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1970 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda in Ivy Green


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Greetings!

 

What little activity I have here on Britmodeller is usually targeted to the naval section of the forum, but after a couple of 1:700 battleships with too many too small parts I figured it is time for something completely different. My first plan was to start recreating my 1:1 Camaro using the Revell kit I recently got for just that purpose, but since the car itself is will be going through some changes soon, I decided to wait some more. Would be silly to go through the process of building a precise model of something that is going to look different soon, methinks. Then I came across this kit that has been sitting in the stash since it was released nearly ten years ago:

 

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My father has a 1:1 scale E-body, so I raided his library to find some inspiration for the build. There I found my platonic ideal of a Cuda:

 

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'Ivy Green' metallic colour, black 'Hockey Stick' -stripes, silver/gray Shaker -scoop. Green interior as well. Simple. Pretty similar car I found online:

 

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Not sure I like the body colored Elastometric bumper on this one, or the chromed wing mirrors.  I don't think I'll be building an exact replica of either car, but they'll serve as a general guideline.

 

On to the kit itself:

 

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The body shell. Looks nice in my opinion. E-body is a hard one to get right. Lot nicer than couple of Revell Challengers I've built.

 

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Nice detail all around. Two sets of front suspensions for different ride heights. Kit also comes with two sets of bumpers, one set in chrome , and one in white plastic, modeled after the optional elastometric bumpers which had a slightly different shape. Very nice addition to a kit!

 

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Two sets of rear leafs as well. Interior detail is nice, I appreciate the separately molded centre console, as well as the higher-trim 'Rally dash' which I think is appropriate for a Hemi car. All E-body kits I've had before had the basic dash with no tachometre, which I think is just weird for high-spec cars. Sadly the steering wheel is the basic one, would've liked to see a higher-end one, they look nicer in my opinion. The stock twin scoop hood is also included along with the Shaker hood, unfortunately there are holes in the scoops, which is just wrong. Real ones were completely non-functional.

 

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Chrome bits. Not very impressed, finish is thick and kind of uneven.

 

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Bit worried how the tail lights will turn out, going to be a pain to get them painted in a tidy manner. Wish I had photo-etch parts for these or something.

 

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Set of custom wheels is also included, like usual. Wish they'd include something more period correct. 

 

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Tyres included are bland non-branded ones, which I disliked immediately. All-black tyres in a muscle car of this era just look silly to my eye. Found a set of white-letter Goodyears in my stash. Would prefer Firestones myself, but they'll do.

 

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Decals are very nice. Hemi -Hockeystick-stripes in four colours, and many small texts and labels, even an owners manual!

 

 

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Started the build with the engine, as is usual. I had a hunch I will be having trouble with the shaker scoop's fitment with the hood at some point, so I decided to start test fitting it as early as possible. So I glued the carbs on with a tad of super glue at this point. Also put the shaker scoop together,  assembled it all, and et voila:

 

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Yeah, seems about right, it only needs to go down like 8mm or so...

 

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Luckily it was easy to adjust by filing these posts under the scoop down.

 

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A lot better.

 

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Took off the carbs again. Noticed that cylinder heads needed a bit of filling, some of the inside cavity was visible from the corner after the valve cover was put on. Plugged that with some sprue.

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That's better, wont leak now : )  Also drilled out the spots for the spark plug wires.

 

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Got some primer on, naturally the seam between engine halves needed more attention.

 

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Some silver for the transmission, mask that off.

 

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And then some orange for the engine block.

 

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Some black for valve covers and exhaust manifolds. I've seen Hemi's with steel, black and orange manifolds, went for black because that's how I've done them in the past.

 

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Main components of the engine glued together, some details painted on. Don't know how much detail I'll be adding, at least spark plug wires and some fuel lines. The huge Shaker scoop will hide most of it anyway.

 

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American car models often suffer from the floating alternator syndrome, and this kit is no exception. Added a bit of plastic to work as a bracket.

 

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Some normal mold lines on the body, marked those out for sanding.

 

That's a lot of pictures and text for very little actual progress.

 

-Till next time

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Mmmm Cuda! I like that one you found. The plastic bumpers and mirrors don't bother me. Have it wrapped and sent round, will you?

The model is coming along nicely too. The engine looks good in orange. I look forward to the rest of the build.

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I'll agree it's a good start. I am a little surprised though that you've had an issue with the shaker, it's a while since I built mine but I don't remember any issues there. Similarly with the tail lights, if you have thin enough clear red and a small brush (5/0 max) you can flow the paint into where you need it and build it up until the colour is there. I used clear for the reversing lights and it seemed to work pretty well.

 

One thing to watch out for (the only thing I really remember being a pain on mine) is the rear valance - the fit isn't great, especially around the exhaust pipes.

 

Keep up the good work.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've tried posting a reply/update a few times last week, "Submit Reply" -button turns to "Saving...", and then nothing happens. Apparently I'm not the only one with this issue...

 

On 9/12/2021 at 10:09 PM, Fnick said:

You could always consider stripping the chrome and respraying it.

 

 

This is something I must look into now that I got an airbrush. Is Alclad still the way to go? I haven't built cars in years, and all the big kids were using that for their chrome back in the day.

 

On 9/12/2021 at 11:12 PM, Spiny said:

I'll agree it's a good start. I am a little surprised though that you've had an issue with the shaker, it's a while since I built mine but I don't remember any issues there. Similarly with the tail lights, if you have thin enough clear red and a small brush (5/0 max) you can flow the paint into where you need it and build it up until the colour is there. I used clear for the reversing lights and it seemed to work pretty well.

 

I was surprised by the problems with the Shaker too, I had no similar problems with the ancient Monogram '71 'Cuda I built ages ago. Thanks for the tips!

 

Started the sanding/rescribing/priming -process with the body shell. Still needs lots of work. Not perfectly happy with the way the body is molded, panel lines were partially pretty light, and some of the trim seems pretty undefined.

 

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Some slight progress on the engine. Some clearance issues between the Shaker and the distributor which now sits at an awkward angle. Hopefully it won't be too noticeable. I need to source some material for the ignition wires, I used thin solder in the past, but looking at it now it looks too bulky.

 

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Fills the engine bay nicely.

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-Till next time.

 

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15 hours ago, Liizio said:

I need to source some material for the ignition wires, I used thin solder in the past, but looking at it now it looks too bulky.

I have used wire-wrap wire for ignition leads before now. You can get it from amazon. It comes in many colours and a whole reel with last you for a very long time.

I have had my reel for so long, that I can't remember when I bought it!

Must be 30 years ago!

 

Cheers,

Alan.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/30/2021 at 2:26 PM, Alan R said:

I have used wire-wrap wire for ignition leads before now. You can get it from amazon. It comes in many colours and a whole reel with last you for a very long time.

 

My electrician uncle happened to have this material, and it seems to work wonders! The one he had is just a tad thick for my tastes, but I'd imagine there is thinner ones available. Thank you for the tip!

 

I started the detailing process. Added ignition wires made from the aforementioned wrapping wire. Also raided my uncle's component storage for some Zenier diodes which I used to mimic the fuel lines with fuel filters. Also built an ignition coil from another one of those. Added an oil dipstick too, but that's pretty invisible in these photos.

 

I'll be adding some wiring for the brake cylinder and battery, and heater hoses as well. I think that will do for engine bay detailing.

 

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Also prepped the undercarriage bits for painting. Bit of a chore, lots of flash in hard to reach places. Hope to start painting these next, but even though I have two restoration guides for E-bodies at hand, they aren't massively helpful concerning these parts. Internet is also a bit divided on what colours to use. Oh well, I won't be losing sleep even if I paint the front stabilizer in steel when it's really supposed to be black.

 

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I also have trouble sourcing a paint for the body. Many shops around here used to have a good selection of Maston or Motip -spray paints, but now shelves look pretty empty. That's how the world is right now, I guess.

 

-Till next time

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I have a week off work, and not a lot else to do than fiddle around with cars, both 1:1 and smaller. Just got my Chevy up on blocks and started tearing off the rear suspension in hopes of getting both leaf springs and shocks replaced during winter. During the ordeal also noticed that the rear wheel bearings in the autumn of their life, and I'll also need to go tire shopping soon. Wonderful.

 

In 1:24 scale things are going more smoothly. After a lot of re-scribing and sanding the body is finally ready for paint:

 

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I noticed one annoying thing; the sideline of the body is warped on top of rear wheel arches. Hopefully it won't be super noticeable, because I won't even try to correct this one.

 

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I first gave the front fascia a coat of silver spray, but I wasn't happy with the outcome. These parts have a pretty distinct texture irl, and plain silver looked just wrong. Then I painted the fascia black, and added a somewhat translucent coat of silver on top of that. I think it looks pretty good!

 

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Also started work on rear lights. Sprayed a very light coat of same silver on top of chrome to tone it down a bit, then painted the black bits with some diluted Tamiya acrylic. Pretty happy so far, but still kinda dreading painting the actual lights.

 

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-Till next time.

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Radiator had this thing molded on, apparently it tries to mimic some sort of an coolant overflow hose:

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Looks hardly hose-y to me, so I filed it off and made a new one:

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Added some brake lining to the master cylinder, and also that shackle which keeps the thing closed. I probably has a proper name, but I don't know it.

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Bit of dry-fitting. Some clearance issues with battery and ignition wires. Also added some battery wires.

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Glued on the front lights:

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...And painted the red bits of rear lights. I'm pleasantly surprised how these turned out:

 

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-Till next time

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