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Triple-Threat 57 Corvette - W.I.P. - 04-22 Update - Phase 1 done

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  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Triple-Threat 57 Corvette - W.I.P. - 04-22 Update - Phase 1 done
Posted by gbk1 on Monday, January 29, 2018 9:26 PM

Several years ago I acquired a Monogram 1/24th ’57 Corvette  for its Rochester Fuel Injected V8 and 1/24th scale whitewall tires. The fuelie motor went into a ’32 Ford Five Window while the whitewalls found their way onto the front end of a couple of showy hot rods which used 1/24th scale rims. So, sans rolling stock and power plant the kit sat in my stash until recently. I’ve recently added vintage road racing and sports cars to my modeling diet, which up to now consisted exclusively of traditional hot rods, customs and straight line racers of various sorts. In keeping with this expansion of my palette I decided the time had come to rescue the ‘Vette and make a project out of it.

My plan was originally to do a no-nonsense Cal Club style road racer from the late 50’s and early sixties. These cars were almost literally driven off the showroom floor and raced virtually stock appearing with grills, bumpers and trim intact. While the hubcaps had to be removed for safety reasons, just about the only visible modification was the addition of a rollover bar and some racing numbers. Under the hood it was another matter, with hot cams and free breathing heads at the top of the list. Theoretically these were B-Production stockers but soon there evolved a coterie of hot shoe driver/mechanics who could really make these machine fly. The most famous were Dr. *** Thompson and Dave McDonald, both of whom used Corvette racing as a launching pad for their professional driving careers.

As I said, basic Cal Club racers tended to leave his ‘Vette stock appearing and that had been my original intention. My plan was to paint the car in basic white, a suitable background for some homemade decals, as is my general practice. But my particular Monogram ’57 came in the dreaded Red Plastic, and try as I might could never quite completely banish bleed through to the white outer coat, despite using Duplicolor Primer Sealer followed by a couple of coats of silver lacquer. This had been effective over colored plastic for me in the past, but this was my first crack at white over red, the most difficult combination of all. I experimented with the interior bucket, and as the photo below will attest, the result was a noticeably pinkish cast to the white.

So time to check my paint stash where I encountered am untouched  can of Testors Spangled  Blue One Coat Lacquer, a particular nice shade of metallic blue similar to what Lance Reventlow and his Scarab crew referred to as, oddly enough, A Nice Shade Of Blue. A test shot over the aforementioned series of undercoats showed excellent coverage and not a trace of pink or red. Hurrah!

Now I had to regroup aesthetically because my thoughts of a Utilitarian White race car were done. So I decided to go with a “Triple Threat” ‘Vette – a nicely turned out show car paint job on a Cal Club racer shorn of its bumpers, windshield  and trim, with an option for an annual trip to the salt flats. My plan is to paint the car the showy blue with white coves, racing stripes and rondels and a set of salt flats accessories, namely a tonneau cover, a blanking piece for the grill for streamlining, a set of Hilborn injectors, and some Moon discs over the road racer’s white steelies, all removable. The road racer will run the 270 HP dual 4-barrel 283 that was a factory option in ’57 and popular with racers at the time. The motor will be a Revell Parts Pack piece with the intake and carbs removable to swap with the Hilborn injectors for the salt flats.

Below is where I’m at so far, with a small 2-poinmt rollover bar behind the driver’s head, provision added for a cut down Plexiglas windscreen and the blanking piece for the grill and tonneau cover roughed in place. The front and rear pans have been molded in and bodywork and paint completed out to the silver base coats.

I’ll update after this weekend’s NNL West by which time I should have the chassis well along, the motor started and probably the basic color coats down.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • From: Brighton England
Posted by Spencer Mopar Fan on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 5:20 PM
That's one sweet spangly blue Bernard ! It will go nice with the moon discs ....
  • Member since
    May, 2017
Posted by Tom Louis on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 7:00 PM

Lookin good!

 

Thunderbass Shufflemaster

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Friday, February 09, 2018 3:24 PM

Thanks guys!

The basic paint is now done. So too, is the interior, done in Testors Acryl Insignia Red to avoid the bleed through problem. The cockpit edge will get foiled towards the end of the project, as will other interior details. The contrasting white trim, consisting of a pair of racing stripes down the center, white coves, and perhaps scallops along the front center tops, along with rondels for numbers, will be done with decals. With the aggressively “showy” paint I’m beginning to think of a set of more fancy wheels, perhaps Halibrand Torq-Thrusts, rather than the white steelies I had originally planned.

Additionally, I’m well along with the chassis and have the motor partially built. I have Hilborn injectors and short intake stacks coming from Speed City Resin for the salt flats variant. Hopefully these will be the subject of my next update.

Thanks for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • From: Brighton England
Posted by Spencer Mopar Fan on Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:48 AM

Sweet candy blue ( that sounds like a blues song - or a specific kind of "actress..."Zip it!)

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Saturday, February 10, 2018 3:10 PM

Here’s a brief but important update. I have gotten the main decals designed. I printed them out on plain paper and, using water soluble paste, mocked them up on the model. The impact of the white with red striping is quite strong against the blue. I had to fiddle with the size of the rondels to get them in proportion to the stripes and coves, but it took surprisingly little adjustment to get everything in place. I even like the look of the scallops on the fender tops. The coves were scanned from the kit decal sheet and the scallops were heavily reshaped versions of the kit scallops. All the work was done in Photoshop at 600 dpi. I will now have the actual decals printed for me using an Alps printer, rather than printing the shapes directly to white decal paper. This will allow the decals to be printed using white ink on clear decal stock which will assure me of straight, crisp edges, rather than attempting to accurately cut the edges with scissors.

I’m planning on a progression of three decal variations to reflect the 3 model variations. The first is the one you see in the mockup pictures. This is the “show car” version with the rondels left empty without numbers. The decals will be applied and then sealed under clear coat. Next up will be the road racing variant which will have numbers and class designation in the rondels. Lastly will be the Bonneville version which is still up in the air. I may add sponsorship and contingency decals and perhaps a third number which will be “added” to the left of the first two numbers since most salt flats numbering goes to 3 digits. I’ll think this through and probably add the Bonneville Option to my decal order.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.


Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
Posted by justmike on Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:07 PM

Wow!!  You're right about the red and white popping. Very eyecatching

Feelings are like scents: The more they are analyzed, the worse they smell.
  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Monday, February 12, 2018 8:47 AM

Looking great, Bernard. That colour is gorgeous, and I am impressed with your decal work. This is going to be one beautiful Vette.

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

Trevor

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Friday, March 02, 2018 9:03 PM

Thanks guys!

I’ve been plugging away at this project, but most of my energy has gone into working with a modeling friend who has an ALPS printer. I desperately want a source who can work from my Photoshop generated bitmap files and who can print white. My friend has these capabilities. So far it’s taken a bit of work to understand and successfully navigate his pre-preparation needs. But we now have that debugged. I just got my first decals sheets from him, and while the print quality, register and accuracy of size was all spot on, unfortunately he doesn’t seem to be able to generate white ink that’s opaque enough to cover the dark blue body color on this car. Even double layers of white underlayment don’t cover well enough. I’ll keep working on it...

In the meantime… (sigh), the chassis and multiple motor and wheel version setups are all done. As I mentioned earlier, the motor from the Monogram kit is now in another build so I had to make a new one. Working with a Revell Parts Pak small block Chevy I built up a basic motor with two removable intake configurations. The B/Production road racer will have the factory option Dual 4-Barrel 283 which comes in the Parts Pak while the show car and Bonneville version will share a flashy Hilborn injection setup. The Hilborn injectors are from the AMT Double Dragster kit while the nice velocity stacks are courtesy of Speed City Resin. They were cut down to about half height to clear the hood. The aluminum Corvette valve covers are also from the AMT Double Dragster kit and the distributor is from Morgan Automotive Detail. The ram horn exhaust manifolds are from B-N-L Resins while the straight through exhaust running straight back under the chassis was fabricated from 1/16” butyl covered wire and finished in metalized silver paint.

The chassis is straight out of the kit, and affords me the chance to comment on what a nice kit this is. Everything fits perfectly and the chassis is highly detailed and makes a nice piece just sitting all by itself.

The wheels and tires are the other detail change across the 3 versions of the car. For the B/Production road racer I’m running steelies which came from an AMT ’40 Ford kit, while the tires were left over from the super-nice vintage Halibrand Kidney Bean mags I used on my recent ’32 Ford Tudor build. They’re classic early 60’s Goodyears and are typical of the quality one expects from Historic Racing Miniatures. They’re painted Duplicolor Wimbledon White. The Show and Bonneville versions share a set of Halibrand TorqThrusts which are the front wheels from the various Revel ’32 Ford hot rod kits. They have been narrowed to fit standard generic AMT Firestones. They’re finished in  various shades of Testors Metalizer with the rim edges picked out in Molotow Chrome. For the Bonneville version only the polished rims will show because they are hidden under a tasty set of Moon discs from Parts By Parks.

That’s it for now. The decals are definitely the Long Pole In The Tent. I may have to resort to developing a solution using white decal paper, but cutting a perfectly round set of rondels without a pinhole in the middle is a major challenge, as is laying down a perfectly parallel and properly spaced pair of white stripes. Besides which, I really would like to develop a proper decal printing resource…

Until next time…

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Monday, March 05, 2018 7:51 AM

That's looking great. I really love the steelies for that 'all business' look, and speaking of all business, the hilborn FI looks serious. The interchangability factor is cool.

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

Trevor

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Monday, April 16, 2018 7:02 PM

Thanks Trevor!

It’s been a while since I posted anything on this project. The delay was the result of working out a method of working with my friend with the ALPs printer so that he could produce decals for me without  having to do a lot of pre-preparation or editing. We have a method now and the final results are quite satisfactory. The picture below may seem a bit anti-climactic to anyone following along because it’s quite similar to the paper mockup I showed earlier. But for me it’s quite exciting to at last have a method and source to produce white and metallic decals.

Now I can get on with doing the windscreen, lights and the variations on the grill for the 3 versions. With the chassis, motor, rolling stock and interior already done it shouldn't be too long now.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Sunday, April 22, 2018 8:38 PM

If this wasn’t the “Triple Threat “Vette” I could probably say that this project is done, now. But that’s not the case because where I’m at now is the completion of Phase 1, the late 50’s style Cal Club road race version. The paint is completed now, with 4 coats of Duplicolor Clear over the decals.

Running in B Production the road racer is equipped with the Dual-Quad 275 HP motor. Although the ’57 offered the famous Rochester Fuel Injection option rated with an extra 10 BHP, the Dual Quad was more familiar to shade-tree mechanics and easier to tune, with the likelihood of actually getting the same of more real horsepower. Other than the molded front and rear pans and the kustom candy blue paint job this version is stock and would pass inspection as such. The wheels are steelies and I even included the wimpy, but period correct, roll over bar from the Monogram kit, which was the style most commonly seen on these cars at the time. The 3-point roll hoop shown earlier will make its appearance on the show and salt lakes versions. The cut down windshield was made from the kit glass and will be shared by all the three versions. The stock grill will only appear on this version. The show car will get a custom grill and fog lamps, Ferrari style, and the salt lakes car will get a solid blank filler aero panel. The stock headlights have protective covers on the road racer. They will be removed for the show car and may reappear on the Bonneville car, although I’m working on a possible set of streamlining conical headlight covers for that version. The interior, which is essentially stock, will be shared by all three version.

Next up is the show car with its custom grill, Torq-Thrust mags, 3 point roll hoop, and Hilborn fuel injection. Then finally the salt lakes car with additional aero details, a tonneau cover, and Moon discs.

Once all three are done I’ll do a full set of formal photos. In the meantime below are two summary sets showing the work done since the last update.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.


Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February, 2008
Posted by justmike on Monday, April 23, 2018 11:25 AM

Fantastic graphics!  Educational too. How you remember all that is beyond me

Feelings are like scents: The more they are analyzed, the worse they smell.
  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Monday, April 23, 2018 4:45 PM

Looks totally amazing, Bernard! Certainly worth all the time invested along the way. What a beauty!

 

chucky

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