Showing posts from 2008

55 Chevy Gasser--We Have a Roller

It's the day after Christmas and I'm off work so it means a little more time to work on the 55 Chevy Gasser build. I have been told in the 1:1 world when the custom builder gets the frame/wheels/tires/axles all in order the project becomes a "roller".

Since the last post I've pretty much finished the chassis' basics. The front "skinny" tires came from Revell/Model King's 51 Henry J #85-2036 while the rears came from Revell Thames Panel truck #7609. The wheels are from a Revell Parts pack C1142 that I got off Ebay--expensive, but worth it--these are really cool wheels!

As I said last time, the radiator was from the junk box, I think originally from a Monogram 1:24 pickup. I scratch built the radiator plumbing by bending styrene rod and "pinning" the end of it (by "pinning" I mean drilling a small hole and putting a smaller diameter rod in, then drilling a mating hole where the hose needs to attach; sort of made it like a sn…

55 Chevy--"Engineering" for a Cleaner Build

We're approaching the holidays and what better way to mentally prepare for the in-law onslaught then to get some quiet bench time. This month I'm trying to wrap up a highly customized 1:25 '55 Chevy Gasser I started a few weeks ago; I feel if I make a good push I'll be ready for final paint and assembly before too long.

I've found in the year or so since I returned to this hobby that I need to "engineer" my custom parts before paint and assembly and have a working plan to get everything to fit together before I do a lot of gluing. Once my plan is in place, only then should I do a final prep of the parts, paint, and assemble.

The fit of the exhaust headers is something I have struggled with on past builds. It's easy to mess up a good engine compartment build with headers that don't fit quite right. The 55 Chevy Gasser build is tricky in this regard because there is very little room to pass the "drag ready" headers out of the engine compa…

55 Chevy Gasser--Bodywork and Putty

Back in the day there was only one putty to use--Testors. I remember it came in a grey tube, and sadly would not work as a substitute for glue (although my brother and I tried this when we ran out of Testors "Stinky Red" glue a couple of times).

Thirty years later there are more choices, and over the past year or so I've been trying to improve my ability to use putties to fill and customize model kits, just as I did as a youngster. I had forgotten how hard getting a good, smooth finish with plastic fillers can be....but after some reading and trial and error I'm improving....and can do things faster now which is always good.

For this week's build I need to fill some 1/16" deep cavities on the back of the body (Revell 55 Chevy #85-2069) of a 55 Chevy Gasser. On the stock kit the Revell tooling guys had dug out channels to accommodate the side molding strips. It's cool that Revell did this; it's easier to use premade chrome strips off the parts tree tha…

55 Chevy Gasser--DecoArt Dazzling Metallics and the Frame

Since being reintroduced to this odd hobby about a year ago my basic techniques are changing--for the better I think.

I have turned my attention to try to build "cleaner" this week and have found that some of the things I keep reading in the hobby mags are true:

First: clean all non-chrome parts with soap and water and a toothbrush before doing anything with them. I have read that this removes a "mold release agent" on the parts, and makes paint stick better. I ignored this after reading it about a hundred times but finally saw it (again) in the "tips for advanced modelers" on some AMT instructions--I figured if those AMT ERTL guys thought it was important I'd better do it. I didn't believe it until I tried it, but: it's true. I can't see the release agent, and I can't smell it, but either washing parts helped make the paint go on a lot smoother or it's a placebo. Don't know which....

Second: Prime everything. I have now …

55 Chevy Gasser--Week Three, Building the Engine

Hard to believe that's it's been 35 plus years since I the last supercharged scale engine came off my workbench. But here it is.

Three plus decades have gone by; my techniques and tools have changed but I don't think the results have gotten any better. There were no acrylic paints back then, no photoetched add ons, no CA superglue or epoxy. Armed with only an Xacto knife, some Testors enamels, and Testors glue, I was waltzing away with trophies from the local hobby shop and loving every minute. Looking back I don't really know why I stopped building--I found it the hobby quite relaxing then much as I do now--I was getting interested in girls I guess, and the two don't go together that well.

I don't remember modeling seeming hard at all back then....I don't remember doing a lot of work to seal the annoying split that runs down the joined halves of the transmission or struggling with getting a blower on straight. But somehow I remember being better at this way…

55 Chevy Gasser--Week Two. Still Going.

Hello again, we are continuing to build a 55 Chevy scale model inspired by the street gassers I saw at a recent Billetproof show.

So let's get right to it. As I said last time, the floorboard of the build is a combination of the floorboard of a Henry J Gasser (Revell 85-2036)and a Revell-Monogram 55 Chevy (#85-2069--heck of a nice kit).

After joing them together with a pretty heavy dose of Tenax7R glue there was a pretty big gap between the 55 floorboard and the Henry J. I would have normally used the usual putty/sanding sort of technique to fill it, but I read online about using superglue and baking soda to fill gaps instead.

Since this was going to be the underside of a model that wasn't going to get seen much I figured it'd be a good time to experiment with this new means of filling gaps and seams.

Here is the result. There was a 1/4" or so gap in the floorboard that's gone now. In its place is a fairly rough and not great looking big heap o' CA glue.


Sixties Era Gasser--55 Chevy--Getting Started

I'm pretty jazzed about Sixties era gassers--I think of them as funny cars before there really were funny cars. After seeing a few at Billet Proof I decided to read more about them and see if I could build something in scale, with the eventual goal being to build this 1:1 (if I ever have the money or the space).

it's a heck of a lot cheaper to buy a few kits then the 1:1 parts....I got two Chevy kits from ModelRoundup, Revell/Monogram's '55 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop 2n1 #85-2069 and AMT/Ertl's 1955 Chevy BelAir Street Machine #31931. The AMT appears to be a reissue of a 55 Chevy kit originally tooled decades ago; the Revell kit has what the hobby mags call "modern tooling". The difference between the two is profound--the Revell kit has significantly better detail, a higher parts count, and generally (to my eyes anyway) shows how model kit manufacturing has improved over the years.

This isn't going to be a "box stock" build (nothing I do ever is) …

What to Build Next--Report from Billetproof

I don't know what's happened to me, but I find myself dreaming of cars at night. Mind you this only started 2 years ago....what happened? What's wrong with me? I am beginning to feel like Richard Dreyfus in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" where he makes a scale model "Alien Mountain" or whatever they call it in movie out of potatoes.

To get my latest custom car fix my brother took me to a local hot rod show called "Billetproof". I had never heard of Billetproof--apparently the folks who put the show on don't advertise a lot. But I was assured it's a great hot rod/rat-rod show; the idea being that no "billet wheels" (ie, super expensive customizing bling a la Chip Foose or Boyd Coddington) are allowed, and all cars have to arrive under their own power.

Just standing at the entrance waiting for friends to show up was a treat! Billetproof is a really BIG show--with hundreds of hot rods on display--there were tons and t…