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Santa Pod Rod - a spares box raid.


Neddy
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Having paused the Mustang build to let the paint harden I'm passing the time with a bit of a mental (in both senses of the word) exercise which may or may not interest you.

 

HEALTH WARNING! This project is completely nuts and may not even succeed but it'll be fun trying.  Anyone wishing to preserve brain cells may leave now.

 

 

A while ago I was gifted by my youngest brother probably the mankiest (technical term) resin bodyshell I've ever encountered, together with a box of assorted spares and an incomplete kit, A challenge to accomplish something with this pile of 💩 accompanied the package.  I wouldn't have even attempted it but it was a Mk II Ford Zephyr 'shell which I've never seen before and the more I considered it the more tempted I became.

 

This is what I was presented with...

 

spacer.png...sadly incomplete but enough there to form the basis of a build.

 

After two solid hours of work on the 'shell it began to take shape...

 

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...and I decided it was worth continuing.

 

Now I have no glass, interior or anything else for this but the donor kit looked to contain possibilities, but what would be the end result?  Inspiration struck while I was watching a video of Santa Pod's Run Wot Yer Brung event recently and the sight of anything from rat rods to 1950s Austins sporting blown V8s, massive wheels and tyres decided me.  This will be in the spirit of 1960s American Gassers, hence the thread title.

 

First I needed a chassis to mount the thing on and provide some running gear.  The Thunderbolt's chassis was far too long but about the right(ish) width so I set about re-working it to match the wheelbase of the Zephyr, sectioning it from a point just in front of the rear spring mounts and removing about 1cm before carefully realigning, joining and strengthening the two halves with spare plastic pieces from the parts box...

 

BEFORE:-

 

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After sectioning and whilst drying having reassembled and reinforced the join...

 

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Next the Thunderbolt 'shell gave up it's engine bay to give me something to mount the front suspension on...

 

Before...

 

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After...

 

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That's it so far, I'm designing as I go a bit so some more thinking will ensue before the next major stage.  If you think I'm crackers please feel free to say so, you could very well be right!

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Thanks for the encouragement people.  I'm getting quite hooked on it now and finding a certain satisfaction from problem-solving that  I can't get from OOB building - it's taking me back to my custom-building days when I was a teenager back in the 1960s.

 

Having examined the 'shell more closely now it's free of the bulk of the all-pervading moulding flash, I can see it is in fact a Zodiac, not a Zephyr.  Now I've passed the point of no return on it I'd better deal with all those air bubbles.  :crosseyed:

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After an afternoon of thinking, measuring, more thinking, cutting, adjusting and fitting I've narrowed the chassis, reduced the rear wheelarch flare, shortened both front and rear ends and finally have a chassis that fits under the Zodiac shell.  It still needs some tidying up but at least I now have something I can start to build on.

 

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I've got one of those shells, been toying with the idea of a historic race car (one day) but my shell looks even worse than yours! I've also got an Anglia and narrow body Mk1 Escort from the same ''maker'' and they're no better....!! 

 

Looking forward to seeing this one come together.

 

Keith

 

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I got it (them) from ebay, I think all from the same seller but I can't remember exactly as it was a good few years back now. I do still see the shells appear on there from time to time, so might be worth setting up a search on there.

 

Just remembered I also have a Mk1 Cortina shell from the same source. Again no improvement on the others! But to be fair I do think they can all be made to look the part given the necessary blood, sweat and tears...!! :)

 

Keith

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Well it's certainly drawn blood!  In attempting to remove some of the masses of extraneous resin with a mini-drill and a cutting disc I skimmed a finger and discovered the hard way what an efficient tool it is...  🩸

 

I'm now working on the interior tub which needs reducing in all three dimensions.  Only one photo for now - having shortened it by 1cm at the front of the back seat...

 

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- as at the moment it's looking pretty awful.  In keeping with the style I'm aspiring to I'll be making a spartan "aluminium panelled" interior from Plastikard in place of the seats and upholstery, leaving a single driver's seat.  This, however, needs a supply of Plastikard which I'll be picking up on Friday when I visit a friend who is building a huge (entire garage-occupying) Hornby Dublo three-rail layout and happens to live fairly near a model shop.

 

(Sanity?  What is this "sanity" of which you speak?  :mental:)

 

More next week...

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4 hours ago, Neddy said:

Well it's certainly drawn blood!  In attempting to remove some of the masses of extraneous resin with a mini-drill and a cutting disc I skimmed a finger and discovered the hard way what an efficient tool it is...  🩸

 

 

Ouch...!! 

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Having acquired a sheet of 0.5mm Plasticard (courtesy of Weston Model Centre in Teynham - thanks and nice to see round your shop!) production has continued.  I've cut, shaped and fitted the panelling in the rear of the passenger tub and ground away the interior door and side panel detailing, the intention being to represent a stripped bare and aluminium panelled interior...

 

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...and given it a first coat of aluminium paint (at least, that's wot it said on the tin!)...

 

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...but I'm really not sure about the colour.  I think I can represent aluminium panelling better than that.

 

Now back to some straightforward building.  I've started assembling the power plant - Ford 427 V8 - prior to building up the rolling chassis.

 

Thanks for watching!  More at 11...

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Good to see you making progress, shame about the paint problems you've had.

 

I hate to ask the question, but is that aluminium paint aluminium-coloured paint, or paint for aluminium? It's just that the appearance of it from your photos looks very much like primer.

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The colour is actually "Aluminium" but its an awful flat grey in actual fact.  As soon as it's hardened I'll flat it and repaint it silver.  I'm a bit reluctant to try another "aluminium" coloured paint!

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Rubbish "aluminium" paint rubbed down and recoated silver - good enough for the interior as it won't be seen that much (no opening doors) but I'm sure I don't need to tell you what a b*tch it is brush-painting silver!

 

Today I've been painting various components (chassis, interior, dashboard, seat etc.) and building the engine.  I've kept it stock from the donor so far but I'm planning on fitting custom side-exit exhaust headers and different air cleaners from the spares box.

 

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Work now proceeding, mainly painting small parts and building sub-assemblies.  Engine now pretty much complete - a bit blingy but that's the intended style of the 'rod, Interior further on, dashboard lowered, foot pedals shortened, steering column ditto.  The donor kit yielded an ideal set of wheels and tyres.  Getting closer to some major assembly work but progress is inevitably slow due to each component needing modification as it's built.  Fun though - so far...

 

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It's about as good as brush-painted silver can be expected to be, i.e. not brilliant.  This plus the realisation that the next time I'll be able to spray anything will be late March 2023 has finally led me to accept I need to go the airbrush route.  A portable spray-booth has been acquired (courtesy of Mrs N for my Xmas present, bless her!) and I'll be digging out my 50-year-old Humbrol airbrush kit to use as a starter/learning tool prior to getting a new one.  Currently looking at - and thoroughly confusing myself with - various acrylic airbrush-ready paints, primers, thinners, cleaners and the like.  :crosseyed:

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Well, slight setback today.  I finally got round to digging out my old Humbrol airbrush which I'd kept carefully packed away in a cupboard.  I opened the case, picked it up...

 

...and it quite literally crumbled away in my hand.  50-year old plastic degrades and I was reminded of it the hard way.  No worries, I still have a full - and viable - propellant can so while I decide which way to go long-term I've simply ordered a new Humbrol airbrush as for my purposes - simply spraying primer and laying down topcoats on body panels - it will be fine for re-learning and only cost £16.99.  Once I'm familiar with spraying acrylics I'll look at something more ambitious but it'll do me until then.

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Yes there were hundreds of these about in the day, with both bench and separate front seats and a large rear bench seat. The resin shell looks very good.

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Good choice on the airbrush. I still use mine. Easy to use and easy to clean. 

I just thin down normal Tamiya acrylic with either IPA or car screen wash to the consistency of thin milk.

Spray from a couple of inches away (this may vary, experiment!) and in parallel passes.

Use acrylic primer first. Hycote is good and reasonably priced from the bay or the Range.

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