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Vega$ '57 T-Bird

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  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Vega$ '57 T-Bird
Posted by mrmike on Monday, July 20, 2020 5:03 PM

My friend Dirk started a build of the Vega$ '57 T-Bird the other day and I pulled mine off the shelf and it was filthy dirty and in need of a rebuild.  I first built this model back in 1979 or 1980 when the show Vega$ starring Robert Urich was on the air and I had to build the model.  Back then, I didn't care about accuracy too much and I just built the model as per the kit instructions.  It wasn't very accurate looking and I need to correct some things on it.  What surprised me was how quickly it came apart and now it will be off to the kitchen sink for a bath with Dawn dish soap and an old toothbrush.

More Vega$ to come... 

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 9:01 AM

I have been sanding the enamel clearcoat from the Vega$ T-Bird.  If it was lacquer, I would have been sanding a lot harder to remove just as much.  I'm using a 280 grit sandpaper to remove the clearcoat and I will follow it up with 400 and 600 grit sandpaper.  This may take a bit of sanding, but at least it is enamel and not lacquer and I had applied it with a brush back then.  I'm being extra careful on the scripts which are molded on the body and I have no decals to replace them with.  I replaced the hand painted whitewall tires with a set of pad printed whitewalls from the AMT '60 Chevy Fleetside pickup.

More Vega$ to come...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    December 2019
Posted by amt68 on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 9:41 AM

I received one of those kits i believe as a Christmas present around that time. Not sure what became of it though. Still quite a few floating around on ebay. 

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: Upstate New York
Posted by spencer1984 on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 10:10 AM
Funny, I've been following Dirk's build on YouTube as well. Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out, I have one in the stash and can use all the inspiration I can get!
  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 2:00 PM

Dirk has described this kit as "clunky" and I'm inclined to agree with him.  This tooling is very old to begin with and I built it just to have the Vega$ '57 T-Bird sitting on the shelf at the time.  It would be nice if somebody would create a new '57 T-Bird, but that may never happen.  

I took a red Sharpie and traced around the edge of the wheel cover to create the red wheels underneath.  The metal axle was exposed and while there are no holes in the engine block, I didn't want the axle showing, so I added some short pieces of styrene rod and glued them into the wheelbacks and the chassis.  No more front metal axle!  Now to find details about this engine (292 CID or 312 CID).

More Vega$ to come...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    December 2019
  • From: New Braunfels,Tx.
Posted by Metalbender on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 10:10 AM

Hi Mr.Mike! 

Isn't that the old Monogram Kit? If so, AMT did do one of those too. It is hard to find, But, is more accurate.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 12:14 PM

Sorry, but this is the AMT '57 Ford Thunderbird kit.  It is NOT the Monogram '56 Thunderbird kit.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Friday, July 24, 2020 4:19 PM

I decided to use some of the parts from the AMT ProShop '57 T-Bird on this old Vega$ model.  The parts are cleaner, crisply molded and already painted.  I'm starting with the engine and I have glued most of it together.  I need to drill holes for plug wires in the cylinder heads and the coil which already molded into the intake manifold.  The valve covers have been detailed.  I have also found a mobile phone in the kit and I will drill a hole for a cord to the handset and paint it like the one on Vega$.

More Vega$ to come...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    December 2019
  • From: New Braunfels,Tx.
Posted by Metalbender on Saturday, July 25, 2020 7:37 AM

Okay;

 Thanks for clarifying that. I thought because of the RED plastic, It might've been the "Other Guys" kit

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Saturday, July 25, 2020 12:14 PM

I went shopping on Thursday and decided to pick up some Easy-Off oven cleaner and I sprayed the T-Bird with it to removed the excess clearcoat and paint from the body and parts.  I just scrubbed and rinsed those parts and they are drying in the paintbooth.  Not all the paint came off, but whatever paint remained easily comes off with my fingernail.  A light sanding and a rinse and everything will be ready for primer and paint.

More Vega$ to come...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 8:20 AM

I have been picking away at the Vega$ '57 T-Bird.  Just little things.  I added a wire to the phone receiver, coiled it and painted the holder and receiver.  I added the wired distributor to the engine block, but I haven't run the wires yet.  I also detailed the air cleaner assembly and will add that after I have run the plug wires.

More Vega$ to come...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: Upstate New York
Posted by spencer1984 on Friday, July 31, 2020 10:30 PM
Looking good, I like the upgrades!
  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Saturday, August 1, 2020 3:20 PM

Thanks Bill!  This car needed more than what I had in it.

I finally got the engine wired and installed into the chassis and I completed the mobile phone.

More Vega$ to come...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

KWT
  • Member since
    July 2015
  • From: Middle TN
Posted by KWT on Sunday, August 2, 2020 2:03 PM

I don't believe I've ever heard of the show.. but this is a nice build nonetheless. Model on Mike

Time well wasted, is not time wasted - John Lennon

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Sunday, August 2, 2020 2:31 PM

Jeremy, here's the opening to the series Season 1 starring the late Robert Urich.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTAuYDt9F3o

I got the '57 T-Bird into primer this afternoon.  Now to let this dry thoroughly and then some sanding.

More Vega$ to come...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

KWT
  • Member since
    July 2015
  • From: Middle TN
Posted by KWT on Sunday, August 2, 2020 3:01 PM

Very late 70's early 80's theme... love it. I may just have to check the show out.

Time well wasted, is not time wasted - John Lennon

  • Member since
    September 2007
  • From: Melbourne, Fl.
Posted by rickr442 on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 1:21 AM


Nice job as usual, Mike! 

KWT, Vega$ ran 1978-1981, and was typical Aaron Spelling schtick- HUGE music, just a few variations on typical story lines, handsome, likable  lead actor, lotsa 'name dropping', using big flashy noisy gaudy Las Vegas as the backdrop. Like all of Urich's longest-running series, it only lasted three years.

Even though it wasn't stellar drama, it did establish Bob Urich as a leading man in an action drama, and paved the way for his best work ever, SPENSER: for Hire.

I went to Las Vegas every year for the SEMA Show through those years. The filming soon left the traffic of LV behind and started using back-projection for 'car shots'. The production used several TBrds, and they suffered the usual TV hero car abuse. One dedicated 'stunt car' was cobbled together, powered by a Chrysler 413/TorqueFlite combo.

The pilot ep of Vega$ used a lace and panel-painted yellow mid-year Corvette 'vert as hero car before Tanna talked his friend out of the TBird. It'd be fun to see Mike's take on that oine, too.

Funny that none of the 'survivors' from this series have made the auction circuit...   

www.fueledbythefallen.com

'Peggy, call the insurance agent... The cars got some bullet holes!'..... Joe Mannix

Yeah, but half an inch to the right, he woulda missed me altogether!'.....Jim Rockford

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