Jump to content

Mopar Madness (Formally: '68 Dodge Charger. A personal journey)

Recommended Posts

Ok so there is a story to this build. It's a long one so I'll try my best to keep the soppy stuff to a minimum.

Last year I decided to build a model car for each of my closest friends as a Christmas present.

My best friend's favourite car was the 1969 Dodge Charger, a kit I new well as I'd build one as a kid. And after quizzing her about what her ideal Charger would be it dawned on me that there was to be a problem with the Revell Monogram '69 kit. Namely that the body in the kit comes with a molded on vinyl roof.

But after a bit of research it turned out that the recent '68 release, the same kit but with a new chrome fret, had a body without a vinyl roof but told you to paint it like it had. :mental:

Problem solved. Get the two kits and swap the bodies. I liked that idea too as it allowed me to build a companion '68 car to act as a sudo friendship bracelet or something to similar effect.

I got the info I needed from my friend on how her dream Charger would be and the specs were thus:

Black paint without the vinyl roof,

Magnum 500 wheels,

No R/T stripe over the boot,

Black leather interior. (I took a liberty with the wood effect)

And this was the result:






Unfortunatly those are the only pics I have of the model before I packed it safely in its box and wrapped it up for her present.

Now for the sad part. Not long after I wrapped it up we started getting into fights and having big fallouts. In the end I had to walk away coz it was too upsetting and was actually depressing me to a large extent.

I did deliver the present and left it as a parting gift.

We did reconcile earlier this year, and for a couple of months everything was fine. Then complete silence which became clear was intentional. Too this day I have no idea why. And so the completion of this once friendship project was on hold.

After the completion of her '69 Charger the kit was packed away so I could focus on the other builds I needed to complete for presents, with the intent to complete the project in the new year. However because of what had transpired and what followed the kit remained in the stash. At times even the thought of the kit was enough to invert my mood for a week. Everything was just too painful.

However more recently I've been getting on with things and forgetting the past. I reached for a Shelby mustang that I started the engine on at the same time as the '69 Charger and before I knew it the '68 kit was out and I wasn't sad or upset. It felt like the right time to build it. And so now that I've finished the Lancia and with all the other builds I have on-going stalled, it's moved onto the workbench.

My plan for this kit was to use these:


Some may recognise 2 of them from my for sale page. Well with no interest in them I've decided to cannibalise the parts I want. The Centreline wheels from the Shelby using the tyres and backing plates from the 'Cuda will adorn my '68.

I did plan on using the Hemi from the 'cuda too but it doesn't fit. So the 440 Magnum engine will do. Not sure whether to do it the correct period Chrylser engine blue or as the change over year to engine red was '69, just paint it like the previous one?

I am also using the optional hood i.e the one with the big scoop and it will be painted satin black with the vinyl roof being matt black with the black r/tstripes on the rear. The colour is going to be ford signal green as I have half a tin of it left over from a Hakosuka build.

No pics of said build yet as I'm still fettling the body ready for primer and filling some pin marks on some panels that need to be painted body colour.

Hope I haven't bored anyone with my story lol

TTFN Ashley

Edited to lessen the soppiness

Edited by MetroRacing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok so I'm getting the impression that this build is gonna fight me all the way.

I will admit a couple of things are of my own making but not all lol.

So firstly I made a decision on the colour to paint the engine. That decision was instead of going out and buying a suitable blue colour to replicate the correct Chrysler Engine Blue for the 1968 year. I thought I'd stick with the Orange and pretend this Charger had had an engine change with a 440 from a '69. and this was the result:


And this is how it looks now:


Yep it bugged me all day so into a bath of Oven cleaner it went and off to the shops I went to get a Blue.

The good news is that this is how the body stood last night:


The best paint job I've ever got. No orange peel, just flat, smooth and glossy. Until I noticed I'd missed a spot on the wet coat :(

I gave it a quick going over in that area this morning and it's ok aside from the orange peel along the edge of where I sprayed.

With a quick wet and dry and a good clear coat I'm hoping to get as good a finish. Praying no dust <_<

I stripped a lot of the chrome plating off most of the parts as this is what I have planned lol:


Now in truth I did intend to paint the surround silver whilst the grill was black with the colour coded bumpers. But I kind of like the looks of just the green and black. HMMM :hmmm:

A problem I have had which I'm hoping someone can shed light on and offer a solution is the Centerline wheels.

They were chrome plated which I stripped off and sprayed satin black, then I sprayed on Tamiya TS-17 aluminium as I'd gotten a good result before. However the paint went crazed or so I thought.

I stripped off the paint again and this time brush painted the satin black. However the crazing is still there.

Here's a pic that whilst not great is the best my phone can do. I hope it shows what I mean:


Any help on this weird crazing. I really don't want to strip them yet again but I'm thinking maybe I need to prime them?

Anyway as I said it's seems to be a tale of woe with this build so far. But I'm not giving in. The Garish green is egging me on lol.

TTFN Ashley.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok so a quick progress update for today.

So far I've make a bit of progress towards fixing all the woe's so far put forth by this it.

Firstly I stripped the wheels again and it turned out the crazing was in the plastic. Strange but I decided to test the primer idea and the result of the test wheel:


Again excuse the phone pic but the crazing has been covered by the primer. I'm hoping that now when I spray the black then silver it wont reappear. The other wheels have now been primed.

The vinyl roof has been painted:


I've decided against the clear coat as the orange peel on the resprayed side has lessened as the paint curd more.

And the engine has been given it's blue paint:


It's a little darker than it appear due to the flash. Coinsidentally the flash actually makes the shade match the actual hue of the real engines. Humbrol 48 is the closest off the shelf colour I could get.

Finally I've made a start on the wood effects:


Again not the greatest pic but basically my method is to paint a wood coloured paint. Humbrol 110 in this case and then over coat it using a clear orange. Another coat should get it the hue I'm after.

A side note is that the wood effect trim wasn't introduced until the '69 year. The panels in the '68 where either painted or unpainted aluminium. However the revel kit features molded wood grain effect on the dash and consol. Hence I'm making the best of it. Wood really stands out against a black interior, which is the way I'm heading as it contrasts the green nicely I think.

TTFN Ashley.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks man. I have to say that this build is stirring up some old memories but nothing I can't handle.

The green paint is as mentioned pervious, Ford Signal Green. Halfords stock it in their rattle can range.

I actually brought it for a Mustang build if I remember right. Along with a can of Ford Wedgewood blue. Then I chose the green to paint my Hakosuka. Still meaning to post a RFI on that lol. It looks cool.

Anyway onto tonight's post.

The wheel issue is solved. Hazzah!!


No I haven't had them chromed. I just so happened to dig out a part finished '69 Coronet Super Bee and low and behold it has a set of Centrelines that again were to be unused in that kit. A quick check to make sure they fit the 'Cuda tyres and hey-presto done and sorted. Plus the chrome is in good condition so no need to strip it and paint them.

I've finished the grill and a quick mock up:


I think with the black bonnet there is too much black on the front end. I think I'll go with my original plan to paint the grill surround aluminium.

The bonnet itself is proving troublesome. or rather the satin black paint I'm using is. It adamantly refuses to give me a consistence sheen. I'm thinking of just sanding it flat and adding a clear coat to just be done with it.

I've made a start on the exhaust system:


The tips have been glued on and then I'll mount the engine to the frame to align and glue the manifolds to the system, before I fill, sand and paint the exhaust.

The white blocks seen here:


Are suspension raisers again taken from the Superbee kit. I want to add some rake to the charger. However the wheels are wider and the tyres are taller than the standard kit one's so I'm expecting more fettling will be required. The suspension will be going on last because of this foresight lol.

The interior as it stands as of tonight:


A bit more paint fettling of the centre console is required I think.

The same goes for the dash:


I'm hoping to get the engine and interior finished over the weekend. though I keep forgetting to paint the cooling fan lol.

TTFN Ashley.

Edited by MetroRacing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok so over these last few hectic days I've managed to decal the engine and dash.

The engine is now mounted in the frame:



The interior pieces are now finished:




Currently I painting the trim around the windows. Once that's dry I can install the glass, then the interior can be fitted.

I just hope that my diversion from the instructions regarding the construction of the interior and body haven't caused massive complications lol.

More on that when the time comes.

What I've also done is to finally paint the original Centrelines that I was having so much trouble with. I've painted them Stainless steel and am unsure which to go with? The chrome plated ones or these?

Anyone want to weigh in with an opinion?


Also as seems to have become a habit of late. I've started another kit. Well technically it's another continuation.

As mentioned previously I have a part built '69 Coronet Super Bee which I stole the nice chrome Centrelines from.

Looking at the kit again has prompted me to finish it. Being as the Charger is a fastback bodied version of the Coronet I thought it apt to build them together lol.

I proceeded to strip down the chassis and I placed the engine in oven cleaner as the engine colour was wrong.

After the paint was washed off, the engine was easy to strip down and thusly rebuilt. The said engine being the 440 6-pack engine. Basically for those who don't know the 6-pack refers to the 3, 2-barrrel carbs fitted. Otherwise it's the same 440 engine fitted to the charger. However whilst seeking the base for the air cleaner so I could position the dissy correctly I found out that it was missing. A thorough search ensued, but alas it wasn't to be found. Obviously it was lost upon my first attempt at building the kit and may be the reason it was abandoned.

However I had the Hemi engine from the scrapped 'Cuda laying around. Now this engine wouldn't fit into the charger and I'd figured this to be because the 'Cuda is 1/24 and the Charger is 1/25. Coincidentally the Super Bee is 1/24 and a quick test fit showed the engine fitted perfectly. And after a quick internet search for references of Hemi powered Super Bee's, I found a suitable air cleaner in my scrapped Plymouth GTX kit and so all that was needed was to adapt the kit exhaust system to fit with the manifolds for the Hemi engine.

I then stripped the hemi in oven cleaner and disassembled fettled and reassembled it. And under a fresh coat of paint it looks rather intimidating lol



The Body was painted with VW Mars red and again I'm very happy with the paint job. Looks like red plastic lol:


That's all for tonight. I should be able to get a bit don't tomorrow after work so maybe another update then.

TTFN Ashley.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another day, another update.


After painting the window trims and other little bits, it was time to install the glass, rear view mirror and interior light. All done rather swiftly and whilst I awaited the glue to dry I assembled the interior.


Looks rather good if I do say so myself lol.

Now for the potential headache inducing part. Assembling the body, interior and frame.

As mentioned previous I'd decided to deviate from the instructions. Basically the engine bay firewall/bulkhead should be mounted to the front of the interior to complete a tub like assembly. However this would leave nasty join lines in the engine bay, as I had previously glued it to the body in the engine bay. The interior was no trouble to fit as I'd been able to fully test fit this version of assembly prior to commencing. However following the same vain I glued the front bulkhead to which the radiator mounts, into the engine bay. Again to eliminate the seem lines. This was where the prayers and hopes would come as I had no idea if the engine would fit into the bay like this. to add to this the radiator and fan surround would have to be balanced on the fan itself and slid into the engine bay with the engine when the frame and body were being joined together. Unfortunately I don't have a clear pic of this so that explanation will have to do.

Suffice to say everything came together without fault:



The peg is to hold the radiator against the bulkhead while it is glued.

After that I couldn't resist a quick mock up lol.



Then I glued the rear valance into place:


The rear bumper is awaiting another coat of green. I originally painted it body colour, then decided to paint it black before changing my mind again and stripped it back to green. However it's quite dull now so another quick coat is needed to liven it up.

From now on the body will be in this position on my workspace:


In the pic I've glued on the front panel under the grill. It doesn't fit very well and I fettled it quite a bit before paint but it wasn't totally successful. looks good from what you can see when it'd the right way up lol.

For now though I'll be adapting and fettling the suspension to raise the rear and maybe lower the front to get the rake I'm looking for.

I've got some paint on the exhaust system and that's the next bit to be installed.


Super Bee:

I've finished the main construction of the Hemi engine. I decided to fit the dissy, belts and fan to see how best to get the engine into the bay. The fit of the body over it is so tight I quickly abandoned it. I decided to fit it like the real thing through the top of the bay and it fit great. Until that is I mounted the aforementioned belts and fan. A very tight squeeze that when the interior is in will be impossible. So when it's time for final assemble it'll have to be glued to the frame and the body placed over top. Many more prayers needed for that.

Anyway here's a pic to show what I mean:


Bearing in mind that is without trying to mount the radiator and fan surround too :/

I noticed the engine was sitting too low to enable the fan to sit in the surround. I had to raise the front of the engine up 2mm using spacers on the engine mounting points:


It awaits a final test fit with the fan surround to make sure but it looks about right. I'll need to clean them up as best as I can but really they wont be seen with the size of the engine lol.

Also the engine cant go up anymore as the dissy interferes with the bonnet if the engine isn't placed in an exact spot.

This is a front view with the engine in place on the raised mounts:


Also bearing in mind that the air cleaner isn't fitted yet either.


A quick test fit shows that the base is too big and it's actually resting on the heads, rather than nestling between them on top of the carbs. A quick trim of the base should fit it in but again the clearance to the bonnet is in question.

I do have a back up plan if all this fettling is in vain.

For now though that's resting in the back of my mind.

Hopefully I should be able to get a fair bit done over the weekend, as I have a rare weekend off work and nothing much planned aside from listening to Dragonforce ;)

"In this land we have defended from all things dark and cruel
Now we are defenseless in a land where dragons rule"

TTFN Ashley.

Edited by MetroRacing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice one. I have a soft spot for the Revell muscle cars and kits from the 50s. My first kit as a kid was a 57 Chevy and to this day i try and build one very couple of years for sentimental reasons.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah same. Most of my road car kits are Mopar Muscle cars or Japanese stuff. Couple of euro ones in there too lol.

I think the simple assembly of them and obviously the looks make them perfect little kits. Good to relax after the nightmares I have with the decals on rally cars lol


Edited by MetroRacing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok so this weekend doesn't really look productive but has been filled with making spacers, sanding, filing and painting.


I started out my adding spacers to the rear set of raisers. 3mm in total added and the following pic shows the process:


The I test fitted the suspension and wheels. 2 reasons really:

1 to see which wheels I liked better and 2 to decide if the rake and ride height were where I wanted them.



I decided the steel coloured wheels suit the car better than the chrome one's, so that's what I'll be doing with.

The front ride height is perfect as is the modified rear and the rake is looking good too.

Now the standard kit has a known problem with the rear axle being too narrow, whereby the rear wheels sit too far into the wheel arches compared to the front wheels. If you look at the black '69 at the start of the thread you can see it.

With these wider wheels the effect is strangely lessened but is still present so I added a 1mm spacer to the rear wheel backings:


Finally out came the hairy stick and paint was put to plastic. The underside now stands thusly:




As can be seen the exhaust system is on. The usual pita of fitting the manifolds to the engine when it's already in the bay with the body on. but it's the only way to get an exhaust system without the seem lines of the manifold pieces and the tips.

The fuel tank and straps have been painted and the prop shaft, axle and springs added. Basically the rear suspension is complete save for the dampers. Those will need lengthening to account for the raise in ride height.

The front suspension is painted and when dry will be fitted and the wheels glued on. Not gonna worry about having spinning wheels. Steering is a must though lol.

Super Bee:

A small update for the Coronet.

I've cleaned up and fettled the engine spacers:


Currently they are under a coat of paint.

I have been working on the interior. Painting bits when I've had the pot open for the same colour on the Charger. However no pics as yet as I've forgot lol.

Now whilst I blast some Dragonforce I feel it's time to share what has been on my mind the last couple of days. In my stash I have the remains of a '69 Charger and a Charger Daytona. The Daytona was up for sale as a spares and repair but no interest and tbf I could save it. The '69 is beyond repair but the '69 specific parts are is good condition.

So my plan is thus... I have recently purchased the Revell Monogram boxing of the '68 charger. The reason for that version as opposed to the RoG version this '68 is, is the US release has the choice of 2 engine's. The 440 Magnum and a newly tooled Hemi.

So a rebuild of the Daytona with the Hemi from the new kit and build a non vinyl roofed '69 charger using the spares from my ancient build and the fresh new kit. I hope that makes sense to someone other than me haha.

What that means is that this thread will continue past the original build and will become a Dodge fest, hell with the further plans I have this might even become a Mopar madness thread pmsl. The title will change accordingly when that or other points arrive.

And with that I'm off to paint some more lol.

TTFN Ashley.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok so I'm calling the charger done. Technically I still have to add the rear licence plate.

I've decided not to add the black R/T Stripes and the side indicators as I like the clean lines of this sexy Mopar beast lol.

I did forget to add the dampers and the bottom radiator hose when installing the front suspension and now the are impossible to affix. But they don't bother me when the finished kit looks this tasty haha.

I've also left the bonnet hinges off so tits fully removable. I might add them or bonnet pins in the future though.


More pics are in the RFI section here:


Thanks to those that have looked in on this build and for understanding the reasons behind it. As mentioned previous the thread will continue to other Mopar muscle cars.

So I'm off to make some progress on the Super Bee .

TTFN Ashley.

Edited by MetroRacing
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Ok time for an update me thinks.

Firstly the name has changed to Mopar Madness, cos I think I've truly gone mad.

As well as the on going Superbee build I have now started a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner and a '69 Charger Daytona. I have also fondled the plastic on a Plymouth Superbird and a 1971 Plymouth GTX. However the Revell US release of the '68 charger hasn't arrived and having kept the seller informed of all the hassle and crap I've been getting from MyHermes over it. There's a reason I detest small courier companies. Yodel are just as bad. Hopefully i'll be getting it sent to an alternative address or at least via Royal Mail.

So onto model.


The interior is finished:



I've also finished the exhaust modifications and they have some paint. No pics but this morning guess what I find?


yep the missing base to the air cleaner for the 440 6 pack engine. :weep: Oh well it's too late now, so I'll have to stick with the hemi.

The body is having the window trims painted. Then it'll be in with the glass and interior before shoehorning the body over the frame. :confused:


For this build I've gone with a modern restoration theme. So with that in mind this is the body after paint:



The colour is Vauxhall Moonland Silver and with the black bonnet stripe I think it'll look rather tasty.

The interior will be a mix of greys. Though I might throw in some black if I don't like it lol.


I've decided for this build to document the deviation from the instructions for those that are interested in it as I only briefly covered it with the '68 build.

After cleaning up the body and front bulkhead I proceeded to fit it and glue it into place:


You can see from the pic that fitting it after paint, during final assembly it would leave a nasty join line.

Also the front of the body in this kit was twisted slightly. So doing this now actually aligns the body back up and saves having to do a near impossible task later down the line, which would undoubtedly damage the paintwork.

Next I filled the pin marks on the firewall piece:


Now a gap would otherwise be between the firewall piece and the engine bay side mouldings if you followed the instructions and glue it to the interior floor. However gluing the firewall into the engine bay prior to anything else presents a gap between the body and firewall. Which is easily filled with 0.5mm plastic:


It still needs the base trimming down in this pic but it shows the best way to fill the gap.

Next I added the chin spoiler to the nose section:


Right now I'm just waiting on the glue to dry before moving on. Hopefully I can get some paint on the it by tonight.

The colour will be Volkswagon Brilliant Orange.

Ahhh back to garish Mopar's haha

TTFN Ashley.

Edited by MetroRacing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a quick update:

I've installed the firewall into the engine bay and I've also drilled out the "vent" holes on the front fenders:



These so called vent hole weren't drilled out on the road version of the Daytona, but like the Revell kit they were actually present as a recessed circle visible from inside the fender. I've read somewhere that the Daytona's fitted with Hemi's had the holes cut out however though on all car's the little scoops atopped their position whether cut out or not. They served no purpose as a cooling devise. Their real purpose was to allow the fitment of the scoop over the top which on the NASCAR Daytona's allowed teams to cut out all the metal under the scoop so the wheels would have more clearance, allowing the ride height to be lower even further.

Anyway now that all that's done. It's now sitting awaiting the primer to dry.

I will get some orange paint on by tonight haha.

TTFN Ashley.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...