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Author Topic: Ideas to share concerning 1:18 '67-'69 GMP Penske Donohue Camaros.  (Read 70697 times)
Swede70
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« on: May 26, 2011, 06:36:11 PM »

Greetings,

Likely falling under the heading of memorabilia, some time ago I purchased an example of each 1:18 Penske Donohue SCCA Trans Am Camaro that GMP produced and sold during the mid-2000's.  Then I was alternately impressed and disappointed for what was captured, and what was not, whereas now I'm trying to fix everything.  For example, each seem to have a '69 dashboard, whereas all underhood details but for the induction system seem oriented towards an older interpretation of how one of the '69 Penske Donohue Camaros was first restored.  Not a terrible effort overall mind you, but not quite all that I wished for as delivered.  I'm sure others here have thought the same.  

Anyhow, each can be modified, and although incomplete as a trio, below will be seen a few in-progress photographs.  I'm curious if others have attempted mods. much as I have, and specifically, what impressions and ideas may be exchanged or offered up, etc.  Wonderful to notice this unexpected vintage SCCA Trans Am web presence oriented to the Camaro crowd, and very thankful for it.  Hope I do to post a few messages and photographs to lend to the sense of community present here.  Thanks and with warm regards...

Mike K.



...'67 Marlboro, MD conversion, incomplete and a bit raw.  Interior/chassis/underhood painted semi-gloss black, markings revised, more to come in the form of a Lane's Performance '67 4BBL cowl induction air cleaner, '67 standard accessory drive, upright radiator, yellow-painted headers, 'stamped' valve covers sans fins, etc.  Entire gray paint application found under roof, on door jams as well as door inner structure removed - incredibly tedious this.  Chrome drip rail tampo print application removed.  Front spoiler removed and reshaped prior to respray of same - quite a bit shorter now.  Thanks so much to the poster who uploaded the underhood picture of this topic within the space of the first thread.  I'd seen the same online, had lost just where I'd seen it, and was heartened to discover this new website addition as I continued my search for the image in question.



...'68 with revised 'SUNOCO CAMARO' markings situated higher up, red interior panels (sprayed within vinyl interior restoration paint color matched to suit), repainted wheels (sans lugs at present), revised markings, rear screen sans retention straps.  Chrome drip rail tampo print application removed.  Clearly an 'engine out' effort, for the engine is nowhere to be seen.  1:18 Maisto '68 Z/28 grille cut and installed in place of horribly-rendered standard part, headlamp covers drilled out for each of three 'dimples' seen on same within period photographs, reshaped and resprayed front spoiler.  Hood hinges painted black, undersurface now painted blue but may paint black given a color '68 Sam Posey image viewed elsewhere on this website.  Obviously a work in progress.



...'69 roughly a Riverside entry but for missing C-pillar Diehard battery sponsorship decals.  Foilwork as well as rubber window gasket detail.  Bumpers removed, overiders on rear bumper sanded off, front and rear refinished.  Grille surround painted gray, grille removed and stripped of chrome, with the same being painted argent.  Markings revised, jack fluorescent 'flashes' done in R/C aircraft vinyl tape, sway bars and mounts to be scratch-built.   Much done that cannot be accurately captured in so short a space.  Fuel inlet 'trap door' setup to come.  Single upright wiper likely the very last thing that will be set in place.  Thanks for inspecting this post.  

M.K.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 12:09:06 AM by Jon Mello » Logged
Jon Mello
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 08:52:15 PM »

Terrific post! Thanks for taking the time to do so. You got an eye for the details and I am certainly a fan of that. I think you'll find some others of the same mind here as well. When I heard that GMP was working on these I contacted them and tried everything I could to get them to not do the gray on the '67 model since it was not authentic for that particular car. Told them about the incorrect dash and numerous other details. In effect, they thanked me for my efforts, sent me several pre-production samples as an extra thank you (which I indeed appreciated), but cranked them out just as they were. I was very tempted to pull my '67 model apart and at least redo the gray to black but that hasn't happened. I'm not a modeler of your caliber but I do enjoy looking at the results of your efforts. I like to think I could do something similar but know that is too far down on my priority list to get to that level of professionalism. Show us some more details! How did the '67 and '68 dashes turn out?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 09:55:50 AM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 11:29:43 PM »

I agree, a VERY COOL aspect of our hobby Cool. I enjoy viewing your work and can appreciate/applaud your efforts to be technically correct.
Keep up the great work Smiley
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Robert Lodewyk
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2011, 03:07:59 PM »

Thanks for the kind interest displayed,

(Good 1:18 GMP Camaro subassembly photographs are few as when most work undertaken, I did not have a digital camera.  As each Camaro is overhauled in anticipation of final finish work, I'll have more topic-specific photo images to share.  Thanks...  M.K.)


...'70 Autodynamics Sam Posey Challenger.  Most conversions seen online are 1:18 ERTL-based, whereas this is a 1:18 Hwy. 61-based project.  Hand-sculpted flares, massively complex to do from scratch.  '68 Mustang flares to be done in the same fashion.


...'70 BME Parnelli Jones Boss 302.  Revised from1:18 Welly '71-season Follmer release.


...'70 Penske Donohue AMC Javelin.  Jimmy Flintstone resin shell combined with Jo-Han chassis - a quite complex project.  Like my Racemark seat?  Not sure if I should go will a late-season car, hence early kit front spoiler seen in place.


...'69 Penske Donohue underhood, needs stamped steel valve covers, firewall out, accessories and hosing/wiring to come.


...69 Shelby Racing Co. Dan Gurney Laguna Seca.  Nice one-off ARE CP-200/Trans Am wheels.  Wheels done in three parts but for lugs.


...'68 Shelby Racing Co. mockup.  Just tires and wheels, ride height - nothing more.  Will love to do the oblong headlamp block out plates.


...'67 BME Dan Gurney Cougar late-season versus early.  No interior yet, but largely happy.  Fender extensions hacked off with a saw, body paint touched in.  Very, very butch in appearance.


...'67 Shelby Racing Co. Jerry Titus.  No interior yet, also largely happy.  If things come undo, well, J. Titus 'rolled his own' more than once in '67.


...'67 with 1:18 Hwy. 61 '69 Camaro-sourced 'stamped steel' fuel tank fitted versus standard GMP fitment.  Not much to see, but day-to-day stuff if you will.

-

Primative point-and-shoot camera with limited manual controls restricts what detail I can capture, whereas a few further photographs of period SCCA Trans Am projects are seen above.  For '67-'68 dashboards, I have a pair of 1:18 Maisto Camaro dashboards which may be mated to the mounts found on the GMP dashboards.  Wish parts cars were cheap, but 1:18 Lane Camaros start at about $70, 1:18 ERTL Authentics Camaros start at about $40, whereas 1:18 Maistos are in the $30 range.  A tiny network of friends who also kitbash diecasts will afford spares, and how thankful I am.  

I do cast standard and modified parts in two-part resin within the space of urethane molds, largely as a means to economy.  What are seen here are mainly pre-assembled and pre-finished diecast models evidencing more than a few errors that this poster has opted to correct.  Some work is quite straightforward and simple, whereas other aspects quite frankly are not.  Bodies are white metal, chassis largely plastic, tires rubber.  Architectural sheet and rod plastic used to scratchbuild that which is missing, whereas brass and aluminum is also employed as required.  Select paintwork is done upon subassemblies pulled clear of the overall work, whereas at other times items must be masked 'in situ.', this lending yet another dimension to various tasks undertaken.  Hmmm - should I attempt to change this for risk of destroying a $120 model?  Decisions, decisions...

Quite hard to see, but on my '69 one may discern tiny 'dymo' labels for the electrical switchgear, an aircraft 'ON/OFF/ switch with red plastic cover, as well as the dash pad covering.  Many details simply can't be seen but are nevertheless there; i.e. the 'swiss-cheesed' dead pedal structure on the '69.  My '69 is currently without wheels, waiting if you will for 'new cast' '69 Minilites with properly shaped spokes complete with more vibrant, almost earthy yellow paint finish applied.  Will install 'stamped steel' valve covers on my '69 as well, whereas what photos are seen here are quite old.  Tires pulled from '69 now fitted to dauntingly complex '70 Autodynamics Challenger - my most ambitious project by far.  I move back and forth across projects, for finishing them seems a terrible bore!  Again, my thanks and updates to come.

Mike K/Swede 70
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 12:34:10 AM by Jon Mello » Logged
Swede70
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2011, 03:47:05 PM »

Terrific post! Thanks for taking the time to do so. You got an eye for the details and I am certainly a fan of that. I think you'll find some others of the same mind here as well. When I heard that GMP was working on these I contacted them and tried everything I could to get them to not do the gray on the '67 model since it was not authentic for that particular car. Told them about the incorrect dash and numerous other details. In effect, they thanked me for my efforts, sent me several pre-production samples as an extra thank you (which I indeed appreciated), but cranked them out just as they were. I was very tempted to pull my '67 model apart and at least redo the gray to black but that hasn't happened. I'm not a modeler of your caliber but I do enjoy looking at the results of your efforts. I like to think I could do something similar but know that is too far down on my priority list to get to that level of professionalism. Show us some more details! How did the '67 and '68 dashes turn out?


Dear Jon,

Quite curious what you would have asked GMP to correct back in the day.  Short impressions of lacks include wrong contour on ARE Torq Thrust wheel lips, '69 dashes on everything, wrong interior level on the '69, wrong valve covers, wrong cage '67 and likely off on '68, so-so Minilites (especially wheel spoke design), what seem Goodyear rain tires versus dries fitted across the range, not the best tire size either front or rear, pedal dress-up just seems wrong, etc.  I know that the '67 'over the top' stripes need to come down across the back of the tailpanel and rear valence, although not looking at all forward to fixing that. 

Poor style not to relate that I greatly appreciate what they did successfully capture, but all the same, curious what quickly came to mind in your analysis those years ago.  Certain I'm overlooking things, whereas after a time I just fail to see what may be plain to an expert.  Kind regards...

Mike K.
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maroman
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2011, 04:04:45 PM »

Swede70, I was very impressed when I viewed the Sunoco cars.  But now seeing the others you quite a master! Thanks for sharing.
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Doug  '67 RS/SS 396 auto I know the car since new
Jon Mello
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2011, 05:10:36 PM »

The emails I exchanged with them are on my old mothballed computer. I was trying to get them to make changes that I felt were within the realm of possibility. Certainly I felt the black in place of the gray on the '67 model was something that would be a slam dunk but they did not agree with me that the cars were done that way. They said they conversed directly with Penske's representatives and they had signed off on the cars as presented. Right there I knew it was an uphill climb. I was hoping for engine compartment details to be appropriate for each year and for the dashes to be appropriate for each year as well. While they used the '69 dash for all three years, the steering wheel appeared to be from the '67 for all three. An odd mix. I didn't dare go beyond a whole lot more than that because I could see it just wasn't going to get done. They were building models to fit a price range and as such there neded to be shared components to accomplish that feat. Like you have said, they did make some very nice models and that needs to be kept in perspective. They are miles better than other offerings. Could they have been done better and more accurately? Without question, but they would have been much more expensive and that wasn't in the business plan.

Thank you very much for the photos of your other cars. They are quite extraordinary. I'm thinking that '68 Shelby notchback is going to turn out extremely well. I can't even imagine the hours involved with all of those, especially the Challenger and Javelin.
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2011, 11:52:10 PM »

Swede 70,

That is fantastic work you are doing. It is so neat to see someone taking the time, and I know it s a LOT of time, to get things 'right'.
Congratulations, I look forward to seeing the finished cars.

Bruce.
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2011, 12:03:04 AM »

Hello Mike,

Your models are just outstanding.  Every one of them looks, or is progressing, just right.  Great job.

Thanks for sharing, and see you soon.

-Chad
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Swede70
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2011, 10:41:16 AM »

Thanks for the kind notice and reception,

A new photo, a touch fuzzy, but what is possible at present.  Single 4BBL '67 engine mock up, intake shorn of erroneously reproduced cast-in water intake neck appropriate for later cross ram, oil inlet tube and cap installed, 'definned and stamped' valve covers in place, oil injection nipple added to valve cover, rudimentary oil breathers added (chrome finish to vanish - each will be cast in resin as good breathers in 1:18th are quite rare and unquestionably useful).  Vents and hoses associated with each breather tube to come.  All of this is pretty raw.

Hope to alter paintwork discreetly concerning finish on valve covers versus block; i.e. from photo observed elsewhere on this site, it does appear the valve covers were fabricated in-house, whereas the long block expectedly came from Traco and wears a discreetly different shade of gray paint.  Hope too to source some pale flat yellow, perhaps model railway issue of some kind.  Headers appear chalky in the period photo, even allowing for the peculiarities of period color process.  Again, thanks for the kind attention.  



Mike K.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 12:20:26 AM by Jon Mello » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 04:05:03 PM »

I'm loving that. A few things I have seen in original photos, the oil filler tube and cap were chrome, the thermostat housing was gray, the fuel line crossed the passenger side valve cover in the middle aimed at the center of the carburetor and then teed off with arched Aeroquip fuel lines to the front and rear float bowls. The fuel pump boss had a bare aluminum plate covering it and the top two bolts were safety wired, likewise for the bottom two bolts. The same safety wire does not run through all four bolts. For some reason, this car used a big block cowl plenum air cleaner with a subtle notch on the driver's side of the air cleaner housing. They had to shorten the metal extension that went toward the plastic duct on the firewall and when restapling the rubber sleeve to the air cleaner housing, the taped up seam of the rubber was now on top rather than being hidden underneath. What are your plans for the trunk lid? The opening for the fuel filler is for the '68 and '69 style and the trunk pins are not appropriate where they placed them.
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2011, 05:16:10 PM »

Greeting Jon,
 
Indeed, the water thermostat housing will be painted gray, although at present I'm gathering parts from different sourced to judge how they'll mate.  What I found was sourced from an ERTL Authentics '67 Impala SS and bears orange paint I couldn't remove, hence the finish noticed.  May not be able to do a convincing chrome oil inlet tube, know it was small block Chevrolet dress up package issue, whereas photo seems to suggest either a dirty tube or something unpainted.  Thoughts?

My dashboard is nearly together, combining the package tray of the '69 dash with the pad and instrument panel of a '67 Maisto rendition of the topic.  I reused the standard '69-model GMP mounts, hence a 'bolt-in' mod. if you will.  I always try to 'keep the mods on the part', leaving everything else untouched even if it results in an extensively modified subassembly.  Best to respect standard mounting points, reuse structure, add rather than remove strength. 

Standard vinyl 'braided' lines with aircraft fittings to be removed entirely, whereas I kindly thank you for your informed input.  My photos to compliment this post were quite a mess, hence I opted to delete the same.  I think I'll study a few color Penske Donohue USRRC Lola photos reproduced in period issues of Sports Car Graphic from '67 to ponder what might have been Penske build practice translatable to the first-year SCCA Trans Am effort with the Camaro.  Slightly different personnel behind each build, but perhaps something to learn anyhow.

I'll soon have a choice between two 4BBL cowl induction setups for the '67 Camaro, one tooled by Maisto, the second by Lane.  Neither will be perfect, whereas I hope to modify that which I'll base matters upon in the fashion you've articulated.  Happily the assembly isn't chromed, hence much work can be performed without drawing betraying the extent of mods. done for extremely close inspection. 

Lastly, I may go one of two directions with the deck lid.  Should I source a solid decklid from another GMP release, then the body will be entirely refinished in a darker blue appropriate for the '67 season.  Pity I didn't consider undertaking this work prior to applying what are quite scarce waterslide decals.  The least-resistance option will be to remove the plastic insert and fashion from scratch an elaborate flush-fit plug with revised and corrected inlet detail on a smaller scale.  The inlet will be lifted up, whereas somehow, some way a round 'slam shut' hinged aluminum top will be fabricated and fitted. Thanks - I really appreciate the fellowshiip and interest afforded. 

M.K.
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2011, 12:19:21 PM »

Greetings,

Quick photo update.  Dashboard mockup seen, GMP '69 Camaro front package tray and mounts saved and reused, Maisto '67 Camaro dashpad and instrument panel meshed to same.  Item screws in as per stock; i.e. no glue.  Pedal dress up vanishes, instrument cluster to be painted as will be dash.  Coming along...

Mike K.

« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 12:19:05 AM by Jon Mello » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2011, 12:40:34 PM »

Hello Mike, fun to hear more details and see another photo. The filler and cap was indeed chrome. Other photos have erased all doubt. I do agree the one from Marlboro would be nicer if it was a sharper image. I'll look for some photos of original cowl plenum air cleaners with the notch I was talking about. I know I have some. The fabricated Penske instrument cluster is patterned after the '69 and is not right for the '67. It's too wide toward the passenger side. Just a tach in the center and two smaller guages, one above the other on either side of the tach. Yes, the cluster was painted black. The middle of the steering wheel also had the word "Think" on it. Best of luck with that litte detail touch!
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 01:15:03 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2011, 01:16:38 PM »

Thanks Jon,

Working on air cleaner, snorkel and what they seem to describe as the plenum chamber for the same.  Have fabricated wider snorkel to attach to air cleaner base, whereas plenum to be scratchbuilt.  Photos to come, but progressing.  Scratchbuilt new instrument pod/cluster that is both narrower and tapered a bit from top to bottom.  Have copy of first and second edition of The Unfair Advantage, know famous instrumentation photograph, wish it were all not painted black for hard to see details within what seems a tomb.  'THINK' lettering actually quite possible, given that scale railroaders in N and HO scale are afforded font size and styles of nearly any description.  Hopefully it will all come off.  Again, my appreciation...

Mike K.
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2011, 12:23:37 PM »

I have picked up several of these models over the past few years with great plans. I found that one of the easiest first improvements you can do on these models is to replace the exhaust pipes with K&S aluminum tubing.  Nice size, color and wall thickness.
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2011, 03:05:11 PM »

Regarding the notch in the air cleaner housing, these two photos should give you a fair idea of what it needs to look like. I thought I had something better in my files but can't locate them as of yet.



« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 06:53:33 PM by Jon Mello » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2011, 03:27:00 PM »

The dash in the car looks very similar in layout to the one seen below (from Pat Ryan's Penske Camaro). Some differences are...
1) yours should be painted black.
2) yours should not have the protruding light in the 10 o'clock position relative to the tach.
3) your tach should have single digits (read in thousands) rather than double-digits (read in hundreds).
4) the tach needle should be at rest around the 5 o'clock position rather than the 4 o'clock seen below.
5) there is just one switch on the left side, slightly lower than the top one seen below.
6) the stock switches should still be present in the dash
7) disregard the center dash area in the photo below. Your model is different than that.


Photo by Jon Mello
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2011, 12:18:41 PM »

Thank you both, and thanks Jon for turning up and posting the '67 cowl induction air cleaner housing photographs - I really appreciate the kindness,

Slow progress, dash and other parts soaking in paint stripper - hence not quite photo-worthy.  1:18 Lane cowl induction air cleaner/snorkel/plenum assembly lent to me, the same promptly cast.  Took casting and enlarged snorkel (will modify and reshape given your input Jon - thanks!), whereas largely happy with the shape of the Lane air filter lid and housing.  Plenum overly large at present, but this is scheduled to be further shaped and shrunk as I get closer to what is required.  

What is seen in the photograph painted black is the standard 1:18 Lane Performance part, the white resin item that which I cast and subsequently modified, whereas the last item is the standard 1:18 GMP exposed element part.  Still a work in progress, whereas I next hope to remove the hood and hinges, and final fit with the engine and firewall in place.  Where the plenum is screwed down at three points will be sanded to reflected a bit of a bend in the material, whereas again, all of this will shrink a bit as I come closer to final.   If it all comes together, I'll likely cast the finished '67 air filter/snorkel/plenum in its entirety should anyone want one.  Yes, I'll get that recess seen on the base correct - thanks Jon!



Need to experiment more with regards to the exhaust dumps.  Have tried to bend the appropriate K&S tubing diameter to suit, although I greatly suspect I'm not using a good enough bender; i.e. my efforts crimp.  Have tried to apply heat prior to bending, but alas, no dice.  Thanks for the kind suggestion to try the same.  More to come...

Mike K.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 12:44:46 AM by Jon Mello » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2011, 12:33:00 PM »

This concerning the dash and directions taken,

Thanks for the very nice '67 dash image Jon.  The Maisto part is crude, but a basis for something and hence I'm using it.  Did wonder if standard heater control block out plates or radio block out plates were used, although if they were plastic I can't imagine a race fabricator adding flammable anything to the interior.  Probably best to cut out the entire center section, and insert a fabricated overlay sans detail.  Thought too as to whether the push/pull standard switches were retained, and if not, if the resultant holes were left alone or plugged.  Thanks for guiding the way forward here.  Though constrained by the scarce availability of 1:18 specific photoetched parts, metal rings for the instruments and photo-reduced gauge faces will likely find their way here.  At least the strange 'tunnel effect' of the gauge faces will be done away with on the standard GMP model as-delivered.

I'm seeing what appears to be an asbestos pad in one photo not unlike what was seen in the forward footwells '69-'70 Bud Moore Mustangs.  What a modeler might do is to take a few sheets of paper towel and soak the same in a solution of diluted white glue, press fit the same to the footwell, remove when dry, and then trim/paint/fit the resultant 'pad'.   A bit tedious, but at least no asbestos hazard is risked!  Thanks for the interest and support.  Model now features an exterior round side mirror - but sigh, for that news the ground did not shake.

Mike K.
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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2011, 09:55:44 AM »

Nice work on the new casting for ther cowl plenum assembly. Very impressive, especially for an unfinished piece. Regarding the dash, the factory delete plates were removed. The metal bezel/trim for that center area was kept but all black (no more chrome edge). In the upper area where the heater controls would be on a normal Camaro, there were 12 vertically mounted fuses. These were on a plate that was at the same angle as the dash but sunk in maybe 1/4". In the radio hole, there were at least two but probably three toggle switches mounted on a plate that did not follow the angle of the dash. The plate was vertical (perpendicular to the ground) so that the effect was the top appeared to be more sunken in than the bottom. Underneath that center dash area were two gauges. A small 2 1/16" gauge similar to the ones in the dash pad and to its right, a larger 2 5/8" gauge which I think is for fuel pressure. Both are angled slightly toward the driver and appear to be in separate mounting brackets. The stock shift boot is used and the metal ring to hold it down is black. As for the pad, it was not used earlier in the season. I know it appears to be in there for the race following Marlboro but when it was added, I don't know. The floor itself is blacked out. I hope this is useful.
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« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2011, 10:34:12 AM »

Thanks for the kind guidance Jon concerning the '67 dash and all else,

Work continues across the three Camaros, whereas the photo below chart my efforts to come up with better 1:18th Trans Am Minilites.  I created a new mold across the weekend for the '69 wheels, whereas I hope to paint them a Tamiya F1 'Camel cigarettes' yellow versus the rather pale GMP paint spec. Wheels now soaking in Bleche White to ensure that paint will adhere to them.  

I wasn't happy with the rather mechanically rendered GMP Minilites, especially regarding the spoke design, whereas sometime back the opportunity was taken to hand form spokes and replace the outer wheel lip with something featuring a proper taper complete with the upraised rim edge detail for the '69 wheels, and the 'lipless' design for '70 and later wheels.  All very tedious to perform, but a nice improvement yielded.


...old photograph comparing standard GMP Minilite to revised wheel prior to final puttywork.  Note black plastic 'flat lip' rim outer, scratchbuilt and hand shaped spokes, stock wheel spider and reuse of inner rim structure.  Base model a basic mockup of a ERTL-based 1:18 '70 Vic Elford Chaparral Camaro that is depicted here without flarework of any kind; i.e. a bit crude.


...same wheel, now with '69 wheel outer lip.


...same project, '70 and later Minilite next to unmodified GMP wheel and tire.


...'69 wheels and tires, new instrument pod for '67, revised '67 front package shelf with '69 dashpad that edged into same sanded off.  Finer panel and cluster work still to come.  


Thanks...

Mike K.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 08:32:39 PM by Jon Mello » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2011, 12:22:19 PM »

Mike, I have to confess I was not aware of the subtle differences between a '60s Minilite and the '70-later version. It is a little hard to see on the small wheels shown in your photos. I'll see if I might have some photos that make this more readily apparent. Once again though, impressive work and thanks for sharing it with us.
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2011, 05:43:52 AM »

Fantastic Modeling work - looks great

one small detail on the Hurst chrome shifter stick. The 60's and early 70s Hurst chrome stick were stamped with larger Hurst letters
then is used today. They are hard to find. I have large letter sticks for 67-68 Camaro, 69 Camaro, and 70 Camaro so I know they used the larger Hurst letters in those years
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2011, 11:15:33 AM »

Thanks indeed for the shifter 'HURST' imprint insight/feedback,

Worried I might have few choices in 1:18 to address same, whereas in 1:24 and 1:25 plastic so many options for there are so many higher quality kits to draw spares from.  I like 1:18 diecast for the topic is naturally larger, the assemblies more robust, the white metal bodies receptive to the use of actual auto body supplies.  Not so delicate then but for what delicate items I choose to add.

Anyhow, a revised '67 fiberglass plenum - the shape informed by an article found where the same was reproduced.  Much less bulk, whereas a coin can be seen below the air cleaner housing to raise it a bit, allowing the snorkel to bend down.  Tried too to curve down the plenum as it meets the hinge detail, while the center has been sanded to reflect where again the plenum bends slightly at it is screwed to the cowl proper.  Look closely for subtle this is.  The plenum is still a bit tall of section, but coming closer then.  Sorry for headache-inducing images; i.e. a proper full-manual control camera something not at present possible to budget.  Thanks...



...tried to file in air cleaner base divot.  

M.K.
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« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2011, 12:01:12 PM »

Mike, that air cleaner and duct are coming along nicely!
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« Reply #26 on: June 18, 2011, 02:29:30 PM »

Thanks for the kind words,

Ordered spare trunklid without fuel dump 'hole'; i.e. a solid standard trunk lid from another 1:18 GMP release via a modder on eBay adept at creating dioramas.  Hope this will afford me right utility to fashion the same into what I need; i.e. same panel with a smaller inlet and vent if I can confirm just how to site it.  Worried that so much work on that panel would draw undo attention to same, whereas modest paint mismatch is the worst that could become of replacing the lid outright.  The 'solid' lid will form the basis of a clean and unexpected mod. for those quite used to seeing the incorrect fueling gear on the '67 rendition of the GMP Penske Camaro Trans Am.  

Seams now added to fiberglass plenum, as well as the intake snorkel on either side.  Nearing final, hoping to recast air cleaner assembly to clean up the lid detail which at present bears flaws.  Done in three parts, sad to think all the work will vanish under so much black paint.  Frightful photo image blurrily reproduced below.  Thanks again...

Mike K.



M.K.
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2011, 01:15:09 AM »

Great that you have been able to find an alternative trunk lid. Here is a Craig Fisher photo of the rear of the car at Sebring in 1967. It shows how the rear stripes should be done, the screen replacing the white backup lenses, the wider red lenses than what is on the model and maybe a few other details for you to pick up on. The rear spoiler at Marlboro was taller than this stock one and the pinstripes were not done on the spoiler at Marlboro either. Also, that same filler cap as seen in this photo is used at Marlboro but it is much lower. Just above deck lid height. The hole is centered in the lid, both L-R and fore-to-aft (front edge of spoiler to front edge of trunk lid). There is maybe 3" of real-life clearance around that filler on the decklid and it has a bead of rubber to finish off the circumference of the hole.
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2011, 01:25:51 AM »

Mike, here's a photo of the steering wheel showing the word "THINK" on it. It was shown in the '67 Bryar Trans-Am program.
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2011, 12:33:10 PM »

Greetings Jon,

Thanks for the kind input, the very astute and valued observations afforded.  Very interesting both photographs, whereas I like the screen vent of the trunk area via the taillight cluster assembly - something I might not have noticed for a few weeks just examining said image.  Thanks very much for sourcing the photograph, indicating the venue, and pathfinding means to understand and interpret just what is being seen.  

The wrap of the steering wheel rim seems only to show up for the instrumented test session hosted by GM, whereas I think I might cut my wheel to fit something that might be finished to suggest wood.  I rue 'painting wood', and may look at other models or hobby supply sources to perhaps find a wooden rim to employ here.  I should be able to make better progress soon, having spent perhaps a bit too much time on the air cleaner assembly.  

-

Though a project not soon to be tackled, this weekend I picked up a 1:18 Yat Ming/Road Legend '69 Pontiac Trans Am (a dreary tool this) as well as a 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird (an exceptionally fine tool this) with the hope of eventually mating the stack of parts into a backdated '69/'68 Firebird Titus racer.  '69 shell, '68 hood scoops, faux '68 side trim, rear bubble flares (mild these), and the distinctive '68 'beak' fit to the panelwork of the new car.  Given the front bumper was painted (fiberglass replica or aluminum perhaps?), hacking and slashing to mate the same to the Yat Ming/Road Legends shell should be doable.  As an aside, I wonder how they homologated what seemed a Chevrolet Camaro rear spoiler?  It would be fun to have two - one the anticipated and ready to go '69 Tunnel Port 303-powered racer, the second what they were effectively forced to compete with as outlined above with Canadian Chevrolet/Acadian power.  Not to be seen soon, but parts being gathered for an elaborate future initiative.  Thanks so much...

Mike K.
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« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2011, 04:22:20 AM »

Mike, I love the idea of the 68/69 Titus Firebird model. Craig Fisher ran the full '69 Trans Am Firebird in early '70. It was a very nice looking car, but I am a bit biased.

Bruce.

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« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2011, 10:55:10 AM »

I agree that one (or two) of those Firebird models would be neat to see. A significant amount of work but based on what I have seen so far, something you could definitely pull off.

As for the steering wheel in Donohue's Camaro at Marlboro, it definitely had the same black electrical tape wrap as see in the earlier test session. Here is a photo at Marlboro with the door open. Only the bottom section of the wood wheel is exposed. [Note the Penske Racing "crest" decal which is not on the model]


Photo by Andrew Keller

Below is a photo taken two weeks later at the Continental Divide Trans-Am in Colorado. The steering wheel is the same as at Marlboro. This happens to be the last race for this steering wheel as it broke during the race and was subsequently replaced with a Grant 3-spoke. Of note on the wood wheel is that there are alternating bands of dark and light colored wood.


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« Reply #32 on: June 22, 2011, 11:06:50 AM »

Notice how badly bowed the hood is at Marlboro and Continental Divide while being in the fully closed position. Special thinner-gauge front sheet metal had been stamped for Penske on a one-time basis in the GM tooling prior to the August 6th Trans-Am at Bryar. Unfortunately, Mark broke an axle twice at Bryar and crashed the car heavily, nose first, into a wood barricade trashing all the new front sheet metal. The least damaged was the hood so they kept it even though it is not up to the cosmetic standards one normally associates with Penske. When this car got damaged in the trailering accident on the way to the Modesto Trans-Am in early September, the hood finally met its demise.


Photo by Andrew Keller
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« Reply #33 on: June 22, 2011, 02:25:05 PM »

Greetings Jon,

Fine eye (if I don't sound bit too much like a Little League father yelling from the stands!) for what just wholly escaped me.  Much I'm missing, as I first thought I was seeing the play of shadows across those other images concerning the wood wheels that are revealed plainly for your input to have taped sections.  GMP did a wholly-taped wheel, while I prepared to go on of two ways - not a third!  

I have some old AW & CP issues that have the two '69 spec. Titus/Godsall Firebirds updated to single 4BBL/Ram Air IV head/tall deck block '70 spec. (whew! - I'm tired!) for sale in elaborate print ads., hence know/love those too!  Such confidence they telegraph in the ads., speaking of their competitiveness.  Pity the '70 Pontiac engine not really a match for what were in essence top-flight '69 factory-backed clone customer cars/chassis.  As an aside, the same AW & CP 'stack o'decaying newsprint' has reportage to the effect that ARA intended to purchase All American Racing constructed 'Cudas to campaign in the 1970 season - plans that came to naught.  

As to the Fisher-purchased T/G Firebirds, any guess what color these were painted?  Were I not so slow, so deliberate, I'd have an example of each.  I think it would be intelligent to do the former two side-by-side.  Although separate and apart, the Fisher '70 spec. would likely be the easiest of all, requiring fewer body and drivetrain mods. to 'get there'.  Collecting parts for a '70 Titus Firebird, with aqua-painted Minilites, four 'rear' tires, and the usual 'much that is missed' approach.  Literally a hobby for a lifetime, for I am a shop of one.  Thanks and with very kind regards...

Mike K.
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« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2011, 02:33:25 PM »

Short note,

The Penske Racing crest will likely have to be photo-reduced and printed off on either decal stock or high-quality paper to be cut out and white-glued in place - inelegant this.  Pondering the purchase of the George Follmer '67 GMP (with crest tampo-printed and in place), imagining the transfer of the single 4BBL small block Chevrolet to a long-range '70 Chaparral Camaro project, destruction testing the rear so as to understand what is necessary to remove the taillights or mask the rear panel, etc.  GMP tires and a spare set of ARE wheels aren't to be taken lightly either given that I can't quite cast them - yet.  Hope in time to find a means or cottage industry source to turn aluminum wheel outer lips - another long-range desire then.  

Funny and a bit sad too as I reflect upon how many horribly modified high school Camaros wore the extended racing stripes down the back, and to note now that such mods. had basis in fact!  Egads!  Love photo that proves post-Bryar wreck that the thin gauge hood was salvaged and reused - until DISASTER! Have old SCG '67 Season Review that depicts the Donohue's broken axle-induced guardrail encounter - oh, the sorrow and the pity!  Considerable thanks from this quarter...

Mike K.
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« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2011, 01:30:57 PM »

One photo of the crash at Bryar. I don't recall if this is the one from SCG or not.

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« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2011, 04:07:35 PM »

Greetings Jon,

Thanks for your kind effort.  Yes, yours is the same shot that is shown in the 1967 SCG Competition Year Review I have in my possession.  I've not compared issue-for-issue to note or notice if extra coverage is afforded within the yearbook per se, but rather doubt it.  Again, my appreciation.

P.S. ...with the distinct 'wood band' appearance of the steering wheel, might they have fitted something manufactured by Nardi?  I could search my mags. to inspect classifieds, whereas I have an old Villem Hahn (sp?) and perhaps a MG Mitten catalog to flip through that might reveal the manufacturer of the same. 

Mike K.
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« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2011, 09:43:56 AM »

You're very welcome, Mike. I'm glad to be of help.

I don't recall where I heard the story but it seems that Donohue was given the wheel prior to the start of the season. Can't remember who it came from but he felt inclined to use it. You can see that they had to fabricate their own hub out of billet aluminum to mount it on the steering column so whatever it was originally meant for, it would likely be foreign. The names you suggest would be a good start. I was thinking Les Leston might be another. The slots in the spokes are shaped very much like the standard Corvette wheel of the mid-'60s however this steering wheel is not dished at all. The Nardi wheels have a slot that is much too narrow and they also have the Nardi name engraved on them. This wheel Donohue used had nothing engraved on the spokes.
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« Reply #38 on: June 25, 2011, 10:51:53 PM »

This photo is from the August 6, 1967 Bryar Trans-Am. Its shows the location of the battery in the
right rear corner of the trunk, the taller than stock rear spoiler with the notch for the trunk pin,
the lack of a pinstripe on the spoiler versus the striping on the rest of the car, the hole in the lid
for the fuel filler and maybe one or two other details if you spend the time and look closely.


Photo from Bryar Racing magazine

Here's another shot taken at the same time but by a different photographer. More interesting details to see.


Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2011, 12:45:56 PM »

Greetings,

Some discreet work again; i.e. efforts to revise the rollcage structure.  It may all be scratchbuilt, whereas what can be noticed is the removal of all cross bars from within the main hoop (one across to be fitted soon), whereas simple bars extend back down towards the rear subframe versus extending into the trunk area.  I didn't see the side bars bowing out as they do on the later Penske Camaros, hence the same replaced with straight stock, whereas the tubes set on an angle nearest the front footwells are new.  Convinced I am that the tubes right in front of the footwell tubes set on an angle are wrong, but not certain what might exist there.  Not seeing shadows, I cannot tell just how far forward the tubes extend into the footwells, whereas the standard items seem patterned roughly on the '69 spec.  One can further see the tube added that is situated below the dash that stretches across from side to side.  The tiny panel fitted to where the heater and radio might otherwise have been fitted is berift of fuse panel detail, hence incomplete it is.  

I expect that I've done a few things wrong here, and that further work will be required.  Given that the tubes mate at rather severe angles and are visible as such from outside of the vehicle (versus later Trans Am cars where the installation of such tucks them under the roof), much can be said in favor of tossing the diecast plastic parts aside and beginning anew.    Thanks Jon for the kind provision of photographs and always relevant insight.  

Mike K.



M.K.
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« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2011, 12:21:55 PM »

I have reattached your photo with some editting. The legs I have colored green should not be used, although I understand that it doesn't appear to be logical. I will support that with a different photo. The yellow line is a bar that may or may not be there. I suspect it is but don't know that for a fact as it is very hard to see everything in an all-black interior. I still have some other photos to review. What I do know is there is nothing above that yellow line in terms of a cross-brace. The bars that I drew a thin blue line on are lower than this. I posted a couple of other photos in the "Original T/A racing photographs" thread and you can see that the front/top cross bar is so low that it almost gets in the way of the rear view mirror.
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« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2011, 12:41:38 PM »

This photo of the second '67 Penske Camaro, while not the same car, shows that they did not make the forward bar of the roll cage run straight down to the floor. Note that the lower part of the forward bar goes through the floor and is welded to the subframe underneath. I am not 100% certain this is how the Marlboro car was done. I don't think it was. I think it was attached to the inner rocker panel area. Again, the black interior of the 1st Penske car makes it difficult to tell.


Photo by Craig Fisher
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« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2011, 12:13:28 PM »

I just received this 1967 Bryar Trans-Am photo which shows a hint of a bar (by Donohue's shoulder) running between the two uprights of the main hoop of the roll cage. Therefore, the line I indicated in yellow above would seem to be appropriate to the design of the cage.


Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2011, 02:14:57 PM »

Greetings Jon,

Great thanks for the considerable effort you've made towards the end of assisting me concerning the cage configuration. Hugely appreciative I am, whereas I've just picked up supplies to make a very determined go of the cage beyond that seen to date. Again, I'm quite at a loss for words concerning the value of the input afforded me.  I hope to capture another image of the cage and chassis to confirm said input was acted upon. Cage fabrication is fun - undeniable 'value-added' concerning the '...well, can you communicate to me just what you did?' angle, and quite satisfying to execute. Given the '70 Autodynamics Challenger project features about the most fiendishly complex period cage I can identify, I view this as a run up of sorts to that effort.  

-

Indeed - what a strange configuration for the 'missing two of the four point' roll cage!  I intend to start from the front outriggers and build back, replicating how the bars mate up to these first, then proceed aft. Not sure how much original material I'll save, whereas plates for the base of each contact point of the cage are simple to fabricate and will be added. Hollow tube with brass rod to prevent flexing and sagging.  Fishmouth tube to tube final fitting all done by hand; i.e. just like the actual cage, simply done in 1:18th scale.  A bread board with a few nails tapped into it is my 'mandrel' and 'jig' both, whereas for something that hasn't a cage, file cards folded in half are cut and cut again to smoothly mesh into roof and side interior contours when the same is required. My '70 Penske Donohue Javelin has a cage scratchbuilt in this fashion, and far superior it is to a two-piece cast 'tube' affair.

-

Thanks too for the pair of trunk photographs.  No grassy knoll photographs then?  Memories too of the film Blow Up.  Amazing how in a burst photographers might gather around, be intrigued by unexpected access to an atypical sight, and finally, to have two photographs emerging from that same moment with the passage of years. With very much appreciation...

Mike K.
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« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2011, 02:33:37 PM »

Greetings,

Pondering the fabrication of the enlarged duck tail spoiler, expect same would be based on a modified and doctored mold of the standard GMP item.  In short, I'd make an effort to cast the top tip of the spoiler without letting the urethane mold material creep right up to the base of the same (the mold being a one-piece affair), stop and apply clay to the standard spoiler to 'gap the transition' between the higher lip and the slightly lower base, reinsert the spoiler, then finish the mold.  I'd expect it to be a bit rough, but subtle as is the doubtlessly hand cast one-off (or two!) seen in the photograph.  Control afforded too to replace the squared-off pin recesses with half-round, whereas photo-etched items used (or perhaps real watch/timepiece hardware) to secure spoiler from the top.  The underside splash shield seen in the trunk photos can be handled easily enough, whereas thanks so much for the assortment of inlet shots. I have the solid trunk lid panel in hand now, and am beginning to drill through the same to lend momentum to that aspect of the effort.  With much thanks...

Mike K.

-



...and aside then.  I painted my '69 Minilites and fit the same.  Not totally pleased with paint tone - a bit too earthy, almost looks like the restored racer, whereas period color photographs suggests a paler hue ought to have been employed.  Pondering what to do, whereas same are naked for being sans lugs/wheel centering hub/wheel weights, etc.

M.K.
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« Reply #45 on: July 01, 2011, 10:27:15 AM »

Greetings Jon,

Tried to strictly replicate cage informed by the photo image you modified and uploaded.  Could change the side bar detail to reflect integration of the side tubes as seen on the second car complete with tiny outrigger(s).  Plates for base of tubes not yet in position, but dimensionally it looks o.k.  Front tubes cut out and redone, with each forming the welding point of all structure spreading from them.  Hoping to fab. a trans. linkage access panel if that was seen across years.  Will be all but invisible beneath paint, but something obvious to add.  Thanks...




Mike K.
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« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2011, 12:44:11 AM »

Mike, it does seem that the color of the wheels on the '69 should ideally match the yellow used on the "Sunoco Camaro" lettering.

Your '67 cage is looking much more accurate now. One thought, I think the upright pieces of the main hoop should not be spread so far apart or maybe it's just that the rear angled support bars seem to be angled inward too much. There is some distance between the uprights of the main hoop and the inner part of the rear backseat area. It might be similar in that regard to the later '67 car, as seen below. The photo was taken in May '68. This may explain how the horizontal bar which runs next to the door in your model gets attached further out than the vertical part of the main hoop. A small "leg" extends over to the side of the body.


Photo by Craig Fisher
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« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2011, 01:11:04 AM »

Mike, you might also watch this youtube video as there is a good view of the dash when Donohue bring the car into the pits at Daytona. Unfortunately, this is prior to the full roll cage being installed or it could have been even more useful to your model building cause.
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« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2011, 09:40:42 AM »

Greetings Jon,

Thanks again for the considered input.  New wheels, now finished with what is in essence the header paint employed before at are present drying in anticipation of my fitting them later today.  They will quite nicely match the Mission Bell 250 color photographs of the topic as seen in the '69 season issue of the Vintage Motorsports Trans Am retrospective.  Thanks for this 'shove' in the right direction.  Odd, for the model appears a bit denatured for the paler color choice, but correct it is. 

Wondering if I should just try to do a very faithful rendition of the very well documented cage in the second Camaro.  Reading The Unfair Advantage suggests that only in relation to GM instrumented testing did they begin to extend the cage out to stiffen the unibody outright, whereas some photographs show rather spindly support tubes set at odd and atypical angles heading back.  I surmised that they sited these tubes early season towards the rear subframe as it extended forward into the passenger's compartment, versus through the bulkhead and towards points at the end of each subframe rail.  It seemed that as the testing of the instrumented Camaro proceeded, that the configuration was revised for lessons learned.  I suppose I made a stab at the early non-reconfigured first build. 

Will likely blow apart cage to scratchbuild everything, and see especially to the bowed out side bar detail and attendant structure.  It will take a little bit, but what is seen will be captured.  Will revise tubing coming off back of main hoop to reflect what is seen in the photos you've kindly provided.  Thanks for the ESPN2 clip - love that.  Very kind regards...

Mike K.
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« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2011, 03:00:25 PM »

Mike, if you are trying to replicate the '67 Marlboro winner, which I believe you are, then you don't want to copy the cage of the 2nd car. It's similar but not the same and as you pointed out, the roll cage bars do not extend into the trunk. I'd much rather see you keep what you have than go the other route.
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« Reply #50 on: July 07, 2011, 08:44:12 AM »

Greetings Jon (and to all who might look in),

Relieved in a sense that for splitting the side bars away from the '67 main hoop that needn't strictly refab. the same, noticing that the side outriggers angle forward a bit.  This saves me work, whereas jealous I've become with regards to recycling 'work capital' if you will.  Yes, I'll recommit to the original plan with regards to the cage.

Fitted new '69 model wheels to '69 car.  Though impossible to discern for the limits of the images provided, the castings look nice.  Seam detail is as seen on the actual wheels, forming at the base of the spokes where I mated the two halves of the urethane mold.  A discreet line/border is formed where the outer rim mates to the broader body of the rim much like the '69 Javelin images you kindly uploaded, whereas I tried too to create the round pads presumably cast into the wheel to afford options to tap an air valve.  These are a bit large of diameter, but not hateful.  The wheels finally look about right; i.e. not some exceedingly well finished billet item, not raw and evidently slipshod, but quality castings that are no more and no less than that.  Hub guides in place, lugs not.  Read teflon finish applied to same, tried to reproduce with gray paint.  Better then - thank you...

M.K.



...'stamped steel' valve covers in place too, albeit difficult to see.  
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« Reply #51 on: July 07, 2011, 10:52:46 PM »

Mike, I think that's a good decision regarding the cage in the '67.

The '69 is looking very good. Lots of effort there and it shows. The wheels look nicer now that they match the yellow on the body although, truth be known, I think your first wheel color was closer to correct and the yellow on the body was a bit too light. Can't monkey around with that however so you did the next best thing. You must be working on a steering wheel as I don't see one in there. Glad to see that as the one GMP put in was not correct for '69.
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« Reply #52 on: July 08, 2011, 02:21:16 PM »

Greetings Jon,

Yes, steering wheel out, whereas not sure if I can do anything about the fact that the spokes aren't drilled like an actual Grant wheel.  Maybe small circles of black paint can be applied, maybe not.  Some decals exist on the market in 1:18 to redo the body lettering and such, but colors less rich, and in all probability, less accurate still; i.e. not much latitude to work there.  Neat options exist if the model was in 1:25th scale, whereas the dark body color meshed to bright graphics overlaid onto the same spells trouble.  Perhaps with time I could do my own graphics on a computer, printing same off on decal stock.  This is the future, and it is not yet.  Will probably stick with the wheel finish for the near-term.  Have five shades across a spectrum, although one hasn't been applied to a wheel outright and might surprise me if I were to experiment.  Beating down cognitive dissonance tendencies then!

May experiment with finding a local pinstriper of note to see if handwork of stripe outline might be done on a 1:18th shell.  For the '67, this would open the way to refinishing the model in a darker shade - good.  Trunk panel drilled through, although opening the resultant hole out further and introducing a somewhat oblong shape to allow the lid to clear the extended inlet will take a bit of time. 

Quick question - have you ever seen a '69 model Penske Camaro fitted with finned valve covers?  I have a shot from Michael Lamm's book The Great Camaro that shows an engine on the dyno being tended to by one half of Travers and Coon depicting a cross ram-equipped 302 Chevrolet so-outfitted, but otherwise nothing.  Since it seems I've done a Riverside entry, the question sort of hovers in air.  I hope to give back in the form of posting further books and magazines - soon I hope.  Thanks and with very kind regards...

Mike K.
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« Reply #53 on: July 08, 2011, 03:31:19 PM »

Mike, you're in luck as the wheel used by Donohue in '69 has no slots or holes in the spokes. A view of the interior can be seen here.
The dash is natural aluminum and so is the air duct underneath. Is the dash currently gray in your model?

Thanks to Ron Lathrop, I will have some photos from the '69 "Wolverine" Trans-Am to post in the near future. There may be some pics there that will be useful to you.

I know the Traco engine photo of which you speak. Personally, that's the only time I ever recall seeing the finned valve covers on one of their engines and that was in their shop, not installed in a car.
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« Reply #54 on: July 09, 2011, 07:48:44 PM »

Here's one from the '69 Wolverine Trans-Am that should be of use to you.


Photo by Ron Lathrop
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« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2011, 12:28:36 AM »

I continue to admire and respect the work and attention to detail that is put into these pieces of art that you create Cool.

The January 1970 Motorcade magazine shows the 69 Gregory camaro with a "Traco" 302 with the aluminum valve covers Grin.
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« Reply #56 on: July 10, 2011, 12:32:00 PM »

Thanks Jon again for all that you do for myself and us/thanks Robert - I'll check my scattershot assemblage of Motorcade issues!,

Painted wheels again, but coats a bit heavy - will likely have to recast wheels.  So, I have two sets to experiment with different strength stripping agents - ah, accentuate the positive!  Thanks for the awe-inspiring close-in '69 MIS photography, neat to see the weird early-'69 front flares where if I recall correctly they intended at one point to run both power steering and larger section (if not 'rear') tires up front.  '69 GMP model came through with wrong interior trim level, not sure if I should try casting '67/'68 interior panels to create clones for my latter example.  Thanks for the corrective with regards to the 'non-drilled' Grant wheel.  I removed the overscale center, replaced same with a photoetched puck with subtler detail.  Not sure if I can find small enough hardware to at least capture the center upraised thread and nut detail.  Should be able to scratchbuild fresh air duct without too much trouble off model prior to fitting - all good this.

Yes, first posted shots of my '69 featured better 'footwear'.  Color better (standard GMP), plus lugs, plus wheel weights, plus tiny sections of duct tape to 'hold' same in place, in addition to decidedly better tires.  1:18 GMP Lola T70 dry weather Goodyears - very rare these are secondhand.  A little too low of profile up front, but much improved on the back.  1:18 GMP Trans Ams a bit too square concerning sidewalls, perhaps dimensionally oversized on the front, and a bit undersized on the rear.    

GMP Trans Am tires seem to match the tread profile RWR/ARA '71 Javelin poster Goodyear 'wets', whereas at some point I'd like to master a set of tires and come up with section/sidewall profile/indented tread combination I desire.  Ford and Chapparal-specific LXX Firestones with their unusual cantilevered sidewall construction and profile too would become possible.  Period Goodyear dry Blue Streak Sports Car Specials seem possible even without a lathe or laser-etching of the pattern, but this too is the future.  Thanks so much...

Mike K.
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« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2011, 12:35:29 PM »

You're welcome. It is my pleasure to be able to help. I think we've all got a passion for the cars here and to see you replicate them in a smaller scale with accurate details is fascinating and relatively awe inspiring. I'm particularly enjoying the fact that I'm the one making suggestions and you're the one doing all the hard work! Smiley

With regard to the interior panels, are they deluxe rather than standard panels in the '69 GMP model? Mine are all boxed up. Standard panels for all three years are different, to varying degrees. I'm not sure how you do all this casting of wheels, panels and/or tires. That would be a fascinating side story in itself.

P.S. Yes, power steering was used on Ron Bucknum's car at Michigan but not the larger tires (to my knowledge).
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« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2011, 09:24:20 AM »

Greetings,

Conversation earlier had me ponder the efficacy of doing a Titus '69 Firebird backdated with select '68 parts.  The major thing would be to fit a wider 'beak' to the front clip, and somehow fit a '68 hood to a likely '69 shell.  Plugging the side air extractors (just trim anyhow), replacing the rocker trim and fitting a Camaro ducktail spoiler plus 302 Chevrolet power wouldn't be terribly hard - just what to do about the assumed fundamental mismatch of cobbled-together panelwork (in-period no less) across two diecast manufacturers?  

I feared that the 1:18 Yat Ming 1969 Firebird Trans Am and the 1:18 Lane 1968 Firebird tools would be about the least compatible diecast kitbash project on the planet, believing the former not very good at all, the latter, almost too good to render scrap.  Anyhow, somehow I purchased a Yat Ming '69, scrounged a Lane '68, scrounged another Lane '68 via eBay for not too much to give matters a go.  What is seen is just early work to prove it possible.  

Quite surprised to notice the Yat Ming and Lane dimensions are very close - the wider (by combining two bumpers - a weird appearance this subtle mod. affords the front of the topic) Lane '68 bumper 'stamping' blends well to the Yat Ming '69 shell, whereas shocked to discover that the hood will drop on essentially unmodified but for dreaded metalwork to cut away structure from the Yat Ming shell.  Hwy. '61 Camaro hinges would be best, a modified Hwy. '61 '69 Camaro chassis narrowed at the hip does seem quite possible, whereas an Al Bartz Chevrolet 302 would find a home within the engine bay.  Anyhow, a fun exercise as photographs suggest...

Mike K.


...the topic, seen at the Riverside Mission Bell 250 '69.  Photo image from Car Craft magazine - thanks Jon!


...still-wide extended grille (Hey! - now you know what a 'Pontiacntiac' is!), plus brief photo reference suggesting odd shape of modified front bumper.  Bumper is almost certainly fiberglass or aluminum on actual car, painted either silver or a very agreeable 'natural gas' shade of blue, while wheels are gray-painted Minilites.  Photo reference depicts topic as seen at first event of the '69 season held at MIS.


...a shock for fit of all items relative to each other doesn't suck.  


...rear bubble flares could be reused Autodynamics Challenger rear flare castings - I stopped at the half-way point prior to final shaping and saved the major work for possible use elsewhere - like here.  


...last shot, major metalwork to cut out.  Grille shell needs space to exist behind bumper, whereas all one sees is stout Zamac structure to support the '69 nose.  Grille shell and grille painted black, most mods. will be rendered invisible, whereas scrap resin Minilites quickly painted here just to afford a sensation of what the finished model might look like.  Front valence is '68 Lane, whereas the lowermost extension of the '69 Yat Ming front fender has been cut off to allow the use of the former.  Thanks for reading this...

Mike K.
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« Reply #59 on: July 18, 2011, 09:47:10 AM »

Hello,

'68/'69 Titus Firebird progress then.  Rear wheelarches ground away, resin flares of my own construction introduced.  Other minor body mods., this just a quick update. Structure behind grille now gone, hence path cleared for grille insert installation. Thanks...




...flares will shrink, becoming more gradual, etc. Rather like cutting hair; i.e. one can't cut it longer.  I mastered the same oversized, bending the resin castings to fit the Zamac shell for immersion within a bowl of heated water, alter wheel opening contour to suit, and file the outside contour to accurately blend the same into the application. The product of a single evening, although finish work is expected to run over a period of days/weeks.  

Thanks...

Mike K.
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« Reply #60 on: July 18, 2011, 11:01:36 AM »

Apologies - poor grammar, poor editing evident across previous post (if any effort noticed at all).  

Try this instead:  ...flares will shrink, becoming more gradual, etc. Rather like cutting hair; i.e. one can't cut it longer.  I mastered the same oversized, bending the resin castings to fit the Zamac shell for immersion within a bowl of heated water, altered the wheel opening contour to suit, and finally filed the outside contour to accurately blend the same into the application. The product of a single evening, although finish work is expected to run over a period of days/weeks. 

Thanks...

Mike K.

Flares for 1:18 explained briefly.

1. Four stacks of sheet plastic are isolated and glued together back-to-back to created what I'll term flare pucks.  They must be large enough to encompass the entire mass of the flare for extending out, but also in with regards to the body tumblehome area.  
2. A tracing is made of the extent of the bubble flare on the bodyshell, with the area to be removed filed off with a rasp (done twice or four times depending on the application).
3. A further tracing is made of the standard wheel arch contour to guide work, and/or photo reference is secured to guide efforts in this regard.
4. The pucks are trimmed and filed to fit into the shell from underneath.
5. The pucks are filed from below to create proper wheelarches with sensitivity to reproduce the wheel arch contour.  
6. Exterior contour is sanded/sculpted/shaped.
7. A resin casting is made possible for the creation of a urethane mold of the half-completed flare.  
 
-

8. Given that I casted my half-complete Autodynamics Challenger flares, I didn't need to start my flares from scratch, utilizing as I've done the bulk of the work the other flares comprised.
9. Bend/trim/fit to Firebird.


Thanks...

Mike K.
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« Reply #61 on: July 23, 2011, 12:43:37 AM »

That looks great Mike. Neat that the various manufacturers are close in their dimensions.
I am pretty sure that the front bumper/grill surround was fiberglass on the T/G cars.   The cars were looking their best by the time they got to Riverside.

Keep up the good work.

regards,
Bruce.
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« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2011, 06:03:25 PM »

Greetings,


Some visceral diecast hack and slash here. Grille surround and grille proper mated to bumper, though still need to grind away at shell to allow flush fit of entire assembly onto the bodyshell. 1:18 Hwy. 61 '69 Camaro chassis introduced and mated to 1:18 Yat Ming '69 Firebird shell. Much extra material on rockers of Hwy. 61 chassis allow this effort at repurposing to suit my needs here. Lane ten-bolt BOP (if they still had their own diffs.) rear end a finely rendered item, will be introduced here with welded-on extended fluid reservoir and electrically-powered cooler detail.

Though I very much like the interior floorpan detail on the GMP Trans Am Camaro chassis, on either it or the Hwy. 61 chassis I'm still responsible for fabricating double adjustable Koni shocks, the pair that are fitted laterally, racing front sway bar detail, a proper fuel bladder/cell housing, Watts link, differential cooler, etc., hence decided to 'do the Hwy. 61' option. Firewall filed back, feeling morbid about how much effort it will take to cut out the full rad. support and inner fender detail on the 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird to introduce onto the 1:18 Yat Ming '69 Firebird shell. A sharp eye may be able to make out that I've also fitted the interior to the Hwy. 61 chassis by cutting clearance for the driveshaft tunnel. A bit frightening to contemplate in total, but coming along. Thanks...

Mike K.



...very deft, very tight fit of Hwy. 61 '69 Camaro chassis. Note how it bobs out just behind the front wheelarches. Plugs for holes not needed to come. Much to add here.


...firewall filed back. Anticipate adding patched '68 Lane item less brake booster, plus heater core/heater block out plate. Lane items very nicely rendered.


...hood fit far better now, although know that for width, length and contour, nothing at all has been done with it.


...grille/bumper assembly largely complete but for putty and paint. Will scuff surface of chrome with brillo pad, for tough and high-quality Lane plating (with no less than a copper coat beneath it) will not yield to normal approaches towards removal. Expect to test coat rear '68 bumper to see what might be achieved. Grille surround to be painted blue as well! Strange appearance - like some Petty Charger before Petty Charger registered as an icon in anyone's head.


...nose in place, hood now flush, interior trim less driveshaft tunnel work spied.


Thanks for inspecting this post...

Mike K.
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« Reply #63 on: July 26, 2011, 10:31:20 PM »

Thanks for your post, Mike. Impressive amount of work combining several different brand of kits to get what you want. I, for one, am happy that you are providing details of how/what you are doing in case any others out there might get the urge to do something similar.
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« Reply #64 on: July 30, 2011, 12:50:46 PM »

Sorry for scattered focus - some Firebird work then,

(...to help decipher matters, understand that companies identified here as Lane, Yat Ming, GMP and Hwy. 61 each produce first-gen. Firebirds and/or Camaros which have been utilized to modify diecast white metal scale model cars in the fashion of plastic kits from days of yore.  Larger (1:18 versus 1:24 or 1:25 scale), a bit more robust, they can be adapted into period SCCA Trans Am sedans.  Across this thread I'll try to share ideas and techniques, some quite simple, other aspects more advanced.  Thanks...  M.K.)

Entire cowl to nose assembly from Lane '68 Firebird to be incorporated into the Yat Ming '69 Firebird. Cut and isolated same, where using the cowl allows me to positively position the firewall and dashboard without having to scratchbuild structure. I expect to fashion a bulkhead to fit behind the firewall to firmly lock the Lane and Yat Ming pieces together, ensure torsional rigidity thereby, etc.

Front wheelhousing/splash shields to be modified Hwy 61 '69 Camaro items, upper control arms to be '67-'69 GMP Trans Am Camaro items situated to ensure perhaps four degrees of negative camber will be seen up front. Firewall shorn of heater core housing, the same awaits a plug. Thanks...

Mike K.




 
 
M.K.
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« Reply #65 on: July 31, 2011, 01:32:58 AM »

Very interesting to see the details of the reconstruction, Mike. Thank you for the update. It's fascinating that so many different kits are being utilized but I understand the necessity to get the best and most appropriate pieces for what you are trying to achieve. Why is the hood now green when it was gray in the previous photos?
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« Reply #66 on: July 31, 2011, 12:27:08 PM »

Greetings Jon,

There are/were two '68 Lane Firebirds used to stretch out the front bumper, one painted a period metallic green, the other black.  The green example was sourced from eBay, the other was a paint spoiled example picked up by a friend at a discount.  What was initially stripped via plastic media blasting was restricted to the hood of the black painted example, whereas I was not sure at all if I could succeed in cutting the detail from the shell of the Lane product without power tools or access to a shop where more elaborate tools could be employed for the purpose.  A simple razor saw and file work was used here on the 'spare set' of body and hood castings both, and hence little was risked concerning the rest of the model.  Had I failed to cut the shell accurately, the worst that would come of it is that there would be no web posting describing the attempt!

I've found the key towards achieving what I desire in scale is to have a surplus of spares, affording myself low-risk avenues to explore what might be possible.  If I fail in my efforts, lessons are nevertheless learned, while the integrity of the core work remains.  If I succeed, then said effort can be cleanly integrated into the core work without much ado.  Going 98% of the way on some project to risk the destruction of the same for the completion of 100% of what is contemplated isn't cool at all.  Further, actualized potential is rewarded, whereas speculative potential is a bore. 

It really does become a discipline then, with the orientation being imprinted upon one's outlook if you will.  By way of example, I have a bottle of PCB etchent used by some hobby types to remove high quality chrome/copper plate witnessed on high dollar diecast models.  Being tested as a technique in stages, I'm starting with a diluted solution on the rear bumper of one of the '68 Lane models.  This seems to be working, hence another go is scheduled with a higher strength solution on the second bumper, then finally, an effort will be made on the only thing I care about; i.e. the cobbled up front '68/'69 bumper.  Many past mistakes 'makes it so'!.  Thanks...

Mike K.

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« Reply #67 on: July 31, 2011, 12:48:33 PM »

Just a few further thoughts,

While expensive, indeed, what are identified as the 'best bits' are after a time simply reached for and integrated whenever and wherever they may be sourced.  1:18 diecast seems a dying hobby, fewer new tools are seen, while some things no one expects to merit the effort to substantially redo or afford the scale enthusiast.  Chances of being afforded a high-end 1:25th or 1:18th '68/'69 Jerry Titus Trans Am Firebird? - about zero, hence a relatively guilt-free endeavor. 

Scanning the hobby horizon for like-projects has something to do with it as well, and whereas a few high-quality '69 Sebring 'Birds have been done, and a scattering of slot cars, nothing else has been noticed on anyone's table.  There is quite a charge to be had for presenting others with the sight of some project they've contemplated reproducing in scale, who know topic intimately, but for various reasons never commited to.  Sometimes to have a project where perhaps ten or twelve photos are all I have for research stifles, but then to incorporate all that insight into a three-dimensional representation one might move about can really inspire awe.

What I know for certain is on a capital level I cannot have what I'd desire in 1:1, certainly I couldn't take matters to the level I'd desire there.  When contemplated seriously much of the research and applied passion is the same, and hence I savor what is it I can do and achieve - albeit in scale.  Thanks everyone for the sustained interest and support here...

Mike K.
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« Reply #68 on: August 02, 2011, 01:58:29 PM »

Mike, thanks for detailing some of the thought process and method of approach that goes in to doing these scale models. I think it's worthwhile to spell that out for others contemplating modifying their own scale model. I do agree that coming up with something that hasn't already been done or been seen elsewhere would really feel satisfying and also inspire awe in those who know the effort involved to make such a project. I think there are at least several of us here that really appreciate what you are doing, me included.
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« Reply #69 on: August 04, 2011, 04:59:25 AM »

Fantastic work Mike,  I love seeing the detail that you include and the length you go to.
Truly insirational. I can't wait to see it finished.

Bruce.
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« Reply #70 on: August 08, 2011, 09:09:26 AM »

Again - kind and appreciative thanks for the notice afforded,  

Firebird work then.  Diecast shell plastic media blasted, Lane front bumper assembly fitted flush for very deliberate and very time consuming round file work of shell/front fenders. Front bumper stripped of chrome via the use of PCB etchant purchased from an electronics store. Grille was also plated, further requiring paint stripping and Pontiac letter identification removal before the underlying plate could be removed. Cowl area cut off completely from Yat Ming '69, expect I do to fit entire '68 Lane cowl so as to add better detail found upon it, positively site the Lane firewall and dash, etc. Headlamp 'hash' pattern sanded from each lense, paint awaited for each. Inner surface of each rear flare thinned, finish quality equal to the exterior contour. Exterior contour revealed then not to be all, for each flare must in effect serve the purpose for which it is intended. Half-round deck lid pin cutouts on rear spoiler filed in, albeit not seen here.

Tape atop fenders is used to identify specific spots across the length of the each to determine width of opening versus width of Lane casting to be inserted and blended. A vernier caliper will be used to measure seven points within and across the gap front to rear, while careful file work will be required to ensure that the fit will be as fine as I might make it. The standard Yat Ming chassis is in place complete with screws to torsionally stiffen the assembly as I file matters to the dimensions needed, this done to minimize metal fatigue. Removing stiffening members and then aggressively recontouring and reshaping the extremities of the body invites certain disaster if some rudimentary precautions are not taken. Lane inner fender/rad. support/cowl insert shorne of further material, resting quietly as it does just to the left of the mocked up body. Front valence will likely be scratchbuilt compound curves and all. Thanks for reading this post...




Mike K.
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« Reply #71 on: August 10, 2011, 02:23:17 PM »

Very nice, Mike! A tremendous amount of work so far (thanks for the details of what you have done) but it is starting to pay off. Are you going to dress up the car as it appeared at Riverside or some other race on the schedule?

Has anything else been happening with any of your other models or has this been the sole focus lately?
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« Reply #72 on: August 11, 2011, 02:45:48 PM »

Thanks Jon,

Indeed, likely Laguna Seca or Riverside, with Lew Spenser on board and Jerry Titus looking forward to '70.  I think I'll paint the stripes right onto the model, whereas I have friends who might be persuaded to scan and blow up 1:25 markings to mate to this 1:18 project.  Again, and as always, I greatly appreciate the enthusiasm and informed insight afforded me. The '67 Camaro is receiving light attention, the '68 very little, the '69 - again, very little.

Thinking about it a bit, I believe I was so intrigued by the possibilities of the 1:18 Lane first gen. Firebird tool (much newer than their rather stodgy '67-'68 Camaro tool) that I felt the need to reach for it to ponder application of parts to the trio of Camaros.  Learning how to cast select items affords flexibility concerning discreet replication of select aspects of the overall tool, and hence I 'needed to know'.  What eventually occurred was that the project metastasized into a backdated '68/'69 Firebird project, for too soon I was pondering if that chromed prow would fit on the front of a 1:18 Yat Ming '69 Trans Am...

Below is a brief update of the '67 Penske Camaro, bearing the Miasto '68 Z/28 ducktail spoiler (to be cast with extended lip blended in), the Aussie-sourced 'solid' decklid now with an initial hole drilled through it (to be oblong in shape heading both forward and back), etc.  I expect to fashion a fuel inlet from plastic stock, am pondering the fabrication of a slam shut cap w/hinge, and further expect to cast the GMP fuel cell and pumps to reuse just the pumps for this application.  Seen in the photo is a second 1:18 Hwy. 61 '69 Camaro fuel tank, which will be reshaped to install and mate with the inlet in the rough style of a Shelby GT-350R Mustang.  Rereading Donohue's and Van Valkenburgh's The Unfair Advantage, and hence might devise a means to 'foam in' the tank.  Battery clearly missing, cage incomplete.  Pulleys and alternator from 1:18 Ertl '67 Z/28, 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird radiator (upright of course) to be further fitted.  Sheet plastic overlays will disguise curious rear subframe 'channels'.  Just a test chassis, hence no black paint or coherent detail as contrasted to other photo images afforded.  Much thanks...

Mike K.

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« Reply #73 on: August 13, 2011, 11:43:08 AM »

Greetings,

Something for the 1969 Penske Camaro then.  I had replaced the standard GMP headlamp inserts some time back with flush fit block out plates painted a fluorescent orange/red, but regretted that the domed appearance of the actual mid to late-season part wasn't captured.  What is seen below (if for my fuzzy photo images the detail might be seen at all) is my first attempt with flat plates, and my subsequent effort to lend dimension to new plates fabricated from thick plastic sheet stock.  

A measurement was taken of the headlamp cover I'd fabbed, a round stencil set was employed to trace a suitably-sized circle (two actually) onto said sheet stock, then each raw cover was mounted onto the end of a length of rod stock.  Not having a lathe, I combined the use of an oversized emery board with dexterous spinning of each plastic rod extension capped with a raw cover in my palm to fashion what was needed.  



...before, with flat covers.


...after, with domed covers.


...sorry, difficult to make out they are.



Thanks...

Mike K.
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« Reply #74 on: August 15, 2011, 01:18:00 PM »

Thanks for the update. Interesting insight into the thinking concerning the Firebird project. I appreciate seeing some of what you're working on with the '67 too. Looks like a lot of things coming together at one time but it is clear that "the wheels are turning" regarding planning ahead.

As for the '69 car, it's looking good. I wanted to bring to your attention that the removal of the headlights and covering the hole with a flat plate did not begin until the 1970 season. Hence, the stock headlights were still in the '69 cars but covered with sticky-back vinyl or tape.
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« Reply #75 on: August 15, 2011, 01:58:44 PM »

Greetings Jon (and great thanks for posting the new Ron Lathrop '69 Mid-Ohio images),

Yes, moving along by degrees across projects - thanks for your kind words.  I tried to do the late-season covers on the '69, whereas early season (including the Mid-Ohio images) witness the headlamps in place and taped.  I think we both have the Riverside Mission Bell 250 poster with the terribly muddy (literally speaking) '69 Donohue Camaro at MIS, and again, taped standard headlamps are seen.  Pressing further into the season, my Car Life issues depicting the Penske team Camaros at Sears Point and Riverside feature more prominent cover or plates.  I think the diameter of the same grew, but perhaps the fluorescent paint (or yellow paint dependent of course on who's ride I'm gazing at) distorts my perception of what is there?

I wonder if they left the headlamp assemblies in place and just overlaid everything with the covers/plates towards the end of the '69 season? Do you imagine the assemblies contain actual glass lenses behind what appears in some instances to be a surface covered with tape, and at other times covered in a coat of paint?  As for the Penske Camaros, what was fitted seemed to grow in diameter and push out further as the season progressed.  I presume some mild aerodynamic advantage was secured thus...

Both factory-backed Mustang teams, both RKE Javelins and the T/G Firebirds seemed to run taped standard headlamps right to the final 1969-season race at Riverside, whereas reviewing photographs in my Friedman Trans Am photo volume depicts independently entered Camaros running with taped headlamps versus the Penske Camaros fitted with the more prominent covers or plates.  I agree that it seems odd that removal and replacement of the same with covers could occur mid-season with a rule change suggested by so tangible a difference.  Strange not to have read specific mention of the same within race reports, but maybe there was a protest to them that was dismissed leading towards a better articulated rules revision heading into '70?  Thanks again...

Mike K.
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« Reply #76 on: August 15, 2011, 10:39:20 PM »

Mike, you are right. There are larger covers at the end of the season and I was just forgetting that detail. There are supposed to be headlights installed and whether there are (or are not) any behind those covers is anybody's guess. Penske might have gotten away with one. Of course, according to the rule book there were supposed to be windshield wipers on the cars also but depending on the race or car, many times the wipers are not installed. If you got by tech and nobody cared enough to protest, you got away with it. As examples, other cars that used covers over the headlights are Freddie Van Beuren's Mustang at Sebring in '67, Shelby's '68 Mustangs and Bob Grossman's '69 Camaro at Daytona (last one not T/A though).

Penske was never bashful about trying to improve aerodynamics. Witness the trimmed roof drip rail on the #15 car at Sebring in '68, the vertical windshield wipers, the occasionally taped-over windshield chrome, cheater spoilers, etc. The headlight covers could be included in that group.
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« Reply #77 on: August 18, 2011, 01:50:21 PM »

Greetings,

Modest material progress, but more supplies and further options then.  Front valence panel from 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird far from an effortless swap onto the 1:18 Yat Ming '69 Trans Am tool, and even for having an option to splice two, this isn't the route I desire to take.  What is seen here is a 1:18 Ertl Authentics '67 Z/28, whereas the valence panel is far closer to what is desired dimensionally, whereas cutting same from 1:18 GMP '67-'68 Trans Am Camaro would be cost prohibitive.  I delayed final fitting of the Lane inner panelwork until I could solve the front valence issue, and if I can pin the entire assembly together (i.e. fenders and front valence panel), then the resultant assembly will be that much stiffer to accommodate the metal work.  Two-part adhesives or perhaps JB weld will be used to bond the panelwork less pins.  I hope to fabricate ductwork/fresh air dams as visible behind the valence in a image culled from the Wolverine Trans Am photo collection/reportage thread - thanks Jon!  Faux front side marker aluminum fill panels to be fabbed and overlaid, too-conservative initial cut lines inked onto Camaro shell to be lowered - ah, the utility of a digital camera is further proven to me again!


...valence-less '69 Yat Ming Firebird Trans Am


...(another scale victim) valence to be fitted, surrounded by unwanted '67 Ertl Authentics Camaro panelwork.


M.K.
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« Reply #78 on: August 18, 2011, 02:02:54 PM »

A side project relating to the spread of scale SCCA Trans Am replicas,

The pursuit (or rather fabrication) of the best 1:18 Goodyear Blue Streak Sports Car Special that might be had.  Seen are images from the '69 Mid-Ohio thread (thanks Jon!), a slate of 1:18 tire options, and a slate of 1:24/1:25 tire options.  Combining shoulder design/bulge/section size to thread width and design (if applicable), the aim is to cast all of the 1:18 options in hard resin, experiment with abandon, and then cast in more pliable and black-tinted resin. Tread may be hand etched for no scale 'dries' exist.  The 1:24/1:25 tire options include sidewall lettering that may be cut out and introduced into molds for the larger scale tires.  These include 'FOR RACING USE ONLY', 'BLUE STREAK SPORTS CAR SPECIAL', and size identification.  GMP 'footwear' not terrible, but a bit square of shoulder (contrasted to center top option especially), a bit narrow in back, a bit tall of section in front.  Top photocopy image from Goodyear illustrating contemporary vintage racing tire range and tread designs on offer.  Thanks.  



-


'67 GMP Camaro image revealing '67-'68 alternator placement, an upright '68 Lane standard radiator (fortuitously staying upright here), breathers and oil fill cap off and awaiting casting so that clones can be substituted, painted, and finally fitted.  Very little is painted here, hence pulleys black and bare.  Thanks...

M.K.
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« Reply #79 on: August 19, 2011, 05:00:05 PM »

Thanks for the further update, Mike. That front valence work looks tricky and complicated but I'm sure you'll work your way through it. That's terrific that you are finding the tire pictures (and others) from the Mid-Ohio and Wolverine Trans-Ams being very beneficial to your efforts. Really cool that you will be able to recreate the smallest details such as the "For Racing Use Only" writing and also cast them in pliable black resin.
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« Reply #80 on: August 20, 2011, 12:24:03 PM »

Greetings,

As spoken of across a previous post, the front valence of 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird is not a straight swap onto 1:18 Yat Ming '69 Firebird, hence another option had to be identified.  Seen is the 1:18 Ertl Authentics '67 Camaro Z/28 valence laboriously cut free of the mundane host shell and repurposed to suit.  Not quite done - surely a bit thick top to bottom, although dimensionally it isn't terrible.  Pleased that I still have ten digits to type with for very thick was the casting and great effort the cutting did require.  Panel lines that are undesired will vanish beneath a skim coat of putty, whereas when all is coated with paint no one will suspect the labor involved to achieve was is seen here.  Quaint faux front indicator overlays to come...

I expect to remove material from the top of the valence, pull it back, and trim material from the front wheelarch contour on either side of the casting.  I may also remove material from the bottom, and given how thick and robust this element is, more than a bit of latitude is afforded to get it right.  The last image shows the valence upside down and bearing ink marks illustrating further material slated to be filed away.  Thanks...

Mike K.  


...head on, hardly a thing of beauty, but about what is needed.



...a bit thick yet, ready to break pack ice with that prow.  Artic expedition anyone?


...valence again, this time upside down.  Note how valence openings require extension and open up fully to the top, this detail seen in the period photo, and marked in anticipation of further filing upon the still-painted casting.  The factory finish serves as a guide coat, hence no rush to strip same.  Thanks for inspecting this post...

M.K.
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« Reply #81 on: August 21, 2011, 01:35:28 AM »

Nice progress Mike, The front is looking very close to the real thing, The indicator overlays did look crude on the real car, but they did the trick at minimal cost.

Bruce.
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« Reply #82 on: August 22, 2011, 11:12:37 AM »

Nice progress Mike, The front is looking very close to the real thing, The indicator overlays did look crude on the real car, but they did the trick at minimal cost.

Bruce.

Hi Bruce,

Fears for the indicator overlays registered here for I can already envision what people will zero in on if the model should be displayed at a show.  They'll be oblivious to all the cleanly integrated work concerning the hood, cowl, rockers, flares, etc. for most of the tooling the model is based upon isn't anything they are familiar with.  What they will likely comment upon are '...those grotty indicator overlays where it seems he just gave up!'.  I has happened before; i.e. what a stack of reference I might compile is defeated by 'what they know'.  UGH!  Thanks and kind regards...

Mike K.
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« Reply #83 on: August 22, 2011, 06:28:57 PM »

Mike, definitely some more trimming and shaping to do with that piece but something very useable to start with. I suppose you and Bruce may be right about how the overlays will be received by others.
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« Reply #84 on: August 23, 2011, 05:57:18 AM »

That is always the issue with models that are absolutely correct, and the same is true for full size restorations. We have all seen properly restored race cars that have their quirks and stranged facets, but it is those details that make them correct. i'd rather have them "right" and perhaps questions, than the way people expect. Juat as long as the facts and pics can back up the restoration.

More great work Mike. Keep it up.

Bruce.
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« Reply #85 on: August 23, 2011, 08:21:40 AM »

Greetings,

Heavy filing of front valence openings, shape of each now far better.  Thanks for the continued kind interest and informed feedback.

Mike K.


...before


...after


...some work to be done still to disguise a casting as a stamping; i.e. thinning visible thickness of the valence, determine utility of using use of exposed metal surfaces remaining to simulate radiator and oil cooler fresh air dams, etc.  The plastic grille surround here is wearing a coat of silver paint, whereas in the early '69 season photo seen below, it is painted black.  Envision the same painted semigloss black or late-season aqua and the final appearance of the total assembly is better conceptualized.


...a reference photo prior to later grille work undertaken.  The need for some material removal along the bottom of the valence is detected here, whereas the entire assembly still needs to be raised a bit.  Shape of openings need tweaking too!  Indicator overlays likely a weekend project.

Thanks...

M.K.
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« Reply #86 on: August 23, 2011, 12:56:51 PM »

Looking much better, Mike. You have a complete grasp of what needs to be done, based on your comments. I'm really looking forward to more progress on this car.
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« Reply #87 on: September 02, 2011, 10:15:57 AM »

Greetings,

Seemingly modest stuff, but labor-intensive and hence reportable.  '69 Yat Ming shell filed out to allow use of '68 Lane cowl, channels used to positively situate hood in place for both bottom surface and side to side placement of the panel, and reuse of Lane underhood fender detail stretching atop each wheel arch liner.  Chassis '69 Hwy. 61 Camaro, as are the aforementioned wheel arch liner (or whatever these things are called!) which feature strengthening ribs that I judged worth saving. The Lane firewall is held in place with a machine screw that holds it fast to the bottom of the cowl, and this too can be seen.  Heater core assembly has been cut out, the resultant hole is awaiting a plug.

Work to come to play with final shape, rib configuration, and rollcage extensions stretching in and across from interior.  Pockets for upper control arms (likely GMP Trans Am Camaro) to come - gee, a model with visible caster so far as how the aforementioned will be sited!  


...the general direction I wish to go then.


...the cowl, hood mount 'channels', and radiator support in place.  Note plugs for side view mirror on door castings, plugs in holes for standard Yat Ming exterior door latch assemblies.  The later will be drilled again, facilitating the use of far better Lane '68 Firebird items.


...top view, no glue yet, likely JB Weld used to fix in place with brass pins or rods to positively site. Will have to pull back cowl a bit, shorten hood at the front a bit as well to disguise modest dimensional difference seen here.  Generally encouraged for this constitutes the nastiest aspect of the bodywork filing, and now slightly nearer to completion it is.  So easy it is to stack parts, but so difficult to DO something with those parts!  Bare of radiator, braces to each fender and other bits, hard it is to fully assess what detail has been 'fought for' here. The Lane underhood parts for their rendition of the '68 Firebird are fine, whereas the core items seen here aren't particularly glamorous to contemplate.  

Thanks for examining this post.

Mike K.
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« Reply #88 on: September 03, 2011, 12:32:02 AM »

Thanks once again for the update, Mike. Lots of little details have been done. I wonder why they cast a big divot into the rear/upper part of the front fenderwell like that. Are you going to leave well enough alone there? I suppose it would be quite a bit of work to make it reflect what the original contour was.
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« Reply #89 on: September 03, 2011, 11:45:39 AM »

Greetings Jon,

Thanks for your kind attention.  Indeed, imperfect shapes to work with, but something of a start.  Both unassembled plastic and preassembled and prefinished diecast evidence no end of engineering 'cheats' to allow for ease of production and/or the inclusion of working features not always sympathetic to the calm and accurate reproduction of other detail.  Worse sins are hidden underneath, for the subframe rails in the back of the model are not quite where they should be relative to the travel of the axle up and down.  

Back to the matter at hand, the blunted shape/recesses witnessed to the rear of the wheel arch liners I believe are there to allow the stowage of oversized scissor hinges.  Golly gee - scissor hinges! - or so says the typical buyer.  The liners have already been hacked down a bit, whereas I'll endeavor to restore the shape now missing towards the back of each.  No, I'm not sure about which hood hinge design to employ here across a range of manufacture options.  As implied by the photo reference, further work is needed to hack out the upper control arm recesses, whereas I doubt the rubber weather guards were bothered with by T-G.  The exact pattern of strengthening ribs can be played with too - sanding off some, extending others, and filling in what requires disguise.  

It will be nice to add the underhood roll cage extensions, with the same seen across period photos and not terribly hard to fabricate given their simple shape.  The control arms are being cleaned up in anticipation of casting copies, whereas the mounting platforms for the same extending off the top of the subframe will be better controlled for shape versus the combined 'cast as a piece' GMP effort.  Perhaps some threaded shock absorber top mount detail with a nut will be added for good measure.  Sway bar mounts/links/bar seem akin to what Penske employed, whereas strange to report that while all GMP Trans Am Camaros have rear bars, none feature a front!  

Scary in total for I can see the project extending out three years simply for proceeding ahead and facing new challenges/problems as they arise and/or come into view.  Still, it's intriguing and at least I have a talent for it.  Kind regards...

Mike K.
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« Reply #90 on: September 05, 2011, 11:16:48 AM »

Ah, I hadn't thought of those recessed areas as being something needed for hinges. Typically they're a pretty simplistic affair and don't have real scissor action.

I realized there was a significant amount of work to still do but 3 years???  Shocked  I admire your dedication. I never caught the fact that there is no sway bar of any kind
on the front of the GMP models. Pretty silly, especially when they have bothered to install a rear one.
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« Reply #91 on: September 06, 2011, 10:57:06 AM »

Greetings Jon,

I hope I can wrap matters up sooner, but noticing that the Autodynamics Challenger has/had consumed about a year sans rollcage and anything substantial to the chassis - this all less paint and finish work prompts me to reflect.  I purchased a copy of model car magazine wherein a fellow scratchbuilt a 1:12 sprint car in brass, aluminum, and plastic resin.  His project took five years, and this with complete research at his disposal (access to the car, blueprints in all likelihood, etc.), a larger scale to work upon, far more experience with scratchbuilding methods, etc.  Given that I'm learning as I go, haven't the store of techniques to draw upon, and move at a proverbial snails pace, perhaps the long view is the necessary one to take.  The lifestyle equivalent of blunt force trauma in the form of MA/terminal Ph.D. academic study will cut into time that might be dedicated to the project(s) as well, and yet little updates confirm to myself that very involved projects can indeed be seen to completion, and this is something.

Though this post is sans a photo image, a small burst of activity across the weekend.  Thank you very much for finding and posting the July '69 Motor Trend buildup article - your efforts are much appreciated.  Somehow I had traded away the bulk of my period Motor Trend collection (perhaps frustrated for what seemed multiple 'press kit' road tests of preproduction cars situated on manufacture proving grounds, the seeming absence of criticism woven through the same, etc.), and yet lost track of a few good things found across those issues.  The 'New Zealand connection' was contacted concerning the vaguely remembered article, and some short time ago he scanned and sent it across to me.  It could so easily have been otherwise, hence great thanks for your care and attention.  I'll try to create a small bibliography of research found across sources to add to the Firebird thread to help all who visit it.  Again, my great thanks...  

Mike K.
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« Reply #92 on: September 06, 2011, 06:39:53 PM »

Greetings,

Looking towards the chassis, work underway.  Rear wheelarches removed, subframe rails resurfaced in anticipation of introducing Yat Ming arches as required by the need for clearance and ride height.  Fuel cell housing added, this a cast GMP Camaro Trans Am item (the top half then) clayed up and cast without visible refueling detail - I may add mounting straps.  Machine screw attachment points plugged with round plastic stock, semicircular for the reshaped front mounts reflecting clearance requirements of the new front valence, and simple solid plugs headed back across the chassis.  Hwy. 61 identification sanded off each respective rocker panel, each now smooth.  GMP Camaro Trans Am rear sway bar rests in position, although this may be redone from scratch.  Front sway bar and associated mounts seen, but an early attempt and surely not thick enough.  'Stamped steel' valve covers (sans fins) cast and seen, as are dual Holley Dominators as run at Mid-Ohio, while a GMP cross ram with carbs. is also being prepared.  It is my practice to mock up everything so that I might afford myself build options right to the end.  The 10 bolt differential from the Lane Firebird is in position, and bears an extended sump welded to the back of the actual stamped diff. cover.  Lastly, a plug is fitted beneath the front crossmember, with the standard sway bar removed in lieu of fashioning an upgrade.  Thanks for inspecting this post.

Mike K.



...modest but necessary work then.


...for those who might evidence interest, the Hot Wheels (1:64th scale) '71 Penske Donohue Javelin surfaced.  There is said to be a '69 Penske Donohue Camaro out there too judging from the back of the package, but I've not seen it and am not sure if it was released.  A few motorsports titles from the hallowed home library are seen as well. Thanks...

M.K.
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« Reply #93 on: September 08, 2011, 07:28:55 AM »

Mike, I will post more Firebird articles on the Titus cars as time allows. I suspect you may have them but others more likely do not and would get some useful insight by looking them over. Interesting that the rear frame is so poor and inaccurate on the Hwy 61 piece that you're having to go to the trouble to section in something from the Yat Ming version. It makes me want to go track one down to see how badly they botched the job. I see the Hwy 61 chassis uses the Turbo 400 automatic transmission crossmember. Are you able to source the correct crossmember from one of your other kits? I like that you are building enough extra parts and pieces to allow yourself some options right up to the end. I think that's a good idea.

Somewhere, I've got a two-car scale model package of the '69 Mark Donohue Camaro and the '70 Parnelli Jones Mustang that may or may not be Hot Wheels. I forget, as I have not looked them over in quite awhile. Looking at your 1/64 '71 Javelin on the shelf, my thought was that my two cars looked like they could be part of that line of cars as I do believe two other cars were available --- a Javelin and a Challenger. However, I never did purchase those two.
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« Reply #94 on: September 08, 2011, 10:30:16 AM »

Greetings Jon,

Seen across both the Hwy. 61 Chrysler Corp. E-bodies as well as the first gen. Camaros they've thus far done, one notices that certain liberties are taken with the dimensions of chassis members to allow for a better scale appearance topside.  Given that thick white metal/Zamac castings are used for the body, and relatively inexpensive plastics used for the chassis, etc., the dimensions of some aspects of these models (and others surely) are 'pushed around' given that nothing is thin stamping.  My photo image disguised the problem of the entire trunk area topside detail design spec. effectively shoving the rear subframe rails forward into the bodyshell proper.  

In short, if the buyer wants a trunk that looks like a proper sized and shaped trunk, chassis details will be moved around for the detail seen there isn't the mirror image of a stamping.  Viewed from the side, matters appear very strange for axle travel isn't allowed for, whereas the Yat Ming wheel arches are being introduced only to allow the fitting of the larger tires meshed to my need to reduce ride height in the back.  I very much appreciate the help with the research and cherish the comradeship.  The HW range also includes a '70 season Parnelli Jones Mustang BOSS 302 as well as a Geo. Follmer '70 Mustang BOSS 302 with white wheels suggesting a fleeting '71 season spec. model. Thanks, and more to come across threads...

Mike K.
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« Reply #95 on: September 09, 2011, 11:59:26 PM »

I was aware that you were wanting to replicate the things inside the trunk but somehow it did not register how the topside of a particular chassis is not typically seen. Thus, it is poorly defined or just plain inaccurate. You've got your work cut out for you!

I did find my 2-car Hot Wheels Trans-Am pack. Pony Wars was the name of the series, which I assume they no longer make.
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« Reply #96 on: September 13, 2011, 10:08:15 AM »

Greetings,

Brief update.  Heater core plug fashioned and fitted, cast-in 'stamped' hood latch assembly cut from radiator support, pockets cut out of each respective wheel arch to accommodate 1:18 GMP Trans Am Camaro-sourced upper control arms.  Silver sharpie marker used to guide work, hence odd silver flashes seen on parts.  Control arms very raw and still bearing GMP paint, whereas scratchbuilt mounts are to come.  Front bumper broken apart again, adjusted for fit and narrowed again - better integrated it is certainly.  Spare front bumper now to be modified to determine the efficacy of adding the charter line detail coming forward from the '69 fenders.  It seems even as they backdated the cars, that an unusual effort was made to cleanly integrate one-off (or should I say six?) styling details.  Further, viewed from some angles, it does seem that the front indicator outlays used on this topic mate to the bottom profile of the enlarged front valence cutouts, especially as they dip deeper towards the centerline of the part.  Thanks Bruce 302 for posting the rear caliper mount and Watts link detail for I'm heading there next in all likelihood.  Warm regards to the board...

Mike K.

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« Reply #97 on: September 14, 2011, 10:21:34 PM »

It's coming along nicely, Mike. Very good progress and the bumper does seem to be better. I'm looking forward to your work on the rear suspension. No doubt some challenges await you there...
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« Reply #98 on: October 02, 2011, 12:21:38 PM »

Greetings,

Revised front valence opening shape, with each dipping a bit lower toward the center of the panel.  Initial engine mock up in place, consisting of a 1:18 GMP Camaro Trans Am longblock and all the cloned castings I could make in anticipation of using the same across other projects (i.e.; I can now cast the center float Holley carburetors, the intake, the 'pressed steel' plain valve covers as before, etc.).  '67-'68 alternator placement seen, drive belt and accessory drive is from a 1:18 '67 Ertl Authentics Camaro, whereas alternator is a 1:18 GMP '69 Camaro item.  GMP headers are in place, while the firewall, 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird hood/inner fender overlap and cowl proper have been adjusted for fit and now are nearly flush.  Hood trimmed a bit up front adjusting for a bit of overlap atop bumper - note how it shines.  Awful toy-like windshield and very thick A-pillars are prompting me to consider a thinning of the latter so that a replacement GMP front screen could be substituted.  New cast '69 Minilites are seen, while two are out of sight and apart from the model.  

Al Bartz breather configuration about right, and now a bit shorter and cleaner for having worked on them since these photos were taken.  Will fit distinct Bartz oil fill cap on a single bank as engine photo thread reveals ARA Camaro/Bartz-powered '69 entry so fitted - now I just have to make one.  New intake being made, for homologation papers suggest that a Edelbrock SRT (designated a Street Tunnel Ram although appearing very much a cross ram) was employed (as does aforementioned ARA Camaro image) for the '69 season.  Differences include a repositioned water/thermostat situated flat, a 'solid' plenum top lacking much detail but for bolts and bosses, and a repositioned oil fill tube/breather tube.  Front subframe rail work to come involving the removal of the bland Hwy. 61 upper control arms, the fabrication of tops to said subframe rails, and eventual fabrication of the stiffening semi-space frame tubes off of the roll cage sprouting from the firewall heading forward.  All feedback is hugely appreciated.  Thanks and good will to the community.




Mike K.
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« Reply #99 on: October 04, 2011, 07:32:05 AM »

Mike, the car is looking like a more complete animal with the engine mounted in there like that. Really coming along nicely. It makes my head spin just hearing all of the various pieces which you are bringing together from the different kits, but I'm glad you are detailing which ones you are electing to use. I had not previously noticed how thick the A pillars were on this model and I think you're right that some slimming of those would go a long way toward improving the looks. I think some trimming needs to be done along the front of the radiator core support (upper leading edge) also, right? It generally looks pretty good up there except for that easily attended to detail. I see you have started work on the rear axle by removing the axle tubes. I'm looking forward to seeing that part of the car (rear suspension and axle) come together. It will be a challenge but there is no doubt you will be able to pull it off. Thanks for your update!
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« Reply #100 on: October 05, 2011, 04:51:09 PM »

Greetings Jon,

Thanks for your very prompt and illuminating upload of the different period cross ram intakes.  I wasn't sure if the material below the water inlet neck curved inward towards the base of the intake, whereas the photo provided clearly confirms that the shape is solid to the base of the casting.  I had fairly good material to go by - but clearly not the best!  The subtle curves noticed as part of the shape of the plenum cover weren't readily discerned either from my material, and hence something else to include.  The finished item will thus be far richer in detail for your contributions.  My thanks again.

I'm thinking at this point that aluminum or brass tube filled with two-part epoxy will be the way to go with regards to axle tubes and spindles, for very fearful I am of making things too 'light duty' and hence needlessly delicate.  Brass wire or perhaps piano wire will be fed through the epoxy, and hence all combined elements should be stiff enough not to break apart for repeated handlings.  I will more carefully examine the rad. support shape relation to the hood opening and such.  It does seem a bit exaggerated, and hence in need of subtle reshaping.  

I think I'll cast the front valence to reproduce the same in resin, dimensionally make up the modest difference in width for the sides relative to the Yat Ming shelll via the addition of clay for so doing, and further allow myself greater freedom to remove material from inside it to better suggest a stamping.  It's odd how utility is manifest in relation to casting parts for hacking and slashing resin is far easier then attacking white metal castings.  In short: Want a shape to 'grow' and allow latitude to reshape it to a desired contour? - apply clay to a master prior to casting.  Want to be afforded multiple tries in relation to a labor-intensive project? - form a urethane mold to 'freeze' progress made up to a particular point, and then cast two or three examples before proceeding.  Little wonder my progress is so measured...

The Hwy. 61 alternator and drive has been cast so as to equip the '67 Penske Camaro with that which it needs.  The 'new' GMP center float Holley mold allows me latitude to fit a clone tightly to the scratchbuilt plenum chamber and single 4BBL air cleaner housing from before, whereas the 'new' oil breathers allow me latitude to outfit my '68 Camaro with the three that it requires in turn.  As spares supplies dwindle, it strikes me as imperative to plan ahead to the extent of copying and modifying the best.  For total conversions in the form of the '69 Titus car, there really seems no other economic way, whereas if I consider other projects in the same vein, then matters such as tires, etc. must be contemplated for cottage industry production. Thanks so much...

Mike K.
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« Reply #101 on: October 10, 2011, 10:24:02 PM »

Mike,

I'm very glad those manifold photos were beneficial to you and your project. That's part of what this is all about. Let me know if you need photos of some other specific things that may be helpful to your efforts. I'm not guaranteeing I will have them but you never know, I just might. If I don't, maybe a appropriate photo can be sourced from another visitor to this forum.

That is a good idea regarding using metal pieces for parts of the rear axle assembly. As for the radiator core support, there should be a gentle arching of the metal along the upper/middle part of the piece and the edge that is folded over toward the front should also be arched to mimic that. Generally, I think the top/forward part of the core support is too thick but check it out for yourself against pictures of an original piece and judge for yourself. Sometimes a photo is not the same as looking at something in person.

I do appreciate hearing about how you cast pieces to have as extras and to use for trial and error. It sure is more complicated than any model I ever worked on, but it is fascinating.

-Jon
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« Reply #102 on: November 12, 2011, 10:26:03 AM »

Greetings and apologies for my silence,

Mostly wrapped up in school and stressing about post-grad. educational options, whereas a certain spare 1:18 Lane '68 Pontiac 400 Ram Air II engine and a half-finished wheel/tire conversion dating from three years ago proved too much a temptation across recent weeks.  Yes, nice homologation specials are collected and converted too.  The full-on racers become all-consuming and shut other life out, hence a limited thing whilst facing school challenges.  Thanks Jon for adding so many nice T-G articles in recent times - they are very much appreciated as is all else you do and all that others contribute.  

-

A very old project here, with wheels and tires forming the centerpoint of what was attempted no less then three years ago.  Other projects quiet, whereas brief stab to simply added wheels and tires to this project predictably led to more work.  Crying out for foil and markings, but otherwise happy and presentable.  Wished to wait until complete before posting, but require a feedback fillup to steady myself.  Thanks for examining this post...

Mike K.

-

Wheels and tires: Hwy 61 Goodyear Polyglas GT in the F60-15 size mated to modified GMP Rally II wheels.  The GMP wheels have been trimmed of their outer trim ring, whereas the stock issue outer rims/lips from the ancient 1:18th ERTL '70 1/2 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am issue were cut free from the standard and uninspired Rally II's and reused here.  Tamiya Mica Silver seems the closest match, whereas the wheel center caps were washed out with paint thinner before Tamiya transluscent red was applied/pooled to finish matters.  If nothing else, here we have very nice '70 1/2 footwear and accidental accuracy given that the first year second generation Trans Ams did indeed make use of a 14 center wheel stamping with the welded-on rim stampings proper making up the dimensions to afford the buyer a 15 inch wheel.  Like most diecast model car wheels, they are pretty much zero offset and hence mated up to the standard wheel backs without huge difficulty.  Front ride height reduced a bit, whereas that strange tendency to have the rear axle of these Firebirds oriented too far forward relative to the driver's side wheelhousing has here been corrected.  Track just a touch wide, and will be taken in a bit prior to final assembly.  

Shell:  Grille surrounds painted silver - masked grille mesh proper with an inset panel and simply taped off top borders to preserve chrome plate.  SD-455 specific underhood braces cut clear off - not hard and touched in with care.  Front filler panel and cowl area painted semigloss black - Tamiya tape employed as well as a Silly Putty mask around the cowl area - great stuff it is to mask difficult areas in-situ.  Strange extension of rubber seal seen on base of forward edge of C-pillar filed back to a contour resembling what is normal, whereas all cast-in rubber trim painted black in anticipation of applying foil.  I hate applying foil, suffer nightmares from past experiences, and yet it is so needed here.  Oversized TRANS AM markings deemed correct for '73 and later, will likely be replaced with early Monogram kit release of '70 1/2 Trans Am.  Later releases not licensed as Trans Ams, hence only Firebirds sans T/A markings - go figure.  

Photo-etched lock cylinders to come - easy to add and they afford a bit of substance to something otherwise undifferentiated concerning media seen.  Top of glass 'soft masked' before applying sun screen band (using a coil of Silly Putty and artfully applying paint in an indirect manner so that the tint would 'dust' underneath the extremities of the seal), whereas a 1:18th ERTL '70 1/2 Camaro Z/28 has afforded this model an inside rear view mirror.  Exterior door handles are standard 1:18 Welly '72 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am items and represent a huge improvement.  Interior bucket half '73, half '70 1/2 with manual trans forward floor mated to '70 seats and upholstrey patterns. Testor's Lacquer GM Nassau Blue in an aerosol can splendid match for interior and comes with my recommendations.  Shot on a muggy day and the results really impressed - perhaps the finish may have been too glossy if shot under 'ideal' circumstances?  Huge door doglegs painted same Nassau Blue to disguise awfulness.  Cowl vents blackwashed.  Coming along then...

Chassis:  Really quite unenthralling but for paint.  Spare 1:18 Lane Pontiac Ram Air II '68 Firebird powerplant installed here, mysteriously transformed into a fair '70 Ram Air III - proof that expensive spares in my care eventually find life beyond the grave.  Less than amazing Lane carburetor replaced with a quite fair 1:18th Hwy. 61 '69 Chevrolet Camaro (350 powered) GM Quadrajet.  Welly shaker with seal substituted, filter housing/base with two snorkels to come.  Have to cast spare snorkel and not at all looking forward to it.  Water pump and accessory drives refinished in Pontiac Aqua or semigloss black for the assemblies come through from Lane painted silver.  Fan shroud cut to remove overflow/sealed coolant system tank ala later Firebirds/SD-455, etc.  Master cylinder from 1:18th ERTL '70 1/2 Camaro Z/28 soon to be added, anticipate doing little more short of adding a battery - likely from a 1:18th Ertl Authentics '67 Impala SS with proper clamps.  Exhaust outlets sanded and reshaped, whereas centers drilled out and flat black paint applied inside.  

M.K.




...fuzzy and not ideal, but nevertheless fairly good.


...as if there were any doubt as to what the project is.  This 1:1 example seems to wear black PMD center wheel caps, but early press examples did wear the '69 and earlier caps, so no foul declared.


M.K.
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« Reply #103 on: November 12, 2011, 07:19:46 PM »

Mike,

You are incredible. The level of detail is astounding, I would be very happy with a model half as good as you intend, but that is more a reflection of my standards I guess.

The 70 1/2 Titus cars were sometimes ugly, sometimes very good looking, but they deserve their place in the history of the series. I have an Ertle 1/18 that has been begging for the Titus treatment for a very long time.
I can't wait to see your progress, but please keep the momentum going on the 68 ized 69 T/G car.

Bruce.
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« Reply #104 on: November 13, 2011, 01:20:17 PM »

Mike,

The car is just stunning, even if you say it is not completely done. Yes, the rear track could probably stand to come in a wee bit but I see very few nits to pick. Really nice work! Thanks for sharing that with us.

-Jon

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« Reply #105 on: November 20, 2011, 03:16:11 PM »

Thanks again for the kind feedback, the kind notice.

I'll be leaving this project soon, with perhaps only the master cylinder and battery to be added past this point.  Here I've finally added foil, have sourced and applied much smaller Fred Cady Decals 'TRANS AM' fender call-outs, and have generally pulled the project together (GASP!).  A '70 T-G racer will have to wait, although I'd like to do a Laguna Seca entry sans spoilers with aqua painted Minilites (seemingly only at this venue) when it might be possible.  I've seen the shell of this same tool modified to the extent that the front and rear spoilers have been removed, whereas the fiberglass aero-aids fitted just before each wheel arch can be heated and bent inward to better replicate a standard Firebird profile.  Quite a bit of fine 'white' metal work is suggested for this route, but all the same, something to contemplate.  Again, I greatly appreciate the warm comradery evident here, the considerable kindness that has been afforded to me time and again.  





...hard to see, but the need to paint on the window seals/channel gap atop each door required that foil be cut twice so that from the inside surface a transition is seen between what is respectively black-chrome-body color.  No fun this!

-

Like-work upon an 1:18 ERTL '70 1/2 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 in Citrus Green.  Tires Hwy. 61 Goodyear Polyglas GT's, wheels painted, rear spoiler stripes corrected, all much in the flavor of what was done to the 1:18 ERTL '70 1/2 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am seen above.





-

...and a modest wheel change onto a 1:18 Hwy. 61 1970 Ford Mustang BOSS 302, here wearing 1:18 ERTL '73 Mustang standard wheels painted and added.  Much better when contrasted to the unfortunate Hwy. 61 attempt to render the same.  



M.K.
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« Reply #106 on: November 20, 2011, 08:47:22 PM »

There is just something about Citrus Green for me. Mine had Saddle interior. Great combo...
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« Reply #107 on: November 21, 2011, 01:20:22 PM »

Though I'm at risk of Jon thinking even less of me, my first Camaro was a Citrus Green '70 Z-28, similar to Mike K's ERTL model above.  I bought the ERTL die cast too, as my Dad and I still share the car.  If I were to correct the model to represent our car, I'd need to make it a standard front end, without a "sport" mirror.

Great stuff, Mike K.  Thanks for showing us all your hard work, and pointing out many of the subtle details.

-Chad
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« Reply #108 on: November 21, 2011, 11:39:17 PM »

Mike,

Of the three, I have to say that the Firebird takes the prize. Your efforts on that car absolutely paid off.
I will say it again, it is absolutely stunning. That is not meant to disparage your efforts on the others.
Thanks again for sharing your passion with us.

-Jon
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« Reply #109 on: February 03, 2012, 08:44:22 AM »

Greetings everyone here,

School responsibilities intrude upon time otherwise directed towards hobby efforts, but some work proceeding anyhow.  I recently attended a small hobby club meet held locally, whereupon a good natured fellow who'd fabricated a very nice 1:25 plastic scale period SCCA Trans Am replica took me to task for not finishing my admittedly elaborate projects.  I love his finish work, but some of his choices made and some of the fabrication seen struck me as a bit off, so a challenge then for myself to 'prove a point' and do something in plastic.  The 'plastic people' never seem to respond to diecast work, hence I've decided that to best 'unstick myself' that a long-dormant 1:25 Jo-Han '70 Mark Donohue Javelin will be completed in tandem with a semi-simplified 1:25 Jo-Han '70 Mark Donohue Javelin - the later version less suspension mods.   In short, perhaps expect a small succession of '70 Javelin posts, nothing too extreme of length, but enough to share work as I further beg for insight every now and again.  The 'better' and more content-laden model is the '70 Javelin illustrated as a resin shell example seen earlier in this thread will be a Donohue Watkins Glen ride with the revised fueling inlets, Racemark seat, late front spoiler, etc.  The less content-laden example will be an early-season Peter Revson ride with the early front spoiler, less elaborate front seat, 'normal' rear tires, chrome valve covers less the joined breather tubes - and maybe a film of oil on the back for early-season engines weren't exactly long-lived!  Though blessed by birth, here in scale as in life, Revson will pretty much get the shaft in his Jo-Han Javelin for it having lesser content.  Both models will have Jimmy Flintstone/Mini Exotics resin shells with the beautifullly-rendered flared wheelarches front and rear. 

Oh no - here it comes - GASP! - the first question!

Though not endowed with the special reference glasses that turn all b&w images to color (if only!), something seems decidely lighter in color about the interior door trim versus restored images of the engineering hack wearing black panels.  I see a charcoal gray, perhaps not a strict '70 color offering even as the style of the interior panels says 1970.  What color does everyone see in the racing seat thread found elsewhere on this site?  Any response or impressions shared would be greatly appreciated.  Working towards little progress day-to-day, whereas satisfying thus far.  Kind regards to everyone here...

Mike K.
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« Reply #110 on: February 03, 2012, 08:27:07 PM »

Mike,

Nice to hear from you. In my mind, I was remembering the interior panels as being blue. Craig Wheeldon pointed out this ebay ad to me which appears to support my recollection. Even though the image of the Javelin shown as an external view is the '71 body style, the shot of Donohue sitting in the car shows the '70 aluminum seat and the rear quarter window shape is definitely the '70 version and not the '71. I hope that is of help to you.
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« Reply #111 on: February 04, 2012, 11:11:42 AM »

Greeting Jon,

Thanks - that makes very good sense, while the ad. has been ordered.  Earlier I had investigated '70 interior colors and found no mention of a gray or charcoal, and yet something definitely seemed up.  Given the rebodying of the 'real' cars post-'70, we'll not otherwise see it restored, hence why not something definitive in 1:25th?  Again I'm indebted, for here too you have awareness and understanding quite clearly beyond what I'm able to bring to bear.  With much thanks...

Mike K.
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« Reply #112 on: February 05, 2012, 02:12:54 PM »

Greetings,

Not much to see at this point - just another resin shell with the flared wheelarches, cast Minilites combining Jo-Han inner wheels with the outer lip of the MPC Chrysler Sportsman Kit Car Dart wheels, a dismal as-delivered stock rollcage, and Perry's Resin tires.  Still, up on wheels, the side early-season fuel inlets have been drilled with the back sides plugged - and hence another scale life form is brought into being.  I intend to work back and forth between the Donohue and Revson Javelins, adding elements in discreet succession, hoping to finish fabrication of at least the Revson Javelin in anticipation of a show come late April of 2012 (when this was posted).  The simplified chassis of the Revson Javelin will be the key to keeping this confidence building exercise simple, whereas if progress can be made in relation to the more elaborate Mark Donohue Javelin, this too will be welcome.  I'm trying if you will to unstick myself for too elaborate efforts given I have so many Javelin spares.  Refueling port on back of spoiler to be plugged.  Thanks...

P.S. Yes, you do spy a Model Car World '72/'73 Penske Donohue Matador NASCAR project just below it.  Quite crude, whereas my knowledge concerning it is a bit thin too.  Hoping to someday do a '73 Winston Western 500 race winner as a 'slammer'; i.e. no engine detail - just body and interior work.  



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« Reply #113 on: February 11, 2012, 01:45:58 AM »

It looks like you've got the basics of what you need, Mike. I'm looking forward to seeing where progress takes you from there.
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« Reply #114 on: February 22, 2012, 09:43:42 AM »

Quiet progress - playing about with casting tires.  Scale Goodyear Blue Streak Sports Car Specials not reliably available in scale in the size and tread pattern (or the indentation pattern in this instance) that I'd desire, hence working with urethane mold making material to very selectively combine the best elements from different tires to come up with the best on one, or rather two molds.  Imagine one very good sidewall reflecting about the right aspect ratio, appropriately-sized 'GOODYEAR' (no wingfoot key mind you) on the sidewall, but less than ideal section dimensions and poor 'tread'.  Another tire might have the right 'tread', be a bit too wide, and have undesired sidewall detail.  Casting each in hard plastic resin allows me to isolate the best aspects of each design, combine them, and should the tread pattern be on a thin vinyl tire, I might be able to reduce or enlarge the diameter of the final casting for applying the same to a cylindrical pattern reflecting my particular size needs.  For the center where the rim would be fit into the tire this may be too large for some rims, but for the use of clay to build up the center, a casting of the sidewall can include extra material to allow me to shore up these dimensions and open up the center to whatever dimensions seem appropriate.  


...likely Laguna Seca 1970, perhaps top of the Corkscrew.

 
First time doing this, hence slow but also a bit dazzling for there is so much control over the finished product.  What seemed a fixed aspect of the project(s), namely tires and wheels, is now wide open.  Some cottage industry suppliers afford tires made in such a fashion, but here again value can be lent for I have the option of shopping for my own resin, heedless of what the pot and set time of the material used requires.  What I mean by this is that a 'production shop' wouldn't stand for having to wait 16 hours to pull something from a mold in order to efficiently produce the volume needed to turn a profit - if a profit can indeed be had.  Something that sets quickly (speaking of resin) may not have the texture of what I desire, hence to effectively take over this aspect of the process allows me to shop very carefully for the very specific qualities I'd want in the pliability and texture of the tire material, and thus I can combine the best tooling across forty-odd years and mate it to very rigorous in-house quality control and even the slowest-setting materials to come up with what I desire.  In a sense a Jo-Han model becomes a Fujimi or Hasegawa kit for whatever lacks are inherent in the older product and tool are seen to without regard for volume production.  Interesting stuff, while new photos of the Revson Javelin with far better tires are to come.  So much model tech. talk so some of this may not be strictly understood, but progress being made.  Thanks for the interest...
 
Mike K.
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« Reply #115 on: February 23, 2012, 04:20:40 PM »

Mike,

I'm frankly amazed. The thought of molding my own tires and taking parts of a sidewall from one example and combining it with tread from another, well ... it would have not entered my mind as a possibility.  But I am not a serious modeler and yet I can understand that maybe getting into a competition with other modelers could lead to wanting (or needing) to go the extra mile. Somehow, this reminds me of Mickey Thompson and the ingenuity he displayed by casting his own Hemi Pontiac heads and Hemi Ford heads when no such thing was available. What you are doing is not as complicated as that but to me the spirit and drive behind it all is the same. I'm impressed and my hat is off to you. Thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #116 on: February 27, 2012, 11:01:37 AM »

Short update here,


Resin tire work - initial casting a 'hard' white resin master, whereas 'soft' black-colored and pliable slow set time resin clones to be cast from a subsequent mold taken from the former.  

Early season Revson Javelin with 1:25 scale MPC Goodyear Blue Streak front tire sidewalls combined with narrowed 1:25 MPC Goodyear Blue Streak NASCAR indented 'tread' tread pattern reduced in circumference for being pliable vinyl that could be cut free of a standard kit tire, shortened a bit, and then glued to a reduced diameter plug before being mated to the aforementioned sidewall detail.  All in white resin now, hence contrast near-impossible to cope with.  Rear tires same 1:25 MPC Goodyear Blue Streak NASCAR indented 'tread' footwear mated to period 1:25 Jo-Han small-lettered Goodyear Blue Streaks sidewall detail.  Sorry - image headache inducing...



-

Last season Donohue Javelin (front tires identical to above, although I do know of the Van Valkenburgh super modified tire reference within the space of The Unfair Advantage and am mulling what to do).  Rear tires same 1:25 MPC Goodyear Blue Streak NASCAR indented 'tread' footwear with stock large letter GOODYEAR identification, but wider by about 20% in section.  Note neat SUNOCO Mark Donohue b&w promotional photograph, as well as Ronnie Kaplan Engineering '69 promotional postcard.  1:18 Minichamps Porsche 917-30 diecast model is as-delivered and is quite nice.  





-

Lastly, yet another SCCA Trans Am possibility in scale.  A firm by the name of Scale Motorsports did this in 2006; i.e. a modified kit shell of the 1:25 AMT '64 GTO annual intended to replicate the '71 season Tullius Gray Ghost.  Odd how flares on rear suggest period Buick 442 versus Pontiac.  Put up on wheels to mull, yet another thought exercise.





Thanks...


Mike K.
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« Reply #117 on: March 03, 2012, 11:11:28 AM »

Hello,

A little scattered, but flitting back and forth between the Javelins and a Tullius Grey Ghost.  Some modest progress; i.e. ride height lowered in back, main roll hoop with 'X' brace fabricated, revised flare and rear wheel arch contour (raised and broadened - a bit 'Frankenstein' in appearance now), air dam fabricated, outside rear view mirror.  Model shell came through as a post coupe, and now you'll note that it is no longer.  Refueling inlets cut into quarter panels, back side of each paneled-in, inlet with cap on driver's side.  Minilite wheels cast twice over, exterior lips to be spray Alclad 'chrome' lacquer, inners semi-gloss black.  I regret being so maddeningly unfocused at times, but nevertheless like the results across projects.  An idea takes hold in relation to a specific project, I work diligently upon it, and then my attention floats about until it fastens upon another something or such.  Kind regards to the community.





Mike K.
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« Reply #118 on: March 05, 2012, 02:16:29 PM »

You sir, are an artist!!!!  Keep up the good work!  (and make sure that 70 Penske Javelin only has FOUR lug nuts per wheel!!!)

klvn8r
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« Reply #119 on: March 10, 2012, 09:53:41 AM »

Thanks for the kind words and notice - yes, indeed - four lugs on the '70 Penske Javelins!,


Greetings,

After reviewing photographs seemingly forever, I determined that something wasn't quite right on the front end of UGH! - another side project.  Not sure if some favorable aerodynamic effect was secured for the mods. made to the actual Tullius/Adams Trans-Action Gray Ghost, but I felt something had to be done to bring matters in line concerning the appearance of the front of my  model. Sorry grilles and wheels afford the examiner of this post the contrast of the blackness of space - hence hard it is to envision strictly what will be afforded in terms of results.  

In sum, the front bumper has been cut to remove the 'vee' profile; i.e. now it's flat side-to-side, whereas the bumper itself has been pulled back a bit, angled down, and massaged into the surrounding fenders which have been trimmed and contoured to better position the now angled grilles and their respective headlamp bucket assemblies.  The center 'beak' is just plastic scrap, whereas further subtle work required here to establish final positioning of much.  

The overall look is decidedly odd, with the headlamps downturned and slightly cross-eyed, whereas I found trimming and re-contouring the back of the hood to pull it in a bit helpful besides.  Near-invisible progress of dubious aerodynamic worth in total it would seem.  Wonder why all the work was deemed necessary? Oh, new main hoop of roll cage, re-contoured rear wheel arch openings, four pin vise 'dimples' drilled surrounding each refueling inlet, and other discreet things done.  Thanks for your attention.  


Mike K.






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« Reply #120 on: April 02, 2012, 10:34:35 AM »

Greetings,

(Adams/Trans-Action/Tullius Gray Ghost the topic in 1:25th scale)

Quite busy, hence modest pace on anything at all scale replica related.  Standard 1:25 AMT '65 GTO chassis 'features' cast-in exhaust and rear suspension complete, hence same cut out and replaced with resized 1:25 AMT '62 Catalina assembly from rear suspension pick up points aft, whereas stamping seen between chassis rails forward is sourced from a 1:24 Polar Lights GTO trimmed to disguise how relatively large it is.  The parts are held together with brass box section laid in a bed of two-part epoxy applied on the topside.  Late BOP differential mated to '62 Catalina rear suspension, camber adjustment flanges seen where center section mates to axle housing tubes appearing oversized do reflect 1:1 reality.  Until I was able to stiffen this mash of subassemblies, I could proceed no further.  

Polar Lights '64 GTO inner door trim panels have been introduced into interior bucket, the horrid cast-in console has been removed, whereas a plug has been fabricated and fitted to disguise resultant gap. The rear extent of interior trim and rear package shelf integration is quite crude at this juncture.  A scratchbuilt seat and shifter platform is to come, while the cast-in armrests are to be drilled clean out and replaced with inset panel plugs. The glovebox has been removed, whereas CDI module has been set in place on firewall. A new Polar Lights GTO was picked up to replace the inset floor pan section imperfectly employed before, whereas the trans. crossmember is in place from the same now. Engine awaits sump fabrication, likely just cloned from a T-G Firebird wet sump design that I have a picture of.

Fuel tank removed, plug for same fabricated, whereas fuel cell housing with straps fabricated and set in place. Largely invisible when viewed from side, as 'abandoned wreck' photo images reveals. Rear frame rails and associate hardware looking quite nice, while negative camber of rear axle assembly now a reality. Meshing all the chassis and interior parts (some 1:24 scale, others 1:25 scale) isn't much fun, but the project is coming along all the same. Thanks...

Mike K.




...pin vise work to drill four holes around the fuel inlet just discernable for fuzzy photo image provided.

M.K.
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« Reply #121 on: April 04, 2012, 10:43:57 AM »

Lots of kit-bashing going on and fab work plus mixing two different scales into one. Can't argue with the results. Looks like it's coming along nicely so far, Mike.
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« Reply #122 on: April 09, 2012, 10:01:29 AM »

Greetings and thanks for the kind continuing interest evidenced,

Thought given to interior has witnessed me toss aside the old AMT '65 interior casting and simply build up from the composite elements I have in my possession. Some putty work to fill gaps will be needed, some faux structure to add, but generally workable inside at present. Half-round stock will be used for panel indentations stamped from the other side prior to welding of the floor pan proper, some bracework from side-to-side will be reproduced, whereas body drain plug holes and plugs will further be added.  Some imagineering to come then...

So, from back to front what has been employed constitutes the aforementioned AMT '65 GTO rear parcel shelf joined to a carefully fitted sheet plastic bulkhead mated to the rear third of the AMT '62 Catalina chassis adjusted to fit. Forward of this is the AMT '65 GTO perimeter frame, the reverse side of the Polar Lights '64 GTO underbelly stamping which is now mated to the upturned firewall section cut out and reemployed here from the same Polar Lights tool. The side panels are Polar Lights again, now free of both arm rests and window winders. The dashboard is now a Polar Lights part supported by AMT '65 GTO top structure, while removing the dashpad entirely from the dash stamping affords the odd depth of instrument panel positioning that I didn't quite understand or 'get' for careful (well, kinda/sorta) inspection of my period photographs. As Ralph Nader would describe in his work Unsafe At Any Speed, the second impact suffered on that dash wouldn't be remembered; i.e. one would either be killed outright or merely knocked out cold.

Some stripped shell w/perimeter frame photo images have been found online to inform the effort. Neat this; i.e. that one can  go online and find structural shots, etc. simply for cooking up a rudimentary web search. A New Mexico-situated '64 Tempest found for sale and intelligently photographed helps some faceless hobby-type working on a scale replica, thus providing modest amusement to you.  Thank you very much Jon for posting the '71 SCCA regulations, for your so-doing I can effectively 'design' matters around what is vividly described thus.  Yes, the chassis forward of the firewall is nasty, whereas Revell '69 Camaro next up to the plastic torch to see what might be stolen and integrated here. Proceeding ahead then...



Mike K.
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« Reply #123 on: April 13, 2012, 08:19:01 AM »

Coming along nicely, Mike. You're right about that front frame section being not up to snuff. Something there has to be improved. I'm not sure a '69 Camaro subframe would look appropriate enough. No other GM "A-body" car kits you can steal a better frame from? Craig Wheeldon sent me an article from (I believe) Car & Driver which was called "Return of the Gray Ghost". There are a couple of vintage pics of the car in there plus some new ones as well. Do you already have that article?
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« Reply #124 on: April 13, 2012, 10:44:18 AM »

Thanks for your interest and attention,

A few developments here - some a surprise.  Established contact with current owner, who fielded questions via phone in a manner akin to interviews found on the CRG board.  Hope to see actual car as it emerges from storage post May 1st (this being 2012).  It has happened that people associated with the construction of a vehicle or the restoration of the same have stepped forward in relation to posts made of this or that project, whereas this will constitute the first time an actual owner might permit me the kind courtesy of making a first-hand inspection of the topic - a good feeling this.   The original color of the Herb Adam's car was a shade of green, hence little things are illuminated for application to matters.  One finds color chips online, isolates said '64 Pontiac shade, orders paint, presumes some mix of carpet glue/corrosion/plus welding on the floor and cage structure to be reproduced - and with a deliberate intake of air proceeds ahead.

The polygot chassis worked up above has now been tossed aside.  For investigation and questions fielded on hobby boards, two different tool Oldsmobile 442's have been tossed into the subassembly fire - one a 1:25th Lindbergh '67 442, the other a 1:25th AMT '66 442.  The AMT tool has a one-piece full perimeter frame much like the AMT '62 Catalina, and is properly sized for the platform seems shared.  I haven't been 'doing plastic in 1:25th' for some time, hence I wasn't aware that my kit selection wasn't optimized for that which I am trying to accomplish here.  Something a little strange, but the floor will be double-walled for the top of the Lindbergh '67 442 floorpan tool looks about right when viewed from the top side, whereas the AMT '66 442 floorpan and perimeter frame will quite easily and confidently be employed from below for it is all of a piece.   The AMT tool isn't acceptable when viewed from the top bare, or really subject to disguise, hence the decision made to cover it.  In sum and for all the lessons learned, not a very good use of time, and many missteps taken concerning how I've been going about matters.  A very fine BOP differential is included in the AMT '66 442 tool, while the front suspension including distinct upper A-arms and the like will be noticed.   

Sometimes the work area must be cleared and a panalopy of missteps forgotten.  Thankful then that the shell wasn't modified (a rare resin casting - only 55 of these were produced and hence it's irreplacable), and that the Lindbergh tool will afford a firewall and topside floor even if the dimensions are fudged atop to bottom to use the same.  The AMT '62 Catalina does feature the best Pontiac engine, updated in various ways for the use of later-iteration parts - hence less total waste.  I feel rather like a Civil War general that has withdrawn from the field of battle with my forces intact but nevertheless badly bloodied - the reason for which only I can take the blame.  An odd thing to relate, but a quite accurate description of my mental state all the same.  A far better base and entirely better-reasoned way forward to be seen in photo images soon - thanks...


Mike K.
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« Reply #125 on: April 13, 2012, 04:21:44 PM »

Better - the eternal enemy of 'good enough',


New AMT '66 442 complete underbelly less suspension and frame...  




Inexplicable utility of overlay on the top of same chassis 'stamping' seen:


...before


...after without any great attempt to integrate panel but for cutting and sanding same.


A bit bulbous, but much in terms of shape and contour stands to be gained thus:  





Thanks - less angry ghost, more the Casper variety now.  


Mike K.
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« Reply #126 on: April 13, 2012, 04:43:04 PM »

Much nicer piece, Mike, although would be nice to see the frame also. Very strange extra "overlay". Can't recall ever seeing that before.
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« Reply #127 on: April 14, 2012, 10:29:57 AM »

I appreciate the kind attention,

Full frame - very different from earlier hobby days when promotional coaster chassis was simply reused and cut to allow an engine to be installed.  Largely hollow and delicate, hence same may be puttied at least to the extent of disguising state of same where visible up front and underhood.  Thanks...



...same roughly in place, old promotional model structure to site front bumper and chassis needs to be cleared away now from the basic shell, frame ends eventually to be tucked away beneath and behind bumpers.  




Mike K.
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« Reply #128 on: April 14, 2012, 09:04:31 PM »

Very unique frame and chassis for a model kit, Mike. Never see one like it before. Pretty neat, actually. Thanks for posting the pics. Definitely a much better piece (or pieces) than what you had to work with previously.
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« Reply #129 on: April 25, 2012, 07:51:45 PM »

Thanks again for the kind attention paid,

Someone else inquired about the '70 Penske Javelin projects, gathering parts to construct something along the very same lines - hence I took a few photos.  Anyhow, a small number of interior photographs featuring a hand formed cage (albeit missing a few bars as of yet) as well as a fair rendition of a Racemark seat.  The seat can be seen to have been extended nearabouts the legs for the sourcing of another casting that has been sectioned in, whereas at the time I did not have better resource material to guess at the mounting frame.  Odd, but nice to have discovered far better material here as found within the space of the racing seat thread some time ago.  Not complete (as altogether too much of what I have is), but encouraging (ditto).  





Mike K.
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« Reply #130 on: April 29, 2012, 06:58:22 PM »

Good feedback, Mike. Nice to know the seat thread is proving useful. Why is the rear area cut out on this Javelin interior? Was there a rear seat there that needed to be removed or was it for some other reason? I'm not sure you said what kit you started with.
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« Reply #131 on: April 30, 2012, 10:46:42 AM »

Thanks Jon,

The Javelin(s) are based upon the original Jo-Han '70 Javelin Trans Am tool, whereas the chassis has been modified (and hopefully improved upon) for the incorporation of elements from the Jo-Han '69 SC/Rambler tool.  The SC/Rambler model features a separate rear axle and springs, whereas on the Javelin, all is cast-in and markedly simplified.  For the front, a combination of Javelin subframe, a '70 Rebel Machine crossmember plus upper and lower control arms, in addition to SC/Ramber inner wings/fenders will be employed.  The interior is cut out for there was interference between it and the chassis/floorpan structure being built up from below, and given it should only be one panel with two sides anyhow (unlike the 'cheat' underway on the Tempest Gray Ghost), here I've chosen to employ the top structure of the chassis 'plate'.  




...Javelin chassis with SC/Rambler between the rear subframe rails structure, a seam atop the 'hump', and then SC/Rambler trunk structure heading back.  Quite smooth, and hence the choice to incorporate it rather than hide the same.  More work to come, but largely solid.  Some of my subassemblies will more or less stick together in place sans glue, a sign of sorts that matters mate well indeed.



...a bit crude around the rear subframe yet, but a guide towards what is intended.  Front suspension parts more or less collected, original structure of Javelin chassis in some instances stands to be reused as not to 'throw away the dimensions' concerning the siting of the axle, but many other elements added to improve matters.  AMC Model 20 differential pig/diff. housing less axle shaft housings seen.  Shocks, panhard rod, etc. not yet fabricated and hence unseen.

-

Meanwhile, the Tempest is back on wheels - complete with negative camber front and rear and a bit of toe-out up front besides.  Bumpers mount to frame, hence body can be removed to leave each suspended in place - an odd look surely!  Temporary framework used to site rear axle for purposes of establishing ride height and track, whereupon I'll modify the rear suspension around the dimensions and fit established for so doing.  I think it looks about right.  Thanks and kind regards...





...firewall a bit too far forward, drivetrain a bit large front to back, while Lindbergh '67 442 radiator support not far enough back either.  Still, showing promise...


Mike K.
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« Reply #132 on: May 11, 2012, 10:56:28 PM »

Nice work on both cars, Mike. Very impressive in all the various details. I think both cars are coming along nicely.

I had assumed you might be using the Jo-Han Javelin so thanks for the confirmation of that.
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« Reply #133 on: May 12, 2012, 12:49:42 PM »

Thanks for the kind comments Jon,

Modest update - new grilles on Trans-Action Tempest.  All tools and tooling for scale models have either 'PONTIAC' or 'GTO' identification on the right grille, whereas reproducing the slight warp evident where the end of each grille stamping comes into contact with the midpoint Pontiac grille 'beak' wasn't strictly possible for the use of kit plastic griles which are both thick and hard.  I decided to reshape a left side grille sans identification so that it might be reemployed and refited upsidedown on the right hand side, thin my master so that the shape might be a uniform and adaptable as possible, and then cast the result so that clones might be created that might also be twisted to produce the 'warped' profile desired for both sides.  Much better now - hence felt the need to share.  Some early underhood 'aluminum' panel work added, the heat core block out plate, and an early effort at home-brewed cowl induction vent is seen as well.  Very kind regards to all here...

...painfully fuzzy early mock up with original 'as delivered' front profile:


...our dear topic:


...new grilles:



Mike K.
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« Reply #134 on: May 12, 2012, 07:37:33 PM »

Impressive work with the grille, Mike.  I like it.  As Siskel & Ebert would say, "two thumbs up".  Smiley
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« Reply #135 on: June 09, 2012, 04:21:38 PM »

Greetings,


Pause to gather research material on Gray Ghost bears considerable fruit, hence substantive progress to report soon.  

-

Playing about with spare wheels and tires, here then is the basis for a '70 Vic Elford Chaparral Camaro in late season spec.  Less common 1:18 ERTL '70 Camaro Pro Stock shell displays standard (versus RS) front end, whereas doors absent mounting holes for side mirrors might be noticed.  A 1:18 '68 Firebird will likely afford me a chrome rectangular outside mirror to fit instead.  Pleasing to examine, although rear spoiler ends in particular will require much work.  Kind regards to the board...

Mike K.





M.K.
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« Reply #136 on: June 12, 2012, 05:08:50 PM »

Mike, it's a little hard to tell. I'm wondering if the roof on this ERTL model is a little more squashed or flattened in comparison to the previous 2nd-gen cars you have showed us (Lane models, I believe). Is that the case or is it just an optical illusion?
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« Reply #137 on: June 16, 2012, 11:33:18 AM »

Greetings,

Indeed, the '70 1/2 ERTL Camaro seems less happy in profile as contrasted to their earlier '70 1/2 Firebird tool.  Not a part is shared between them - a typical phenomenon one encounters with regards to scale models.  Where in theory the scale product of various manufacturers directing their energies to the same topic would produce precisely interchangeable subassemblies, etc., the fact of the matter is that four or five manufacturers can apply themselves to the same topic and come up with four or five mildly incorrect variations on the theme.  On a previous 1:25 MPC '70 Titus Firebird project I owned, indeed I opted to shave off the molded in upper door chrome trim which surely helped to deemphasize what seemed wrong here.  Likely back to the Gray Ghost project for the moment, although updates of all work will be afforded short of overloading the board with my scale diversions!  Kind thanks to all, and indeed, feedback of most any kind is very much appreciated.

-

Happy to relate opportunity to inspect actual Trans-Action Gray Ghost afforded to me, whereas now I have about seventy pictures to guide the build.  The car was fairly near to where it is I call home, while with some application contact was established and an invitation made to see the largely original car up close.  A great thrill as the reader can imagine.  Very kind thanks to the current owner, discretion maintained.  

New update photos to come, with details being corrected to reflect new input.  I halted the underhood panelwork for I couldn't determine quite what was there for the limitations of my research.  The rear bulkhead has already been refabricated, while rocker trim holes have been created for the employment of a pin vise.  I hope to employ tiny insect mounting pins to reproduce the trio of boltheads seen on the front bumper ends, whereas holes for the same have already been created. Thanks everyone...

Mike K.



...a respray in evidence and powder-coated aluminum Minilite Sports fitted.  It now houses a 366 NASCAR block and crank, but given what could have been lost, it nevertheless remains very close to '71 spec.



...just a touch-in as to where I stopped.

  

M.K.
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« Reply #138 on: June 17, 2012, 12:01:15 AM »

Mike, that was a wonderful opportunity given to you to be able to see the Pontiac in person and photograph all of the various details. A great benefit to assist you in completing the model in the most accurate way possible. I really like that ducted air intake built into the underside of the hood and I see you have already incorporated the slot in the firewall of your model that will match up to the underhood duct.

I don't work with models anywhere close to the extent that you do but I have taken notice of the fact that most all of them have "mildly incorrect variations", like you say. Frustrating to say the least, but it is nice when you do see some of the rare instances when somebody actually got the details right.
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« Reply #139 on: June 18, 2012, 09:08:45 PM »

Mike...that is an amazing talent!
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« Reply #140 on: June 19, 2012, 11:09:48 AM »

Thanks for the kind notice - the sense of community found here and the validation afforded means much to me,

Revised Chaparral Camaro shell for the trim around the side windows has been filed flat, whereas some contour work done to the extent of raising the opening somewhat. The trim atop the doors has been filed down for good measure, the aforementioned 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird side mirror has been added, whereas an initial late-season front spoiler is taking shape.  Not quite made of 'unbreakable Lexan', although if clear material is needed, transparent vinyl sheet may be so-employed.  Cast-in exterior door handles underwhelmed and were ground down to be replaced with 1:18 Welly '72 Trans Am items.  Exhaust dumps have been fabricated, although these are basic and could stand to be created anew and better still.  Lastly, the headliner cast-in between the front and rear screen has been cut out, this effort allowing more light to shine through while cleaning up the appearance of the interior.  Sadly no 1:18 Lane-tooled '70 1/2 Camaro was ever done, whereas the 1:18 Franklin Mint effort (a rare foray into 1:18 scale for them) was badly rendered and hence back to the ERTL tool I felt I had to go.  





-

The Gray Ghost Tempest now has features a rudimentary cowl seal, the firewall has been pulled of holes for cast-in and ground-off detail, while a main roll hoop with an X brace and cross bar for supporting the shoulder harness is seen.  The passenger's side interior floor now has what is intended to replicate a fiberglass insert to overlay and disguise floor pan corrosion, whereas the rear bulkhead is of a new shape and spec. given fresh insight for my most recent visit to the topic itself.  A wiper motor and brake master cylinder is seen on the firewall of the model, whereas the panels previous fabricated stand to be refine further.  A rough radiator support with radiator and two Bell helicopter war surplus oil coolers connected tandem on either ends of the radiator core/matrix are seen, but also stand to be refined for insight gleaned from the visit.  Rockers now have trim clip installation holes, whereas axle shaft ends are now seen within the center of the rear Minilites.  And finally, the front spoiler, looking as butch as the rest of the car, has been fabricated again and discreetly added.  Thanks and kind regards to everyone here.





Mike K.  
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« Reply #141 on: June 29, 2012, 01:47:21 PM »

Greetings,

With curiousity too great in wake of visit to inspect the actual Gray Ghost, I felt compelled to seek out a 1:18 Sun Star 1964 Pontiac GTO having never made an inspection of their tool.  The bulk of my efforts concerning the Gray Ghost are best realized in 1:25th scale for the chassis detail possible there in particular is far better, although 1:18 (or larger still) often results in a scale replica that may in some respects impress more.  My only and admittedly inadequate defense concerning my capacity to focus is that I haven't many projects in total.  

I'm not sure about reproducing flares for this model for the body is reproduced in an atypical fashion that does not lend itself to aggressive metalwork.  In particular, the entire roof structure is plastic for Sun Star decided that a convertible could be produced off of the same tool if this was so.  Given that white metal/Zamac can fatigue and crack, I may go in the direction of 'simple' and either overlay flarework onto the largely untouched shell, or deem it prudent not to reproduce them in any fashion.  Note that the GTO-specific faux hood scoops have been largely ground away.  The second of the two 1:18 Lane '67-'68 Firebird engines already rests under the hood, with the first inside the '70 1/2 Trans Am seen further up the thread.  Tires to be cast with better proportioned fronts in particular.  The same will be marked as Goodyears versus those witnessed here that bear Firestone identification.

What is seen below is a 'before' photo image of the 1:18 Sun Star 1964 Pontiac GTO tool, and a second which depicts the same less chrome trim, interior parts, and the engine that had been molded in part onto the chassis.  Just another in a seemingly endless series of mockups, but again I confess that I was very curious as to what might be done and felt I had to know.  Interior panelwork on the 1:25th version up next, with the dashboard mounts and support structure for the trim panels my goal. Thanks and kind regards...




...a nice if basic tool, and now growing a bit rare on the secondhand market.




...same model, hood scoops seen ground down less inserts to disguise front extent of same w/trim, a very basic 'what if' exercise.

Mike K.
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« Reply #142 on: July 01, 2012, 12:36:11 AM »

Well Mike, the Sun Star mock-up seems to be more attractive (to my eye) than what you were building but I'm not sure if it's because it has color on it, or no flares, or maybe something else entirely. I have to say the flares on the real Gray Ghost are not the prettiest things in the world. I feel the same about the ones on the resin body, but the fact of the matter is they are supposed to be there if someone is attempting to make a true model of the real car. My thinking is this Sun Star piece might yield a better model in the end. How about you? Do you have a preference for one over the other?
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« Reply #143 on: July 02, 2012, 01:55:18 PM »

Greetings,

Indeed, that much of this is at present painted likely makes more of a visual impact versus the 1:25 project.  Pressed ahead with the 1:18 iteration, adding a Lane '68 Firebird engine, mating the wheel backs of the standard Sun Star model to the GMP Trans Am Minilites, and generally playing about with the ride height, etc.  The 1:18th projects always have more visual pop, especially as comparatively few modify them so.  Not sure which will emerge as better, for the larger model looks nice as well.  

Concerning work undertaken, the side GTO identification either washed off or washed off and levelled for the use of a metal file, whereas the hood scoops and anything else needing blend work will best be addressed with sandpaper and various rubber bodywork blocks.  The headlamps have been reused after grinding the top surfaces flat and refinishing them, whereas a pair of license plates were quickly fabbed and added.  Worried about the flares, and while unattractive, the same are calling out to be added here.

Overall the model is quite smooth in appearance without their presence I must admit!  The thin rockers are all that holds the front and rear of the body together less the simple plastic roof, hence concerned that I'll overstress the casting for too ambitious filework.  Single cast Holley centerfloat 4BBL carburetor seen underhood borrowed from GMP Trans Am tool again.  Hope to cast two sets of GMP Trans Am Camaro upper control arms to use one set here, and another for the dormant '68-'69-season T-G Firebird seen some time ago so that it too may be up on wheels sooner rather than later.  Front wheelhousings largely cut away but for the mounting point of the chassis which can barely be made out one-third of the way forward from the cowl looking towards the front of model.  Reproducing the underhood panel work seems quite possible now, while happy I am not to lose rigidity for cutting out the mounting points in their entirety.  Thanks for kind continued interest...

Mike K.

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« Reply #144 on: July 07, 2012, 10:38:36 AM »

Greetings,

Short update; i.e. the decorative hood scoop inserts have been removed, the raised trailing edge of each has been sanded flat, whereupon each was flipped upside down, sanded flat and set into the hood.  The recycled inserts will serve well as plugs lest I be tempted to use too much putty on the hood casting.  The front spoiler has been fabricated although the same is a bit too deep, whereas the ride height is a bit tall absent flare work and wheelhousing work to allow room for the tires.  A 1:18 ERTL Authentics '67 Impala SS will likely donate a few chassis pieces for in particular I favor the rear suspension and sway bar present there.  A hood tachometer pod was found from dead 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird, the part still wearing a finish of period green metallic.  The fuel cell housing was cast from 1:18 GMP Camaro Trans Am and installed with a scratchbuilt mounting lip, whereas I'm deciding if I should cut a hole straight through base of trunk to install it properly.  Five-element Wink mirror to come, as will the seat which was itself handbuilt, evoking another what might be encountered in a 1950's homebuilt sportscar.  Though unseen, rear seat cushions cut out with an aluminum fill panel cut to fit.  Searching then for information on a hobby sheet metal brake for I'm not sure how to bend it at the bottom without damaging the entire delicate effort.  

Continuing, the AC Delco open element air cleaner was stolen from 1:18 ERTL Authentics '67 Camaro Z/28, base scratchbuilt and surely is not final.  The abbreviated fan shroud formerly seen was filed off the radiator support, while cast-in battery cut out with the surrounding area has been finish sanded.  The brake master cylinder either 1:18 Yat Ming Rebel Machine or 1:18 ERTL '68 AMX, although if some heavy duty Ford truck master cylinder fell out of the sky done in 1:18th I'd be most appreciative!  I've decided to do flares having traced the extent of material I want removed from the shell onto the body casting just last evening, whereas rollcage fabrication in this instance hugely facilitated for a roof that is removable and replaceable in seconds.  Proceeding ahead then...

Mike K.




...hood not sanded or skim puttied yet, although appearing sound.  



.. .1:18 GMP Trans Am Camaro upper control arms are seen having been recently cast and cloned, whereas the same are slated to appear on other GM projects.  I hope to add threaded shock/washer/nut detail, and perhaps the same for the ball joints which are decidedly non-stock.  Further, I intend to build proper upper control arm pedestals and set the arms at an angle that suggests caster.  

Thanks...

M.K.
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« Reply #145 on: July 08, 2012, 12:33:30 PM »

You're making some nice progress, Mike. I have a question regarding the hood hinges on this 1:18 model. Do you have to stick with this "unstock" look or are you going to fabricate something more authentic looking? It's certainly quite a bit more work to do that. On another note, it's interesting to note that the Gray Ghost started out at Lime Rock as a Tempest 2-door post with a B-pillar and fully framed side windows. It also had black steel wheels at that race. It appears that they subsequently removed the B-pillars, framed windows and added Minilites and thus by default you are going for this later look. I'm curious, does anybody make a 2-door post version of a '64 Tempest/GTO?
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« Reply #146 on: July 08, 2012, 01:03:09 PM »

Hi Jon,

Indeed, what are termed 'dog leg' hinges plague 1:18 diecast models and telegraph 'toy' with irritating insistence.  I do have the shattered remains of a 1:18 ERTL Authentics '67 Impala SS that features quite nice scissor hinges, but then I'm not sure at present if a means to mount the rather heavy hood to the hinges can be devised short of making a two-piece mold of the hood to effectively do the same as a resin casting.  If a casting was made then weight would go down, with the stress placed upon the hinges doubtlessly less.  The standard hinges look quite awful, and yet at present I'm not sure what I'll do here.

Though massively labor-intensive, the flares will be done.  I've filed out the extent of the flares seen on the actual racer in a manner akin to the what was done on an earlier '70 Autodynamics Challenger project, and hence what appears a clean Trans Am-themed model will become more serious soon.  Imagine if you will the total extent of a bubble flare being traced onto each respective panel, with an oversized rasp file being employed to file out the wheelhousing openings to match the traced contour.  Done this morning, some blood is seen on the bodyshell for very physical effort is required.  It's strange to take a nicely finished model in a very agreeable shade and cut into it.  Indeed, I think I painted the bumpers quickly under the erroneous assumption that perhaps I could wrap matters up quickly - something I've said before and to no apparent effect for the number of projects continues to grow!

Yes, I rather like the hood tachometer pod, while I'm reluctant to let it go.  Further, I know for in the rain that pressed steel wheels were the usual fitment.  No wider pressed steel wheels exist, hence the same would have to be cobbled up if I strictly desired this specification. Additionally, to my knowledge no post coupe exists in 1:18 for either the 1964 Tempest or Tempest GTO.  Trace remains of the structure can be seen on the actual car to the extent of the cut B-pillars remaining as stubs bulging out a bit if viewed top down aft of the doors.  So soon they cut out the post coupe structure, whereas it was unusual to notice how the roll cage was welded to what appears as steel 'L'-shaped channels running inside the A-pillars as well as under the roof.  A simple cage in some respects, but quite thoroughly welded to everything vaguely in proximity. Thanks for your kind interest and comments for they mean a lot.  

M.K.
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« Reply #147 on: July 12, 2012, 10:44:12 PM »

Mike, it sounds like you are "getting serious" with it.  That's good to hear you are doing the flares as it is the proper thing to do if you are going to make a true representation of the Gray Ghost. How about the removable roof on the model? Are you going to leave that feature alone or permanently affix the roof to the rest of the body?
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« Reply #148 on: July 13, 2012, 10:26:59 AM »

Hi Jon,

Worried about making much attempt to permanently affixing the roof to the body on the Gray Ghost for the roof casting is really quite cheap and flimsy - almost from a different world compared to what I usually have to start with.  I may very strategically smear putty between it and the body casting proper and paint this gap in situ, masking the shell and the roof respectively to apply paint only to this exposed material.  Silicone isn't an option for silicone won't stand to be finished with anything.  For now I suppose the removable roof is a plus for few excuses I'll have regarding the fabrication of a tight-fitting roll cage.  

The Gray Ghost is seen now with a filed body, in particular with extended wheelhousings capturing the extent of the 'eyebrow' flarework and essentially terminating at the character line seen a bit lower on the bodywork.  Flare 'pucks' made of stacked plastic sheet are to come, with material for the same saved, but so too pondering the employment of something identified as Renboard for the flarework.  I have two small 'bricks' of the Renboard, a prototyping material akin to a dense 'plastic wood', but have never used this material before.

Looking at the chassis now, the rear wheelhousings have been sectioned to allow more travel top to bottom, whereas the front screw attachment points intruding into the front wheelhousings have been cut and cleared away.  Further, the inner wing/inner fender lip/seam for the bulk of each panel has been filed away awaiting fabrication of the aluminum wheelhousing shrouds employed on the period racer.  See:



...before



...at present then



...inner fender work awaiting fabricated wheelhousing panels.  Note how some material has been saved to mount stock hinges towards the firewall, otherwise a largely flat surface short of being too bold or too daring here.  

-

An unexpected discovery concerning the GMP Camaros and anything running ARE wheels was made yesterday.  While aftermarket and cottage hobby suppliers afford much to 1:24th/1:25th modders, there is very little available for 1:18th scale enthusiasts intent on modifying their prefinished replicas.  With very inexpensive vernier caliper in hand, I purchased a set of the smaller scale turned aluminum wheel lips intended to replicate 23 inch wheel detail, employing them instead on a 1:18 GMP Penske Donohue Camaro for which I'd already cut the exterior wheel lips off of.  Very impressive, needing a bit of work yet, but the appearance afforded to the GMP model is that of a high-end 1:43rd scale handbuilt.  Happy, dreading necessity of refitting all '67-'69 topics ARE-equipped with same - although such a difference I don't know how I could say no.  Some work needed to center them atop the spoke portion of the rims, whereas I hope I can remove a bit of material of the back of the lips to tighten up the appearance of each assembly for they seem a bit too wide.  Quite nice though:



...before, and in time to have an engine and proper '67-'68 dash shell as provided by a certain deceased 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird.




...after, although just pressed in place and not final.  Dimensionally not all they can be at present - but quite a difference.  Thanks...


Mike K.
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« Reply #149 on: July 16, 2012, 01:01:36 AM »

Mike, those turned aluminum wheel lips on the Camaro are terrific. Nice find on your part.

For having a removable roof, it really does not look too bad on the Tempest. Not perfect, but pretty darn good in my opinion. Lots of work done so far in terms of filing the wheel openings and still more to go in recreating the flares. I look forward to seeing how the flares turn out and whether you decided to go with the Renboard or the stacked plastic pucks.
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« Reply #150 on: July 21, 2012, 11:40:21 AM »

Greetings and thanks for kind and informed feedback as always,

Renboard resistant to low tech. efforts to cut and fashion same, hence the material shelved for another time.  Five layers of sheet plastic glued together to form the aforementioned pucks then, with file cards employed to capture the profile of each opening to transfer onto each puck.  A guide coat of paint was used to create a discernable shadow on each respective puck so as to inform what material needed to be filed away as indicated in the photo. The last image depicts two of the pucks in place on the driver's side for material removal and hand fitting, and though early yet, the result affords a feel for that which I'm attempting to do.  Ride height about where I desire it, wheelbase good, wheelhousing space largely good, track not final.  The flares will look much better shortly.  Thanks...

Mike K.







...sorry - a white balance horror show clearly.

M.K.
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« Reply #151 on: July 22, 2012, 04:28:22 PM »

Well, you are certainly waist deep in the project now!

Nothing to do but full speed ahead. I look forward to seeing how those flares turn out. I think it'll all be good but it'll not have been easy.
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« Reply #152 on: July 27, 2012, 09:30:22 AM »

Hello,

Much work done, and about to cast flares in resin so that they'll be easily reproduced and final shaped with less risk of all that has been done with each to this point. The flares will be sanded to better match period photographs, becoming subtler across days for quite constant adjustments made.  Looking fairly good with new air dam seen, engine set back effected, etc.  Ride height in back a bit high, track front and rear to be wider still.  Thanks and kind regards to the community...

Mike K.







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« Reply #153 on: July 27, 2012, 09:35:50 AM »

I remember this car having a very distinct sound, similar to having 180 degree headers.  The exhaust wasn't visible as the car passed like most, just exiting underneath somewhere.
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« Reply #154 on: July 27, 2012, 10:14:06 AM »

Greetings,

It might seem a discreet observation, but such feedback helps!  Indeed, it's well nigh impossible to make out the exhaust configuration across several period photographs seen, with some showing a rear exit configuration that could be mistaken for one or two closely paired pipes.  Casual observers might laugh at such a suggestion, but then witness the exhaust configuration on the T-G Firebird of Jerry Titus at the '70 Mid-Ohio race!    

As the car is currently configured, both exit beneath the passengers side door rather like the '70 Autodynamic's Challenger, itself said to have had a distinct exhaust note for being so-outfitted.  Though not having witnessed the car racing in period, even for inspecting it closely in recent weeks, I could barely make out the exhaust crouching just next to it.  Thanks for the kind remembrances shared...

Mike K.

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« Reply #155 on: July 27, 2012, 04:22:00 PM »

Mike,

The flares are taking shape nicely...can't wait to see the final setup!
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« Reply #156 on: August 02, 2012, 09:15:47 AM »

Greetings,

Thanks for the kind feedback - it always helps.  Modest changes, with R/C aircraft 5/16th inch aluminum rod reemployed for use as headlamp block out plate material, whereas the mounting surfaces for the front turn signals have been ground away.  The GMP 1:18 '67 Camaro radiator switched out for the Lane 1:18 '68 Firebird radiator has resurfaced here, whereas a pair of Harrison oil coolers with the very large and undoubtably butch mounting flanges have been scratchbuilt and added.  Headers are hard to source in this scale, while what can be seen are trimmed down from a modified release of the Hwy. 61 1:18 '70 Challenger.  Lastly, the floor of the trunk area has been rebuilt and plugged for the removal of the cast-in 'stamped steel' fuel tank, with a resin fuel cell housing discreetly visible from behind and below.  Kind regards to the community...

Mike K.



...looking more substantial surely with the revised headlamp plugs.  Glad too to finally remove the remaining plastic that formerly held the turn signal inserts in position.  



...not complete, although a new radiator support is taking shape with the aforementioned radiator and oil coolers taking their place.  Attachments and inlets/outlets to come on the coolers, in addition to the diagonal braces across the front and rear surface of each cooler matrix.  I also hope to add some brass screen in front of everything even though most of it might not strictly be visible.  Mounting flanges for headers to come, whereas I further hope that I can reposition the tubes (or scratchbuild forward of the collectors) to reflect the proper positioning of the exhaust-side ports on a conventional (non-Ram Air V) head.  In addition, some fill panels are slated to be added around each of the oil coolers.  



...very hard to see, but fuel cell housing now visible from below.  Yes, the GTO tailamp lenses will be modified and cut back to reflect what was fitted to a Tempest.  

Thanks...

M.K.
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« Reply #157 on: August 04, 2012, 12:54:17 AM »

Thanks again for the update, Mike. You've gotten a lot done. I appreciate you filling us in on what's next. I think the headers (while not perfect for your application) will provide a good start and you can doctor them up as necessary to fit your needs. It's definitely better than having nothing to start with.
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« Reply #158 on: August 07, 2012, 10:04:18 AM »

Greetings,

A fast weekend project for finding a second-hand example for not too much outlay of cash.  1:18 Hwy. 61 Smokey Yunick '69 Boss 302 tribute release combined with gloss black painted 1:18 GMP Trans Am ARE wheels and Firestone-marked tires, with the ride height reduced to the extent I was willing to risk matters.  All headlamp lenses removed and replaced with scratchbuilt panels, tailpanel 'MUSTANG' identification touched in with paint for the photoetched letters seemed clearcoated and hence nonremovable.  Fuel fill cap removed and replaced with a small disc of plastic painted to disguise matters, lock cylinders touched in to disguise these, while side marker bezels and lenses removed - albeit some discreet fill panel work still required.  Chassis largely stock, interior stock, hence something of a high dollar club racer.  If you chose to replicate this, know that the structure that normally positions the brake disc and more or less situates the wheel on the hub on the back half of each wheel must be ground off entirely to fit the GMP ARE Torq-Thrust rims to the Hwy. 61 rim 'halves' if all of it is to go together.  I had a set of wheels I pulled from some secondhand diecast model that featured a wheel/tire set quite clumsily installed, hence no great loss to grind said example of what was in point of fact a gluey mess.  Most of this is pretty low-impact, so do consider giving it a go.  Thanks...

Mike K.  









-



...the topic in question.  Allocated to Smokey Yunick, never to turn a wheel in SCCA competition, a very brief NASCAR GT career instead.

M.K.
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« Reply #159 on: August 07, 2012, 10:10:26 AM »

Greetings,

For some parts exchanged, the Gray Ghost is now seen wearing 1:18 GMP '68 Smokey Yunick large-lettered GOODYEAR tires that were arriving onto the scene late in 1970 looking forward.  Given these were afforded only on one release of the GMP Trans Am range, I count myself fortunate to have them.  Pinheads are seen on the front bumper ends consistent with the bolthead detail witnessed on the actual car, whereas the tailight panel has been washed to remove the GTO-specific red lense detail extending further in from both sides towards the centerline.  The rear flares have shrunk a bit further and fit better too near the ends in particular.  Thanks...

Mike K.  





M.K.
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« Reply #160 on: August 08, 2012, 09:57:46 AM »

Mike, the Smokey Boss model turned out great for a short weekend's worth of work. The Tempest model keeps looking better as you go along. Thanks for these recent updates.
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« Reply #161 on: August 09, 2012, 12:25:25 AM »

Mike,

Do you have any pictures of the Smokey Mustang before you worked your magic? Are you putting on the trunklid pins?
 
Thanks,

Fred
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« Reply #162 on: August 10, 2012, 10:45:03 AM »

Thanks for the kind notice everyone,

I pounced upon the '69 KK Yunick BOSS 302 quickly, hence a bit of searching online required to find 'before' photos.  The radio aerial was removed, the license plates were also axed, and the strange almost Triumph TR4-like rendition of Minilite alloys too were removed to be discreetly buried in haste.  If I can find suitable photo etch material, I will do the unique decklid pin bases much as you see replicated on the '69 Shelby Racing Co. Gurney Boss 302 depicted below.  Said model has more or less one-off ARE CP-200/Trans Am wheels that I very much wanted and cobbled up to suit this application.  Thanks...

Mike K.







-


...sorry for photo image flare too apparent here.


...it looks better now with the Shelby-specific brake cooling ducts in place.



M.K.
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« Reply #163 on: August 10, 2012, 10:40:53 PM »

Very cool stuff Mike!
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« Reply #164 on: August 11, 2012, 06:13:26 PM »

Mike, the as-delivered Minilites on the Smokey Boss are pretty bad and the car never ran with them anyway, as far as I have ever seen. The car looks far better with your GMP Torq-Thrusts and Firestones on it. As for the #2 blue Shelby, that car turned out great!
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« Reply #165 on: August 21, 2012, 10:49:31 AM »

Greetings,

To spread across projects while serving my current Tempest Gray Ghost effort, I fabricated and created a mold for both GM and Ford axle ends (at least what is visible) as well as grease cap detail to fit into the wheels.  Singles of the same are tedious to make, whereas if such do not match across projects, the lasting impression is one of sloppiness.  The two-part urethane mold is seen in the photo.  Too poor are my images to note what has been achieved in this regard on the 'Ghost', but closer to complete the wheels and tires appear for the effort made.  

My investigation into alternate tire possibilities continues, with a 1:18th ERTL '65 Cobra 427 yielding some Blue Streak Goodyears with appealing sidewall detail.  I hope to clay in the tread detail and create the comparatively simple indented tread pattern appropriate for period dry weather Goodyears upon a master that would be cast further.   I know that on both the '70 T-G Firebird as well as the '71 Gray Ghost that the front and rear tires were of the same size, whereas the tires could be employed on the existing Autodynamics Challenger effort and a AAR 'Cuda to be undertaken in time.  

In addition, I anticipate employing a brass photo-etched mask to reproduce the tire lettering even for the nice footwear on show in the Gray Ghost photos.  The lettering may not be quite a precise as seen on the tires employed on the Gray Ghost at present, but crisp masking of such lettering seemed hit or miss, with a slightly soft mask perhaps lending unexpected visual interest if done well.  I think too of old race tire bound together as a protective measure seen in run off areas, and rather impressionistic was the masking on the race tire markings examined upon so many.  



-

Lastly, a wheel swap on an older project underlines the utility of experimenting to arrive at better approaches to problems.  My Welly '70 Boss 302 modified to replicate a '70 BME Parnelli Jones entry for long has worn repainted but essentially standard GMP Minilite wheel castings painted with Testor's Model Master Magnesium aerosol - a shade always felt a bit dark for this application.  For creating an improved Minilite master employing better shaped spokes and better exterior wheel lip contour complete with the two untapped air valve dimples on the rim edge, I was able to come up with substitutes prior to applying paint.  Continuing, for the selection of Testor's Model Master Stainless Steel (a bit cooler in tone it is) followed upon with a light overcoat of Tamiya Translucent Pearl, a 'barely there' metallic sheen is created, and more like the mag. alloy look I desire.  Aluminum tubing is used for the wheel installation centering guide (what is the proper name for these anyhow?), whereas drilled and rounded plastic hex rod is employed for the nuts.  Thanks and kind regards to everyone here.



...old specification





...yikes, the lugs clearly need to be sited better!



...new specification, with apologies to Roy Woods if I'm sowing confusion with the poster signature that seems the work of a web artist!  



Mike K.
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« Reply #166 on: August 27, 2012, 04:44:59 PM »

Greetings,

Tedious rollcage and floor fabrication unfolding on Gray Ghost.  Main hoop with 'X' brace fabricated, with fit key given that anywhere the cage touches the panelwork (especially along the door jams and A-pillars), one witnesses welding to firmly tie all assemblies together in the style of the T-G Firebirds.  Fit thus far tight, whereas given that the floor structure regretably 'features' a textured 'carpeted' surface, holes for an unneeded console, seat rail cutouts for seats not fitted, and poor contour to allow space for the transmission besides, out it will go to be replaced with a scratchbuilt assembly.  Seen is a 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird trans. tunnel, a new scratchbuilt shifter base/housing, recycled Lane Firebird pedals (surfaces to be scratchbuilt and substituted), and a CDI 'box' less mounting panel detail.  Steering wheel 1:18 Welly '72 Firebird Trans Am (decorative hub trim to be removed), steering column modified 1:18 Lane '68 Firebird.  Box art for #31 Mustang not so much Jerry Titus but Ron Bucknam series clincher from '67 - an unexpected 1:18 Greenlight release.  Slow, but moving forward...





Mike K.
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« Reply #167 on: August 27, 2012, 10:51:06 PM »

Nice progress on the Tempest, Mike. Thanks for the updates. The Mustang wheels look much more accurate to the real car in the revised color but yes, it looks like some rework is needed on the lug nut locations.
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« Reply #168 on: August 31, 2012, 11:15:08 AM »

Greetings,

A neat discovery - a rarer cousin of the 1:25 Jo-Han factory plastic promotional model range afforded in 1969.  This is a 1969 Trans-Am Javelin promotional, also produced with the colors reversed front-to-back.  Usually quite expensive, nearing $300 now, hence this example showing a bit of box rub and less than stellar masking acquired for less is nevertheless desired.  A 1:32nd scale slot car set known as The 1968 Trans Am Javelin Racing Game is seen every now and again for about $200, whereas Jo-Han unassembled plastic kits (with the 1971 Mark Donohue Javelin racer released by AMT employing the Jo-Han tooling) exist for the 1970, 1971 and 1972 racers (each with a 1970 interior!) for about $100 and up.  





Mike K.
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« Reply #169 on: September 01, 2012, 12:31:42 PM »

Mike, that's a pretty cool promo model of the Javelin. Nice acquisition on your part. With the red on the front rather than on the back, that would represent the Ron Grable version of the '69 Trans-Am car (or Peter Revson for '68). The white band around the middle of the car seems to be more of a cream color rather than white. Is that true or does the photo just give that impression? I think the Javelin Racing Game you mention was a pseudo slot car set similar in nature to the Chevrolet Road Rally which was offered in 1967. Is that correct?

Speaking of slot cars, apparently Slot Mods debuted a new slot car track during the Monterey Motorsports Reunion week using a '69 Penske Camaro "tribute" as the base. It can be seen here.
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« Reply #170 on: September 01, 2012, 09:01:50 PM »

That Slot Mod track is way cool!!!
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« Reply #171 on: September 04, 2012, 05:26:04 PM »

Hi Jon,

Indeed, I was curious upon purchasing the promotional model if I had a 'Ron Grable' or 'John Martin/Lothar Motshenbacher/Jerry Grant' Javelin based upon the color sequence - mine is the latter.  Yes, a rather creamy ivory is seen, whereas it is my understanding that Jo-Han typically did three factory promotional releases in factory colors, and three toy store/hobby shop/department store  releases not strictly in factory shades.  As with much produced by Jo-Han, anomalies abound and anything might exist as a one-off.    

Concerning the 1969 range, I believe the factory promotional releases for the year were Frost White (with a '69-specific stripe package included as a waterslide decal sheet inside the box), Mink Black as well as Matador Red.  It seems that Jo-Han simply painted up some Frost White releases for the Trans Am releases, although without a color chip set I cannot verify if they even came so close to match.  I've seen dealer promotional boxes with an ink stamp bearing'69 Javelin RWB' or some such identification in the past, hence I don't believe these were strictly toy store issues.  Yes, the model does look a bit strange!  Quality control not the best, but this was just scale model production work undertaken in Detroit, MI. during an undoubtably turbulent period, and only so much could or can be expected by a collector.      

-

Yes - it seems one Republic Tool was responsible for quite a series of interesting period slot car sets in the promotional vein.  While I didn't see the Camaro game here, it doesn't seem much of a stretch to imagine that Republic Tool also produced the same.  
See:

http://www.rmsresins.com/republic-tool-drag-strip.html



...as for the Javelin Trans Am Racing Game, I last examined a set for sale two years ago in suburb of Chicago for $275, it being largely complete. This seems an average price, with mint examples demanding more when they do surface.

-

I did spy the rather unexpected '69 Camaro slot car table sacrifice at the Concours of America - quite different this!  To think that my careful childhood recreation of Mid-Ohio across multiple tables has been upstaged - ah, a pity then.  Thanks...

Mike K.
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« Reply #172 on: September 08, 2012, 12:24:40 AM »

Mike, thanks for posting the link to the Republic Tool slot car page.

From what I've seen out of the Slot Mods company, all their tracks beat out anything I saw or raced on as a kid. They do nice work!
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« Reply #173 on: September 11, 2012, 10:23:40 AM »

Greetings,

Squaring details with regards to tire fabrication and markings for the Tempest, my attention drifted (again), whereupon I practiced a bit with regards to the finish that might be applied to the chassis of a '69 Bud Moore Engineering BOSS 302.  I hope to be back to the chassis of the Gray Ghost soon, although there are times I need the boost afforded by applying some finish coat to aspects of another project.  If something is highly modified and not quite close to completion, no purpose is served by applying paint to that which is slated to be handled again, and again, and again...

-

I really wish I'd tried this elsewhere, for the results seen are very favorable. Here I've applied a splatter finish of gray and white, something termed 'Zolatone' and usually reserved for the trunk area of select domestic vehicles in-period.  Said finish may also disguise welding and repair work, hence versus a straight battleship gray ala Penske, here it is employed as an interior and all-around chassis paint on a '69 Bud Moore Engineering SCCA Trans Am sedan racer.  Tamiya tape, Tamiya German AF Gray/Green, sloppily-applied VHT white header paint employed.  The wheel arches came out especially well, and same for interior; i.e. behind A-pillars and roof.  The effort seems to really help this Welly tool, which requires all the help it can be afforded.  Thanks...

Mike K.

(the odd pillow fabric afforded the wildest background, hence I couldn't help myself!)


...with chassis insert painted, albeit wheel arches left 'as-delivered'.


...with arches painted - far better.


...hood non-removable, hence underneath had to be painted 'in-situ.' - although this too looks nice.


...rearmost door jam taped and still red, whereas door jamb forward has Zolatone finish.


M.K.
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« Reply #174 on: September 11, 2012, 10:22:48 PM »

Fantastic Mike!
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« Reply #175 on: September 12, 2012, 07:21:31 AM »

That looks outstanding, Mike! Very nice job.
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« Reply #176 on: September 15, 2012, 09:12:07 AM »

Greetings,

Very modest material to share - an attempt then to respray '69-spec. Zolatone in black with a dusting of white.  Informed feedback from knowledgeable BOSS 302 'heads' advised such, and though hard to discern here, an improvement is noticed/noted.  



...before, with front valence panel and front spoiler in place.



...after, 'lighting up' for the effect of the flash it does seem.  It would be nice to fabricate a Kar Kraft Watts link center pivot support structure to include here.  The same might be cast, and subsequently spread across other projects.  Given the tight confines of the chassis, it seem best to fab. it and paint it apart and away regardless, whereas there isn't a bit of rear sway bar detail and such too could be added, oriented as it is aft of the aforementioned housing, heading forward.  Some photo material gathered, hence this aspect may be seen before too long.  Additional trimming of the dimensions here and there along the perimeter of the chassis has reduced the incident of finish scratching inside the shell, so this to is welcomed.  Thanks...

Mike K.
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« Reply #177 on: September 29, 2012, 09:53:05 AM »

Greetings,

Difficult to describe any of this as fun or entertaining, but the following done on the shell of a 1:18th Welly/GMP '69 Parnelli Jones BOSS 302 SCCA Trans Am racer.:  Each headlamp bucket as well as the back of the deck lid and quarter panel trim extensions visible from the rear were painted black and clear coated to match the finish of the rest of the model - this being very tedious.  The rear window retention straps were removed with the holes to position each fast plugged with plastic rod, each of which were painted top and bottom to disguise matters best I could.  The white paint 'spear' seen on the hood was refinished atop the cowl panel for the same needed to be extended out rather like the tail of an arrow, whereas the cowl vents still required a delicate black wash application to appear presentable.  Finally, I was flummoxed and frustrated as to just how the missing pinstripe might be done in specific relation to the headlamp bucket, and pondering that I might need to contact an area pinstriper to take the task on.  I ended up taking on the effort myself when a long and flexible enough brush with suitable paint was secured, and hence what is seen constitutes my best stab to date.  It may look better in pictures!  Worn out, in need of convalescence with extremely well engineered and deftly finished scale models that surely do not require all this.  Thanks...

Mike K.




...front, with pinstripe work seen and essentially in proportion and even from side-to-side.  Headlamp rings, plugs, and requisite 'PJ' decalage to come, hence all appears unfinished.  Front spoiler reshaped (it's flatter across the bottom, whereas the ends have been rounded and reshaped as per photos), with the final iteration finished in a textured paint intended to replicate carpet in scale.  If it all appears incomplete - well, it is!



...driver's side, with foil applied, plugs rendering the retention strapdectomy effort more or less invisible.  The sun screen atop the windscreen has been overpainted with a coat of semi-gloss black, for the sheen of the original was too glossy and inexplicably toy-like.  The front bumper was originally chromed, but here has been stripped, reshaped and thinned along the ends, and finally painted black.  Follmer's Mustang usually (but not always) bore a silver finish, while with the factory clear coat I'm limited in my options to designate a race for I can't remove select tampo markings to reorder things as readily as I'd desire.  



...passenger's side, the foil work again, pinstripe work seemingly balanced to other side.  Some effort made to correct the severe 'straight ahead' termination point of the side pinstripe to curve the same slightly as per period photos.  Red-outlined numerals to come, hence this aspect can and will be improved upon.  Foilwork terminates at edge of Zolatone paintwork blending into interior, hence a bit lighter in appearance versus previous efforts to apply same.  



...tail panel paint.  Pinstripe effort a bit thick and heavy, but maybe all I can do in this regard.  Thanks...


M.K.
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« Reply #178 on: October 01, 2012, 10:58:11 AM »

Getting better, Mike. Thanks for filling us in on the details as you go along.
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« Reply #179 on: October 09, 2012, 09:33:37 AM »

Greetings,

Proceeding ahead with paint and decals on the '69 BME BOSS 302 then...  Cast resin '69 spec. Minilites added, different from the '70 and later wheels for the rim edge facing out has an extra lip.  Ride height to come down a bit on the front, otherwise I'm more or less happy here.  Tires GMP Trans Am Goodyear 'wets' decorated to look like Firestones ala Slixx decals the 1:25th drag racing set images cut and applied to adjust for the greater radius.  Aluminum hub guides created from aluminum tube, plastic hex rod used for lugs, ancient silk screened Fred Cady decals (yes, he did a few 1:18th scale sets - these taken from a '70 racing BOSS 302 sheet) employed for roundels (two each and three would have been better still) and red-outlined #15's. Better, larger Firestone 'bowties' added since, Castrol 'shields' still older Ricambi  waterslide decals dating to the early 1990's.  Hoping very much to come up with something that might be unashamedly displayed near my '69 Penske Donohue Camaro, but not for too long and certainly not absent observation for who knows what unspeakable nastiness might be invited for so doing.  I envision twisted blade bumpers, crumpled panelwork, etc.  Coming along then...



...I didn't like the tailpanel pinstripe work attempted previously, hence redoing same with inner pinstripe just visible here.







...front spoiler more or less Bryar, NH spec., to be changed to reflect later race- perhaps St. Jovite, but nearly any other early race would require the driver's side headlamp bucket to be repainted white. Cast as one piece, the silver finish applied between the grille mesh and the chromed grille surround was no fun at all to do. Headlamp inserts fabricated last night, hood pin scuff bases (photoetched these) purchased and to be added soon.  

Thanks...


Mike K.
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« Reply #180 on: October 10, 2012, 08:43:18 PM »

I think what you do might actually be more difficult than restoring a real car!!!

klvn8r
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« Reply #181 on: October 10, 2012, 09:31:53 PM »

No doubt that Mike's attention to detail is incredible. If he can work that magic with something so small, just think what he would do with a full scale model.
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« Reply #182 on: October 12, 2012, 09:44:28 AM »

Thanks again for the genuine and much appreciated feedback which I treasure,

Greetings,

A scale enthusiast present on another board has kindly provisioned me with scale Parnelli Jones Enterprises water slide decals, and hence a few can be seen on the model subject to change.  Notice the one image offset on the leading end of the hood, the example sited just before the Bud Moore Engineering logos on the door, and on the main headlamp plates besides.  Welly/GMP Trans Am BOSS 302 Mustangs are replete with quirks and inaccuracies, hence the inboard headlamps are tooled small of radius, effectively preventing the application of these otherwise correctly-sized decals.  Given they usually showed up only on the inboard lamp plates at most events from mid-season on, spreading out if you will to the outboard plates in late-season, the decals seen here on the outboard plates only would have to come off for the car was never seen in this specification.  

I really wished to eliminate the blue field 'Ford' quarter panel identification, desiring either blank or late-season white outline only logos.  It seems that at MIS the blue field markings were run, that at Mid-Ohio they may have been run again (although I suspect FoMoCo retouched select photos I've seen), whereas the quarters were largely blank until the last races of '69 whereupon the white outline 'Ford' identification appeared.  Anyhow, employing blank Fred Cady decal paper, I sprayed panels of the material with a coat of Tamiya Bright Red and then prepared still further panels with Tamiya Italian Red.  Testor's Decal Bonder was sprayed over the same as a fixative, whereas so translucent the results were that I opted to combine successive layers (the Bright Red shade being too light, the Italian Red hue being too dark) of each to better match the existing tone on the shell itself.  In short, fine tuning of the tone was achieved for blending what otherwise seemed a lame effort to create nontranslucent decals in two different tones.  I'm very surprised to note that the approach worked, and hence even the photo image (though of middling quality surely) doesn't strictly betray the presence of the overlay on the quarter panel just atop the white stripe.  

Other work mixed in includes the addition of hood pin scuff plates, the inclusion of a solitary wiper arm/blade assembly, the refinish of the front spoiler with it being painted Testor's Fabric Black for texture, plus the addition of later Welly interior door panels with window winders poised not to foul the driver if it could be helped.  Thanks and kind regards to the board...

Mike K.




...note 'PJ' markings forward of the BME identification on the top of the door.  And happily, the quarter panel Ford blue oval has simply vanished.  I do have white outline-only Ford ovals, hence pondering possibilities to model a late-season car.



...a flood of the aforementioned Parnelli Jone's Enterprises decals are seen here, as well as the aforementioned hood pin scuff plates and the solitary wiper arm/blade assembly discreetly added.  The Testor's Fabric Black paint application to the front spoiler affords the same a bit greater definition, and is appreciated too.  I think I'll cover the late-season Union 76 globe and add the spelled-out UNION accessory decal just back and to the top of the Castrol shield, effectively committing to doing a fairly early season car for so doing.  
  


...in sum and at present.


M.K.
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« Reply #183 on: October 13, 2012, 01:47:38 AM »

Mike, sounds like your next action item is to fabricate a new grille with the headlights in the proper scale!   Grin
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« Reply #184 on: October 27, 2012, 09:05:08 AM »

Thanks for the kind input, the continuing attention paid...


Regret that I didn't identify or establish a race to replicate early on at this point, although I didn't realize that I could so effectively cover the clear-coated tampo accessory decals/markings seen on the shell to afford me such flexibility.  The decision then to do what would be a rough Bryar Park to St. Jovite spec. has been made, with the headlamp cover Parnelli Jones Enterprises decals being pulled clear.  A late-season spec. would have required chrome headlamp rings I do not have, still further livery changes, whereas other races demand ARE magnesium Trans Am/CP-200's, or at the very least a set for the rear.  A bit fatigued then, although with a spare '70 grille the undersized inner headlamp mounts present on the '69 could very likely be substituted for the properly-scaled '70 mounts.  A round file and careful work could have afforded a convincing assembly, although having exhausted the small supply of homespun PJ markings I had in my possession, I think I'll aim now simply to wrap this one up.  

Minor, near-invisible stuff done here.  Aforementioned PJ decals come off the front, Welly/GMP quadruple exhaust dumps removed to be cut and filed to leave only a single dump per bank.  Recovering and reusing the exhaust clamp detail for the sides that were cut and reshaped was no fun, nor was removing the entirety of the clamps though present, were not strictly needed.  The forward roll hoop structure has been added, the rear view mirror has been restored to its former place for discreet reemployment of the mount coming off of a much-trimmed headliner, whereas the electrical switchbox has been trimmed, painted, and set in place.  The pedals have been trimmed, a scratchbuilt accelerator pedal has been added, and the padding along the driver's side nearest the door has been installed employing electrical heat shrink tube secured with R/C aircraft vinyl tape.  Both Ford ovals on the quarter panel bottoms have been refinished and disguised with greater care again versus my earlier effort to make them vanish, whereas the 76 Union globes seen late season are gone, to be replaced with the UNION 76 markings seen well forward on each fender.  All this, and I can't imagine it looking so very different in photos.  Thanks and kind regards...


Mike K.



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« Reply #185 on: October 28, 2012, 02:48:48 PM »

Mike, I can understand a bit of frustration about maybe not having an exact copy of the car for a specific race, particularly since by nature of what you do with these cars you are a "detail freak". However, the car really looks great and more than adequately captures the essence of Parnelli's car from that 1969 era. Job well done!
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« Reply #186 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.




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« Reply #187 on: February 01, 2013, 11:08:52 AM »

Coming along nicely, Mike. An impressive amount of work done and details tended to. Thanks a lot for the update.
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« Reply #188 on: February 01, 2013, 11:42:28 AM »

Greetings,

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.



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« Reply #189 on: February 02, 2013, 11:43:21 AM »

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.
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« Reply #190 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.
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« Reply #191 on: February 03, 2013, 02:44:50 PM »

Greetings,

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.



...seat temporarily in place.

Thanks for the kind continuing interest displayed...


Mike K.
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« Reply #192 on: February 04, 2013, 12:59:19 AM »

Fantastic work Mike. I love watching your models progress. Thanks.
Bruce.
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« Reply #193 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.
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« Reply #194 on: February 09, 2013, 12:33:49 AM »

Mike, to me it seems like the wheels essentially had black spokes, if you reference the pictures below.
The repaint makes them look blue/gray now although the flash from your camera may be altering the true color.

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« Reply #195 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.
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« Reply #196 on: February 10, 2013, 03:44:44 PM »

Mike, it's very hard to say based on that new photo alone. The true color of the spokes could be affected by an accumulation of brake dust. I think it you went with some kind of semi glass black paint on the spokes, that would seem most logical. I suppose even making the spokes flat black might be suitable as well. My thought about the blue-gray is it just doesn't seem right nor would any slight variation on that color combo seem right.

That new photo of yours does show some good detail as to how the front flares should be shaped and I agree with your assessment that the front flares on your model need a bit of reshaping/trimming. Also, looking at the shape of the rear flares, you have basically a straight line going across above the wheel rim and that should have a bit of a gentle arch to it.
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« Reply #197 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.  


Mike
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« Reply #198 on: February 12, 2013, 11:25:21 AM »

Hello,

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.
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« Reply #199 on: February 14, 2013, 08:48:07 AM »

Some nice improvements, Mike. Looking better all the time. Thanks for sharing the details with us.
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« Reply #200 on: February 16, 2013, 11:51:42 AM »

Hello,

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.  






-



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« Reply #201 on: February 16, 2013, 12:34:12 PM »

Nice job Mike,
But I agree with Jon, the wheel spokes look right when they are black.
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« Reply #202 on: February 23, 2013, 02:02:29 PM »

Greetings,

Scarcely different this, and yet very labor-intensive to achieve.  Judging the opening too high and of wrong contour, one rear flare was taken aside and combined with another flare casting to effectively add material beneath what couldn't otherwise be corrected.  Much filler, much glue required to fill the unsightly gap between the two flares (one a rear, the other shoved in from beneath, a trimmed front flare heated in water to render it suitably pliable).  A mold was made of the result, and later two flares were cast employing this so as to afford myself whatever latitude was needed to sand and file up to the correct contour.  Once one acquires a bit of experience with resin, the possibilities of gluing seven or eight odd items together and creating a urethane mold of the result becomes compelling; i.e. evidence of odd justifications and unlikely fab. work vanish as all the disparate bits 'become one'.  

Although implied, filing out the material behind the flare to afford room for the rolling stock isn't fun given the flare was born as a casting and yet must function as something fabricated with a very tiny English wheel - wouldn't such be fun?  Worried for the front flares (at least the driver's side) may require like overhaul.  Wheels dark again - but for how long?  One photo only, for your day does not revolve around such posts.  With lasting kind regards to the community...



Mike K.
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« Reply #203 on: February 24, 2013, 01:42:03 AM »

Painstaking work Mike but the model is becoming better for it. Kudos to you for taking the extra time with it.
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« Reply #204 on: February 24, 2013, 10:40:17 AM »

mike, have meant to comment on your efforts posted here before, great work ! metal is more difficult to work than plastic which is my medium. zamac is pretty fragile is it not ? I wondered if you were going to do the full length exhaust on the titus firebird. I guess that system gave better flow. I have only seen a couple of pictures that show it.

  mike s.
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« Reply #205 on: February 24, 2013, 03:12:45 PM »

Thanks for the kind feedback,

Long ago (in my teens actually) I hoped to do the entire '70 grid in 1:24th/1:25th and started collecting parts.  Bits and pieces of the Jo-Han Javelins are still in my possession, but most everything else was eventually sold or moved on.  1:24th/1:25th is, by contrast to 1:18th, so much better supported in terms of parts and accessories, whereas what takes me weeks can be done with greater speed if the shell is cast of more easily fashioned styrene plastic.  For the RKE, the Penske and later ARA/RWR Javelins in scale, there's no other way (as you well know), and at some point I'll dedicate further time to replicas based upon these traditional Jo-Han tools.  I suspect I might start with promotional model bodies for the '68 and '69 RKE Javelins if only to take advantage of the better plastic employed in their creation.  If it tells you anything, I've been gifted unassembled plastic kits partially out of pity from kind individuals that wish for me to experience the joy of a quick build, a quick turn around...

Indeed - Zamac isn't much fun to work with. Heavy and brittle - the 'plastic people' have it better!  Back to Zamac, perhaps a small advantage afforded to model enthusiast is that it files and shapes so very slowly - a quality that suits 'slow me'.  Some 1:1 body supplies likely work better with it, whereas maybe too the overall assembly won't be quite as delicate as the usual plastic kit.  The Sun Star-based Gray Ghost in particular terrifies me, for the roof is plastic and non-structural.  Nothing but the tiny sills hold the front to the rear of the car, and so worried I've been that metal fatigue will reduce this project to so much scale junk.  It was a bold leap to even try doing the flares on this shell, for it was about the least likely success story I could have scripted.  At present it seems strong - definitely not a old-school Welly, whereas I think it will be safe across years.  

No - I don't have profound justification to afford to relate just why I bear the cross of 1:18th.  In grad. school I worked in a Detroit-area automobilia store that sold much in the way of 1:18th prefinished and preassembled diecast and little in the form of 1:25th unassembled plastic kits.  I was a terribly frustrated 1:25th 'plastic person' always building above my level and finishing precious little.  For being situated, for being in the presence of enthusiasts who'd buy something 'out of the box' and display it, occasion would arise to 'seal a sale' for doing discrete mods. of soon-to-be customer cars.  

Strange to relate that so many contemporary customers wouldn't dare purchase and build a plastic kit, whereas the backlash on the part of 'plastic people' decrying the loss of a skills base for the 'laziness' of 1:18th pre-assembled and pre-finished enthusiast base is something I still regard as valid - in part.  Personally, I don't believe anyone is so well-served if only a builder can reap the rewards of having the skills to create the art.  Less of an issue now, those who've only just arrived to the dying 1:18th market missed a broad period of poor quality product that was indifferently researched.  I suppose for carrying in a certain sensitivity (this informed by a broad collection of period racing books and magazines), I felt less overawed by the $30-$120 1:18th models we then sold and simply gave them a whack for addressing many a problem noticed.  For taking a model home for some limited conversion, maybe I'd be 85% satisfied something would be 'right', whereas customers often afforded encouragement and topic-rooted feedback that translated into validation for the effort made.  Observing the length of this thread, clearly I still value such.   

Confidence partially restored, I found the strictly limited nature of the mods. undertaken comforting; i.e. 'it was nice before, and now it's better' - and the world didn't end if I gave the effort up and returned to my starting point.  The GMP Penske Camaros came along and needed help here and there - and so I tried those.  The Welly/GMP BOSS 302's needed a LOT of help - and so I tried those.  Given my background, it seemed a natural to continue on with discreet mods. extending out across the spectrum to embrace more thoroughgoing projects.  I suppose I could reach for an old 1:25th MPC '70 Firebird Trans Am tool to do a proper T/G Firebird, but something inside tells me to embrace the possibilities of doing the same in 1:18th.  Regarding the 1:18th diecast efforts I've undertaken, response at area shows has been decidedly mixed. People who engage me in conversation understand and appreciate that such is 'my thing', although the 'plastic people' are often cool.  Same skill set, same passion, an analogous motivation to produce something of quality - or so I say!  

The '70 Titus Firebird indeed will have the full-length exhaust, whereas but for a few recent online discoveries, I hadn't suspected that the normal spec. of the Titus-driven car was this way more often than not.  Although not desiring to be strictly morbid, the Michael Lamm title 'The Fabulous Firebird' contains an image of crumpled T/G Firebird exhausted against the bridge abutment which took his life, and there too can be seen the full length exhaust exiting out the back and left.  I've been surprised to notice that the aqua-painted Minilites didn't strictly vanish post-Laguna Seca, hence these too will be seen.  Thanks for your interest...

Mike K.

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« Reply #206 on: February 26, 2013, 12:24:55 AM »

Mike, I didn't know the 1:18 market is dying. Honestly, I haven't been following it very closely. Still seems like you see a lot of it but maybe not too much in the way of new releases.
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« Reply #207 on: February 26, 2013, 11:50:23 AM »

Hi,

Just in short, economic development in China translatable as growing internal demand for goods and services in addition to their established and ever-expanding export 'workshop of the world' production is driving up costs with regards to both materials and labor.  Suppliers, existing firms formerly content to fulfill aspects of the production process aren't content to produce comparatively inexpensive replicas/toys if they can seize opportunity to move up the supply chain.  Workers too move up and out reflecting the human capital face of these same trends.  For many firms attempting to tool and manufacture diecast models withing such an environment, the ground is shifting beneath their feet.  

At present the market is shifting upward, with $150-$300+ becoming the new norm - come what may to the bottom of the market that will not be provisioned new tools.  Some old ERTL tooling is dusted off and mildly updated to afford better quality rereleases in attractive packaging, etc., but in essence the bottom of the market is slowly being abandoned.  Firms such as CMC, the resin-bodied product of Spark, etc. constitute the present and likely the future too.  Product planning of such firms anticipate fewer sales priced to amortize tooling costs with ever greater speed.  

Hobby shops and boutique outlets are now inured to the reality of release prices shifting upwards two or three times before (and if) product finally emerges.  How many people will buy a $500 diecast model of a fetching 1:18 Donohue Camaro?  We may well see - this the hobby manifestation of a certain deepening and globally-sourced class divide.  As anyone and everyone knew, drawing materials and labor from a less-developed country to serve the consumption needs of the more developed world was only going to go on just so long.

Firms such as Hwy. 61 have ceased production, GMP closed shop in the wake of a bank shake up impacting their lines of credit, and other players too have faded from the scene.  Sun Star has produced some exemplary late '50's and early '60's American topics, but as you've noticed, the comparative flood of product witnessed in the mid-1990's has clearly ebbed.  Thanks and kind regards...

Mike K.
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« Reply #208 on: February 27, 2013, 12:31:18 AM »

Thanks for the further insight. I just have not been devoting attention to diecasts or models in general. I had no idea GMP went under, or Hwy 61 for that matter. Wow, I really am out of touch.
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« Reply #209 on: February 28, 2013, 01:11:02 PM »

Thanks for the kind feedback/responses,

The fabricated inner aprons are beginning to take shape here.  Though invisible to the viewer, four holes have been drilled atop each well forwards - these intended to accommodate a spark plug when readings would be performed.  Tops and some inlet detail added to the oil coolers, with visually undetectable weld beads added.  One cuts out some round plastic stock to use as an applicator (for toothpicks are porous and absorb glue, this equating to poor consistency of application and/or control), and then applies a succession of overlapping beads as required.  Hardly final, whereas revisions and fill panels require fabrication and fitting yet.  

The fuzzy front three-quarter image depicts the new and elongated flares created for joining two, with the body filed to accommodate such.  The inaccurate 1:18th GMP '67 Penske Camaro chromed air cleaner has been replaced, with a lid cut apart and away from a 1:18th Hwy. 61 '69 Camaro Z/28 substituted and affording a fair AC filter top appearance.  Removing the '302 Turbofire' with too hot nail polish remover burned the plastic horribly, although given the shape was rendered too sharply anyhow, sanding and softening of the contours of the same salvaged matters for the better.  The base of this assembly stands to be wholly redone for never was what I created in this regard good, while I may still find a 1:18th GMP '70 GTO assembly to substitute in entire.  Thanks...




...the discreet ink pen marks indicate material slated to be removed.  Rather like assembly line end quality control, messages to self that equate to work required to even matters up.  


Mike K.
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« Reply #210 on: March 05, 2013, 12:44:35 AM »

Mike, the front flares are seemingly better even though you have some more work to be done on them. Did the Tempest actually run fabricated inner fenderwells back in '71? If I knew, I have forgotten.
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« Reply #211 on: March 08, 2013, 12:35:10 AM »

Well, I went and looked around and sure enough in the July '71 issue of Motor Trend there is a picture of the Tempest's engine compartment from the Lime Rock Trans-Am.
It does appear to have the "homemade" inner fenderwells, which seems a bit of a surprise to me.

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« Reply #212 on: March 08, 2013, 02:27:55 PM »

Hi Jon,

Thanks - finding and posting such was very kind of you.  I had the same once before, lost my collection of Motor Trend, copied the same article from an archive, and recently found another copy - albeit the image is tiny as you know.  To my knowledge, such is the only in-period engine compartment shot of the car.  I study the same, hoping dearly that what is black and white might convert to a color image.  The recently taken photos of the car displays roughly the same and predictably, somewhat worse for wear too. The panel work has been cut to facilitate the fitting of brake cooling ducts routed from the inboard headlamps, and though such was legal in '71, nothing confirms such was ever used during the single season the car was campaigned in the Trans Am.  

Hoping very much to secure the incomplete remains of a 1:18th GMP '70 GTO which could afford either just the air cleaner and fresh air metal stamping plus seal, or the entire driveline if this might be superior to the Lane tool.  It seems they clipped the base a bit near the outboard circles that otherwise would form a seal to the twin scoops beneath the '70 hood.  Not at all certain I can successfully perform such, but I do have a 1:18th ERTL Authentics '67 Impala SS as a parts car that may (or may not) yield up proper scissor hinges for the hood, as well as better door hinges.  The hood hinges would be combined with a new firewall with an indentation reflecting the engine setback and the cowl fresh air cutout not yet seen on the model.  Room will be tight underneath the hood 'stamping' for I'm working with a hopelessly thick casting instead!  Regarding the doors and hinge assemblies, it seems I'll need to do something in this respect for the dog-leg hinges on the model fundamentally interfere with the yet to be fabricated roll cage members stretching forward and behind each respective A-pillar.  I've done them in brass to establish the dimensions and angles needed, although absent proper hinge work, I'm reluctant to final fab. these.  

Lastly, I'm rebuilding the front left flare to 'add length' much as I did on the rear, although I do believe I'll retain the profile and shape of the front right.  Still going then. Thanks again...

Mike K.
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« Reply #213 on: March 09, 2013, 01:15:55 AM »

Mike, I very glad my posting of that photo was very helpful to you. I had not stopped to consider how the design of the roll cage might interfere with the door hinges on this car. There have been a number of headaches as you have moved from one thing to another on this model but I'm glad you are sticking with it.
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« Reply #214 on: March 11, 2013, 02:24:03 PM »

Thanks again for the interest, the kind feedback,

Pleased to report that a 1:18th GMP 1970 GTO parts car has been secured under very generous terms that require that I only cover shipping.  Concerning the tool, of particular interest is the engine and fresh air system, with the former possibly coming as tooled with Ram Air IV heads, while the air cleaner and seal seen in the photograph is clearly a far better basis from which to work as contrasted to what it will replace.  

The firewall was cut clear out of the shell 1964 Tempest just yesterday, permitting the fabrication of an entirely new assembly absent any evidence of the awful dog leg hinges such came through with.  A collection of photographs of a stripped down '64 Tempest shell has been downloaded, the effort facilitated for typing 'rust-free shell 1964 Tempest' into an online image search.  For some Pontiac custom fans, their exists something of a cult of having a smooth firewall with scarcely a thing on it, hence complex contours witnessed are few.  A wiper motor, the distinctive twin remote oil filter setup, a plug atop the heater core, etc. will be required, but in total little should provide too terrible a challenge.  The racing cowl induction setup will be reproduced in full, with all seals, etc. on the firewall and what I might be able to reproduce beneath the hood given scant clearance.  

1:18th ERTL American Muscle 1967 Impala SS scissor hood hinges will be fit to the model, while I intend to do a larger two-piece mold for the hood to reproduce the same in lighter resin.  Such will stress the hinges less, whereas otherwise I doubt very much that a bond could be made to hold between the hinges and the edge of panel they support.  Door hinges will be scratchbuilt, although it will likely take until spring before I might make an inspection of an actual 1964 Tempest/GTO to establish what I'll need to scratchbuild here.  1:25th custom model enthusiasts and builders fabricate hinges all the time, whereas for working in the larger scale I ought to have few excuses to at least equal their efforts.  Kind regards to the community.  



...underhood of a standard 1:18th GMP 1970 Pontiac GTO Ram Air IV.  Quite good!  


Mike K.
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« Reply #215 on: March 17, 2013, 02:57:54 PM »

Greetings,

The 1:18th GMP '70 GTO parts car arrived, with items so-afforded being blended into the project where and when the suit.  The firewall has been cut out of the '64 Sun Star Tempest/GTO, with a scratch-built unit taking shape as can be seen.  The engine set-back necessitated firewall cutout affording clearance for such is yet to come, whereas the throttle bell crank should be possible.  The home-brewed cowl induction 'system' may be seen taking shape, whereas a wiper motor from the 1:18 ERTL American Muscle '67 Impala SS will be added.  

Although not final, the 1:18th GMP '70 GTO fresh air seal and base was combined with the 1:18th Hwy. 61 '69 Camaro air filter which still proves a better shape, whereas the valve covers and front accessory drive were likewise isolated and substituted in.  One might also notice the upper control arms and the extent of the frame which rises above a flat plane removed from the GMP tool and slated to be likewise added.  Clearance pockets for the upper control arms have not yet been cut into the inner fender assemblies which aren't final either. Though impossible to make out here, each upper control arm is held in with a pin that enables each to pivot and swing in accordance with its function, while shock detail, ball joint detail and the fact that each control arm seems to been painted silver will make all of this stand out - in time.  




...the top pulley was sanded from behind to convert the two-channel/two-belt pulley to a single-channel/single-belt version as per the actual car.  The GMP '70 GTO pulley was also larger of diameter, again better reflecting what was employed on the Pontiac V8.  



...very poorly illuminated this, nevertheless a view of the fuel cell inlet taking shape.  Thanks...


Mike K.
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« Reply #216 on: March 19, 2013, 04:44:56 PM »

Hello,

Modest update depicting fabricated inner wings being shaped and sized.  Full-length top-to-bottom nearest the radiator support, tapering a bit towards the rear, plus slightly stylized control arm cutouts for each side.  The opening for the hinges will be enlarged, while the bend nearest the firewall on each inner wing will be fabricated and added soon.  Not terrible as a baseline.  One notices four holes drilled atop each assembly, these positioned well forward.  It is my understanding that one could remove spark plugs and situate them within these holes as needed.  Thanks...




Mike K.
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« Reply #217 on: March 20, 2013, 12:08:06 AM »

Mike, your latest work is really paying off. I'm liking how things are turning out. It is really picking up the flavor of the real car, in my opinion.
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« Reply #218 on: March 23, 2013, 09:48:29 AM »

Greetings,

Only modest changes will be noticed even for the considerable labor required to afford such.  The foam cold air seal ring was trimmed to reflect the revisions made to the 1:1 item for use on the Gray Ghost, but pity I misjudged and cut carelessly.  Further, I could not determine how to reduce the height of the seal which needed to be at best one-third as tall as the stock seal.  Perplexed, I opted to create a mold of the seal, to latter sand and shape the result pulled from it for use here.  The casting was mounted on a round plug to stabilize it as I went about the process of both thinning the part top to bottom and shaping with care the areas the otherwise would be the two smaller circles that blend into the cold air seal as per stock.  A good result achieved, but very very tedious...

The original firewall structure has been reintroduced to the work after first sanding off the face of the same and filing in the opening necessary for the home-brewed cowl induction setup.  What was an empty void behind the fabricated firewall is no longer.  For reemploying the structure, the forward end of the roof assembly can be positively sited, as can be the dashboard that now reappears on the work.  A seal is further seen on the firewall, as well as structure to support the brake master cylinder.  The black box to the top right of the firewall is a wiper motor.  Thanks...



Mike K.
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« Reply #219 on: March 28, 2013, 05:51:35 PM »

Greetings,

Perhaps not enthrallling, but how engine setback is accommodated in 1:18th scale.  Plastic sheet in two thicknesses, with the weld bead clear nail polish applied thin on the edges that meet, and rather thick consistent with pushing the material out from behind.  The heater core cover is also new (it seemed fabricated rather than a delete plate), whereas left of the cowl seal is where fuel is routed to the carburetor.  Concerning the firewall - more exciting seams and bumps to follow.

Though not witnessed here, the accessory drive configuration has been altered to the extent that the alternator has been repositioned to the left and down, while I'm trying to source fanbelts both small and large enough to suit the application.  Odd setup in use whereby the top pulley and bottom run in tandem for the use of a single belt, whereas a second pulley 'row' is employed on the bottom to run the alternator without 'involving' the top pulley at all.  Well - that's how I discern matters in the period photo seen above!  Pushing the bottom pullies outward required some analysis, such which revealed that no harmonic balancer was present on the scale representation of the Pontiac V8 employed.  For scratchbuilding the same, problem solved...  

I've gathered material to scratchbuilt a Edelbrock R4B intake which is a dual-plane design appearing very much like a squashed octopus when viewed from above.  As contrasted to the intake seen on the '72 Adams/Milt Minter Firebird which appears very modern by way of contrast, this earlier design is and will be very 'old school'.  At first the GMP intake seemed something I could use, then something I could modify, whereas now it will serve as a dimensional template.  Why all the fuss?  This I cannot tell you.  Thanks...



Mike K.
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« Reply #220 on: March 31, 2013, 12:35:22 AM »

Mike, I would agree that it looks like the alternator pulley is driven off the crank without involving the
water pump pulley. Pretty odd in comparison to what is normally seen. I can't believe you are scratch
building an intake manifold. Wow! My hat is off to you.
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« Reply #221 on: April 01, 2013, 01:37:07 PM »

Thanks for the kind notice,

... the intake is well underway.  Mounting flanges and base recycled from 1:18th GMP '70 GTO, whereas the individual levels of the two-plane design constitute two layers of plastic sheet shaped to suit.  A base for the water inlet was taken from the 1:18th ERTL Authentics '67 Impala SS and reused here, whereas most everything else was blended together for the use of putty.  Though a bit muddy in the photo image provided, the cast-in manifold heat passage has been added, while 'burning it' together via the use of clear lacquer discolored matters a bit.  When a mold is made of this, all should blend together in an agreeable fashion.

The carburetor base combines two castings formerly scratchbuilt to reproduce a fair Hurst S/S AMX cross ram intake.  The rear of the manifold flanges required sectioning in of material to reproduce the solid contour seen in the photo atop the model, whereas other discreet additions will in all likelihood bring it to life.  I may cover the part with a dusting of baking soda scattered atop a layer of clear to afford the entire assembly a bit of surface texture.  

This prototype is a bit raw, whereas modest additional detail will be added including attachment points for hardware, linkages, etc.  For use on the '70-'71 season Pontiacs then, hence one for the '70 T/G Firebird (with hack and slash mods. for the first race if I so choose given they tried to slip a short deck block past tech.), one for the Gray Ghost, and perhaps one for a B.F. Goodrich Radial 'Tirebird' if such is ever attempted.  Proceeding ahead then.



Mike K.
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« Reply #222 on: April 02, 2013, 06:55:27 PM »

Very impressive, Mike. All I can say is "Wow!" again.
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« Reply #223 on: April 07, 2013, 02:37:04 PM »

Thanks for the kind interest,

An attempt here to reproduce some detail seen on the 1:25th plastic version of the Gray Ghost a while back, for I've created a mold of the grille sans identification, creating two in total, and have flattened the profile of the front bumper (as opposed to the 'vee' as per stock).  Further, the opening witnessed within and across the front bumper ought to have continued both straight and flat where the license plate mount is seen, and hence what additional material rose above this opening has since been trimmed back.  

A bit of a muddle at present for the result appears as menacing as a slow-moving nurse shark.  Clearly the bumper needs to be both raised and pulled further back into the panel work, but strangely meek it appears in total.  I'm sure it was the right choice to make, whereas filing off and rebuilding the Pontiac 'beak' on a slight diminishing angle will help consolidate matters visually.  It seems Trans-Action (the official name of the team then) had an eye on the Holman and Moody Torino Talledegas to the extent of discreetly cleaning up the profile up front.  

In other news, the resin intake was added, further refinement of the upper control arm mounts and blending of the chassis to the added GMP '70 GTO items is in process, while an incongruous Orbit Orange painted hood tachometer pod replaces the Lane '68 Firebird part.  Kind regards to the community with much appreciation...

Mike K.



...before, and such will look better for the front bumper is body color and the grilles reflect back a chrome finish.  The standard grilles are in fact stamped aluminum, hence no profound worry that I'll not be able to strictly see to this via the use of Alclad lacquer.



...slightly underwhelming, if not slightly dumpy.  The bumper will move up a bit, and further back surely.  The 'loss' of finishes detracts from what work was in point of fact done, while looking at now-prominent 'beak' suggests a nose job is surely in the offing...



...still requiring some work to clean up the side indicator pockets wish bear evidence of unneeded extra material.  The headrest is too wide as well - this slated to shrink from side-to-side.  The resin intake pokes through, while yes - I do have to reduce the height of everything to ensure the hood may close, etc.  


Mike K.
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« Reply #224 on: April 13, 2013, 10:54:36 AM »

Greetings,

A happy discovery here and update of something I felt settled, done, finished, etc.  Some firm known as Pegasus Model Accessories also does turned aluminum wheels in scale, whereas product #2399 23" Aluminum Stepped Sleeves replace the previous aluminum wheel lips employed.  Such feature a less fussy lip design, are agreeably tapered, and may have been fabricated from harder stock in point of fact.  

The previous effort cost about $45 spread across two applications/models and largely extinct on the market, whereas these are $9.99 the set and gasp, are available! Further, the slightly oversized diameter issue suggesting I'd 'upgraded' (not desired this) to 16" rims vanishes for the replacements are incrementally smaller in diameter - this judged good too.  Yes - the 'beak job' is coming - I promise!  Examining the final Mid-Ohio image suggests a very non-stock angle, hence all will be corrected and/or seen to.  Thanks...





Very subtle front bumper mount work, witnessing the further tucking in of the assembly relative to the panelwork.  





For near-endless revision of the 1:18th wheel arches, the shortcomings of the 1:25th resin-bodied version suddenly came into focus resulting in this update.  Taller and wider openings now both front and rear, and given the materials work quickly, this done in about forty minutes total.  So soon from now I'll attend a local club meeting where plastic is extolled and diecast is loathed, hence I sense that both projects should be displayed to quell quibbles.  The fueling port on the resin model is approximately right, whereas the 1:18th effort clearly needs to grow.  Thanks...


Mike K.
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« Reply #225 on: April 20, 2013, 09:47:30 AM »

Greetings,

A modest update - minor tweaking then.  The straight profile of the front bumper seemed off, looking particularly lifeless.  Others commented about the same, and while I didn't think I had sufficient material to do it, for reintroducing the profile I was simultaneously called upon to narrow the entire bumper assembly.  This effort had the effect of tucking in the ends and is consistent with cleaning up the frontal profile in a way that seems believable.  The mods. whisper 'factory car' to this enthusiast, although in truth I'm not sure if there was so very much done to the 1:1 vehicle in this respect.  So - narrower, pulled inward slightly, as well as upward and bending down slightly for how it is mounted.  Better I do believe.




Not breathtaking, but a new air filter element and base is in place, taken from the 1:18 ERTL Authentic's 1967 Camaro Z/28.  The height of the entire induction system including the cold air seal and cold air seal base has been reduced and is far better than before.  The photo images are not of sufficient quality to detect much has been done.



Oh, and a bit of latter-day forced perspective fun - pretending if you will that the smaller resin 1:25th version and the larger 1:18th rendition are equal in size.  The aqua-painted wheels reflect a later season spec., whereas the hood tachometer pod will have to be pulled.  Oh, and yes - the radiator support does tilt a bit inward from the bottom, although a touch exaggerated on the 1:25th model at present which features revised radiator and oil cooler detail.  Thanks...


Mike K.
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« Reply #226 on: April 27, 2013, 11:14:29 AM »

Greetings,

The discovery of a cheaper and more-effective means to reproduce machined lip detail for the wheels of topics that require such prompts me to update my '69 Welly/GMP Shelby Racing Co. BOSS 302.  Brutally tough on the hands to cut these down to size, but enough of an improvement afforded to merit the effort.




...before



...and after.  The opportunity was taken to refinish the wheel spiders with Model Master Stainless Steel overlaid with a dusting of Tamiya Pearlescent Clear - seemingly the way to 'do magnesium' given experimentation and comparison with my real Minilites.

-

A source then:

http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/pgh/pgh2399.htm

-

Thanks...

Mike K.
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« Reply #227 on: April 28, 2013, 01:01:09 AM »

Very nice detail touch, Mike. Looks great!

Thanks for the link as well.
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« Reply #228 on: May 21, 2013, 12:05:11 PM »

Greetings,

     Some further refinements to a 1:25 Jo-Han (John Hanley was the name of the original owner - and hence now you know) 1970 Mark Donohue Trans-Am Javelin with the Jimmy Flintstone resin bodyshell complete with flares.  Note that it has a scratch-built late-1970 season front spoiler intended to be aluminum with a pair of lexan extensions (note the split), whereas the brake cooling inlets are situated high up the assembly.  Viewed face-on they appear small of section top-to-bottom, although when viewed at an angle they make good sense for the inlet is positioned to route air down at an angle just below the bumper stamping headed rearward.

Other things attempted are both numerous and discreet.  A better front tire has been mastered utilizing a mid-'60's MPC kit release Goodyear Blue Streak Sports Car Special sidewall with the tread (such as it was) of a late'60's/early '70's MPC Goodyear Blue Streak NASCAR tire.  The tread of the latter was cut from a flexible vinyl kit tire, trimmed to reduce the outer diameter of such, and then glued fast to a round plug to which the better sidewall detail was glued.  Nice width, a good aspect ratio - a job well done.  

The rear tire is the late-season spec. '70's MPC Goodyear Blue Streak NASCAR fitment, albeit increased in width about 30%.  I'd ordered and contemplated the use of Perry's Resin Trans Am wheels and tires, but wasn't entirely sold on their use in 1:25th scale as contrasted to 1:24th.  Given this, what is seen here was worked up instead.  I intend to cast these in pliable two-part tinted resin, and employ the results across my 1:25 Jo-Han Javelin projects to-be.  Perhaps a '68 and '69 RKE Javelin someday?  A '69 entry would be especially fun given I've never seen such done in scale, whereas not so long ago there really weren't sufficient available photo images around to inform what needed to be replicated.  


...a nice Racemark seat employs two AMT NASCAR Matador assemblies to stretch out the bottom towards the knees.  The seat edge detail didn't strictly exist, nor did the headrest extend out as far as it might - hence these aspects were scratch-built.


...brass grille mesh then.  Inner wing/inner fender detail to be entirely redone from scratch, for not so much can be salvaged from what was afforded.  Surely the most labor-intensive aspects of this project.  The 'fiberglass' air cleaner housing is a resin casting of something scratch-built from before.  The center 'hardware' is new, whereas a flexible soda straw will be cast, bent to shape, and sanded to reproduce the duct work needed heading away from the firewall to feed said housing.  

A dimensionally shorter Jo-Han AMC engine was created for reducing the overall height of the block, flattening the base of the intake, and shortening the mains girdle area.  Jo-Han economized when tooling the later AMC V8 for revising some aspects of an older tool without wholly committing to starting anew.  Given this, the heads were wrong, the water pump and timing chain housing/casting are mounted far too low, and the intake as-delivered comes through with a noticeable dip visible front and back to fill in and disguise the use of an incorrect block.  Worse - to house this too-tall assembly, all Jo-Han Javelins/AMX/Javelin-AMX tools have front crossmembers dropped to accommodate such.  The use of the original tool engine results in a model that cannot be set at the proper ride height given the strange engine dimensions and everything done to disguise the use of it.  Here most everything is fixed.  


...note the Panhard rod chassis mount taking shape, as well as the larger-piston/outer body KONI double adjustable shocks taking form behind two pair of stock '69 Jo-Han S/C Rambler kit parts.  A bit longer, thicker across the top then.  Though very easy to miss, the cast-in rear bumper has been removed entirely, with a two-piece plug now substituting for it.  

A short, compressed wrap up then.  Underside view depicts a 1:25 Jo-Han '70 Rebel Machine front suspension grafted onto their '70 Javelin Trans-Am chassis, with a '69 S/C Rambler rear axle 'hump' and trunk floor, plus overlaid leaf springs.  The rear diff. is indeed an AMC Model 20 humorously afforded and supplied within a Jo-Han funny car kit (with keyed-axles - um-mm, I don't think so!). The leaf spring shackles are '69 S/C Rambler (one each from two kits given the shocks are staggered on the S/C Rambler, and not on this application), whereas I hope there will be enough room for the anti-roll bar (especially the odd clamped pickup points) and Panhard rod assembly in anticipation of creating like-assemblies for other (and usually larger of scale) projects.  

The rear bumper seen has been narrowed as have been the rear indicator/brake light clusters for as-delivered the whole assembly is wider then it should be.  Although puttied up and looking a bit strange, lastly one will notice the rear spoiler which employs the '71 and on ends which extend down a bit with late-season fueling inlet detail.  As the '70 Mark Donohue kit comes through, the rear spoiler is entirely flat of profile across the rear base; i.e. not what was desired.  Thanks...  



M.K.
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« Reply #229 on: May 22, 2013, 02:53:21 PM »

Lots of nice details and a lot of work, Mike. Very nice job so far. How are you rechroming the bumpers?
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« Reply #230 on: May 25, 2013, 12:13:14 PM »

Thanks for the kind notice/comments,

It took some time, but eventually the model car community was able to afford those of the fold plastic part vacuum rechroming services that are equal or superior to what may be found in a normal kit release.  Promotional model collectors are an especially serious bunch, insisting that plating be fresh before parting with $300-$700 for a rare dealer promo, and probably led the way in relation to what is afforded at present.  Little Motor Kar Kompany (they have a light web presence and are seen mostly at midwest regional hobby shows) as well as Chrome Tech USA seem the current options as I write this, whereas another firm situated in Canada also did a bit of business although for light research they seem to have vanished from the scene.  Others who do not wish to enlist the services of a vacuum rechroming outfit may opt to use Alclad lacquers which, if applied with reasoned care via the skilled use of an airbrush, can simulate a plated surface with some fidelity.  

See:

http://www.chrometechusa.com/

http://alclad2.com

Beyond issues of wear and fade, resin castings can be plated, whereas there is much to be said for cleaning up a clumsy casting of something that was originally a stamped part if such is applicable.  Contours and surface detailing can be missed if mastered from web images in particular.  Removing the seams, contrasting a part directly to a 1:1 example of what is desired (i.e. the blade bumper of a '69 to '70 Mustang BOSS 302 as done by Welly in particular) affords one the chance to substantially (albeit discreetly) alter the appearance of a scale model for the good.  While I never strictly rechromed the rear bumper of the 1:18 GMP Penske/Donohue Camaro I have (i.e. such wasn't required), something had to be done about those awful overriders someone specified including!  Tow hook cut outs, as well as attachment hardware dimples can be better reproduced as well for the flexibility afforded.  Thanks...  



...sans a few parts, but notice the taiilpanel pinstriping added, as well as the reshaped bumper ends and the overriders that have been removed leaving no trace behind of the same.  The dashboard with tiny 'Dymo' labels too can be noticed here, complete with the aircraft spec. starter switch.  Yes, the steering wheel is missing in the photo.


Mike K.
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« Reply #231 on: May 30, 2013, 05:52:11 PM »

Thanks for the insight into the chroming service.

There are some nice details on the GMP Penske model in many instances and then you look at things
like the absolute straight-up profile on the back of the rear spoiler and wonder how they missed something
so blatantly bad.
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« Reply #232 on: April 09, 2014, 04:24:04 PM »

Greetings,

After a long silence - a return.  Very kind thanks to Jon Mello and others for the support afforded during an exceptionally uncertain time which I truly hope is behind me.  I greatly value the support and informed feedback afforded here at the CRG in the past, and eagerly hope such may continue.  Again - my great thanks for the tangible sense of community availed.

Consistent with a certain proven inconsistency of focus, here is witnessed what is now a pair of 1970 season Autodynamics Challengers last seen in 2010.  These are 1:18 Hwy. 61 tools that form the best platform for replicas of such in scale.  Continuing, common it is for me to fabricate parts to accommodate most specifications of a particular racer as seen across a season, whereas I'd accumulated enough parts to effectively fit out a #77 Laguna Seca entry as I've reacquainted myself with the #76 Kent project which was seen within earlier posts of this very long thread.  If anyone is determined to mount the courage to stare down a 1:18 Hwy. 61-based E-body SCCA Trans-Am project (among others), I may be able to help out for territory explored and mistakes made.  

Resin casting of key elements scattered across both these cars will allow this builder to fit out a pair of AAR 'Cudas with most shared elements, with allowances made to modify parts that will nevertheless be easier to fabricate using basic shapes saved from the Challenger projects; i.e. the front upper control arm inner wing/inner fender pockets will be modified on the AAR 'Cudas reflecting AAR's specific desire to have greater shock absorber travel to match the one inch lower ride height spindles that weren't shared with Autodynamics.  Apparently one must be on guard to be certain that all the trick stuff is afforded upon delivery of a rolling chassis!



...the 'new build' #77 awaiting lip flares to the shell amongst other things.  And yes - that daunting physical presence seen behind the table is me...


...the 'old' #76 stripped of some items in anticipation of casting each to share across builds.


...and a family photograph of sorts complete with what is now one of two research folders.


Kind regards to the board - as always!

Mike K.
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« Reply #233 on: April 09, 2014, 09:51:00 PM »

Mike, nice to see you post again. I've missed the updates of your great work.
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