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"Calling All Cars..." - Chicago Police '34 FORD --FINISHED--

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  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
"Calling All Cars..." - Chicago Police '34 FORD --FINISHED--
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, April 21, 2019 4:37 PM

I grew up in Chicago. And I really enjoy building cop cars and other public-service vehicles...especially those with a 'hometown' connection. So when I ran across online photos of this striking Franklin Mint (TM) diecast, I fell head-over-heels in love:

So I got this...

And made these...

And another project was underway.

I'd never articulated 'suicide doors' before, so I decided I'd do one, just to show off any interior I might add. Luckily the kit's door moldings were grooved nice and deep, so the scriber took it off quite cleanly.

Kit detail for the famed Ford flathead V8 was excellent. In this case it seemed it would be easier to assemble chassis and engine before any painting, to make sure parts-fit was clean and solid.

Painted her up and added representative wiring and plumbing, and a few data-plates and labels. The kit had only an empty space between where the steering linkage met the chassis and the steering column hit the floorboard of the interior tub, so I repurposed a likely-looking part from 'spares' as a steering box and lower steering column.

Interior came basically in shades of grey, with a stock simple (3-gauge) dash. The CPD didn't get 2-way radios until 1939, but the Department fitted an initial batch of vehicles with receivers as early as 1934. I scratchbuilt the receiver and 'squawk box' speaker ("Calling all cars...."), and added 3-dimensional window cranks to the interior. (Door handles to follow.)

That's it for the time-being. A little more body work...and hinging the cut-apart door...and I should be ready for paint soon.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Sunday, April 21, 2019 4:54 PM

Looking great. How did you do the window cranks?

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, April 21, 2019 5:00 PM

Hello Greg!

I like your project a lot! I know those Franklin Mint models are nice, but I'm sure yours will be better. Good luck with it and have a nice day!

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, April 21, 2019 5:20 PM

Thanks, guys!

midnightprowler

Looking great. How did you do the window cranks?

Used my old Waldron punches to punch out discs for the base. Then shaped scrap strip and rod for the handle part. Finish is Molotow Liquid Chrome.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, April 21, 2019 5:47 PM

What a great idea, and that die cast kit is easy to fall head-over-heels for, I get it.

Looking good, and looking forward to seeing this project progress.

-Greg

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, April 21, 2019 8:33 PM

Malone approves...

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Sunday, April 21, 2019 10:22 PM

Cool idea and it’s looking great...

 

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, April 26, 2019 2:47 PM

Thanks for the encouraging words, guys. Just a small update as things chug along.

After several tries...each one managing to get slightly smaller and better-aligned...I've gotten the hinges for the 'suicide door' on the passenger's side sorted to the point that they aren't embarassingly out-of-scale. The hinge 'leaves' are cut from brass 'runners' from used photo-etch sheets; hinge pins will be tiny lengths of sewing-type straight-pins.

And...being that this was gangland-era Chicago...I worked up a few added 'extras' for the interior. The 'old reliable' pump shotgun--useful for blasting barrels during raids on bootleggers, as seen in the old newsreels--was left over from a modern-era Welly diecast. The Tommy gun is from AMT's 'Gangbusters' '28 Lincoln set, slightly modified to resemble the military-style weapons obtained in quantity by the Chicago PD from US Army surplus stocks, to put them on a more-even footing with the minions of Al Capone, Bugs Moran, and their associates. Stand-up racks for both were engineered from bit of styrene sheet and strip.

Next up will probably be lights and sirens....

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, May 02, 2019 3:38 PM

"Back from the paint shop."

Colors are an original factory option two-tone, Ford 'Dearborn Blue' over 'Body White'...which was actually an off-white or light cream. Actual colors used were Tamiya TS-7 'Racing White' Lacquer for the white, and acrylic X-4 Gloss Blue for the tops and fenders. A factory-scheme trim-stripe of 'Tacoma Cream'--which will match the wheel hubs--has yet to be added .

Also yet to be painted is the roof panel...which on the original production vehicles was a padded fabric-and-wood-frame insert. (Depending on which source you reference, this was either a pragmatic cost-cutting measure by Ford engineers...or a concession to the practical limits of manufacturing technology of the time, with such a large single-piece roof stamping a seeming impracticality on such a large-production scale.)

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, May 02, 2019 11:24 PM

Very cool - great idea.  The flathead ford looks great.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, May 03, 2019 7:08 AM

Saw The Highwaymen a couple of weeks back so your post popped my interest. And by the way an excellent movie too. Costner did a great job playing Frank Hamer.  

I'm not a car modeler but man, that looks super sweet so far. I can just imagine the completed model is gonna look just awesome. Love the added scratch details you did specially the radio.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, May 03, 2019 10:25 AM

Thanks, John & PJ.

plasticjunkie
Saw The Highwaymen a couple of weeks back so your post popped my interest. And by the way an excellent movie too. Costner did a great job playing Frank Hamer. I'm not a car modeler but man, that looks super sweet so far. I can just imagine the completed model is gonna look just awesome. Love the added scratch details you did specially the radio.

Thanks for that heads-up: somehow I missed any awareness of that film's existence, but it sounds great! (And timely, given the subject matter.) I'll have to check that out.

BTW, I forgot to mention my initial post, re my title, but popular legend has it that the familiar and iconic 'Calling All Cars' squawk in fact originated with the Chicago PD...ironically, not when they got special receivers fitted in their patrol cars, but during an earlier experimental program when police alerts were broadcast as needed over a local commercial radio station. That program was such a success that it spurred the department to acquire and install the then-brand-new 'specialized' police receivers, and then the 2-way sets a few years later.

'Fun facts' with which to bore your friends.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    March, 2003
Posted by rangerj on Friday, May 03, 2019 5:34 PM

The bad guys loved the Ford flathead V-8 for things like moonshine running, driveby shootings and bombings, get-away cars from bank robbery, etc. The model looks fantastic, but it needs "Mars" lights to be a true Chicago cop car. You are from Chicago so you'll "get" that!!!! Great job. You may be able to outrun the car, but you can't outrun the radio!

 

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, May 03, 2019 8:27 PM

rangerj
The model looks fantastic, but it needs "Mars" lights to be a true Chicago cop car. You are from Chicago so you'll "get" that!!!!

I do, indeed: I even home-made my own 1/25 Mars logo decals for a scratchbuilt 'Skybolt' light bar, when I did my Blues Brothers-era CPD Dodge Monaco some years ago.

Unfortunately, Jerry Kennelly was still working the bugs out of his 'baby' when the Ford Model 18s took to the streets in the early '30s. Haven't been able to find hard info as to who the manufacturer for the 'plain' globe-lights was...but it would be a few more years before those awesome Mars lights graced patrol cars, fire trucks...and C&NW locomotives.

Many thanks for your reply, and I appreciate the good thoughts!Beer

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, May 06, 2019 9:13 PM

Entering the 'home stretch' for my '30s police ride with those ever-necessary law-enforcement accessories...lights and sirens.

I have accumulated a few modern 1/25 police-car lightbars in my 'spares ' box...but nothing to match the single 'globe' lamp--at that stage, not even a rotating one--mounted on patrol cars of the period. Rather than shelling out close to ten bucks for somebody's rough resin copy, I turned to one of my favorite sources for scratchbuilding 'gizmos': cheap giveaway ball-point pens of the type that banks, doctors offices and insurance agents have been handing out for decades. I've got one of those 2-gallon zip-lock bags nearly full of them; the pen part itself is usually useless...short-lived if you can even get it to write at all...but the 'clicker' mechanisms come in such a wonderful variety of shapes and sizes that they're useful for all sorts of stuff. Over the years, I've used them to scratchbuild missile bodies, naval y-guns, all sorts of weapons mounts and exhaust thingies...and police-car lights.

The Chicago PD cars of this period were famous for the 'warbling' sound of their dual sirens. No specific information that I could find as to the actual hardware--but lots of period photos of different sirens on the web--so I went with what was handy. AMT's '34 Ford kit is one of those '2-in-1' kits that gives you optional parts for modding a custom or street rod as well as the 'stock' version...in this case, including higher-performance dual carburetors which--if you look at them long enough--might make good sirens.

That's it for the present. She's actually nearly done at this point...just a few kit-omitted 'extras' to add...so the next post should be of the completed vehicle.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, May 07, 2019 3:08 PM

Chicago Tribune, March 5th, 1934:

Notorious gangster John Dillinger has 'miraculously' escaped from the Crown Point, Indiana jail...only 50 miles to the south. 'Smart money' has him heading to his old stomping-grounds of the Windy City for what could be a long, hot summer.

"Calling all cars...Calling all cars...Be on the lookout...."

This one was a lot of fun!.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, May 07, 2019 3:28 PM

Hello Greg!

Congratulations! It's lookin' good! I say if I had a choice between your model and the Franklin Mint, I'd choose your model, say, to display in my dining room! And I see it didn't take you very long to build it, neither - not to speak of all the fun we all would miss if you went to buy an assembled model. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day!

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, May 07, 2019 6:54 PM

Thanks, Pawel, glad you enjoyed it!

As to the speed of the build, it went quickly because nothing much went wrong! It's a great kit, with no real lurking problem areas that a little test-fitting didn't take care of.

Cheers Big Smile

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, May 07, 2019 11:09 PM

Very nice! A fine tribute to those guys. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, May 08, 2019 12:44 AM

That is a great idea well executed.  Is the 45 a nod to "car 45 where are you"?

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, May 08, 2019 2:17 AM
I am not usually in this section,but I had to check out the title,glad I did.Fantastic detail in and out.Photos look real,newspaper a great touch.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, May 08, 2019 7:10 AM

Thanks, guys!

keavdog

That is a great idea well executed.  Is the 45 a nod to "car 45 where are you"?

I wish I had some interesting reason to offer...but it was essentially a random pick based on which decals printed best! (If I recall my sources correctly, the CPD chose 35 of their vehicles as the initial batch to get the first special 'police' receivers...though I assumed they wouldn't necessarily be sequentially-numbered cars.)

And not to be pedantic...but I'm old enough to remember it in 'first run'...it was actually 'Car 54 Where Are You?' Big Smile Great show!

Thanks for the interest.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, May 08, 2019 8:55 AM

BeerToastBow Down

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Wednesday, May 08, 2019 4:46 PM

Beautiful job!

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, May 08, 2019 4:56 PM

gregbale

And not to be pedantic...but I'm old enough to remember it in 'first run'...it was actually 'Car 54 Where Are You?' Big Smile Great show!

Doh!  A little lysdexic Oops

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    May, 2015
Posted by Griffin25 on Wednesday, May 08, 2019 6:55 PM

Holy mackerel that looks real! Fantastic job. Dang 

 

 

Griffin

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, May 09, 2019 8:22 AM

Griffin25

Holy mackerel that looks real! Fantastic job. Dang 

Many thanks.

That's what we all shoot for...and sometimes, I get it half-right.Idea

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Saturday, May 11, 2019 11:01 PM

This is a fantastic idea with a fantastic execution of it. So many things to like about this.

Sweet work, sir.

Yes

 

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, May 12, 2019 8:38 AM

Bakster

This is a fantastic idea with a fantastic execution of it. So many things to like about this.

Sweet work, sir.

Yes

Thanks, Bakster!

This scheme really grabbed me. From first seeing it online, to getting and completing the kit, was only about 2 months. (That's like 'greased lightning' for me, what with work, other projects and such.) But for some reason it was an extra-fun and very satisfying build. I kept having 'flashbacks' to scenes from "The Sting" and "The Untouchables," which moved it right along. Big Smile

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Sunday, May 12, 2019 10:06 AM

gregbale

 

 
Bakster

This is a fantastic idea with a fantastic execution of it. So many things to like about this.

Sweet work, sir.

Yes

 

 

Thanks, Bakster!

This scheme really grabbed me. From first seeing it online, to getting and completing the kit, was only about 2 months. (That's like 'greased lightning' for me, what with work, other projects and such.) But for some reason it was an extra-fun and very satisfying build. I kept having 'flashbacks' to scenes from "The Sting" and "The Untouchables," which moved it right along. Big Smile

 

All that makes this build even better. That does not happen too often in my world either.

Say, I have question. Did you use Molotow on all the chrome pieces and trim? And if so, what is your process? Do you strip the factory supplied chrome? Or, do you just paint over it? Also, are you decanting to airbrush?

 

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