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31  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: February 16, 2013, 11:51:42 AM

Please forgive the repetition on view. Here the flares are lengthened for employing two castings and extending each across the center, whereas the ends of the front flares in particular have been shaved down considerably.  Filing of the Zamac shell wheelarches this time included the creation of small notches atop the character line just atop the rocker panels allows the flares blend into the shell far better now, while each is held in place with only white glue.  I may opt to do up yet another set of rear flares for the opening of each seems a bit high.  In sum, I so wish to be done with this aspect of the project.  

The last photo is a quick collection of parts gathered together approximating some eventual '70 T/G Racing Jerry Titus effort, and yes - it does have four 'rear' tires.  I would hope to do an example with the odd full-length exhaust, aqua-painted Minilites, and flares front and (ugh!) rear irrespective of the aesthetically-challenged nature of the latter.  Thanks...

Mike K.  


32  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: February 12, 2013, 11:25:21 AM

Studying photographs suggested that my flare was too short end to end.  I didn't want to create a new flare, hence two castings were joined to expand out the profile a bit.  I should be able to come closer to the wheelarch opening profile that seems akin to an egg viewed in profile and shaved at the base.  For other photos it is noticed that each opening profile is subtly different - rather like a hand formed body done off of a mahogany buck not strictly matched left side to  right side.  I have enough material to illuminate such subtleties, hence there is no need to make quick work of what can be performed and reproduced accurately.  Thanks...

...a progression of sorts top to bottom.  The bottommost flare is a raw casting and doesn't reflect the final look of anything.

...very quickly set in place; i.e. just roughly overlaid atop the surrounding metal and not even square.  Faint inkmarks suggest what metalwork is slated to be removed, whereas I anticipate filing a small notch into the body just atop the character line delineating the rocker area both front and back of arch.  Such should ease the transition between the flare and the shell, and will likely result in a more robust overall assembly.   Doubling up the front flares to increase their length and alter/improve how they blend into the surrounding metal is next up.  In weeks it ought to look far better.  Thanks...

P.S. The wheel have been refinished - this time an ashy flat black with less of a violet/purple hue in evidence.  A railroad hobby store afforded such.  

Mike K.
33  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: February 10, 2013, 04:10:05 PM
Thanks for your kind input.  

Maybe a better shot of the rear flares.  Given I tried to correct the fronts (which are better now), the rears could be likewise be redone.  It appears I filed off too much material from the shell - especially aft of the rear opening.  All the wheel arches were filed out of the shell before a visit to the actual vehicle was revealed to be feasible, hence another body might be on order.  The shape of the panel work that would need to be built up isn't too sophisticated, hence sheet plastic laid in along with putty work might alter matters for the good.  At present, all the flares are held in with white glue to facilitate revisions and rethinking of what requires such.  

My previous Minilite coating effort in black was intended as a matt finish, although such didn't exactly spring forth from the can.  I'll try this again with a more appropriate finish, switching brands to mix matters up.  Thanks...

...almost impossible to discern what has been done here.  Slightly greater mass on the top of the flare, and hinging further outward.  Better control of flare opening shape, consistently rounder outer contour too it does seem.  

34  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: February 09, 2013, 12:33:19 PM
Thanks for the feedback,

Confused myself regarding the appearance of these wheels early-season!  Afforded a blown up image of the Gray Ghost at Bryar, what is seen below is one of the few color images of the topic I can refer to.  One could also say that heavy brake dusting could alter the appearance of what might have been a proper paint finish (if not overlaid onto some iteration of DOW 7), whereas what you'd make of what is reproduced below would be appreciated.  I printed off a photocopy of the same and tried to finish match based upon what I could see, while I was surprised to come back to the blue/gray finish that appears darker when not so directly illuminated via the use of a flash.  I still think I need to come up with something better, and with many a military and railroad hobby shop nearabouts me, perhaps I can tap the talent of men who 'see' 76 shades of gray/violet/blue/green?  Just curious then, whereas I'd really welcome any feedback as to what you'd make of this image.  

Just mulling, but it would be nice to technologically overhaul my stab at scale photography for my efforts aren't cutting the mustard!  Oh - and in other news, I'm making a second attempt at the front flares, reducing the extent to which they extend forward and down in terms of mass, etc.  I hope they will translate into an improvement. Kind regards...

Mike K.
35  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: February 06, 2013, 11:31:02 AM
Thanks again for the kind words and interest,

Experimenting with wheel finishes - slightly off again, albeit better.  Both front and rear Pontiac arrowhead emblems were ground down and off as witnessed on both the hood and deck lid, with respect paid to maintain the panel contour and/or character line beneath.  The trace outlines of each respective hood scoop have been further filed down, whereas a guide coat of primer has been applied.  Some work to do here still, working deliberately lest damaged be incurred for being too aggressive.  The flares were painted quickly just to see how they might integrate with the surrounding panelwork, whereas when the body is stripped, each will be glued fast and puttied in to afford a clean transition.  And lastly, the refueling ports have been drilled into the quarter panels - these perhaps a bit small.  Not the best scale photography by any measure - my apologies that the contrast is so poor in particular. Thanks...

Mike K.
36  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: February 03, 2013, 02:44:50 PM

A seen from space view to allow a primitive 'point and shoot' digital camera to focus upon such, but a seat with revised (thicker dimensionally front-to-back w/revised top contour/profile) bolster detail for your delectation.  Note how a funky midcentury modern lamp affords a surface of the moon backdrop.  Painted wheels, but now pondering the refinish of the same for indeed - likely a DOW 7 finish and not nearly so dark - thanks C.R.!  

...better, although pad still a bit long front-to-back on base, whereas sides not quite as well matched as they ought to be.  

...front grease caps seen (mastered one, now duplicates in resin), axle shaft ends seen as well.  Wheel finish reference above - another goof. temporarily in place.

Thanks for the kind continuing interest displayed...

Mike K.
37  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: February 02, 2013, 02:31:59 PM
Nice build from scratch on the seat. It seems to my eye that the front/top edge of the side bolsters is more gently rounded on your version versus what in the photo seen in the magazine article but sometimes pictures and angles can be deceiving. I look forward to seeing how the floor turns out. That will be a challenge, to say the least. Thanks again for sharing the picture.

The side bolster profiles indeed are not first in class; i.e. too shallow, wrong contour across the tops, etc.  The best thing about scratchbuilding is that nothing is fundamentally risked if matters fail to work out across the first (or several) attempt or attempts.  The floor cutouts will be traced with the tracing employed to create first file card and then thin plastic templates to ensure tight fit, then mastered on a slightly thicker material.  I doubt the interior can look as nice as the 1:25th effort, although I'll try.  Thanks for the engaged feedback...

Mike K.
38  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: February 01, 2013, 11:42:28 AM

Short update - seat fabrication then.  Only one period image exists (to my knowledge) of the fabricated seat fitted to the Gray Ghost, whereas what is seen is an extrapolation of what rude outlines can be discerned from that image.  Some other images might better communicate the shape and dimensions of the headrest, whereas some structure needs to be added both along the back as well as on the bottom in terms of fabbing proper seat mounts.  I assume here a collection of aluminum panels with some reinforcement, complete with inlaid cushions/padding.  The thickness (front to back then) of the side bolster additions alters in appearance depending upon the perspective of the viewer, whereas appreciate that the layered in 'padding' is here done in sheet plastic that suggests the seat shell is shallower than it is in fact.  Not terrible, wherea the new floor is a crude cutout at this point in time.  Given the dreary non-detail of the stock floor, any way forward is 'up'.  Thanks...

Mike K.

39  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Websites that might be of interest to us on: January 31, 2013, 03:00:49 PM

Much in the style of Getty Images, here is the Associated Press photo archive.  Expect to experiment with abandon to generate results of interest, but all the same, a resource to explore:

Mike K.
40  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros. on: January 29, 2013, 04:11:20 PM
Greetings and thanks for the past and much appreciated feedback,

Only modest work to relate.  The 1:18th Sun Star-based Gray Ghost has been taken up again, with driver's side outboard rear view mirror removed and reset further forward. Drilling through the door casting was necessitated - this a laborious effort.  Pleased to note that drilling through the thick white metal/Zamac zinc-alloy shellmetal was possible, for both refueling ports will require a like effort.  A small cap is seen atop where the quarter panel will soon be drilled, although this will soon be removed to facilitate more thoroughgoing fabrication work in this regard.  A white swath of putty disguises the hole that remains from the original placement of the mirror.  Continuing, an interior rear view mirror has been added, this an 1:18th ERTL Authentics '67 Chevrolet Impala SS427 item.  The Wink multi-element interior rear view mirror currently fitted to the vehicle seems to have been added post-1971, so out it must go.  Unless it arrived in time for the '71 MIS race, I've not found proof it was ever in place in-period.  

A preliminary driveshaft tunnel 'bump' is seen with built up shift surround plus a 1:18th Lane Firebird shift lever - not perfect, but what I have to work with.  A new interior floor must be scratchbuilt, for the textured surface, seat installation holes and general poor presentation precludes rehabilitation and reuse of the same.  The aluminum rear bulkhead is taking shape, although on the search I am for a very small and precise sheet metal brake to allow the most careful shaping of such.  

Further items added include fitting a dashboard, plus the shaving off of the GTO crest seen atop the glovebox now without a glovebox door.  Some inner panel work needs to be added to the glovebox compartment complete with a CDI unit cast in resin and waiting for finish and fitting.  A second-generation Trans Am Firebird steering wheel has been added, although the honeycomb decorative center cap has been ground away, the center opened and retention bolt holes drilled around the periphery of the same - the wheel generally looks right.  A 1:18th Lane '68 Firebird steering console has been fitted, although the tilt column detail must still be factored in.  The dash pad (abbreviated and such as it was in '64) has been ground down and hence removed, whereas the instrument cluster 'sheet' as well as minor control switch panel to the right and bottom of it has further been added.  All of this is largely invisible, although affording updates helps me on some level do understand.  Kind regards to the community...

Mike K.

41  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Models of old race cars on: January 26, 2013, 03:25:56 PM
Perhaps another thing to add,

There exists a resin kit based on the Revell tool of a Penske Donohue '69 Camaro in 1:24th scale marketed by Perry's Resin in Canada.  I understand that Randy Derr did the master; i.e. in all likelihood the flares are quite faithfully replicated.  I suspect the Mo Carter model seen above features the same, but in truth I've never handled the revised resin shell and hence can comment no further.  Appreciate that delivery from some select cottage industry businesses can be very slow indeed, but this said, click on the link and scroll down if you might be remotely (or virtually in this instance) interested:

Mike K.
42  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Models of old race cars on: January 25, 2013, 05:12:59 PM
Greetings Tom,

In short, likely the answer is 'yes' in 1:24th, and probably 'no' regarding the fine but less commonly tackled (by builders then) 1:12th tool.  I suspect someone the likes of Keith Marks has produced the same in the smaller scale, whereas First Gen. Camaro popularity translates into tangible demand for aftermarket/cottage industry hobby firms to step up to such challenges.  


...ah, finally:

A nicely rendered photoetch kit for the 1:12th Revell '69 Camaro was available (think 'Camaro' scripts and such), but now seems extinct, whereas what tiny run of Randy Derr Minilite wheels and Penske/Sunoco graphics that were purportedly sold by Mach Image are mostly the stuff of legend.  I've never seen examples for sale either at shows or online, although mention of the same with an address is spied within the '69 season installment of the '95/'96 Vintage Motorsports Magazine SCCA Trans Am retrospective.  Tucked in back of the aforementioned '69 season treatment may be found a nice two-page color article highlighting Derr's fine efforts to convert the standard 1:12th Revell release into a proper '69 Riverside Mission Bell 250 Penske Donohue racer.  Years later, I still pause and am rendered temporarily speechless for what Randy Derr achieved here.    

In relation to the '69 Firebird Trans Am, MPC did an annual kit in 1:25th that in one form or other never really left the market.  Likely badged as an AMT in it's most recently iteration, the fender air extractors ('69 style, nonfunctional and decorative then), hood and specific rear spoiler would be available thus.  Demanding the same in 1:12th would require scratchbuilding of the same assemblies, guiding you towards the scale model speculative realm.  In relation to my own projects, sometimes I register relief simply to know that I'll have to create what I need premised upon a sound understanding of my own specifications, techniques and materials.   Not always - but sometimes!  

Mike K.
43  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Websites that might be of interest to us on: January 20, 2013, 04:54:52 PM

Most of us have stumbled upon the following website in passing without making much note of it.  Single photographs, some Ron Lathrup materials reposted, but some odd images too.  If you absolutely need color photo images of late '70 season T-G Firebird Trans Ams in Blue with lurid GREEN numerals, etc., there really isn't any place else to go to see such.  The links provided lead to the root directory as per year and event, whereas click further to review who or what was entered with or without accompanying photograph(s).  Thanks...


Mike K.
44  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Models of old race cars on: January 05, 2013, 11:13:06 AM
Beautifully done - they each look very nice,

For so long there simply wasn't a good 1:24th or 1:25th '69 Camaro unassembled kit out there to meld to pent-up desire to create many a historic race car.  The arrival of the Revell tool several years ago altered this circumstance for the better, whereas how apt. that a group of Canadian enthusiasts would step up to the challenge.  Thanks for sharing - they look great!

Mike K.
45  Model Specific Discussions / Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Websites that might be of interest to us on: December 26, 2012, 02:51:02 PM

Some clean footage of the 1970 Mid-Ohio Trans Am event to sample if so-intrigued.  See:


Mike K.
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