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Questions/comments about the Polar Lights Buddy Baker Charger

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  • Member since
    May 2008
Questions/comments about the Polar Lights Buddy Baker Charger
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 15, 2004 6:14 PM
I bought this model a few months ago, just started to do a little work on it now, and I have a few questions and need some advice about it.

- I like the look with the chrome wheels better, so I'm going to build and install the 360 motor (The manual says black wheels with the Hemi). Did they leave the '426 ci' decals on the hood?

- The rollcade is being a bit of a pill. Are the lengths of the three rear cross-members correct, because it makes the cage sides point outwards? I was thinking since it won't stay together well enough to glue it, I would replace those three members with lengths of ~3mm tubing, drill the holes in the cage sides all the way through, and run some lengths of music wire or plastic rod through the whole thing to make it more secure. Got any other tips for assembling the cage?

- Where can I get some Goodyear logos for the tires? I'd prefer to not use decals, but would if I had to. I looked into airbrush templates, but they seemed too expensive (I like this era of NASCAR, but don't know if I will buy any more Polar Lights kits).

I plan to build this pretty much box-stock, only adding ignition wires to the engine (I already drilled out the 360's distributor: Did well for the first time I think). Anybody have any tips of pics of completed models they could share?
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 15, 2004 6:51 PM
Stevek, I built the #21 mercury cyclone by polar lights, it also had a few problem areas, but with a little patience they all seemed to work out, if you install the 360 it should have the 360ci on both sides of hood,but most of the cars ran the 426ci, if you need 360 decals ,Ican made you a set on computer and send them to you
Ben
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Howell, NJ, USA
Posted by glenncon on Monday, March 15, 2004 7:52 PM
I'm finishing the Petty charger and here are some Ideas. Try using either the modern 5 hole slots from monogram or better yet the american racing wheels from Arii. The slot wheels definetly look better and they became more popular than the Holman moody wheels after '72. 360 motor truly sucks and i think you might be better off with the hemi. they only started using the small block after the hemi was restricted out of existance in '74. Baker's 73 car most likely had the Hemi. I had to use the 360 in the petty car because he was using it in '74. use the intake mainfold and water pump from the AMT 71 charger to improve that shapeless blob of plastic. I had my doubts about the rollcage, but it actually went together very well. It should bulge outward to follow the contour of the body. I cut the X braces behind the rear bulkhead (making a V) so that I could mount the rollcage after painting. I like the Shabo dry transfers for the Goodyear logos. I used the Arii wheels and the AMT Valvoline Tbird Tires. Major challenge getting those fatties inside the fenderwells but the results were worth it. I hate the rollerskate look so i spend a lot of time making the car sit right with the wheels properly set into the fenders. If you want to get adventurous you may consider using the AMT charger body since it is more correct for the baker charger on the cover. i would guess that he was racing that particular car in '72. by the way the front hoop rails are warped and one side sits taller than the other. you may want to use a hoop from a monogram stocker. Don't let all this criticism deter you. It will turn into a beautiful model if you test fit.

http://photobucket.com/albums/v242/glenncon/ Glenn Conigliaro

  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 15, 2004 10:06 PM

Hmm. Well, I have some wheels from a Purolator Lumina laying around, I could find them and tires (If I got one I'll just make resin copies: I want to try that anyway). So the wheels should be black for the Hemi? Flat, semigloss?

The only bummer with the engine is I already drilled the 360's distributor, pretty good for a first time I think, but no way would I do the Hemi's unit. I guess I will use the method on www.briansmodelcars.com or just use the 360 unit.

Shabo transfers shouldn't be a problem, but I don't think I'll go buying more kits to replace parts on this one. I'm not enough of a stickler for the details to go that far.

If the front hoop is what I think it is, the part that wraps around the engine up front, I am going to take a stab at gluing it together, and if it stinks, I'll just bend a single piece of tubing to match and use the uprights from the kit, or make new ones from more tubing.
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 15, 2004 10:09 PM

Hmm, maybe these Lumina wheels won't work: They have about 9 spokes instead of 5. Maybe paint the chromed 5-spoke wheels from the kit black and use the Lumina tires?

My friend has a couple of Days of Thunder cars I could canibalize for parts if need be.
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 12:23 PM

Just looked over the model, turns out I am missing the glass, and thinking back, I don't remember seeing it in the box.

Combine that with the amount of work the rest of it needs, I think this model is going on the back burner for a while.
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 3:53 PM
Heres some tips on one that I built
http://public.fotki.com/lannyhaas/challange_build_up/
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 10:16 PM

Yeah, I just found that this afternoon: Very helpful. Unfortunately the missing glass has gotten me a little discouraged: I'm very good at keeping kits together, even though I take them out of the original boxes and put them in plastic bins for stacking on shelves, so I think it may not have been in the original box at all.

I'll give them a shout about buying new glass in a few days, and break down and finally buy those sanding sticks and bow sander I've been wanting, see if that makes the job a little easier (I do need to sand a lot of round parts like rollcages on most of my models).
  • Member since
    November 2003
Posted by Gary66 on Thursday, March 18, 2004 10:22 PM
Baker starting driving the 71 after the Labor day '72 race at Darlington.

The K and K team raced both the 71-72 and 73-74 body styles at different times thru '73.

Baker won a Grand National East race at Hickory,NC late in '73 with 71-72 style charger.
Probably a short track car.
He won the 600 at Charlotte with the 73-74 style car.
Not much difference, just a bit in the grille, and the B pillar is different.

I just started building one, I'm using some of the old mpc 1970's style goodyear tires from the old nascar kits,still debating exactly which wheel I will use, the kit slots or a Holman moody style wheel.
Spraybombers have it covered.
  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Fairfield, Ohio
Posted by Drackopolis on Thursday, March 18, 2004 11:36 PM
This is just my opinion of course, but i don't think Polar Lights should be doing Nascar kits simply because i think the bodies look awful. Too Tall maybe?

I dunno, they have not impressed me enough to buy one after seeing a friends completed kits. They make a great Jupiter2, Robby the Robot, etc....Cars are not their strong point.

Also, i wouldn't ask them to sell you new glass if they didn't include it in the kit in the first place. I have gotten plenty of kits missing parts and they have always been good at replacing the parts. (AMT being the exception)

Good Luck on the project and i look forward to seeing the finished project as i am looking for something to motivate me to do some more Classic Nascar projects......I just don't like the looks of the Polar Lights offerings personally...
Rev. James D. Baker www.bakerministries.org
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 19, 2004 12:16 PM
I HAVE NOT BUILT ANY POLAR LIGHTS STOCK CAR KITS YET,BUT I HAVE THEM ALL
AFTER READING ALL THE PROBLEMS YOU GUYS ARE HAVING PUTTING THEM TOGETHER,I AM HALF TEMPTED TO SELL THEM OFF,ON A SCALE OF 1-10 MY PATIENCE
LEVEL IS ABOUT A 9,I DON'T MIND HARD WORK BUT IT SOUNDS A BIT MUCH
AGAIN LANNY GREAT JOB,MY HAT IS OFF TO YOU!!!
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 19, 2004 9:13 PM

OK, I did some more work on the car in the last few days, including tacking the Hemi together with Aleene's Tacky Glue to test the fit of that front hoop, which I cemented together.

Besides the flashing and tweaked parts, the kit doesn't seem too bad. I'm used to Tamiya cars that almost snap together, with positive locating pins for everything: Lots of stuff just gets stock onto flat plastic in a general area. I'll try and tackle the rollcage this weekend: I think getting the roof bars in and using the chassis as a jig will make the rest of it easier.

Why does my plastic have a pink hue? I don't remember it that way, but then I opened the Sterlite plastic box it was in after a few months and it was pinkish.

Now I just have to figure out what to do about the missing glass.
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 22, 2004 8:31 PM
OK, found the glass. Did some more fitting and gluing, it seems to be coming together a little better. Got a 6-pack of some flexible sanding sticks, and I used them to get rid of a really nasty ripple in the body, right behind the B-pillar. I was pretty worried about that, I didn't see regular sandpaper working too well, but the sanding sticks and the some tapwater worked pretty well. I can feel a bit of it, but can't see it on the unprimed body. I'll probably prime it and see how it looks before trying any more work.
  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Fairfield, Ohio
Posted by Drackopolis on Monday, March 22, 2004 9:07 PM
Great News Steve....where did you find the glass?

I was thinking about that ripple and it may have added character to the kit being as it is an old school Nasar replica.

But i'm a strange cookie to begin with, lol.
Rev. James D. Baker www.bakerministries.org
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 22, 2004 10:37 PM

It was sitting on the desk, under some papers. It was much smaller than I would have figured, and in a thick plastic bag, so I probably wouldn't have known what it was if I hadn't known I was missing it.
  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Fairfield, Ohio
Posted by Drackopolis on Monday, March 22, 2004 11:35 PM
Cool beans, bro...I hate when i lose parts. especially the tiny ones that take an hour o find in the carpet, lol...I cut some small tubing for my new distributor today and dropped my shaft, lol....I still haven't found it so i walked away till tomorrow.

So far so good on that project design...
Rev. James D. Baker www.bakerministries.org
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 29, 2004 5:07 PM
I've been working on this kit. This is my first Polar Lights kit, and to say I'm a little disapointed with the quality is an understatement. I am enjoying the challenge of making it look right. I've cut the trunk lid loose and I'm going to add some detail, fuel cell, plumbing and some this and that. I threw out the part of the roll bar and fabbed my own. Also I cut out the front screens in the grill and the valence. I used some photo etched screen to add a little realism. I really wish i had a digital camera to document this project. Maybe if I'm really good the Easter Bunny will drop one off.
Does anyone have any reference photos for the kit? Right now I'm just winging the details.
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:23 AM

Yeah, it is pretty cruddy in some areas, but it can clean up nice with a little work.

I tried to glue the roll cage together last night, ran out of time and it wouldn't stay straight so I popped it apart and here is my plan for getting it to line up all nice and straight:
There are 5 pieces of tubing running from side to side on the cage, one at the top of the windshield and 4 in a vertacal line behind the driver. They are 3mm, so I'll get some 3mm tubing and cut it to length, fishmouth it, the whole 9 yards. I'll then take some tubing to fit right inside, 1.5mm or whatever is called for, and glue it in place, but leave about an inch hanging out of each end.

Take the roll cage halves and drill out the locator holes for the 5 crossmembers so they go completely through, using a drill bit the size of the smaller tubing you just slid through the new crossmembers.

For the next step you will need something to hold the new crossmembers in place. Rubber tubing might work, but I was thinking small metal collars with setscrews, in the model airplane section of your hobby shop. Select one of the roll cage halves, and slip the new crossmembers in, sliding the collar over the small tube protruding on the other side and keeping it at more or less 90 degrees to the cage. Then slip the other half of the cage in place and do the same thing, giving you a reasonably sturdy structure.

I wouldn't trust the molding of the original pieces to fit perfectly, so loosen the collars to give a little slack, and then drop it onto the chassis so the cage mates with the holes on the floor. Then snug everything up, make sure the cage is straight and even, and then flow some thin liquid cement or CA over each of the joints and let it sit. After everything is cured, remove the collars, snip off the excess tubing sticking out the sides, and sand it flush with the kit rollcage halves. The resulting structure SHOULD be straight, even, and fairly sturdy.

I'll get my digital camera back so I can post pictures of the process soon. I plan to use it for the AMT Bigfoot rollcage as well.
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 11:30 AM

As for detail photos, check out L. Haas's buildup here:
http://public.fotki.com/lannyhaas/challange_build_up/
I saved all the pictures, adding the captions to the filename where necessary. I looked everywhere online and couldn't find much on any early 70's NASCAR Chargers, let alone this particular one.
  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 6:02 PM
I checked his phots out he's done some good work with that car.
Last night I started really looking closely at the box and noticed what some others were saying about the body. The kit body looks correct for the petty car but not Buddys' car. The more I looked at the box the more it bothered me, so now I have gone into fits and have started to try and correct the body. I'm hoping I'm not going to have to buy another kit because of my corrections.
  • Member since
    November 2003
Posted by Gary66 on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 7:22 PM
You don't need to change the body to match the box art.
The picture on the box was taken late in 1972.Bobby Isaac had driven the car most of that year.
Baker finished the last few races of '72, then drove the car all of 1973,and a few races in early '74.
The body in the kit is correct for a 73-74 style charger.
they did run the older sheetmetal in a few races in '73, but most of the time , it was with the style that comes in the kit, not the box art.
Spraybombers have it covered.
  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Howell, NJ, USA
Posted by glenncon on Friday, April 2, 2004 11:32 AM
the AMT 71 charger body looks pretty tempting. I would have definetly used that for a 72 car. I bought the competition resin satellite body for Petty's STP roadrunner, (the red, white and blue one). I'm using the hood from the Revell satellite to make it right. I Know....I'm a glutton for punishment.

http://photobucket.com/albums/v242/glenncon/ Glenn Conigliaro

  • Member since
    November 2003
Posted by DoubleFourValve on Sunday, April 4, 2004 9:30 AM
I an old issue of SAE ("The Best of SAE", I think), there was a Petty Charger conversion from the later body to the earlier one, that didn´t seem to complicated (it even had the templates for changing the rear window profile).
What about the front? Wich one should be used (for the earlier style)?

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