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60s style 1956 VW Bug street/strip machine - W.I.P. - Updated 5-04

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  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
60s style 1956 VW Bug street/strip machine - W.I.P. - Updated 5-04
Posted by gbk1 on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 2:21 PM

Lately I’ve been continuing my experiments with large area decals as I develop techniques to replicate various lettering and paint styles. This time my guinea pig is a Gunze Sangyo ’56 VW Bug which I’m doing as a 60’s style customized street rod and weekend drag racer. The front end has been lowered 3 scale inches. The rear tires are the little narrow slicks that come in the recent Revell Slingster kit. Other than that the mockup is straight out of the box. The areas that will get the 60’s style panel treatment have paper cutouts of the decal templates I’ve made. The kit is a curbside, although, in typical Japanese style, quite well detailed. The wheels will be either period mags of the type offered by EMPI at the time, or perhaps Moon discs. I plan to cut out the engine cover and pop it open across the upper edge, a cooling trick popular with these types of cars. I haven’t decided whether I’ll customize the interior, since the emphasis is on the paint, stance and wheels. Paint will most likely be either a red or green candy metallic with complementary fogged panels.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.



These are the EMPI wheels I’m contemplating. Oddly enough both styles can be found in the various Revell “Rat Rod” ’29 Ford Roadster Pickup and ’30 Ford Sedan kits.


Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: Chandler, AZ
Posted by del austin on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 6:21 PM

Decal size and shapes look spot on. Looks like another nice project.

  • Member since
    February, 2007
  • From: Nor Cal
Posted by Draggon on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 6:40 PM

Holy cow, B, I didn't know you had anything like this on the bench. As a former Cal-Look bug owner and long time enthusiast, I can tell you that you nailed it. Everything looks just right! The engine cover trick is called a decklid stand-off. 

Have you heard of Fink's Garage? He and Hideo Motohashi on Facebook have some great wheels that are much better than the ones in the Model A kits. 

I have yet to build a bug ( in scale ) because I'm such a perfectionist I don't know if I'd be happy. However, yours is excellent!

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 7:30 PM

Cool project. Good timing too, as I have just been thinking of picking up one of these Gunze bugs and was wondering what the kit was like.

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

Trevor

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 7:49 PM

Oh, boy! This one is sure to resonate with a lot of us! 

chucky

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Portland Oregon: Tree Country. Most beautiful area on the West coast.
Posted by Treehugger Dave on Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:40 AM

Glad to see a new project from you Bernard, and it's a wonderful period "Vee-Wee".

Like everyone here I too love the "Little beetle". I look forward to watching your progress with enthusiasm.

Also, please treat us to more of your gorgeous photography.

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

 

 

                                     

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 6:27 PM

Thanks everyone!

The Bug is up on its wheels with most of the final mechanical work completed. I’m going with the shallow offset Torq-Thrust style wheels from the Revell ’29 Ford Roadster Pickup kit. They’ll pass for EMPIs to my eyes. The chassis is assembled and paint detailed. There’s no engine in this curbside kit but the engine compartment is finished out in matte black in the hopes it will “disappear”. I modified a rill bar from an AMT ’40 Ford kit and installed it. The stance is set and the wheels adapted to the Gunze kit suspension with, as mentioned last time, the front suspension lowered about 3 scale inches. I cut open the engine cover and fabricated offset hinges to represent the typical popped-open hood on modified Bugs. The interior will be largely stock other than the roll bar. Now for the critical part: paint and trim.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.




Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January, 2012
Posted by notstock on Friday, March 17, 2017 8:21 AM

Awesome job so far on the VW, I had a 1:1 68 Cali style with the Empi 8 spoke wheels.  

I can't leave anything stock!

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Friday, March 17, 2017 10:13 AM

Looking good. I really like the engine cover treatment. I like the wheel choice too, but may need to tone done the chrome some.

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

Trevor

  • Member since
    March, 2016
Posted by davethewalker on Friday, March 17, 2017 4:05 PM

The Polar Lights Spiderman VW Beetle has both the five-spoke EMPI and BRM wheels plus stock wheel covers.

  • Member since
    November, 2016
Posted by bugs-one on Saturday, March 18, 2017 4:04 PM
Bug's looking good.
  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:44 PM

I’ve been concentrating on the paint and decal art. Everything isn’t quite settled yet, but it looks like I’m going towards gold paint and white decal stock with contrasting red graphics. I’ve also included a vintage EMPI trade logo for a race car flavor. I’ll be trying out a roof panel, and perhaps fender scallops, although I’m concerned that the design might get too busy if I include the fender details. We’ll see… The decals you see on the car were an interim design before I added the EMPI logo. That's the cool thing about working with decals, you can make some pretty radical mods without trashing the paint.

Here’s where I’m at so far.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.


Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Friday, March 31, 2017 6:11 PM

I’ve been concentrating on the decal design side of this project. One decision I had made was to use white decal paper in order to get white backgrounds and color into the graphics. As many of you may know, inkjet printers “assume” white paper and overlay transparent inks onto the white to make color images. If you use clear decal paper the white disappears and the base paint color on the bodywork shows through. White decal paper is very opaque and results in a true color when you print. But white decal paper has some serious downsides. One is that you must cut your decals out very accurately in order to avoid any white edges. Even then, because white decal paper is significantly thicker that clear decal paper, some white may show along the edges. Wherever possible you should design around this issue.

The other significant negative about white decal paper is that is much stiffer and less stretchable than clear. This means that if you are applying white decal stock to a compound curve the decals may bubble or fold on themselves. They may even crack along the surface. The roof of my VW bug is very much compound curved, curving continuously in all directions with virtually no flat surfaces. I attempted to make a single sheet decal for the roof, and while dimensionally it was extremely accurate, the decal would  not lay flat and conform to the roof’s shape. It wrinkled and bubbled and cracked. The ink layer broke up as a result. A true disaster!!! Take a look:

So I went back and redesigned the roof art so it could be assembled from several smaller pieces of decal. Here’s the result:

I also experimented with additional panels on the sides as well as the tops of both the front and rear fenders. As I had feared, the overall look got too busy, so I opted to only put scallops of the front fender tops, leaving large areas of gold on the sides of the front fenders and the rear fenders untouched. It should complement to areas of gold on the roof redesign. Here is the final decal art:

Unfortunately all the experimenting meant that I ran out of white decal paper. I ordered some but for now I can’t show pictures of the final art. Below are a couple of pictures shopping the additional scallops on the front fenders and the rear quarter panels.


 

Once the decal paper gets here I’ll apply the final graphics and can move one to clear coating and the remaining mechanical and interior work.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 7:28 PM

After a brief break to finish up a Revell ’29 Ford Roadster, I finally got all the decals applied. There are 20 separate decals on this car. Some are very large like the two side panels between the fenders. Others, like the star-shaped scallops at the corners and the Raus Haus text strips, are very small and thin. The white decal stock is thicker than clear decal stock and far more rigid. It also doesn’t adhere as well. And, because of the white color you have to cut them very precisely if you want to avoid white edges on everything. The bottom line is they are a real PITA to apply, big or small. I actually had to print out additional copies of several of them in order to get them down right. Phew! But it’s done now.

Below are a couple of photos of the final decal applied. Next steps are to clear coat everything and then move on to (hopefully) fabricate a stinger exhaust and then final assembly.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.


Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, May 04, 2017 6:19 PM

With all the decals applied and the color coats well cured I applied three coats of Duplicolor Clear. Once the clear was cured I foiled the basic trim and then fabricated a stinger exhaust from styrene rod and a paint brush ferrule. And lastly I glued the wheels and tires in place. Here are two photos of where I’m at. Next up is the interior and then final assembly.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.


Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Thursday, May 04, 2017 8:13 PM

Turned out great, Bernard! Don't forget to jump out and stuff a rag into that stinger as soon as you shut off the motor so you don't warp the exhaust valves. Smile

chucky

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, May 04, 2017 8:20 PM

chucky

Turned out great, Bernard! Don't forget to jump out and stuff a rag into that stinger as soon as you shut off the motor so you don't warp the exhaust valves. Smile

 

 

Thanks Chucky. Yeah, that stinger presents a big ol' gaping hole doesn't it. I still have the interior and final assembly to do, but it's getting close, now.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    March, 2013
  • From: Gulf coast of central Florida
Posted by Old Geezer on Saturday, May 06, 2017 6:04 AM

COOL !!!!

 Nice work.

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, July 13, 2017 11:50 AM

Broken Photobucket links repaired. Hopefully I'll be getting back to this one soon.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Mesa, AAZ
Posted by Ranchn62 on Thursday, July 13, 2017 3:19 PM

That looks so CUTE! The fact of the matter, though, is VDubs can be wicked fast.

My rail was a 2110 Stroker with a variable vane turbo, fed through a 600 Holley 4 BBL.

I was clocked at 125 in the sand!

I really like your model.

Dennis

  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by Moparlover64 on Thursday, July 13, 2017 6:20 PM

Yet another bitchin ride and yes folks we saw it here first on the SAE board

Moparlover64

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