing quite a nice job on this one so far.


You are exactly right. I'm planning to use the left over parts to make a regular cab, V6 powered "Plain Jane" Silverado if I can find a basic vinyl bench seat and Vortec V6 with a 5-speed standard trans.

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You are exactly right. I'm planning to use the left over parts to make a regular cab, V6 powered "Plain Jane" Silverado if I can find a basic vinyl bench seat and Vortec V6 with a 5-speed standard trans.

just like my daily driver! do it in pewter silver metallic with tinted lights and windows and you've got my truck

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Moving on to the interior... B)

I started with the dark gray panels and components. These got a shot of Tamiya Nato Black.


It was a little tricky to mask these areas, but I used some Tamiya Tape for the large panels and some poster tack for the trickier areas. A toothpick carved into a chisel shape was used to shape the poster tack. After everything was masked, I painted all the interior components flat FS30219 Dark Tan. (Actually the tan that is used in USAF SEA camo)


One trick a lot of 4X4 owners do is remove the carpets and coat the floor with bed liner paint. It makes it easy to clean up the mud and slush, plus it protects the floor panels from rusting out. I simulated bed liner by sanding some sprue with 60 grit coarse sandpaper until a had a good pile of plastic dust (real bed liner paint has bits of rubber in it). Then I mixed that in with some flat black Model Master Acryl paint. I dabbed it on with a stiff, course brush. I did the interior pan and of course the bed.


The masks were removed and all the components except the floor pan were given a quick shot of Future for a nice semi-gloss sheen. The gauges were a decal provided by Revell. This was put in place and I layed the panel flat and generously dripped some Future over it to simulate the clear plastic cover over the gauges. The other controls on the dash and doors were given a dry brushing of Neutral Gray.



Edited by dmk
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Thanks David!

I'll have to keep your tip in mind for next time.

I was just using what I had on hand this time. I always love when I can find some use for all that sprue that normally gets thrown out (though I always save the long straight pieces for scratch building and stirring sticks)

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What also works is Testors fabric paint. I use it then paint it to match everything else. They have blue, black, gray, and red. They may have more but I've only seen these.

Edited by Clay
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Thanks Jake! :)

This week I was researching and experimenting with some weathering techniques. I really like the Salt Weathering technique. I posted a thread about it in the Tips and Trick section here.

I'll post some more about this technique in this thread later when I get to that point in the build

Edited by dmk
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I finally started working on the engine this week. Most guys do this part first right?

The engine in this kit is very nicely molded and is a great candidate for an engine swap into a Jeep or an older year truck. It can be built to represent an LQ4 6.0L or LM7 5.3L by painting the block black or it could also be built as the aluminum block L33 5.3L by painting the block an aluminum color. Externally there are no differences between these three engines other than the L33's alum block. Compared to my references, the engine detail is spot on.

The one potential problem I noticed is the plug wires are molded on the cylinder head where they plug into the spark plugs and they are supposed to meet up with their other half molded on the valve covers where they plug into the individual coil packs. However, with just a few light passes with a sanding stick, the valve covers fit tight and the wires matched up perfectly. You'd have to get a jewelers loop to see where they joined.

I started by assembling the engine/transmission halves and fixing a few minor seam issues. Then I found all the engine components and painted then with a flat black base coat (except for the oil filter, oil pan, fan blade, and exhaust manifolds. I wanted them to have a smoother finish). After the black base coat dried, I painted the components with varying shades of silver. The block was painted semi-gloss black and the intake manifold pieces were left flat black.

Using reference pictures as a guide, I hand painted the aluminum areas of the valve covers with Testors Flat Aluminum. The plug wires were hand painted with Tamiya Nato Black.

The exhaust manifolds were painted with Alclad Light Aluminum for the heat shield. Using reference pictures as a guide, I then painted the flanges, the back side and various detail areas with Testors Rubber (which is very dark brown, not gray as you'd think). I dry brushed some Testors Rust over the darker color to give it some highlights, then with a fine clean brush dampened with a little mineral spirits, I gently wiped across to blend everything together.


The fan belt assembly was airbrushed with Tamiya Nato Black and then I hand painted the pulleys with Testors semi-gloss black. The fan itself was painted with Testors Flat Sand that I mixed a little yellow in. I mixed it very thin with mineral spirits and misted it lightly over the bare white plastic until it looked about right. The flan clutch was then painted with Testors Flat Euro Gray.


The oil filter was airbrushed with Testors Gloss Blue and while I had the blue in the paintcup, I painted some washer fluid at the bottom of the windshield washer reservoir. I masked the top half with poster putty and shaped the edge around the part using a toothpick carved into a chisel shape. Once the blue dries, I'll seal it with Testor's Glosscoat lacquer and then spray a light, thinned coat of off-white over the whole thing.


Edited by dmk
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Thanks Hugh. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

None of my techniques are original. I've learned them from someone else here or elsewhere on the web. I'm just re-sharing them in the hopes of getting someone else's creative juices flowing as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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