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1959 Lincoln Continental - That is some tough plastic!!

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  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Portland Oregon: Tree Country. Most beautiful area on the West coast.
1959 Lincoln Continental - That is some tough plastic!!
Posted by Treehugger Dave on Monday, April 03, 2017 6:37 PM

Just got a fairly nice re-builder off Ebay, and it's been a while since I worked on one of these old kits. Got several '58's too but haven't touched them in a while. I forgot that the plastic is tough and brittle.

Gotta re-scribe some door lines and the trunk line and boy is that tough going. I'll get it, but it's going to take some time to get it right.

These guy's who complain about the new kits should have to deal with one of these old AMT kit's. There really nice, and have great detail, but sure are challenging

I like these old kits in a "Twisted sorta way" Smile, Wink & GrinSmile, Wink & Grin.

I feel better now after "whining" Laugh.

I love Mecum Auctions and Barrett/Jackson auctions and what would I do without Ebay.

 

 

                                     

 

 

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Monday, April 03, 2017 9:07 PM

Interesting Dave, and thanks for the heads up. I just picked up a 59 Lincoln and six 1960 screw bottoms last month, all clean, unpainted, period builds. I've been eyeing up that Lincoln. 59 is not the prettiest Continental, but a cool cruiser nonetheless. The yellowed plastic has a brittle look/feel/sound to it, and I wondered if it actually was. There is a 1960 F-100 that I will be atacking first, so I'll see how it goes.

Power matters in the straights.
Lightness matters everywhere. - Colin Chapman

Trevor

  • Member since
    May, 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Thursday, April 06, 2017 12:59 PM

The plastic can become a bit brittle on these old annuals, but they have their advantages.

The plastic is thicker & tougher & it doesn't have the tendancy to craze as easily.

I think most of the new kits would craze if you even set them in the same room with lacquer! Smile

Many times the detail like scripts & badges on the old kits are more defined & prominent as well.

 

Steve

  • Member since
    July, 2007
Posted by FloridaBoy on Monday, May 01, 2017 1:20 AM

Thanks guys, a whole lot.  You all set my mind at ease, as I though myself too fussy to have these observations.  You all validated what I am struggling with.

A few years back, I bought a built '59 Ford (done the old way) and decided to customize it. It has fought me every juncture along the way. The plastic is thick, strong, has no directional pattern, (hard to cut, etc) and the bumpers need re-chroming. I thought it was me, but its the pattern from those old days.  I didn't realize it back then, as I probably evolved as the kits got better.

Now, I plan to go back to that '59 with a new purpose and sense of direction.

Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman

Ken Willaman
  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Portland Oregon: Tree Country. Most beautiful area on the West coast.
Posted by Treehugger Dave on Monday, May 01, 2017 10:58 AM

Ken,

Glad we could all help with our "bit" of input Thumbs Up.

I love my "Stash" of old kits, but everytime I break one out, I get reminded of how different the hobby was when it first began.

 

 

I love Mecum Auctions and Barrett/Jackson auctions and what would I do without Ebay.

 

 

                                     

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2008
  • From: kingsport,tn.
Posted by 01jeepxj on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 12:44 PM
But remember the "thrill" you had when you got home & opened that kit? Remember using a hacksaw blade to do body work as there were limited hobby tools back then? The newer kits feel "phony" with todays plastic formula.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of time and it only annoys the pig.

  • Member since
    July, 2007
Posted by FloridaBoy on Thursday, May 11, 2017 2:40 AM

Guys, I STILL get that thrill!!!!!  When I buy a kit, I immediately open it, and savor every part of it, even if it is the 20th or so version of that same kit.  Example, 36 and 40 Fords, I must have bought, stored and built a 100 or them, and still get that rush. Not only the modernizations, but the new tires, decals, etc.  I will also confess that not as much now,thanks to the plastic baggy packing, I savor the aroma that comes up out of the kit to my nose hovering over it.  It is probably from the vinyl in the tires. I used to get teased for it, but now I think my peer groups also smells their models.  Today I ordered 3 models from my mail order source, not available in any store, and all three were those I have purchased countless in the past. My wheels are still turning, and imagination is running wild.

Regarding the old plastic, not all manufacturers back then could boast the plastic construct.  I believe that AMT, Johan, Monogram and a few others could boast of sturdy models during and after the build.  My OPINION is they were there in the old days, when it was not unusual that the builder would "play" with his model after building it.  Other companies like Revell, Eldon, Palmer and others had thinner plastic encouraging the models be mounted or shelved upon completion.

I do have some concerns about structural integrity of some models, especially the "re-pops" that show some tooling adjustments. For example, a few years ago, I chopped the top of a "new" AMT 49 Merc, to discover when I handled the kit, the sides would buckle and the chop line on the top would crack,  I had to fortify the model side panels to keep the cut clean. But, for the most part, to me, today's models are fine. Not tanks like the oldies,and for sure, I am not going to cut the doors and trunk to that AMT 59, heck the hood cut out was enough!!!!  I just bought a Revell 59 Skyliner with the intent of building a good car from a lousy model, and already I have used a lot of Plastruct to ensure the model keeps its proportions, the plastic is THAT thin and brittle.

I am aware of the incredible cost it takes to make a model from scale down design, parts fit, and tooling design, and still encourage that all manufacturers tend to their knitting during this crucial process. We modelers have no bigotry, we are eager to accept any model, no matter the year, make and model if it is done well. Just look at our stashes in our closets.

Your latest issue contained the avoided topic, stashes.  This opened up "the can of worms" at our last meeting, to the discovery of my 200 model stash in my clubs was very modest. I showed this article to my ex wife, (we are still friends) and she was unmoved. lol

Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman

Ken Willaman
  • Member since
    September, 2011
Posted by Arthur Anderson on Saturday, May 20, 2017 4:37 PM

Goofy62

The plastic can become a bit brittle on these old annuals, but they have their advantages.

The plastic is thicker & tougher & it doesn't have the tendancy to craze as easily.

I think most of the new kits would craze if you even set them in the same room with lacquer! Smile

Many times the detail like scripts & badges on the old kits are more defined & prominent as well.

 

Steve

 

Steve a couple of observations:

First, your late 50's Lincoln Continentals were molded in the very same body shell tooling from which came the promotional models-and THOSE had to be molded in Tenite (a/k/a acetate plastic--for the simple reason that back in those days, styrene plastic was quite brittle, far too much so for making toy cars that were safe to play with.   Being molded in acetate, the material thicknesses had to be considerably greater than we would accept in a model car kit today--for the simple reason that the thicker the section of acetate, the slower it would warp over time.

Such material thicknesses would not be acceptable today, of course.  As for lacquer tolerance, I can tell you from some considerable experience, that the old, harder pure styrene crazes MUCH more readily with lacquers than does the modern polystyrene blend generally used in model kits of all subject matter.

With the development of what is called ABS plastic, warpage of promotional model cars became a thing of the past-by 1963, all Promo's of American cars were being molded in ABS.  This had the effect of translating into thinner section body shells for promotional models (from which tooling annual-series AMT, MPC and JoHan 3in1 kits were produced, at least the bodies and interiors), all the way out to today's much more highly detailed and yes--more delicate body shells--therein lies a bit of a trade-off.

At almost 73 yrs old, I can still remember (even have a few MIB examples) those old AMT and JoHan 3in1 kits, but for my money, I far prefer today's model car kits, even if the body shells seem a bit flexible at times--even flexibility has its advantages.

Art

  • Member since
    May, 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Saturday, May 20, 2017 5:29 PM

I guess we all have our own experiences Art.

I've been building for more than 45 years & have been building almost exclusively kits manufactured before 1965 for the past 4 or 5 years, & I have had much less problems with crazing & that sort of issue with the old kits than with the new ones.

I've had very benign paints like Testors lacquers craze the heck out of some of the newer kits.

On the same hand, I use nearly nothing but automotive type lacquers on almost all of my vintage kits & have almost no problems.

Granted, I have developed a system to successfully guard against these problems, but I feel much more confident dealing with old plastic than new.

The old plastic can be more brittle on occasion depending on different factors, but I've had little issue with that.

As a matter of fact, I have a '59 Lincoln "Craftsman" kit molded in black that I did a little work on in the past few months that I found to be just the opposite.

The plastic seams to be softer & almost a "greasy" consistency compared to other kits.

I began to drill out the head light lenses from the front bumper assembly & found that the plastic was gumming up my tools.

I've really only had brittleness issues with a few old kits that were molded in color like a Johan '63 Chrysler molded in green, & of course the MPC '65 Monaco kit molded in gold.

Other than that, I've had very good luck with the old plastic.

 

Steve

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Portland Oregon: Tree Country. Most beautiful area on the West coast.
Posted by Treehugger Dave on Saturday, May 20, 2017 6:36 PM

Interesting feedbacks and opinions on this thread about the early plastics.

I have a nice collection of these older kits like many here, and the plastic seems to vary quite a bit from kit to kit.

I've heard stories over the years of AMT mixing up whatever plastic they had and using whatever formula that came close to what they had availabe to mold the bodies in.

Heard the same about Johan and a few others. Definetly another time in the hobby, but can't help but still love it Thumbs Up

I love Mecum Auctions and Barrett/Jackson auctions and what would I do without Ebay.

 

 

                                     

 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2011
Posted by Arthur Anderson on Monday, May 29, 2017 3:09 PM

Goofy62

I guess we all have our own experiences Art.

I've been building for more than 45 years & have been building almost exclusively kits manufactured before 1965 for the past 4 or 5 years, & I have had much less problems with crazing & that sort of issue with the old kits than with the new ones.

I've had very benign paints like Testors lacquers craze the heck out of some of the newer kits.

On the same hand, I use nearly nothing but automotive type lacquers on almost all of my vintage kits & have almost no problems.

Granted, I have developed a system to successfully guard against these problems, but I feel much more confident dealing with old plastic than new.

The old plastic can be more brittle on occasion depending on different factors, but I've had little issue with that.

As a matter of fact, I have a '59 Lincoln "Craftsman" kit molded in black that I did a little work on in the past few months that I found to be just the opposite.

The plastic seams to be softer & almost a "greasy" consistency compared to other kits.

I began to drill out the head light lenses from the front bumper assembly & found that the plastic was gumming up my tools.

I've really only had brittleness issues with a few old kits that were molded in color like a Johan '63 Chrysler molded in green, & of course the MPC '65 Monaco kit molded in gold.

Other than that, I've had very good luck with the old plastic.

 

Steve

 

 

Steve, first of all, polystyrene plastic has evolved over the years--you mention the "Craftsman Series" version of that Lincoln Continental--that was molded a few years after the original 3in1 kit that it was spun off of--even by 1962-62, the revolution of the plastic we crave was well underway.

Early on, the available polystyene was way more brittle, which is why those old kits tended to have such heavy material thicknesses  (plus the fact that those annual series kits were spun off of promotional model cars, sold as toy cars, by new car dealers!)

Today's "thin-section" one-piece model car body shells (for example) would have been nigh impossile in say, 1960--and I dare say you'd not like going back to that era.

Art

  • Member since
    June, 2015
Posted by dimaxion on Sunday, June 11, 2017 2:24 PM

My experiances are this . In the day we used a special sealer Primer to use under Auto Touch up . The brush bottle , aerosol spray cans were Lauqer . It had Lead in it . The lead attacked the plastic and crazed it . The '60 MY AMT Kits , possibly the SMP Kits too , describe customizing tips included on the Instruction sheets .  One method was using Auto Touch up to replicate Vinyl lnterior surfaces. Despite with this knowledge about Laquers , I found out the hard way . Enamels of the day had lead also . I wrecked many Kit Stryene and Cyclomac Promo Bodies desiring authentic colors for my Builds . IIRC , A Du Ponte surfacer and sealer was a , and the only , suitable barrier . I still don't trust ANY Paint directly on any plastic . I am still in shock with the idea of overcoating Enamel with Laquer . Thanx .. 

  • Member since
    March, 2014
  • From: SoCal. Where the paint never spatters and the CA never fogs the clear
Posted by BERT100 on Sunday, June 11, 2017 3:19 PM

Ahh the "good ol' days" when model cement never dried (in time) and the clear windshield could have glue marks and there were finger prints in the paint. All that along with some of the state of the art flame decals and chrome lakes pipes available.  You just never wanted to complete the model. Well until next Saturday with allowance in hand it was off to the Woolworth/Kresge'sfive-and-dime, where ever, and start it all over again……..Good times

 

Now back to work  tweekiing this part to fit  

 

                   Steve

when the perfict model is made .......... I'll be in the other room

            

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