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The Silver Slipper A/Fuel Dragster - Completed with Final Photos

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  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
The Silver Slipper A/Fuel Dragster - Completed with Final Photos
Posted by gbk1 on Sunday, May 31, 2015 7:10 PM

There are certain subjects I keep returning to repeatedly as my skills and techniques evolve. One is the ’32 Ford, in particular the various Revell Deuce kits, and the other is the classic early to mid-sixties front engine dragster, in particular the super-light, super quick Junior Fuelers. In the second case my preferred base kit tends to be the MPC Ramchachargers Dragster kit. I like the ultra-low legs-under rear axle stance and the just-right proportions of its 160” wheelbase chassis. 

 I’m always thinking about my next dragster but these days I only seem to build one every 12 months or so. Now is that time, and this one won’t quite be a Junior Fueler, although I’m using the Ramchargers kit. This time I’m running a Big Block Chevy instead of the small block motor that was de rigeur if you were running a Junior Fueler back in the day (310 c.i. limit). This is because of a really pretty Enderle fuel injector setup I bought from Speed City Resin a while back. It only fits the Chevy Big Block so, BBC it is! 

With this project I decided to experiment with large area decals to create a fogged panel style paint job. The underlying color is DupliColor Metalcast metallic Ground Coat which is a near perfect 1/25th scale silver metalflake. If you print homemade decals on an inkjet printer you will quickly realize that the colors are very transparent and the base color shows through strongly. So inkjet color decal + silver metallic base coat = kandy color. Using Photoshop I made decals to create the fogged panel paint job I was thinking of. It took some experimenting but the technique works quite well. This one is very simple but now that I’ve figured it out I think I’ll be using it some more. 

Below are a couple of composite pictures. The first one shows the Western Manufacturing Special body shell from Altered States Models I used, and the Enderle injectors from Speed City Resins. The second shows the decal layout I made and the decals applied to the silver body. All that remains in the bodywork area is applying trade decals and clear coating everything. The chassis is about half done and I’ve begun work on plumbing and detailing the motor. 

Thanx for lookin’,
B.
 

 

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    December, 2009
Posted by 67 Mmustang on Monday, June 01, 2015 4:35 AM

This looks awesome! Bernard! I just love the old F/E dragsters from the '60s, so I'm looking forward to following this thread and seeing more of your superb work.

 

Mark

On the bench - 1949 Ford Street Machine

  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by Wild Bill 426 on Monday, June 01, 2015 1:19 PM

Bernard:  Great job, the bodywork is great.  One thing to note (and I grew up watching these cars) is that I can't remember a single A/Fuel car with a front body.  They all ran bare frame rails up front to cut down the weight.  Please put up photos of this when its done; I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Wild Bill "Plastic cars are better than real cars cuz' they're a lot cheaper to fix. You don't even need duct tape and wireties"
  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Monday, June 01, 2015 2:26 PM

Thanks guys.

Wild Bill 426

Bernard:  ...One thing to note (and I grew up watching these cars) is that I can't remember a single A/Fuel car with a front body.  They all ran bare frame rails up front to cut down the weight.  ...

Yeah, Wild Bill, I know. Me neither. The Junior Fuelers in particular were never seen with anything but the barest minimum of paneling. But I'm building this one in the "Show 'n' Go" vein that was often seen at the time, with the front panels reserved for the exhibition hall. I still need to build me a proper 800 lb. Junior Fueler with an injected SBC, but in the meantime I decided to do it this way both because it was an opportunity to test out this decal technique and also because of the Big Block powerplant I'm obliged to use if I'm going to include the Enderle injectors. I hope to keep the entire nose paneling removable to be able to display it both ways. If for some reason I can't get a stable setup for the nose panels than I'll stick with the "Show" arrangement...

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    May, 2008
Posted by Wild Bill 426 on Wednesday, June 03, 2015 7:03 AM

Just thinkin'; I know where to get your sbc injected motor; the AMT double dragster reissue.  The biggest problem is that most of the chassis molds from that time have the front ends as semi-circular tubing; I think you'd be better off using the old one as a pattern and doing a new one out of plastruct or similar tubing and grafting on the front end mount.  The guy that built my engines was legendary in that class and also B/FD; his name is Dale Hall and the car was called the Nutmegger.

Wild Bill "Plastic cars are better than real cars cuz' they're a lot cheaper to fix. You don't even need duct tape and wireties"
  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Wednesday, June 03, 2015 10:20 AM

I looked up Dale Hall. Interesting figure in more recent drag racing lore. I found it fascinating that he chose to run a blown SBC AA/DA machine in front engine configuration as late as 1979, with great success. Garlits' rear engine revolution was so complete by then, I hadn't ever thought much about those with the skills and investment in FED technology that kept it going in the years following. The FEDs have always looked better to me than the rear engine jobs... But Hall did make the switchover eventually and was even more successful as both builder and racer in the subsequent decades.

There's no problem doing a small-block Hilborn injected motor. There's several nice Hilborn injector setups out there, especially in the aftermarket; ditto mechanical injector pumps, etc. I just wanted to use the BBC-specific Enderle rig I had. I'll do a correct Junior Fueler, stripped down, ultra-light and looking the part, as well. In the meantime I'm slugging away at my "showboat".

As regards FED chassis, the AMT Tommy Ivo chassis and all it's subsequent variants (i.e. Too Much, Digger 'Cuda, Young American, Garlits Wynns Charger, etc.) suffers from the half-round tubing problem you mention. It can be solved by either re-shaping the exposed portions of the chassis of the model you're building, or by replacing those sections outright. The chassis is also a late-era ultra-extended wheelbase style, a Don long design out at 210+ inches IIRC. The MPC Ramchargers Dragster (also found in the American Graffiti and Jawbreaker kits, etc.) is molded in 2 halfs and has nicely scaled full-round tubing throughout. It's, of course, a mid 60's design and shorter in wheelbase. The Garlits Wynns Jammer (Hemi Sphere, Hippie Hemi, etc.) is also a very nice full-round design. Of course the Garlits specific rollover bar design is an issue with that one. Lastly, the Revell Tony Nancy Double Dragster kits has a couple of very nice full-round early-era Kent Fuller chassis in it. The roll cage area from any of these chassis can be easily combined with styrene rod to alter the whelbase and chassis design as desired.

Thanx for your interest and the insights,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Saturday, June 13, 2015 11:44 PM

All the major assemblies are now done. As I write this I’m in the middle of final assembly. Below are some pictures showing the Replicas & Miniatures Co. of Maryland photo-etch wire wheels I used with a breakdown of the various parts in the system and final result. Beautifully detailed with some incredibly finely detailed parts (check out the hubs…), they are a tremendous improvement over the kit wheels.

The motor is finished and fitted to the chassis. Not shown in the pictures are the injector stacks and the zoomy headers. Much of the rest of the build is straight out of the kit. The one change I have made is to run the steering tie rod outside the body, again not shown because it’s a one-shot deal during final assembly and doesn’t lend itself to a mockup. 

I’m shooting for completion this weekend… Hopefully the Gloo Gawdz will cooperate.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

 

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    March, 2006
  • From: Spring, Tx
Posted by modelcarjr on Sunday, June 14, 2015 8:41 AM

The engine and wheels look super, Bernard!  Nice work! CoolThumbs UpBow

If you cannot have a good time, what kinda time can you have? JR

Next on the bench:  Another 1970 Hemi 'Cuda, 1958 Chevy Impala, 1987 Buick GNX, 1950 Chevy Pick-up, Indy Reynard, 1965 Corvette, probably not in this order.

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Monday, June 15, 2015 12:32 AM

Thanx!

All done! Here are the final Beauty Pics.








Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    December, 2009
Posted by 67 Mmustang on Monday, June 15, 2015 12:48 AM

It looks superb, Bernard! Love the paint and decals. Great job!

 

Mark

On the bench - 1949 Ford Street Machine

  • Member since
    March, 2010
  • From: Adelaide, South Australia
Posted by 70CudaTJ on Monday, June 15, 2015 5:32 AM

That looks great Bern, very nice build Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

I'm really impressed with the decals, something I've not tackled yet........

Slow progress is better than no progress!

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: arlington, tx.
Posted by rusty32rod on Monday, June 15, 2015 9:10 AM

   Great looking build! those front wheels really help complete the realistic look. very nicely done.

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 5:18 PM

Thank you, everyone.

I got to try out some new techniques and materials with this one and, much to my surprise, they all went fairly well. Those Replicas & Miniatures p/e front wheels were quite straightforward to assemble. They come with excellent instructions and a great little jig to make sure they're properly aligned. And they have a very strong positive impact on the overall look of the finished model. The decal technique is also quite promising, and I look forward to trying it again on a forthcoming project.

I'm glad you all liked it. As always, your thoughts and comments are appreciated.
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 2:44 PM

Broken Photobucket links repaired. For now I'm only updating completed model pics. Updating w.i.p. links is just too huge a task! I'll update them on request...

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

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