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A Modern What-If WIP

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  • Member since
    January, 2015
A Modern What-If WIP
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:30 PM

Hi,

A few years ago I bought an old 1951 Buick, as a 2nd car, just for messing with on the weekends, shown in the picture below.

My car

 One of the things that attracted me to the car were its styling features, like its chromed "waterfall" grille, the "ventiports" along the front fender, the chrome "sweepspear" on the side, the whitewall tires, the chrome hubcaps, and a lot of the other little similar features.

Ever since I bought the car I've kind of had it in my mind to try and build a scale model "what-if" of a new car that tries incorporate some of these older features.  In some ways Buick does currently do this to some extent on their current cars, with sweeping style lines in the sheet metal, small pseudo-ventiport trim pieces and their inverted waterfall grill, or the newer V-Grille on the new Lacrosse, but I kind of wanted to try my take on it as well.

In the past I have made a couple attempts at doing someting like this, but eventually ran out of steam.  However, about a month ago I decided to give it another try.  I had come across a very inexpensive snap together kit of a 2015 Mustang GT, marketed as being a 1st model for a young child that was rugged enough for him/her to play with after building.  It was engineered to be very easy to build, with less than a dozen parts, but had a body and simple interior that looks reasonably close in dimensions and shape to the full scale car it is meant to represent, as shown below.

Original kit

I figured this could be a very good starting point since the full scale car is close in size to the kind of car I want to model, and being a "simplified" kit I could focus mostly on looks rather than details.

While doing this build some of it has been trail and error, and I have taken a lot of pictures, but hadn't posted anythig yet, until know, because I wasn't fully sure how it would turn out.  However, after reading the post on the "Techniques" section of the board about clay modeling and the old GM Craftsman model contest, I decided to go ahead and start posting what I have.

The 1st thing for this build was to find a four view of the 2015 Mustang GT on the internet and importing it into Powerpoint.  There I scaled it to 1/25th scale.  I then searched the internet for drawings and images of other cars with features that I also liked that I could cut and paste onto my other image, and also added some other shapes to represent headlights and tail lights and the grille shape, as shown below.  I then started removed the roof from the model and started filing down some ridges and filling in some other spots with putty.

Early side view

Early top view

Concept end views

Next are some later images showing how I sanded down, smoothed out, and filled in parts of the hood and side molding.

Later top view

Later side view

I've been mostly using Squadron White Putty for alot of the filling that I have been doing, but I also have some Perfect Putty that I may try out as well.  While building I frequently will either add a coat of sanding sealer or Mr Surfacer every so often prior to sanding (letting it 1st dry over night) to help keep the putty from flaking at its edges and to help fill in small surface irregularities, which is why the model is part white in some images.  The surfacer also seems to help me better see the spots where I mat need more putty or sanding.

In the images below you can see where I started to add in some platic sheet and putty to mimic "sweepsear" like body molding on the side of the car.  I also have started changing the shape of the headlights a little by filling in the slanted headlight openings from the original model with sheet plastic and putty.

Sweepspear

Here also is a later topview of the car showing some potential interior and exterior color ideas (though I am now thinking of maybe using a metallic green instead of metallic blue).  Another thing that you can see in this picture is how I've tried to smooth out the hood, removing the ridges from the original model and filling in the air scoops, etc.  I have also made and effort to reshape the knuckle in the hood with an emory board and a small file, as shown by the red plastic showing through the surface primer on the right side of the hood.  I like to use emory boards for this type work because they are cheap, disposable, and semi-rigid, but flexible enough to try and follow some simple contours.  Because I use a lot of sanding sealer, primer/surfacer, and putty, as well as doing alot of filling down of the original plastic body, fine metal files can get easily fouled and may need cleaning etc, whereas if the emory board gets fouled you can dispose of it and use a new one.

Color options

Below are images of the front and rear ends of the model part way (hopefully) along through my mods.  Here you can see more of how I have shrunk the headlights,as well as how I have tried to enlarge the grille opening.  I may have to get out my Dremel tool to finish up reshaping the grille opening.  For the rear end I am working to fill in some of the body contours of the original model and build up the sides, where I want to put the tail lights.  The final headlight and tail light configuration is still being worked on, but I am thinking of round, or oval headlights, perhaps with an attached turn indicator shape that extends off the circle/oval.  And for the tail lights I'm aiming for something that incorporates two stacked circles like on my 1951 Buick.

Later front end

Later rear end

Finally (for now), my initial plan had been to try and cut the interior in half to provide more leg room in back, since I want my car to be a sedan instead of a coupe.  My initial plan was to try and move the front half of the interior forward, trimming the engine compartment a little.  However, after looking at what that would entail, as well as after seeing a recent Cadillac sedan concept car that had a long hood, I decided that it might look better, and be easier to accomplish, if I were to keep the hood as is, but lengthen the weelbase of the model.  As such, I cut the interior just behind the front seats and added a piece of Evergreen rectangular tubing, that I had split down the middle to make two equal sized "C" channels.  I used a similar split round tube for the botton piece of the car.

For the body though, since there was a lot of complex shape in way of the cuts, I didn't split the round tube in half, but instead glued then in as tubes.  This provided me with a broad gluing surface for the joint between the existing body and the rectangular tube extension, and once the glue dried I was then able to cut away the outer surface of the tube flush with the rest of the body.  Unfortunately I didn't think to take a picture of the model body with these rectangular tubes in place, but the images below do show the tubes after I had trimmed the outer surface away.

This now leaves a vertical notch in the body on both sides of the car that I can fill with either putty, balsa wood and sanding sealer, and/or some combination of both in order to sand the shape down to fair into the rest of the body.  In addition, now te the front and rear ends of the body are connected by "C" shaped sections, it gives me a littele flexibility in making slight tweeks to make sure that they properly align, and made it easier to do the initial glueing, since I knew that I didn't have to perfectly try and align everything while trying to glue the parts together.

Initial cuts

Initial stackup

Side channels

Sorry for the long post.  I'll try and update in smaller pieces.

Pat

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, March 30, 2017 7:25 PM

Hi,

I've started to apply putty to fill in the gaps and joints where I lrngthened the model.  For places where I need to apply alot of putty I've found that it usually works out best for me to apply it in small amounts and let it dry for a good while before adding more.

Pat

Applying putty to joints

PS, You can also see where I've added some stiffening to the bottom piece to make it a little more rigid.

  • Member since
    January, 2006
  • From: California
Posted by SprueOne on Saturday, April 01, 2017 10:47 AM

This looks interesting.

Anyone with a good car don't need to be justified - Hazel Motes

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:13 AM

Hi,

Thanks.  I hope to have some more posted later this weekend.

Pat

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Sunday, April 02, 2017 7:49 PM

Hi,

I didn't get a chance to do as much as I wanted theis weekend, but here are some updates.

Tope

Left

Right

Front

 

Back

In general, I filled in most of the gap where I lengthened the car and then I gave the body a quick covering of grey primer to help better show areas that needed more attention.  I then did a little sanding and cleaning up of the "belt" line from the raised portion of the hood back toward the rear wheels and the rear license plate area, cleaning out excess paint and putty with the sharp tip of a hobby file.  I also then added a little new putty to locations that looked to need it and also tried to fill in the edges of the grille opening, headlights, and where the fog lamps are.

In general I probably have several more days of filling and sanding to go.

Pat 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, April 05, 2017 7:55 PM

Hi,

Progress has been slow the past few days.  I'm kind of to the point where I'm doing alot of sanding and buffing.  I like using buffing stcks, like those from Squadron or StevensHobby because I find that, with patience, they can get you back pretty much to a surface similar to a kit fresh out of the box.

The 1st image below just shows more or less where I currebtly am, along with a couple of these buffing sticks and a penny for reference.  The 2nd image is probably a bit fuzzy, because I'm pretty much at the limit of the ability of my camera for close up work, but hopefully you can make out that alot of the car hood is now fairly smooth, though there are still some small dents and divits that I am stll working on, especially in the area inside the red box.

Penny

Close up

Hopefully in a few days things will be clean up a bit more.

Pat

  • Member since
    February, 2003
Posted by Jim Barton on Thursday, April 06, 2017 4:40 PM

This is going to be fun to watch!

"Whaddya mean 'Who's flying the plane?!' Nobody's flying the plane!"

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, April 08, 2017 10:24 PM

Sort of reminds me of the Revell-Monogram Alternomad when they released a custom modern Chevy Nomad made out of a Caprice.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Sunday, April 09, 2017 1:28 AM

Hi,

I had a little set back yesterday.  While trying to do a bit of sanding on the right side of the model, I noticed that the back part of the car on that side had begun to bow out a bit, and the joint between the front and back halves of the model, on this side, had begub to crack a little.  I was experimenting with using Perfect Putty instead of the Squadron White Putty that I normally use, and I suspect that maybe I had put it on too thick and when I tried to sand it down I may have kind of been putting a bit too much force on the weak link between the front and back part of the model.

As such I have gone back and tried to reinforce the joint between the front and back halves of that side of the car, as shown in the image below.  In the second picture you can see how I ended up having to sand down to the base plastic on the back half of the car to get everything to line up, but the new joint appears to be holding up well.  So, hopefully, I'll see how things go from here on it.

Pat

Joint 

Bare Plastic

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Sunday, April 09, 2017 1:48 PM

Rob Gronovius

Sort of reminds me of the Revell-Monogram Alternomad when they released a custom modern Chevy Nomad made out of a Caprice.

Hi,

A Caprice Nomad sounds interesting.  I was afraid to originally post my conversion here because I was afraid I might be offending the Auto Gods (or at least auto purists) by a) converting a Ford to a GM and b) converting a Mustang GT into a basic family/business sedan Surprise

Pat

 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Sunday, April 09, 2017 4:49 PM

NAH " Shoot it's all in fun after all !

 T.B. A Originally FORD guy .

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Sunday, April 09, 2017 9:51 PM

Hi,

Thanks Tanker Builder.  If my office mate at work's husband ever found out that I'm converting a Mustang model to a GM he might try and run me down Surprise

On a different note though, I've found that in life in general, as well as in my recent attempts at model building, that some times its not just about using the right tool for the right job but more of trying to figure out the capabilities of the tools that you have available and how best to use them for different tasks.

On my car conversion build lately I've been spending alot of time trying to sand and buff out alot of little surface  dimples, dents and irregularities. 

And I have a container of Mr Dissolved Putty as one of the things that I have used in the past for trying to clean up large scale issues, with varying degrees of success.  However, it never dawned on me to try and use if for some of these really small issues, as well as for trying to clean up the joints where I have put together to pieces.

Anyway, tonight I decided to give it a try both on my car model and my carrier conversion model, and so far the preliminary results appear to be very promising.

Below is a picture of my car conversion, where I have only given the right side a new coat of primer (since I have been focusing mostly on the details on that side, with the hopes that I can later work to make the left side match it). 

Grey side

Overall I'm very happy with how its cleaning up though you can see a few small surface dings left to clean up, as well as done touch up needed on the upper edge of the "sweepspear" shape and a small bit of putty that still needs sanding just aft of the forward well well.  And I probably need to clean up the remianing edges of the old single door opening since I intend to try and scribe new front and back door edges.

Below is an additional picture of the model after sanding down the putty "bump" aft of the front wheel well and applying a bit of the Mr Dissolved Putty in most of the areas of concern.  Up close the preliminary results look good and I hope to try and clean it up a bit tomorrow.

Foam and Stick

In addition to the Mr. Dissolved Putty I also picked up an Excel blue
Sanding Stick & Sanding Belt as well as a Stevens Hobby Sanding & Finishing Foam Block (shown in the picture above).  Previously for the coarser work that I had been doing I had been using emery boards and sand paper, but as I get closer to trying to finish up the body work that I am doing I have found that these two items, plus the buffing tools that I posted about the other day, have really helped in trying to do the finer detail work and to make the surface hopefully look better for final painting.

Pat

PS. Sorry for the slow progress on these builds, I typically only get a chance to wotk on them for an hour or so a day, and I have been doing a couple different builds side by side, in part because I had previously started three models and I wanted to try and finish them all up, but also because I've found that if I ever reach I point on one where I'm not sure what to do next, or if I want to let the glue or paint dry on one of the models, I can set it aside and do some stuff on one of the others. Smile

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 12:57 AM

Hi,

I managed to start in on filling in the aft deck and trunk area, as well as starting in on modifying the roof to be suitable for a four door sedan, as shown below.  As a st step on the roof I filled in where the rear window used to be.  My intent is to try and reuse the frobt window from the original kit more or less as is, and maybe bend the "A" pillars a little so that I can "rotate" the main part of the roof to be more horizontal, rather than the way it quickly slopes down aft in the base Coupe configuration of the original kit.  I've also roughly traced in where the knuckle between the trunk and the rear window will likely be, though I'm hoping to raise the height of the trunk a little, in comparison to the sides of the car, kind of similar to how the trunk looks on a 2016 Honda Accord, as shown in the 2nd picture.

Regards

Pat

New roof

Honda

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 3:03 PM

Well Gee !

 This looks to me like a custom shop on steroids . You're coming along nicely mate . T.B.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 8:56 PM

Hi,

I kind of got distracted over the last couple weeks with a family wedding that I went to and some stuff at work, but I finally had a chance to get back to working on my models. 

On this model although I have an oveall idea of what I would like to do, the actual details are still kind of up in the air and sometimes I've started off doing some stuff and later have had second thoughts.  For the most part though I'm happy with how things are coming out.

For the roof of the car I wasn't fully sure how I was hoping to make it look, so that I started modifying it be adding in thin sheets of styrene in what used to be the back window to fill in that space.  I later covered the outside in a thin covering 1st of Perfect Putty and then later with Squadron white putty.  After letting it dry for a long while between each coating of putty I eventually was able to sand it fairly smooth (occasionally touching up the surface with a little additional putty to fill in any dents etc).

Overall it has come out better than I had hoped (as shown in the picture below), though I'm still not fully sure what the back edge will finally look like, or how it will tie into the C-Pillars yet.  So I propbably have a little more trail and error to go, there.

With respect to the trunk, the C-Pillars and the B-Pillars I think I'm going to try and 3D print there basic shapes and use putty and sanding (and a little trial and error experimentation along the way) to tie them into the rest of the model.

In the picture below you can see a rough tracing on the trunk of what I think the aft lower window line will look like and also a faint line olong the right edge of the trunk where I am hoping to make a knuckle in the body, where the actual trunk lid will be a little bit above the rest of the side (similar to the Honda Accord picture that I had shown previously).

Trunk and Roof

With 3D printing and modeling I have found that if I place the marked up model on a 2D scanner, I can get a fairly good image of what I have marked up that I can pull into a CAD program (like AutoCAD) to trace the image and build the 3D model off of.

This has worked out surprisingly well enough on some other stuff I have done, so I am hoping to build up the rough outline of the trunk lid and the lower part of the C-Pillar base so that I can print it out, glue it in place and kind of sand and fill with putty to get a final shape for that.  I also hope to 3D draw and print the rough basis for the B-Pillars (between the front and rear doors) as well so that I can start getting the roof more refined.

In addition to the above though, I did decide to modify the front of the car a little in order to enlarge the grill a little, and to move the fog lamps into the grille similar to the image of my old 1951 Buick shown below.  In the 2nd image below you can see my 1st attempts at revising the grille area, where I have also added a little Perfect Putty in the upper corners of the grille opeing to round out that area a little, though a fair bit of additional sanding and filling will still be needed to get the final shapes right.

Old Grille

New Grille

Anyway, its fun to get back into working on the model again.

Pat

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