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.
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.
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.
Next are some later images showing how I sanded down, smoothed out, and filled in parts of the hood and side molding.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sorry for the long post. I'll try and update in smaller pieces.