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Chopped 'n' Dropped Deuce Tudor Highboy

Bernard Kron
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Bernard Kron
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Joined: 10:54 PM - Dec 26, 2014

1:02 PM - Oct 21, 2017 #1

About 6 years ago, a couple of years into rediscovering the model car hobby, I picked up a copy of the then newly introduced Revell ’32 Ford Tudor Sedan kit, as much for the flathead as for the body style. As a died in the wool hot rod modeler I immediately set to chopping the top with an idea to building a “chopped & dropped” highboy with a z’d frame and a lowered stance (the latter being something that IMHO all Revell Deuces desperately need). Unfortunately I made a total mess of the chop, eventually losing bits of the A-pillars, and the project was shelved. As the years passed by the kit was gradually stripped of most of its key parts, leaving only the butchered body and some of the more sedan-specific bits, the chassis, which I had already z’d, and the ubiquitous Ford small block (just how many of these do I now have in my stash anyway?).

Along the way I had acquired another copy of the kit, and although it too lost its flathead, it was largely intact and its body untouched. Over the years my skills have thankfully improved somewhat, and I began thinking it was time to pick this project up and complete what I had originally intended. Then recently a handsome black Deuce Tudor commissioned by George Poteet and built by Johnson’s Rod Shop was featured in The Rodder’s Journal and I took this as a sign and an inspiration. I decided that I would attempt as flawless a chop and paint job as I am capable of at this point, and make a jet black fenderless highboy from the original z’d frame and what few parts still remained from the project.

My first step was to remove about 3 scale inches from the top and execute a basic black paint job using Duplicolor Black Acrylic Lacquer, 3 coats of color over hot rod gray primer, wet sanded between every coat and then sealed under 3 coats of clear. The clear will be left to cure good and hard before I rub it out for its final polish, but so far it looks promising. No sense in doing this project if I couldn’t pull off decent paint and bodywork… I’ll be running a full hood with the stock louvered side panels.

While the paint cures I’ve started on the additional bits. First off was to attempt to do something with the Ford small block. I decided to fabricate a dual 4-barrel intake manifold using 3 of the countless copies I have of the kit’s single 4-barrel manifold. Along the way I also smoothed the script off the kit’s Ford Motorsport valve covers, although I think I might use the ribbed valve covers from the 5-window kit instead. We’ll see. The carbs and air cleaners are from a Revell Small Block Chevy Parts Pak.

The wheels will be classic Halibrand kidney bean mags courtesy of Historic Racing Miniatures, finished in magnesium Testors Metalizer with polished rims simulated thanks to my handy 1 mm. Molotow Chrome paint pen (the Molotow is really a breakthrough allowing instantly realistic polished chrome-like surfaces for small parts). Tires will be narrow bias-ply big and little blackwalls all around, the fronts from a Revellogram ’37 Ford Panel Truck and the rears Herb Deeks truck tire items, my current rear tire of choice for old-school hot rods.

Below is a summary of where I’m at so far, including the original z’d chassis which I’ll be using.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Bernard Kron
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Bernard Kron
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Joined: 10:54 PM - Dec 26, 2014

9:57 PM - Nov 06, 2017 #2

Slow but steady progress is being made. Given the highly degree of finish I’m aiming for I’m trying my best to be careful and meticulous, to whatever degree I can muster…

I’ve gotten most of chassis work completed including the front and rear suspension. The front suspension features my favorite dropped front axle in scale, from the Revell ’40 Ford Street Rod Coupe. I believe it can also be found in other Revell ’40 and ’48 Ford hot rod variants. I like it because it’s a finely constructed I-Beam, has a very deep 4” drop, and comes separate from the front spring. I used the front spring from the Revell Deuce kits, but shaved down to a mono-spring configuration for maximum degree of front end lowering. The rear suspension will be largely stock from the kit since the chassis I’m using is from the original build started in 2011 . Doing otherwise would have meant starting an entirely new chassis, which is not my plan this time around. Total focus on the final fit and finish is what this project’s about. However, I had run out of rear end covers and was trying to avoid raping one from an intact Revell Deuce kit. Much to my delight I found that a hub cap from a Monogram ’37 Ford Sedan Delivery kit is a perfect fit – not only do I get the shiny chrome but it has a V8 logo engraved in it. What luck!

Also, if you look at the front suspension photo you’ll notice that the chassis horns have been reworked. After the usual filling and smoothing of the outer surfaces to eliminate the indentations for the bumper brackets I also added .020 styrene strips to simulate the stock unfilled U-section chassis rails. It’s not very clear due to the black paint but I inserted the chrome cross bar to highlight it in the picture.




The wheels got a little more attention, now that the suspension is completed. I had a set of resin Buick finned brake drums of now unknown origin. I smooth the front details to fit inside the wheels and drilled the centers out to accept the axle stubs. Then I added some resin ’40 Ford backing plates. The finned parts are finished in Krylon Chrome to simulate polished aluminum.



Another piece of detailing is being lavished on the hood side panels. This is a detail I saw done several years ago on one of Lyle Willit’s exquisite Deuces – real opened up louvers. Lyle did it by grinding out the inside of the hood sides to thin them and then cutting open the remaining thin plastic between the louvers. When he did it I was inspired to try my hand at it but found that it was very critical how much you thinned the plastic since the ultra-thin louver bits tended to warp. So this time I decided to leave the hood thickness untouched and just cut into the surface from the front with the back of a #11 blade. It works quite well, .but I’m not sure, at least with a black car, whether it’s worth the effort. It’s not hard to do, but to say that it’s tedious and boring would be a gross understatement. I don’t seem to be able to do more that 4-5 louvers at a sitting before I need to move on to something else. So far I have one side done and the other not quite half done. I’m hoping they’ll be enough shine and sparkle on the motor so that something shows through them on the final build…

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Bernard Kron
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Bernard Kron
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Joined: 10:54 PM - Dec 26, 2014

9:57 PM - Nov 06, 2017 #3

Another piece of detailing was the grill, done with black bars and a chrome rim. Normally this would involve some tricky foil work but with the introduction of the Molotow Chrome paint pen it was radically simplified. Just strip, paint it black and, suing the 1mm Molotow tip, draw in the chrome edge. Thanks Molotow!



And lastly I’ve got the interior pretty much completed. Most of it is from the kit with some material added to the rear of the side panels where the rear seat would have been. There’s no room for the rear seat because of the kick-up from the z’d frame. Instead I made a simple floor panel from styrene grooved sheet (Plastruct corrugated roof material) and styrene semi-circular rod for the skid rails. It’s finished in gloss black with foiled rails. The tank is the kit gas tank cut out, glued together and finished in Metalizer Aluminum plate. The seats are some really nice, simple, and authentic old school race car buckets from Big Donkey Resins. The dash and steering wheel are stock kit items.



That’s it for now. The motor needs plumbing and wiring before it gets installed. The suspension locating arms needed to be decided on and then on to ,final assembly. The trick will be not to mess up the nice, shiny body…

Thanx for lookin’,
B.
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wisdonm
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wisdonm
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Joined: 2:36 AM - Aug 06, 2008

1:59 PM - Nov 07, 2017 #4

Thanks for showing your processes. Always interested in how and why.

Has a checkered past.

Stand on it....brakes only slow yoou down.
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Bernard Kron
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Bernard Kron
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Joined: 10:54 PM - Dec 26, 2014

5:19 AM - Nov 21, 2017 #5

I seem to be taking a rather scattershot approach to this build. I think it’s partially because it’s a revival of a very old project and it’s taken some time to get focused again on where it’s going. Also, since I needed to prove to myself that I could actually execute a smooth, even black paint job, I’ve now got a main body assembly that needs extremely careful handling so I ‘m easily tempted into sub-assemblies that don’t require test fitting the body. As a result I’ve got a lot of bits and pieces completed but haven’t quite reached the point of final assembly.

One thing that became clear to me was that with as formal and finished-out a car as the polished black paint created the other details of the car would have to be up to something approaching that level. The motor in particular, didn’t really seem right. Then I happened on an image of Cobra Hi-Po Tri-Carb motor and thought that that was more in keeping with the build, rather than the somewhat rough adaptation of the kit parts I had already done. Some web research turned up a very nice replica of the carburetion, air cleaner and intake courtesy of B-N-L Resins (http://bnlresins.ipage.com/shoppingopencart/ ), and then I remembered that a friend had given me a very nicely detailed build-up of the Cobra motor that comes in the Buttera chassis Monogram ’29 Ford Delivery Van and ’34 Ford Coupe kits. It was part of care package of half-finished bits he gave me when I was first re-entering car modeling. In particular he had done a sterling job of finishing out the valve covers in matte back over foiled fins and lettering. Carefully prying them off I found they were a perfect fit for the Revell kit Ford small block. So I’ve done a whole new engine assembly with a far more finished and formal look.

The front and rear suspension are finalized with the rear assembly installed and only the radius rods and steering left to add in the front. The wheels and tires are completed so I was able to check out the stance. The car sits very low with only the barest hint of a rubber rake, very much in the manner of some of the SoCal resto-rods of the late 60’s. I also was able to set up the headlight assembly, consisting of the larger stock headlamps for the full-fendered variant of the Revell Tudor kit, but mounted low off the front of the shock mounts. A “V8” headlight brace from an AMT Deuce kit connects the two headlights.

Cutting down the windshield frame and cutting new glass is the next major project, and then it should be time for final assembly. If I can keep my eye on the ball and avoid messing things up I’m probably 10 days to 2 weeks from completion.

Below are some summary pics of where things are currently. The air cleaner and wheels are only loosely attached so they may not be lined up properly as yet, but this should give you a pretty clear sense of the overall stance and style of the car.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.



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Bernard Kron
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Bernard Kron
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Joined: 10:54 PM - Dec 26, 2014

5:17 AM - Nov 27, 2017 #6

This will be the final update, a fairly minor one at that. I’m in the throes of final assembly and so far that shiny black paint job remains intact, much to my relief. The interior was completed and glued to the chassis, the opposite of the original kit instructions, but fairly typical of what happens when you radically re-work a model like this. Below are a couple of pictures of the assembled interior, together with a final detail I added, a couple of extension tabs at the back of the chassis to mount the chrome cross bar below the bottom of the body work. I did this because the rear of the car looked a bit bare and high in the poop. It needed something to draw the eye towards the line between the bottom of the body shell and the upper edge of the chassis. When I take pictures of the completed car you’ll be able to see what I did.

Virtually the whole car is together now, with the glass installed and the body glued to the chassis. There’s just the taillights and license plate to install. I hope to post a completed car within the next couple of days.

Thanx to all who followed along.
B.


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Another Rick
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Another Rick
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Joined: 1:31 PM - Aug 10, 2011

9:35 AM - Nov 27, 2017 #7

Killer hot rod. I've always liked a shiny, black street rod and the work you have done with this one is outstanding. You may have some issues with DMV passing the headlight height rule though.
I build models because GOD allows me to and because I can't afford the real thing!!
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IAracefan
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IAracefan
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Joined: 3:55 AM - Jun 11, 2011

12:13 AM - Nov 29, 2017 #8

I like everything about this build, everything goes together so well. It was love at first sight. rrr
Kevin
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Bernard Kron
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Bernard Kron
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Joined: 10:54 PM - Dec 26, 2014

6:40 AM - Nov 30, 2017 #9

Thanx guys! Glad you dig it!

I got this project wrapped up today and began shooting pictures when I noticed a minor flaw that needed correcting. But not before I got some final detail shots and a teaser of the completed build. The flaw has been corrected and I’ll do a formal photo shoot tomorrow. In the meantime one final detail summary showing the rear end with the taillights and license plate installed. The taillights are Appleton spots from an AMT ’50 Ford convertible kit filled with clear red epoxy. I also got a nice sharp closeup showing the channel detail on the chassis horns, the completed motor and the hood sides in place demonstrating that all that tedious work cutting open the louvers was a waste of time, at least on a black car. I hope to post up a full set of beauty shots tomorrow.

‘Til then, thanx for lookin’,
B.



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Bernard Kron
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Bernard Kron
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Joined: 10:54 PM - Dec 26, 2014

1:45 AM - Dec 02, 2017 #10

All done! Thanx to all who followed along. Here are the final "beauty shots".






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