View Full Version : 1966 Ford Fairlane GTA

Builder 2010
10 Nov 17,, 01:23
I'm taking a break in building a very large O'guage model railroad to build an Ertl 1:24 Ford Fairlane GTA. This was the car I owned from 1966 through 1968 when I was at Michigan State U. It was the car I owned when I got engaged to my wife (50 years in April).


There's a story about this car. While working at a manufacturing plant during Summer break, I was told about a 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe hot rod that was for sale at a local Hot Rod club. It wasn't quite done, but was drivable and very, very cool. I was in love with hot rods. We lived in Philadelphia which is about 700 miles from MSU. I took my then girlfriend to see the car, but she wasn't very happy with it. The car was severly channeled so the seats were almost on the floor. It wasn't conducive to getting into with a skirt (this WAS the mid-60s). My parents were also not very happy with it. I doubt that the car even had a heater (Michigan Winters..) and it had little to no luggage space. It wasn't a car to make the trip to and from E. Lansing to Philly 4 times a year. But I was very insistant.

We were having dinner at my house and my future wife was there. My brilliant father opens a discussion with, "You know... you only have enough money in savings to a) buy the hot rod, or b) buy Michele an engagement ring." I was dumbstruck! What the heck! Michele was sitting right there and I hadn't even asked her to marry me yet. Needless to say I didn't buy that car. But my parents realized that my aging 1959 Olds 98 convertible had seen better days and needed replacing. They bought me a new 66 Ford Fairlane GTA which was significantly more expensive than the hot rod, but it did have a heater and a big trunk. It also had a 390 cu. in V8 putting out 335 Hp and could lay rubber as long as you had you foot on the throttle. It was very fast, didn't handle very well and eventually burned oil. We traded it in shortly after getting married, however what we replaced it with was awful and that's another story.
Here was me, Michele and the car during a camping trip at Muskegon, MI on Memorial Day weekend 1966.
We don't look much different today as we did then...


The car was sunshine yellow with a black interior. It was the first US car to have Firestone Wide-oval tires. It was the beginning of the low profile tire revolution that continues to this day.
The engine is "Ford Blue". I mixed it up with Tamiya blue, white and a little green. The kit didn't include chrome valve covers so I painted them with Tamiya Bare Metal spray and then used AK Interactive real metal cream to brighten them up.

The kit is a bit crude and I haven't built a car kit of any kind since the late 50s. I'm more used to the sophisticated models that are available today, but I'll make it work. I found some light yellow lacquer and wet-look clear at the Scale Reproductions today which is a close match to the car's light yellow. I will use Bare-metal foil where appropriate and will try to add some piping and wiring to the engine.


I put Micro-sol liquid mask on the areas of the engine that will receive other parts so there will be bare plastic glue areas for the remaining parts.
The styrene doesn't seem to respond to the Tamiya solvent cement as quickly as I'm used to. I don't know if it's due to the age of the kit, or just the composition of the material.
Stay tuned...

10 Nov 17,, 08:44

Very cool - and the car ain't bad, either!!!!

I was driving a '62 Pontiac Catalina wagon (hand me down from my dad) until I left for boot camp. That car would really come in handy today (for carrying models, etc.).

Builder 2010
11 Nov 17,, 00:12
Well... thank you!

Today was one of those days where you take 1 step forward and three back. I want to add ignition wiring and attempted to drill out the kit's styrene distributor cap. Not only did it not go as intended, I broke two tiny carbide drills in the process.

So I attempted to machine one out of brass. I have very small brass capillary tubing that will serve as bushings for the wiring and I though (wrongly) that I could solder these bushing into the brass.


The machining went fine, but the layingo out and drilling the 0.032" holes for the bushings was a complete fiasco. Not only was my spacing all over the place, but I broke some more carbide drills and left a chunk in one of the holes.

So I went to plan C which was to machine it out of aluminum.


Again, machining was not a problem and yet again, putting the holes into the cap was a nightmare. Besides the spacing problem reappearing, I also broke more carbide drills. While inexpensive, these things aren't free.

Here are the three rejects. Picture was hard to get into focus.


Now I'm on Plan D which is creating another one out of Plastruct plastic pipes being machined to shape. Drilling will be much easier. If this doesn't work, I'm going to my LHS and buying an after-market distributor and wiring. I've alreay spent more than that on all those carbide drills.


ImageShack seems to work much better moving pictures.

11 Nov 17,, 08:15
Hope you don't mind me getting a little picky but since my blood is Ford blue I have noticed a few things. Starting in 1966 all Ford engines 390 and smaller had blue valve covers. The 1965 year was the last year the covers were different colors to denote engine type and size. In 1966 the only engine to have chrome covers was the 427-4V and 427-8V. Cast aluminum was used on the 427 SOHC-4V and 8V engines. Same in 1967 for those engines. Those covers were pent roof while all others were not. The oil fill tube in the front part of the intake manifold I believe was last used in 1963. Below is the 390 in my 1965 F100 which has the correct black block with gold pent roof valve covers. Oil bath air cleaner correct for 1965 trucks but the rebuilt engine was turned into a 390. Oil through oil breather. The next shot is a 410-4V in my 67 Park Lane which is simply a 390 with 428 crankshaft and standard OEM valve covers. This is how Ford engines looked starting in 1966.

Horsepower close. The 390-4V was rated at 320bhp @4100 rpm in some applications in 1966.

Builder 2010
12 Nov 17,, 04:27
While your opinion is valid in most instances, in the case of the jazzed up 390 in the Fairlane GT/GTA, the valve covers were chrome as was the racing style air cleaner. Here's the picture that was on the side of the box. But I also remember my engine and the valve covers were chrome not blue. It also had a special Holley carb that was not a standard Ford item.


The engine specs for the GT/GTA was 335 hp.


And here's another picture of an engine that looks like it was in a Springtime Yellow GT like mine was.


So... I will stay with the decision to go with the chrome covers.

I'm glad you're a detail hound. Even though you may have missed the mark this time, I'm sure I will run into some challenges where your help will be greatly needed.

The picture shows positive crankcase ventilation. I'm not sure that was included in the car in 1966.

The one problem I had with the car was valve float when under hard acceleration while in Drive. The shift points were too high and the valves would float before it shifted into second. It bent the push rods. Ford didn't believe me and was trying to deny the warranty claim accusing me of drag racing and manual shifting. While I argued that all of their advertising at the time was calling it the "Tiger Killer" directly referring to beating GTOs in a drag race, they weren't convinced until I took the tech out and had him accelerate the car in drive and he heard it with his own ears. They fixed the motor and adjusted the transmission.

One of their ads showed the front of the GTA with a tiger's tail hanging out of the hood.

I've got to tell ya... the Internet is a wonder! I went on Pinterest and found the ad I was talking about. I hadn't seen this since 1966 when I bought the car. It not only backs up the claim about "cooking GTOs", but the first line on the specs talks about chrome plating the rocker covers. Nuff said.


I think it's time for me to drop the mic.

12 Nov 17,, 18:56
After I posted that before bed I thought to myself "wait a minute" but computer was already off. There was the GT/GTA option in the years 1966-68 and one of my Cougar Club members has a 68 390GT. The GT option is what got you the chrome air cleaner and valve covers. The difference between the 390-4V and 390-4V GT engine is that the GT has the cam from the 428. Air cleaner was open element in 1966 but closed in 1967 and 1968 which meant the lid was chrome only. All Ford engines did use a pcv valve by 1966 and on the 390 it was attached to a metal tube rather than going directly to the back of the carb spacer block. Now what I meant about the oil fill tube on the front of the intake manifold it was last used in 1963. After that oil was put in via the oil breather on the left valve cover. Your engine picture and this car, in the video, are correct and show all that.


Builder 2010
12 Nov 17,, 19:07
That's a great video! Thanks for posting it. It showed beautiful interior details which I'm going to try and reproduce. I'm also going to add the PCV plumbing. The distributor wiring is annoying since the cables come out at 90 degrees. That will be tougher to model. My GTA had hubcaps, not the chrome wheels. I'm now suspecting the that the valve float problem could also stem from the higher lift cam competing with too-weak valve springs (possibly). It did 0-60 in the sixes. I have an Acura TL-S type with a 3.5 liter V6 with 285 hp that probably exceeds that and gets 25 mpg. In fact, my 303 hp direct-injected V6 in our Buick LaCrosse exceeds the acceleration of that big V8 powered 60s "muscle car". Engines have sure come a long, long way since the mid-60s.

13 Nov 17,, 03:34
There may have been another issue with the engine as the 390-4V Gt engine has the same camshaft and valve train as the 428 Cobra Jet. Lift was .481 on the intake and .490 on the exhaust. That isn't too extreme for an FE engine as the camshaft I am putting into my 302-4V Cougar has lift of .470 and it is a small block.

Also another detail and that is the oil filter. From the factory the car would have a Rotunda FL-1A filter that could either be red or gold.

Builder 2010
13 Nov 17,, 23:01
That's an easy change to make. While I'm so "Car-focused" just for fun I put together a spread sheet (with pictures) of every car I've ever purchased. There were 23 on the list. Some of them I had my own pictures, but for others I found excellent pictures on Google, even down to the same color schemes.

BTW: How's the plane restoration going?

14 Nov 17,, 00:51
BTW: How's the plane restoration going?

Which one?

Builder 2010
15 Nov 17,, 00:00
The TBM of course...

You are the guy that was rebuilding a real one... right?

After looking at the web for pre-made distributors I found that none of them solved my problem, but I did see a Detail Associates distributor kit that had separate top plates with 6 or 8 cylinder arrangements which made me realize that I too can make a separate top plate and if so, can lay it out better than trying to drill into the machined distributor itself.

So... I laid out a plan on Adobe Illustrator an 8-cylinder arrangement on a 3/16 circle which is the smallest size of gasket punch to make a nice round disc.


I made six copies considering how many I'd screw up. I spray glued the paper and glued it to some 0.020" sytrene and then used a sharp end of a divider to prick punch the cross points on the drawing. My first attempt had the marks on the a layout circle that was a bit too close to the outside edge so I then punched inwards to the tips of the layout lines and this proved okay.
I drilled them with a 0.021" drill and then followed up with a 0.026" drill which is close to the size of the micro-tubing that's going in the holes to provide a raisded tubular surface for the wires. In looking a pictures of this engine, the spark plug wires come off at 90°.

You can see the three that I drilled produced one really good array which is the one that I ended up using.


Actually the first one that I attempted was on a piece of thin ABS. After gluing the disc to the Plastruct tubing and attempting to turn it on the lathe, the glue didn't hold and the disc disappeared into the quantum rift.

I then decided to use the styrene. The Plastruct tubing isn't styrene. It's butyrate and therefore, doesn't respond totally well to the ABS or styrene. It seems to bond, but then it doesn't. So this time I CA'd the disc to the butyrate. I then made the distributor. It wasn't easy since I had a collett that could hold the larger diameter (1/4") tubing, but when I turned it around to turn the small shaft that would mate to the engine, I had to improvise by using part of pin vise held in the lathe's three-jaw chuck. This worked marginally, but good enough to get close. After I machined it as far as I could go, I measured the shaft, found a drill that gave me a hole that size and drilled out the mounting hole in the intake manifold to fit the distributor. The results were good. I'm now going to machine a tiny natural aluminum vacuum advance diaphram to simulate this part with real metal so it will look spiffy. All in all this little distributor project has taken a lot of time and I'm not done yet.


I then turned back to railroad work since the brass I needed to complete a 10ft long model chain link fence to surround part of the refinery project I'm building. I'll be working on the GTA interspersed with building the refinery.

18 Nov 17,, 06:54
Actually no work on the TBM except oiling up the engine and manually turning it over. The only other thing dealing with it is trying to determine which TBM we have. When Charles Jensen died in 1977 he had three of these planes. They were Bu 69375, 85560 and 86123. Web sites say we have 69375 as does our information board. I say that is wrong. Bu 69459 was also N8397H and my tracing says that was sold to a UK interest long ago. Bu 85560 is also N6830C while Bu 86123 is N6831C. Sites say Bu 85560 was last at Western Aerospace in 1994. They also say Bu 86123 is a the Mid-America Air Museum in Kansas. I talked with Mid-America and their plane has no Bu plate on the tail just like ours. I think the Jensen estate mixed the planes up when sold. Web sites say that I would be wrong about the plane we have but then I have a picture which looks pretty definitive to me which is why I say we have the plane with the Civilian number seen in my picture. Somewhere paper work is mixed up.

Builder 2010
22 Nov 17,, 00:03
So... how many people own that TBM?... you used "we" when describing the work. It must be frustrating when you want to build and airplane and have to spend your time doing research on it's true identity.

Back on the GTA. I cut tiny pieces of 1/32" thin wall tubing and installed them in the new distributor. It looks a bit ragged since the heights of each is not uniform. I was not particularly careful when drilling the holes regarding their depth and really didn't cut all those pieces of tubing the same lenght either. But when painted, you can see any of this variation. To cut the tubing I used a sharp #11 and roll the tube on a piece of reversed masking tape to keep the little buggers from going to the quantum rift.


I also added tubing in the tip of the ignition coil. I had to remove the tapered portion of the plastic part to give me a good surface to drill. I then added the taper back using medium CA with accelerator filling the profile back. I also drilled out the tiny sparkplug tips and added tubes there to receive the spark plug wires.


I added the exhaust manifolds, the carb and did touch up painting. I painted the ignition stuff gloss black. For the carb, I first painted it flat aluminum and then overcoated with Tamiya clear yellow.

I needed to machine a vacuum advance diaphram and did it on the lathe, I now realize that I forgot to add the pipe input to its face and will add that with a small NBW casting.


Here's the engine just about ready to receive wiring and plumbing.


I'll be working on the railroad tomorrow, and then will have paint drying and be back on the GTA.

Builder 2010
22 Nov 17,, 23:35
Just about got the engine finished today. First I CA'd a resin hex nut to the vacuum advacnce diaphram and then piped it to the base of the carb using some 0.010" brass wire that came from the fancy cork netting on a couple bottles of Spanish Rioja wine. Besides getting this very nice fine gauge brass, wine bottles are also a great source of foil that can be used for lots of detail scratch-build parts. I ultimately painted this aluminum.


The NBWs are from True Details and you can see the resin block to the left.

Next I used some 0.021" brass wire for the PVC pipe from the right valve cover to the intake manifold. This pipe was painted engine blue.


And then it was time to put in the ignition wiring. First I was going to use some very fine gauge stranded copper that was an interesting yellow color. This was salvaged from an old printer that my grandson took apart. But it was a little too fat so I substituted 0.016" black iron wire. The iron wire holds its position well. I bent the ends going into the distributor cap 90 degrees since the prototype's wiring comes out this way. I use CA to hold them into place. I have no idea what firing order I created, I just alternated the leads coming out going to one cylinder bank and then the other.


I painted all the ends and tubes Tamiya Rubber Black so it looked like the rubber boots on the wires.

I added the rest of the details (oil breather cap, air cleaner, belts set with alternator and fan).


The air cleaner got a detail telling us that this is a 390 cu. in. V8. These are old style decals with large extended clear film areas. It means you have to trim them very close, but then there's nothing to grab hold of with the tweezers. I used Micro-set solution to soften the inner clear film so it snugged down inside the air cleaner's depression.


I realize you can go further than this on engine details. There's wiring to the starter motor (not seeable), alternator wiring to and from the voltage regulator (which I don't think is included in the kit), brake lines (car had a simple, non-power brake cylinder which doesn't appear to have anti-lock brakes which weren't available in 1966) and full lines from tank to fuel pump to carb. I may add that since the fuel pump is on the engine.

I have some great images of the interior which should be fun to do. This is the first car kit that I have completed in about 53 years. I did run "Grandpop's Scale Model Clinic" at a community center and some of the middle-schoolers were building cars. That was a fun thing to do that was inspired by my older grandson. I ran two consecutive sessions.

Builder 2010
04 Dec 17,, 00:24
Thanks fellas!

I finished up the refinery project on the model railroad. It was an 8-month endeavor that came out better than I expected.

You can see it all on my other post.

So today (rare Sunday session) I got back to working on the GTA. First I painted the aircleaner element white. I may add a dark was in the folds to give it more definition. I'm pretty much done with the engine and got to work again on the chassis.


I wanted to drill out the exhaust pipe ends starting with small one and going to the final size, but it didn't work as planned. The Ertl plastic is brittle and the wall broke out when I tried to open up the hole. First I tried to repair using CA and re-drilling, but it broke out again. So I went to plan B; making new ends out of brass tubing CA'd to the existing pipe.


Thinner walled brass tubing would even work better, but I didn't have any.

I glued the shocks into the chassis and then the leaf springs. I glued the rear together, sanded the very obvious seams after it dried, and then test fit it into the springs. The instructions show putting in the exhaust system before the springs and rear go in, but I wanted to air brush all the gloss black at one go and I wanted to paint the exhaust a different color. The exhauset could be put in, but it took a lot of bending and I think it would mess up the paint. So... I'm leaving out the drive shaft and rear until after the exhaust is in, but painting all the rest of chassis.


The exhaust pipes were also painted gloss black in preparation to receive various metallic shades and a gloss black base coat is usually recommended.

I also sprayed the engine compartment and radiator plate with gloss black. Engine's not glued, just sitting there looking pretty.


Tomorrow I'll finish painting the exhaust and install it, then put in the rear, install the engine and drive shaft and fasten in the radiator. I've decided I'm not going to add any more wiring except battery cables to the voltage regulator.

04 Dec 17,, 03:14
There has always been a lot of talk about what a Ford engine compartment is painted and then the chassis. Pretty much acknowledge the engine compartment is a satin black. In fact before it was discontinued many thought PPG DP40 epoxy black primer was the closest one could get to the right sheen. Chassis after 1969 we know were pretty much slop grey meaning Ford took left over paints and mixed it along with their primer, thought red oxide, then sprayed the cars. My 68 Mustang is definitely red oxide in original condition with some light overspray of the body color. My 68 Cougar is more a dark grey but it was built at a different Ford plant and they were known to vary. My 65 F100 was definitely red oxide under the bed and floor pan of the cab. Engine compartment satin black came down the back of the firewall and created a black/red oxide interface at the front edge of the floor pan. Gloss black wasn't used on really anything except some small parts and those parts were actually dipped in the paint and then hung to dry leaving paint runs visible.

Builder 2010
05 Dec 17,, 01:17
I attempted to dull down the chassis based on your input with some Dull Coat. I think my can is about out and it didn't really dull it down very much. I need to get some more.

I didn't have much work time today, but did get a little over an hour in the shop and about the same amount of time reviewing videos on YouTube on how to open up model doors and add hinges. I hadn't done this since 1971 so it was time for a refresher before I screwed up an out-of-production model.

I used the method that has you gradually scraping out the seam with the back side of a sharp #11 blade. I augmented this with my very fine MicroMark razor saw. The saw's kerf is only 0.005". It was tricky cutting the vent pane away from the roof, and I thought I might lose it, but it did work. I came out of the lines a couple of times and filled the minor scratches with Tamiya fine putty.


I have a lot of work left on this part since the interior needs to be separated and door jambs have to be created to fill in all the open spaces.

I painted the exhaust pipes a home mix of gray and flat aluminum to make a "steel" facsimile. I then masked the pipes and sprayed the mufflers with Tamiya rattle can bare metal.

I installed the pipes and then CA'd the rear into position. It was time to connect the engine, but the drive shaft was too long. Way too long! I re-checked to make sure I didn't install the leaf springs backwards since the rear is not centered and if I got them backwards, it could account for the poor drive shaft fit. But, after checking, it seems I did it correctly. Furthermore, the mounting holes were not the same size front to back and varied side to side. Also the shock mounts were inside and towards the front.


I measured the overage and cut the drive shaft at the transition point and removed the excess piece. I wanted to re-attach the two parts together using a piece of 0.032" brass rod. I drilled the universal joint piece with a carbide drill successfully, but broke the drill in the long end. When you have a chunk of carbide stuck in a hole, you're basically out of luck. It was time for plan B. Plan B was to make a new shaft out of aluminum tube of the same size. I narrowed the plastic parts so they would slip inside the tube. Here's the new assembly being fitted. I haven't glued the parts in yet. That will come tomorrow.


I kind of like how the real metal tubing looks, but it's not very prototypical. I also shot the entire chasis with Dull Coat since I was told that Ford never finished the engine compartment with gloss black.

Builder 2010
05 Dec 17,, 23:40
Again a short work session.

Got the engine glued into the chassis. In the attempt to get the transmission's tab keyed into the trans support beam, the engine/transmission joint gave way and I had to reglue that and wait for it to dry. I touched up the exhaust system in the mean time.


I then got back to work on the body. I cut out the inner door. First I took time to locate the inner panels relation to the out door and marked the outer door. The inner and outer doors do not exactly overlap on car door since you have a door jamb in between. I had a little booboo the needed some filler and did so. BTW: the few scratches on the outer body filled nicely and shouldn't be noticeable. Even real cars have filler applied at the factory before painting... at least they used to.


The inner door panel sits almost vertically, but the outer door has curves and turns inward near the bottom so there needs to be a shim to fill the empty space that would be occupied by the lower sill part of the interior piece. I added a piece of plastic scrap to fill this space. The end spaces will be fill with the jamb pieces on both the door and the body.


Here's the door test fit together.


Then I had to start building the hinges. My first attempt is a little too wide. I've reviewed videos on this and most folks use styrene tubes to hold the hinge wires. My first attempt uses brass tube with a 1/32" i.d. to match the 1/32" brass wire. It'll take a few attempts to get them exactly right. Persistence pays off. Since I'm going to be epoxying the hinge into the door, whether I use brass or styrene doesn't make a difference.


Builder 2010
07 Dec 17,, 01:25
Happy Wednesday!

spent most of the afternoor with Apple Support figuring out how to import the Photos library from my wifes 8 year-old MacBook to her brand new MacBook Air, and how to get my MacBook Pro to be able to run Windows. The Book Camp Assistant kept crashing and we couldn't figure it out. That left to about an hour in the shop.

First I attached the radiator plate, connected the lower heater hose and installed the upper one. The fender walls were too wide apart and I had to enlarge the slots on the radiator piece to get it to nest in properly. It will need some touch up painting. The apparent "dirt" on the engine bay is what happened when I used an old can of Dull Coat. Does a nice weathering job... if I was interested in weathering said bay. Part of that top surface gets painted body color. It doesn't look so gross in normal viewing distance.


I will attempt to add some heater hoses too. I checked out a walk-around video on YouTube offered by TBM3fan that nicely documented a beautifully restored 66 GTA. I was able to pause the playback and make focused screen shots of various images including the heater hose locations. I was also able to get some great shots of the interior that's going to very valuable in detailing the car. It's been almost 50 years since I sat in that car and frankly, don't remember very much about it. Here's an example of how those pics turned out.


Got back to the hinges. Made a second set that was a little better than the first, but the geometry was wrong. The legs that connect to the body, can't be on the same level as those in the doors. They have to extend a bit downward toward the door skin since the mounting point on the door is a bit elevated due to a pad of medium CA to level out the mounting surface.


This led to the 3rd attempt which is more workable. It's not perfect yet, but it may work. The door sites at the proper attitude and swings fully outward.

I had to cut a couple of minor slots in the inner door panel to give some clearance to those large loops. I'm wondering if the loops need to be a bit smaller and that would move the hinge closer to the door's edge. I might try that which would be attempt number 4.


Builder 2010
09 Dec 17,, 00:15
Woke up thinking about a crazy idea of making true scale hood hinges. I did a Google search to find good images of them and found pictures of the actual hinges for the 66 Fairlane (also Mustang).



I downloaded images of front and back and put them into Illustrator and traced over them. I don't have actual sizes of the hinges. A neighbor has just restored-upgraded a 64 Galxie 500 and I might ask to measure his. After drawing the image, I needed to figure out how the darn thing works. It's not as simple as it seems.


The hinges are a parallelogram like a scissors jack. I found a video on adjusting old Ford hood hinges and watched the action when they operate. The side arms move away from each other with the big spring between adding counter tension to offset the hood's weight. I copied and pasted a bunch of copies of three different sizes and the smallest one seems to be close to what a 1:25 hinge will be.

That all being said, I'm really not sure if I can a) make two, b) make them workable, c) attach it to the car, and d) have it actually close the hood correctly. I'm going to try, but not spend very much time on it. There's a reason why modeler's don't usually make scale hinges for model cars.

Back to the door hinges.

The 3rd version hinge's loops were much too big which led to version 4, 5 & finally 6. I got 6 as good as I was going to get it. I found that the thick plastic doors and body sides were interferring with each other so I thinned them both and carefully trimmed a little bit of the door edge. I decided to use plastic tubes to hold the body side hinge mounts for eash of gluing them in place.

Versions 4 and 5 had smaller loops, but the drop I bent in the wire was too severe and it pushed the door away from the body.

This view shows the smaller loops and the correct drop.


And here's a vertical shot showing the rest of the geometry. With the newly designed, smaller-looped hinges fit closer to the door's edge and I didn't need those relief cuts so I filled them with some styrene stock.


The inner panel needs relief under the dash area to clear those plastic hinge holders. I'll do that on Monday. So happy Friday and great weekend.

Builder 2010
12 Dec 17,, 02:56
With the hinges attached at both ends I had to fit the rest of the inner pieces to the hinges. I had to cut some clearance notches in the kick panel on the left side, and later, after fitting the dashboard, found that it too would need relief.


With all the fitting complete I needed to close up the door's gaps with jambs front and back. I used thin 0.010" styrene I traced the internal curvature using a compass with the point tracing the curve and the pencil to draw the curve on the styrene. This method is a good way to trace oddball curves onto sheets to fit things. I learned this trick many, many years ago working a summer job at a stainless steel sheet metal plant in 1970.
After gluing the rough shaped sheet into place, I let it dry and then trimmed it close with a sharp #11 and then filed and sanded it to a perfect fit.


Here was the trimmed jamb in place on the lack and hinge ends. I went back and filled the remaining gaps with Tamiya filler although I think this might be overkill.



t was time to paint the interior pieces and I did so with Tamiya semi-gloss black which nicely simulates the sheen of leather. After it dried I went back and picked out some of the shiny details with Vallejo "real metal" silver. I used some Tamiya clear red to paint the door handle reflector.


Builder 2010
12 Dec 17,, 03:02
For the instrument panel I attempted to do some metal foiling. I'm not too good at this and this is the first car I've ever attempted using Bare Metal Foil. At first I cut the strips, lifted the end and peeled it off the backing paper to promptly see the stuff curl all over itself and become a mess. After I added the foil to the bottom strip on the dash that I decided to read the instructions since there must be a better way. There was! You lift one edge and and attach a slip of paper to it, then you lift the other end of the strip and attach another piece of paper. Then you lift the foil from the both ends while keeping some tension and Voila, you can keep it from curling.


The dash came out just ok. The instrument cluster was hard to bring out any details since the relief was very shallow, and the foil could have been better.... much better.


The door sides also have chrome shiny trim. And now that I look at this picture...


I realize that I put the chrome on the wrong part of the door and will have to fix that.

The chrome is a bit of a hassle. I need practice. I picked the separate door to try first. Doing the rest of the interior will be harder since it will be done at an oblique angle.


To make matters worse. In working to remove the excess foil I took off a lot of black paint that I'll now have to hand paint back to a semblance of decency.

Tomorrow, I'll strip the incorrect foil and get it right. As I went along it did get easier to get the foil on better. I will also try to do the rest of the interior. I may end up painting the striping. I've used old-style drafting inking pens to do fine striping on models. These are the kinds that have two springy blades ending in very sharp points where the distance between them is adjusted with a vernier screw.

Builder 2010
13 Dec 17,, 23:43
Back to work on the door trim. After stripping Monday's foil, I touched up all the places where I scraped off the paint. The touch up ruined the beautiful initital air brushed semi-gloss black. But, I was able to get the foil into the right trim on the door. I'm not 100% satisfied with the foil's appearance, but it's going to have to work.


I then added some trim to the venta-pane window insuides. The outside will have to wait until the outside is finished since I would have to mask the chrome and woud assuradly remove the trim with the tape when unmasking.


The door doesn't look as rough in person as it does in these pictures. It does look pretty rough. Next time, I might just painting the trim with Vallejo Real Metal using a fine pointed brush. The enlargement is huge... and shows everything.

Builder 2010
15 Dec 17,, 00:26
Finally getting the hang of putting on the foil. I did the chrome seat bands and am pleased with the results. It was an easier install and I took my time.


I painted the carpeting a Tamiya medium gray, but it will need some flat spray since the paint has a little bit of sheen.

I opened the relief holes in the under-dash side wall to better clear the door hinges.

I then decided to add some heater hoses. I used some small guage electric hookup wire. I didn't have any more black so I took a Sharpied and 'painted' the red wire black. After installation I went back over it with some Tamiya Rubber Black. It's a great color since it's a black with just a hit of gray in it. I used a #50 drill to make the holes in the water pump, intake manifold and then the firewall. I used a tiny 0.010 carbide bit as a starter hole so the "bigger" drill went where I wanted it to.


I still have to install the battery and I'll probably put in some battery cables too. Secondary wiring is such a small gauge that when you do it in 1:24 you'd barely see it. I'm sure some guys add them too, but this engine bay is getting busy enough.

Builder 2010
15 Dec 17,, 21:36
I didn't want to hijack Gun's thread so I'm going to add the bits about Scale Reproductions, Inc. on my thread. My point was that SRI, my local hobby shop, is one of the most nicely stocked stores I've ever seen in my 64 years of building models. With the demise of privately owned hobby shops occurring with alarming frequency all over the country, having a store like SRI in Louisville, KY is something to rave about. Owned and operated by Brian Bunger, a great scale modeler in his own right, and a staff of knowledgable folks handling trains, RC and Plastics, it never ceases to amaze that if it's a new listing in Fine Scale Modeling, it's also sitting in SRI.

So I said I'd take some pictures to back up my words. After looking at these you all can comment on whether or not I'm telling it the right way.

Let's start with the first of two paint rows. This row has Testor paint for Poly RC car bodies, and the full Tamiya line with all their listed bottle colors and sprays. Beyond that is brass and metal stock, followed by tools, and lastly every kind of CA and CA applicator imaginable.


On the back side of this row is another paint row. This one has all the Vallejo, Model Master, Acurate Paint lines, plus odds and ends, brushes and glues for plastics.


Facing this paint row is the aircraft row. Notice on this row, there's still more paint with A-K Interactive Pigments and metalizers.


On the back side of the air craft row is the armor row.


Facing the armor row is cars, trucks, SciFi and ships.


In the back end cap of the paint row is finishing materials for RC plane construction.

Builder 2010
15 Dec 17,, 21:44
More on SRI. On the front end caps of these two rows are new release air craft and armor. At the checkout counter, there's another pile of new releases.




Lastly, there are four nice display cabinets which show expert work. These two are done by an artist Don Conley on loan from his wife. I am assuming he's passed... Their 1:32 kits done beautifully on excellent display stands.



So... that's just SRI's plastic department. Their RC department is equally impressive as is their train department. Trains are basically HO and N. O'scale is handled by another store in town, Roundhouse Trains.

Builder 2010
19 Dec 17,, 00:01
I found another great broadside of my original car. The date was Memorial Day 1967 in Muskegon, MI State Park.


The kit has chrome steel wheels, but my car had hubcabs. My car and the kit have red-line wide-oval tires.

Had a very short work session today since we took the grandkids to see Coco. If you haven't seen it, it's another Pixar masterpiece. Even without a plot, dialog or music, the art and creativity is worth the price of admisision. At times it was breathtaking.

I glued the seats and inner panels to the floor after adding another coat of gray, a coat of Dull Coat and a brush coat of Tamiya Flat Clear, to try and dull down the shine on the gray. For some reason it's still showing a sheen.


My LHS clued me into another great product. It's called Liquid Chrome and it's produced by Chartpak. It's a 1mm tip and lays down an alcohol-based liquid metal that's truly reflective and smooth like metal, not like pigmented paint. It's as bright and smooth as the foil without the wrinkles. I touched up some of the door panel trim with it, used it on the reamining trim on the driver's side rear, and then tried it on the edging on the console. The center of the console is brushed metal, but the edges are polished. It's not a good use for foil. I did it backwards, trying to the marker on the edges before painting the center, but I wanted to see how it looked and it looks great. If you haven't tried it, I would highly recomment it. It's so bright that I would suggest it would be terrific on aircraft oleo strut cylinders instead of wrapping with foil, which at times is very difficult depending on how and when the scissors links are installed.


I painted the outer sections with the semi-gloss black (by brush) and then did the trim with the chrome pen. It's hard to catch the reflecitivity in the picture, but believe me, it's really terrific.


More work tomorrow.

Gun Grape
19 Dec 17,, 04:21
Now thats a model shop!!! Back in the 90s opening a model shop like that was my dream for when I retired from the Marine Corps.

I could go broke real quick if that place was local.

Gun Grape
19 Dec 17,, 04:25
I glued the seats and inner panels to the floor after adding another coat of gray, a coat of Dull Coat and a brush coat of Tamiya Flat Clear, to try and dull down the shine on the gray. For some reason it's still showing a sheen.


The problem may be the same as touching up a paint job in 1:1 scale. The over coat fills in the irregularities of the original satin finish giving you an almost gloss look. The more coats you apply the smoother (and more reflective) the finish becomes. Why its so easy to see where walls have been patched

Albany Rifles
19 Dec 17,, 15:54
I am not a model builder but I just get more and more impressed by the skills you guys display.

Builder 2010
20 Dec 17,, 00:03
Thanks, we all appreciate the positive vibes!

Well... you know, you're never too late to start. Now I can imagine that there's a pretty steep learning curve, but there's so much how-to stuff on YouTube that you can become pretty good pretty quickly. I've been modeling for 64 years and learned new stuff looking at a YouTube video yesterday, and I'm always trying out new materials, techniques and skills. What could be an entry barrier is the $,$$$ of tools that I've collected over the years, but you don't need all that to get started. It's the exact same thing as setting up a kitchen. You can cook good food with a couple of decent pots, a frying pan and some basic utensils. And you can also create masterpieces with a kitchen full of specialized stuff that just does one thing better.

Using more standard aluminum foil (actually some product that I bought in Germany 15 years ago which is a thinner gauge than standard US foil) and Microscale foil adhesive I applied the foil to the broader surfaces of the console. The outer edges are bright and the inner sections are brushed on the real car. I used the non-shiny side of the foil for this to give a little contrast. The bright, as I noted yesterday, was provided by that really cool Liquid Chrome pen.


I used Tamiya Clear Blue and Clear Red to detail that little GTA emblam on the upper console.

I added the auto trans shift level and then CA'd the console into the car.


The dashboard needed some modification. Becuase of the shape of the door hinges I had to cut relief holes in the kick plate on the interior sides, but I also need to add this clearance to the dash component itself. There's already very little stock left on the left side, so if I cut some of the dash away in that area, there will be effectively nothing holding the dash on the left side. I needed to add more material onto the dash which would then be glued to the inner left panel.


I added another piece of styrene stock under this piece to add some more meat and then glued the dash into place.


The dash tab will be cut away, but the new stock will hold it in place. To add more strength I'm going to drill and put some 0.021" brass pins through the inner panel into the added stock. That should tie it all together when I take a small router and cut the dash tab away to clear the hinge bulge.

The last thing I did was prepare the steering wheel and column. This was a perfect use for the Liquid Chrome pen to "chrome" the horn ring. The picture doesn't do it justice. It looks absolutely like chrome, not paint. Tomorrow I'll install the wheel.


I painted and installed the battery, and the master cylinder. I'm going to add some battery leads. Any suggestions on making a realistic battery lead connector?

I'm quickly getting to the point where I'm going to have to paint the exterior. I'm using lacquer and don't want to use it indoors and I don't have a spray booth (yet), and usually do this work outside, but the weather's getting like Winter and that doesn't work.

Builder 2010
21 Dec 17,, 02:01
Today, I split my session doing some train work (attempting to replace a broken headlight with an LED) and some GTA work.

I routed the dash to give proper clearance for the door hinges. I've purchased some 1/16" solid carbide router bits from Drill Bits Unlimited that work nicely in the Dremel. I didn't ahve to remove much, just enough to let the hinge loop sit inside so the inner panel and outer body don't get pushed out of position.


The cut in this picture is a bit ragged. I cleaned it up a bit and then painted it semi-gloss black. I also installed the steering column today, but the pics don't show it.

I needed to make door jambs for the body side of the door opening. I didn't attempt to have the rear jamb sit inside the body. Instead I installed it so it fit flush with the body. My door is fitting a bit big some a little bit of extra stock wouldn't hurt. In this picture, I filed it to fit and then added some Tamiya putty to fill in any noticeable blemishes. In the real world, there is some kind of lock system on the body and door jams. I don't think I'm going to add that, but then I've been known to do this silly stuff.


For the hinge side body jamb I had to inset this piece since the door hinges into the body space. I used thin 0.010" sytrene for these parts and it was easy to get them to conform to any curves. After using liquid cement I went back and reinforced the joints with med CA. After which I again added some filler to close the gaps that were left.


I took another picture with the door fitted. I used the flash so you're getting a lot of specular reflections. You can barely see te front jamb and you can see that the dash area is now painted.


What's going to be fun is putting the outside body color onto these jamb areas. I've been looking at a lot of videos of people building model cars, and generally folks don't open up the doors. It greatly complicates the process since the door, which is now a single piece has the inner and outer panels glued together. The inner is interior trim colors and the outer body color and the jamb is body color. The flash shows some interior space behind the dash that needs to have come color. On second thought, that's the firewall and without the flash blast you would'nt see it since it's going to be very dark under there. Sometimes it's good to take pictures of your work for evaluation purposes.

Without digital photography, all this journaling and posting would be nearly impossibe and very, very expensive.

Builder 2010
22 Dec 17,, 02:04
I have reached the point where the body painting needs to be done. Lacquer is a no-no indoors and it's not good for outside painting now. I did some odds and ends today. Got the battery wired up, finished the door jambs, painted the wheels and taillights, and blacked out all the grills and trim that had black lines in them.

I cobbled some battery connectors out of wine bottle foil. They're a bit crude and oversized, but they convey the feeling. The leads are 28 gauge black iron wire painted red for the positive lead going over to the molded on started relay. I also did some more detail painting in the engine compartment.


So now the engine is completely finished.

I sanded off the excess filler on the door jambs and they're ready for paint. I also found and removed some mold lines on the body. This is ready for paint.


I removed the vinyl wheel centers and built the four wheels. The chrome steel wheels had open spokes and blacked out areas between. I painted the blacked out areas flat black. I actually enjoy doing detail painting. I find it calming.


To black out the open areas of the grill and on some of the trim, I simply used some thinned Tamiya flat black which I let run down the grooves and used a cotton bud to remove the excess from the chrome. If I had some Tamiya panel line color in black I would have used that. I have that product in brown and it wouldn't work.


The last thing I did was use the Liquid Chrome pen to detail the backup light section of the red taillight lenses. The chrome pen was the perfect tool to add some real bright effects to these tiny parts.


So, if I can't figure out how to effectively do the exterior color in the winter, I might put this aside until Spring. I have another kit to build, a Trumpeter 1:350 scale USS Essex. I have some Photoetched leftover from the Missouri project and may be able to detail the Essex without having to buy more. Most of the color for the Essex will be water-based and can be applied in the basement. I'm lobbying the CEO to get a spray booth which would be a wonderful addition to the shop.

Builder 2010
19 Jan 18,, 22:35
Well... the weather may actually be mild enough in the next couple days to enable me to spray some GTA parts. So to get ahead of this eventuality, I did a few minutes work on the model masking the engine compartment and the inner door panel so I could spray the primer and light yellow outside. It's all predicated on the temps hitting 60 degrees or more. The fender panels actually wrap over that flange in the engine compartment and it's painted body color which accounts for all that masking to expose such a little bit of paint area.


Until next time, meanwhile keep tracking my Essex build.

Builder 2010
14 Apr 18,, 01:28
Hi gang! Winter's almost over here in Louisville so I can get back to work finishing the Ford.

Weather was lovely today... a bit breezy, but I worked around it and finally got the primer coat onto the Ford GTA. First I needed to make a body clamp to hold it for painting. I know there are commercially available ones, but it's so simple to make one in house. I used a scrap piece of 2X4, and some old coat hangers. After cutting the hangers apart and bending them to a useful shape, I stuck them into the body and got a spacing measurement. I cut some notches in the chop saw and fastened the hanger clamps into the grooves with some self-drilling, star headed wood screws. Those clamps are not going anywhere.


A closeup slowing the clamping method.


It didn't have to be pretty, just functional. And it works great!

I sprayed the body, the separate door, the hood and the little masked area around the fender wells.



I then sprayed some of the Ford light yellow on the fender wells just to test the paint and see how it looks. The color is terrific, very close to my car's color in 1966. The Testor paint is a lacquer (supposedly), but did take several hours to dry. I will have to protect the body from dust during this drying cycle and it means an extended time to do two coats, plus clear coat with sanding/polishing steps in between. It's okay since I'm working on two other projects at the same time.

I'll sand the primer and see if I need a second coat and get ready for the first color coat, but the weather's going to change tomorrow with rain and colder so color will have to wait for a while.

Builder 2010
18 Apr 18,, 23:26
It was warm (80) today and the winds hadn't started up again, so I was able to get the first color coats onto the Ford. I'm not so good with spray can lacquers. I did some light coats on and noted on the instructions on the can that you should wait a couple of minutes to do additional coats. So I hit it again and got a nice color coverage.


I brought it inside to dry and got a good look at it. Coverage is good, but there's some orange peel which I'll sand out. It will then need additional color. According to the Revell Car Finishing Kit that I bought, you should wait one week before sanding the paint. It will remove some color and may require additional coats. I can use some guidance here since this is not one of the things I know a lot about. The last car kits I spray painted was when I was at Michigan State in 1964 and spray painted Revell's Orange Crate candy orange 2-part lacquer in the incinerator room at Bryan Hall. Yes... I actually built some models while in college and thoroughly enjoyed it. I rediscovered them one day when cruising a local hobby shop. I hadn't built anything from when I turned 16 (Cars, girls and guitars). No dust got into the finish. It's a pretty good color match to my 66 GTA.


Is there anything I need to worry about when recoating after the paint is completely cured?

I also sprayed the hood and door in the basement since it took very little paint and didn't smell up the house too badly. They too will need sanding.

I'm going to try and use the Molotow Chrome Pen to chrome the various raised lettering and the wipers. I'm having good luck with this tool and look forward to using it again.

Builder 2010
08 May 18,, 23:10
Hey gang... just got back from an 11 day trip to Philly and State College, PA and Spring has really arrived in Louisville, so the first thing I did today in the shop was to finish fine sanding the first coat and put on a second coat of light yellow. This time I was able to get pretty good flow outside (very light breeze, perfect temp) and it dried with less distortion. I'll let it cure another week and then sand it again, this time using the finer grits and getting ready for the clear coat.

The epoxied broken windshield pillar is not very evident. It may impinge on the door closing, so I won't pose it with the closed door. That joint with the piano wire reinforcement is stronger than the rest of the car.


The door and hood also came out decently and will require little polishing.


In a week I'll report again on how well it's coming out. I don't want to sand to much since I did sand into the primer layer on the first coat. Each spray layer introduces more chance for orange peel and runs.

Builder 2010
14 May 18,, 23:20
Another week, another coat of yellow, only this was a coat that maybe shouldn't have been done. It was a comedy of errors and the results are very troubling. I polished the last coat with 4000 grit wet or dry Revell abrasive material, and it looked great, but I went through to primer in some high spots and needed to do another coat.

Again, I shot it outside. The can was getting empty and the nitrile glove tip of my right index finger was a bit loose and got into the spray stream resulting in big drops hitting the model, not a nice spray. Then the model popped out of the holding fixture and landed upside down (of course) on the lid of one of our big plastic trash container (my outside work stand), and then when I touched it to pick it back up again did further damage. Then to make matters worse, the paint picked up pollen. That's right, POLLEN!

The result is a mess that needs to be significantly sanded to bring it back to where it was. I needed to find a way of not getting too deep on the ridges since I can see problems occuring over and over. I need a spray booth. It should come back... if not, I'll have to buy more paint.


Builder 2010
20 May 18,, 05:08
Well... on one of those rare Saturday sessions I was able to save the GTA paint job. The 3rd coat was thick enough that I could sand the heck out of the roof and reduce all the embedded crap to a smooth surface. There were still small pieces in place that wouldn't sand further without removing all the paint, but the surface was smooth. So I masked the rest of the model and just sprayed the roof again. This time in the basement with no pollen and very little orange peel. Results: we're back in business. I also wet sanded the rest only this time I did it without the sanding block and was very careful around raised edges and didn't expose any primer. Now I'm ready to finish sanding polishing and get ready to finish up this job. I also bought the clear coat, but frankly I'm a little squeamish in applying it. If the paint polishes well enough I'm going to leave it off.


Builder 2010
15 Jun 18,, 02:05
Finished the Essex yesterday, cleaned up a bit and got back to work on the Ford. Did the Revell polishing regimen starting with 3200 grit and progressing to 12,000. Got the roof nice and shiny and the sides too.


Unfortunately, I exposed some bare edges (doh!). I don't want to have to paint anything again, so I'm going to live with it and possibly do a tad of touch up painting to cure the worst spots. I have to get a spray booth and I'm still working on the Commander to get her agreement.

I used the Molotow chrome pen to paint the windshield wipers and tried a bit on the window trim, but decided that was not the best application for it, so I'm going to use Bare Metal Foil. Still have to paint the black wiper blades.


The Chrome Pen worked well for the Ford lettering on the hood. You can see the worn-through spots on the two corners. It really bugged me that I wore through since I was actually trying not too. Any secrets on doing this? It looks like I just got into the primer and the white plastic beneath. I also test fit the body onto the frame and installed the opening door. It will still look like a nice model. Actually, the paint on the real Ford in 1966 was considerably poorer than what I'm doing on the model.


I have a home maintenance chore (re-caulking the master bath) that will take me away from this model a little bit longer, but I will get to it soon.

Builder 2010
18 Jun 18,, 00:13
Happy Father's Day! As a Father's Day "present" I got clearance to work on the model on a Sunday. Maybe I shouldn't have as you will see. I finished all the chrome trim with reasonable results since putting some foil trim on the back window forward edges to simulate the small frames on the hardtop coupe's rear side windows.


I put in all the glazing using (what I thought) was a good idea. That good idea was Bondic. Since it cures by UV light, having it for clear windows means the Bondic can cure even behind the clear plastic. Furthermore, the uncured resin can be wiped off the "glass" since it doesn't cure left alone. Great for clear parts... right?


I think it looks pretty good! It did... until the front window popped out. It seems that Bondic, while it cures hard, doesn't actually stick very well to plastic or painted surfaces. it just simply let go. I was not happy. But it got worse... much, much worse.

I went back to plan B which was gel CA. I wanted it to cure fast since the window was under a bit of tension. So I shot it with a spray of accelerator. This particular accelerator attacked the clear plastic. It crazed the plastic. During this time, I had put masking tape on both sides of the windows since I was leaving finger prints and smudges. When I removed the tape, I find that I now have a cracked windshield! Broken clean through!


I polished out the crazed areas as much as possible and also did the side windows since their Bondic was letting go also and the accelerator did a number of them too. I've got a lot of hours in this body and what I left with is a cracked windshield. I can get away with it in the Commonwealth of Kentucky since this is one of those states that has NO state inspection. But I'm really bummed. It's not a kit in current production so getting a replacement window is probably impossible. It wouldn't have mattered if I didn't work on it today since I was planning on using Bondic for some time now. Wish I had a do over, but I don't. I'll finish the model with the bad windshield. My real 66 wasn't a very good car, but it, at least, it had a un-cracked windshield. I hope my model has comprehensive insurance.

I had to cut off the molded on vent window on the opening-door side and make a piece of 0.010" clear styrene since that molded window was no longer viable. It was very thick anyway.

Oh... and I found out today that I'm one of the 1/3 of people who've had chicken pox who gets shingles. I'm heading to 73, but my son had it last year and he's 43. I'm waiting for the pharmacy to call and tell me my Valtrex scrip filled.

Builder 2010
21 Jun 18,, 23:49
I called Safelight and they came and installed a new windshield while the car was in the Mall parking lot. Or at least that's how their commercials tell you they do it.

But really, I tried once again to get the windshield out and my persistence paid off. This time I milled out the cured CA that was holding the bad windshield in place and got it out without breaking anything else. I glued the cracked halves together so that I could handle it and cleaned up the surface.


Then, as advised, made a female mold impression of it using standard Sculpey, and made a male pusher out of Super Sculpey (a big tougher). I reinforced both halves with some floral wire and fired them in the toaster over at 275° F for 20 minutes.


They aren't pretty and don' have to be. They just have to impart the shape since the plastic's not going to be hot enough to flow into the imperfections. I then cut out some 0.010" clear styrene sheet laid it on top and heated it with a Topflite Hot Air Gun (used for putting on Monokote RC airplane skin) until the plastic started to deform and then smashed it down with the male component. First time was a charm and after trimming, the window fit pretty well.

It was just a little distorted in one corner so I tried two more times to make a better one, and they got worse and worse, so I used the first one. I you heat it for a fraction of a minute too long, the plastic deforms uncontrolably and can't be used. I used G-S Hypo Cement to glue it in. I had trimmed off the molded vent-a-pane passenger side window so I was just dealing with the windshield. I made those small windows as separate styrene pieces.


It came out so well that I ripped out the damaged rear side windows and made them out of the same styrene sheet. Now the car has much better optical glass and I started fitting the body to the chassis in earnest.


I found some interference between the hinge tubes inside the body and the firewall on the chassis so I used the carbide router bit in the Dremel Flexishaft and made some relief cuts. I also found interference in the same area where the inner door hinge framing that I put on the body, to block off the space next to the fender wells, was too wide and it was also holding the body away from the chassis. In this case I was able to trim it with the Xacto. The chassis is not fitting as it should and will be glued to the body next session.

The motivation to attempt a windshield replacement by making a "smash mold" came from a suggestion by one of the readers of the this post in the other forum where it's displayed, Fine Scale Modeler's Magazine Forum. So once again, the act of journaling all this activity pays back dividends to me. I would not have thought about molding my own windshield. The thinner styrene makes much more realistic windows in general, but I hadn't thought I could make a compound-curved shape using a Sculpey mold. I learn new stuff every day. Keeps a least part of me young.

Builder 2010
22 Jun 18,, 23:36
With all those nice new windows in place, I got the body mounted to the chassis, got all the chrome on the car (except for the GTA badges that go on top of the racing stripes) and put on the wheels. I touched up the chrome... AGAIN, and it's really almost done. I am not happy about the paint or the chrome. I'm out of practice building model cars and all the handling, fixing things that broke, etc., kept messing up both. It's a good model from 2 feet away, but looking closer there's a lot of difficulties.

In looking at this picture I realized I still have to do the whitewalls on those Firestone Wide-Oval tires.


The tail came out nicely especially the chrome trim on the taillights.


The front was more difficult. This was caused by me gluing the chassis in place a fraction of an inch to frar forward so the horns were forcing the grill away from nesting properly. I got rid of the horns since they were almost invisible anyway and the grill went on. Of course this took place after the paint around the front started showing wear.

I would really like to do the foil work around the front window again. It didn't hold up well through all the windshield troubles.


Lastly, I positioned me and my wife in our 1967 pose. I'm going to re-do those characters. They about 10% to big. I scale out to 2.78" in 1:25. My cut out is over 3.0". I was waiting for the racing stripe decal to fully dry (after using MicroSol MircoSet solvent to get them to snuggle into the door grooves. When dry, I'll attach those last chrome badges.


As a memory jogger, he's the original pic on which this whole effort was based. We were already engaged and were having a 1967 Memorial Day camping trip in Muskegon State Park, MI. I was a senior at Michigan State and she was back home in Philly. It was a terrific weekend. That was 51 years ago. My car had white walls although those tires also came with red stripes and I didn't have the chrome steel wheels... I had hubcaps.


I need to put on a radio antenna (AM only).

Gun Grape
24 Jun 18,, 22:28
I went back to plan B which was gel CA. I wanted it to cure fast since the window was under a bit of tension. So I shot it with a spray of accelerator. This particular accelerator attacked the clear plastic. It crazed the plastic. During this time, I had put masking tape on both sides of the windows since I was leaving finger prints and smudges. When I removed the tape, I find that I now have a cracked windshield! Broken clean through!

On my planes I always dip the clear parts in Future Floor wax. It protects the plastic from CA fumes . And if I get a bit of paint, or accelerator on it, the fix is to go over it with a q-tip dipped in Future.
Future acts as its own stripper, so the wife doesn't have to strip the kitchen floors before she applies a new coat over the old layer.

Builder 2010
24 Jun 18,, 23:53
I took the model and added those missing badges in the racing stripe. Then I reduced the size of the occupants and reprinted them. They're still too big based on the real world picture, but my height scaled out to 2.78 inches and that's what I made them. I then messed around a bit in Corel PhotoPaint and corrected that overly bug door seem and some of the paint blemishes and then added the white walls just for this picture. I still need to clean it up, but there's nothing I can do about the door gap. The hinges are blocking the door from moving forward anymore.


Hard to believe that the picture was done 51 years ago when we were both 21. Ah… youth...

Builder 2010
26 Jun 18,, 00:28
I'm just about done screwing around with this model. It's reaching the law of diminishing returns. That being said, I wanted to try one more thing... I had drawn some near scale hood hinges directly over photos of 66 Fairlane hood hinges, and made patterns of them to eventually fabricating them.


At first I was going to make them entirely out of styrene, but quickly added photo-etch fret brass for some of the bars. The end product while technically correct, are not operable due to the flexiblility of the styrene parts that I did use.

I had made multiple copies of the image so I could cut different parts out from the same drawing, since the act of cutting one part destroys the drawing of the part to which its connected. I put some pressure sensitive adhesive on the paper and stuck it too thin styrene sheeting.


I used plastic pins made of 0.025" round Evergreen styrene rod. That was another reason why it really can't operate. The pins are simply not strong enough or mounted strongly enough to be workable.

The smaller links are brass. I CA'd the pins into the non-movable part and used a heated small screwdriver to rivet the other end after it was assembled. I came up with a very easy way to heat the screwdriver tip... just grab it with the resistance soldering unit for a few seconds. I found it easier to drill the PE brass while it was still captivated in the fret and then cut it to length. I meausred the hole spacing with a precision dividers. Holes are 0.026" so the plastic pins are a slip fit.


All the plastic parts were cut out with an Xacto.


It all went together nicely, and I used thick CA to join the hinge to the sides of the engine compartment. I put them in the up position and then CA'd them so they didn't budge.


Builder 2010
26 Jun 18,, 00:36
The hood was CA'd to the hinges. It's now sitting at a realistic angle with the back edge elevated above the body as it should be with a parallelogram hinge. If I were to do it again and wanted them fully operable I would make them completely out of brass with the pins soldered to the non-moving parts. I would also make the upper bar that mounts to the hood out of angle stock. That will have to wait for the next car I make. And I didn't even think about putting that humongous spring in the assembly. I would also do something to fake that as well. However, it looks pretty convincing.



I had to estimate the actual size that this thing really is since I only had a photo of the front and back from an eBay listing from which to figure its sizes. I made three different size drawings with this being the smallest. It's still a little big since in the full-down position, the hinge extended to high and the hood wouldn't have fully closed, which is the other reason it wasn't going to be operable. Would I do this again? Probably. Hood hinges are very visible vs. the door hinges which are difficult to visualize on a real car.

I polished it up and am displaying it without the whitewalls or radio antenna. I think I'm done with the Ford and got back to work on the Nighthawks Cafe late in the afternoon. I may paint the hinges semi-gloss black though. Now they're just primered.


Gun Grape
26 Jun 18,, 01:41

I think I said this earlier in the thread, I don't like car models, I have no interest in doing car models BUT This is awesome.

Especially with the history that goes along with it.

I showed the thread to the wife and she thought it was "really sweet"

So if I ever do a car, I'll follow your lead and build our first car on our 50th anniversary (2041). But I doubt they ever made a model of a 1991 Corolla or of the 1985 Cellica that I was driving when we met.

You could roll some wire around a drill bit to make fake springs if you want to add them.

Great model, Great story, Job well done!!!

Builder 2010
26 Jun 18,, 03:20
Thanks Gun! I too, am not too enamored with car models. I kept screwing up the finish with all the handling. When I see cars with flawless finishes I really don't know how those guys do it. Flat finishes are much more forgiving. This was an Ertl kit and did have some nice features. The headlights were terrific with separately applied clear lenses that I used the UV curing stuff to hold them since it's totally transparent and cured when the light shone through the lens.

I'll be really old in 2041 (96 to be exact) so I guess I won't be able to see you build that. But, I've got to tell you, this really wasn't inspired by the anniversary. I was just thinking about the car and did some research to see if a model was available. As it was, my local hobby shop was able to find it. I would bet that Tamiya made some Corolla models so why wait until you're that old. Just do it.

What really was ironic, was that we owned that car for just about two years. My young wife didn't like it lack of gas mileage or the extra horsepower. I wasn't bashful about letting it do what it was meant to do. So we decided to trade it in in 1968. We were just 23. We were sitting in a Plymouth Satellite at Reedman Automotive (a huge dealer that's still there) and were seriously thinking about buying that car when another sales person put a sold sign in the window. We panicked! And then bought our second worse car ever, that Rambler Ambassador. You should never, ever buy a major purchase under duress. We should have left and come back another day, but we were young and impressionable.

We traded the Ambassador in 1972. It barely got inside the dealer's property, having stalled out on the curb cut into the lot. It did that a lot depending on the humidity. We bought an Olds Cutlass S and basically bought GM for the rest of our marriage except for my Acura TL-Stype. Oh and one horrendous AMC Pacer which was THE WORST car we ever owned. The Pacer was not purchased under duress and I actually thought the car made a lot of sense. Too bad that it was manufactured terribly and was a car that shouldn't have been.

It was originally designed to accept the then-in-developement GM twin rotor Wankel engine. It had a very short engine compartment just to accept that engine. And then GM killed the program. AMC should have scraped the Pacer at that point, but were too far along in development. They ended up literally shoehorned there shitty straight six into a space that was only a four-cylinder engine depth. To solve the problem (badly) they made a box in the firewall and the back two cylinders were in that box. You could not get to those spark plugs without dropping the engine. This was just the tip of the iceberg. My parents used to say "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." It was the first car with electronic ignition, but the connector from the control unit to the distributor had two dissimilar metals and galvanic corrosion ensued. The corrosion would break the circuit under certain vibration which corresponded to that you get when crossing railroad tracks at a crossing.

It had the first power-rack-and-pinion steering. The end seals failed (both) which emptied all the power steering fluid into the rubber boots on the ends. T

The paint was so bad that red pigment would come off in a rag AFTER IT RAINED.

The emergency brake cable was routed over the exhaust pipe which promptly burnt through and failed.

Needless to say, we got rid of that piece of crap in three years and bought a wonderful 1978 Olds 88 Royale which was a wonderful car.

Sorry to bore the heck out of you, but this is fun to write about.