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AMT 1950 Chevy 3100 WIP...make that SWIP (slow work in progress)

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  • Member since
    April, 2009
AMT 1950 Chevy 3100 WIP...make that SWIP (slow work in progress)
Posted by PotatoCam on Monday, February 26, 2018 2:54 PM

Hello again all,

This will be my first pickup since returning to building model cars, and my first project combining so many different kit parts. Actually, I suspect this build will contain many firsts for me, so we'll see how it turns out, I guess...

Anyway, a bit of background on the build. I am building this for a close friend of mine, in fact he was the best man at my wedding and the gent from whom I got my current 1:1 project car. We share similar tastes on many things, but as I intend for this to be a surprise for his birthday in May, I have had to figure out many details with his wife's help. It's funny, but out of ALLLLL the automotive stuff we've talked about, we haven't really discussed HIS dream build, which is an early-1950's Chevy truck, other than the basic subject itself.

So, this is what I originally envisioned:

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And these were the kits with which I originally planned to do the build:

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My original plan was to build it with the rockers on the ground, utilizing the chassis, wheels, and engine from the Wagon Rod kit. After discussing the project with his wife, however, she said that he has talked about someday doing a more "original style" build, which I interpreted as a build not wildly different from stock. I also sent her some pictures of several different engines, and she also thinks that while he loves Corvettes, that he's mentioned a more classic-style engine. So, rather than the LT-5 Corvette mill from the Wagon Rod, I'll be using a 454 from the AMT Baldwin-Motion Camaro.

More pics soon...



  • Member since
    April, 2009
Posted by PotatoCam on Monday, February 26, 2018 3:22 PM

To continue, the new plan is to build a mildly customized, mostly stock-looking pickup. I'll be lowering it some, and of course putting in a non-stock engine, I'll be using a shade of blue as close as I can find to the pics in the previous post. As well, I intend to use the stock wheels but with some tires from an old MPC Trans Am kit, as I think they look beefier than the stock pie-crust tires in the kit (although those stocker tires in the AMT Chevy 3100 kit are quite nicely rendered!).

I also imagine I'll have to make a few modifications to make things look as if they were actually installed correctly, not just glue-bombed together (kinda like the the MPC Mustang I built as a kidlet with a blown motor and zoomies pokin' through the hood). 

I should also mention that although it may seem odd to some, I have actually never tried to properly build a model of an older vehicle with a more modern engine while making the installation seem properly engineered, so to speak, so apologies ahead of time if my methods and or pace offend much more experienced modelers, hehehe. Incidentally, if you have a method to offer that you think is easier and/or would yield a superior result to what I am currently using, I am open to constructive criticism.

Anyway, on with more pics.

The kit graciously offering up its engine:

I am embarrassed to admit how much time I have spent working on this already while having so little to show. Suffice it to say that I think I was trying to noodle out too many things at once; okay, the engine block fits, but what about headers, driveshaft alignment, depth of the engine in the frame, ohmagawd what about the transmission tunnel clearance and AHHH HOLYCRAPPERDOODLES what about tha' gol'darned radiator!?!?! 

It came to me that I would have to figure things out one at a time and tackle these issues one piece at a time. Overthinking things? Yeah, maybe, but it's me, sooo...

I realized that I would have to mock things up, so I tacked togther the firewall to the interior tub and the inner fenders to the firewall. I found that some judiciously applied Tamiya tape held the interior onto the frame and made it LOADS easier to space things out, so to speak.

I also have the front suspension mocked up to be sure the oil pan will clear. I did end up having to grind and file away part of the front crossmember in case I need to mount the engine lower in the frame than originally anticipated.

I should point out to those who are familiar with such 1:1 builds that I would not necessarily build a 1:1 truck this way. I figure that this will be a shelf model that might get it's hood peeked under once in a while, as opposed to a contest model where every detail is scrutinized by experts. Besides, to be perfectly honest, although I am fairly familiar with how a 1:1 project would go, I don't know that my scratch-building skills are up to building or swapping in an IFS or even an IRS from another kit. I want this completed by late May, so I don't want to bite off more than I can chew.

More to come soon.

Edit: I seem to be having issues posting pics...please bear with me.



  • Member since
    April, 2009
Posted by PotatoCam on Monday, February 26, 2018 3:48 PM

Okay, so I have mocked up the engine and placed it in the old Chevy's engine compartment. It'll fit, but I may need to fab some headers, and I may also need to clearance the inner fenders. I tacked the BM Camaro's headers to the engine, and they actually DO fit, but they touch the inner fenders in most orientations. As well, the header mouldings on my example leave much to be desired, and after a couple eons of cleanup on ONE SIDE, I decided it ultimately would not be worth it, so I'll have to grab some solder and try that method. I have a fair amount of 1/16" brass tubing, but no bender, and I can't seem to make a clean bend tightly enough, so, yeah...solder it is, lol.

I also started to mock up the cab on the frame to get an idea of how low to go. I think the wheel and tire combo will work, but I'll have to fab a new spindle on the end of the front axle to lower the front suspension. 

I seem to recall a method involving the use of business cards to mock up ride hight and stance; I'll have to dig out that article.

More to follow soon, and thanks for looking!



  • Member since
    April, 2009
Posted by PotatoCam on Monday, February 26, 2018 3:57 PM

Here are the wheels and tires I'll be using:

My plan is to paint whitewalls just prior to final assembly since the tires have a nicely moulded line in the sidewall. Hopefully this will lend the finished model a more old school appearance.

By the way, I discovered (as I am sure many reading this post have, too) that reusable poster tack material can be useful for mocking up different items. Here is the engine with rocker covers on...

And here it is with the rocker covers off, revealing the blu-tak that was holding them on:

It's a small thing, but it holds securely enough for mocking up and is easily removed, so I mentioned it in case anyone else might be able to make use of it.

Anyway, I think I have figured out how I'll mount the if I haven't inadvertently rubbed off the penciled-on reference marks...

More to come later,




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