Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Vintage" 69 Charger 500--Engine Compartment

I haven't had a lot of time to work on hobbies this week but have been thinking about this build more than I's been bugging me that the way MPC tooled the engine compartment of the 69 Charger 500 looks nothing like the reference photos I have been using.

The engine compartment out of the Revell #85-2824 Charger kit doesn't look quite right either but it's closer, so I decided to chop the engine compartment out of the latter.

I have seen this done in hobby magazines but haven't done this myself, until now. I chopped up the body of the Revell kit....

...using a razor saw and the back end of a hobby knife I cut up all the pieces I would need.....

....and using Tenax7R glued the bits into the Vintage Charger body. It fit remarkably well--no need for any sort of putty or filler, really.

The firewall from the MPC kit didn't look that good with the rest of the new engine compartment so I dropped the Revell kit's in. Fits perfectly!

This whole process was a cause for much fear and loathing throughout the week--I was afraid of screwing this up and it taking all day to transfer the engine compartment from Revell kit to MPC. Turns out it was really easy and only took a few minutes. Which makes me wonder--why ever worry or be fearful about any of this????

Sunday, February 15, 2009

69 Charger 500s--Breeding Like Rabbits

On a quest to find 1:1 Charger 500 facts my brother had me contact a 1:1 Charger 500 expert. Turns out this guy doesn't build models--he wants the girls to actually date him I guess--but being a 1:1 Charger nut and apparently owning everything Charger he had the same vintage MPC kit, unbuilt, in his collection. To get myself a spare--I envisioned accidentally dropping and crunching the Coronet grill under my chair at the end of the build--I convinced him to sell his MPC kit to me. Which he did.

So now I have two MPC Charger 500's.

This same Charger expert informs me that AMT/ERTL reissued this exact same kit (not just the reissue Daytona but an exact duplicate of this Charger). So I've learned that my "Vintage" project is not as rare as I thought--in fact, it's not that rare at all.

I was going to build the MPC "box stock" but it wasn't meant to be--there were too many details missing that I couldn't fill in from my parts box and it was driving me crazy. So from Model Roundup I bought Revell's 69 Charger: kit #85-2824 "69 Dodge Charger Daytona". This is a "skill level 3" kit which means a 12 year old (as opposed to a 10 year old) has about as good a shot as me re: being able to build it. Thank goodness!

I wouldn't say building engines is getting old but it's getting easier. I am taking more time to line stuff up and am back to using Testor's red tube glue for a lot of the "normal" gluing. That seems to help. Consequently the engine is building up pretty well. Unfortunately the air cleaner isn't chrome (and it is on all the 1:1 cars I could find pictures of) so I might send it out for chroming, which would be a first for me. I am not sure what I am going to about the engine decals, like the "Hemi" sticker on the air cleaner. I will probably have to make it myself.

The interior is a combination of both kits as the MPC kit is low in the parts count department. The MPC kit has good looking seats, but molded-in seat belts which can be a pain to paint. So I tackled this a new way (for me) and it came out well. I first covered the already flat black seats with Bare Metal Foil, painted the belts with Floquil flat orange, then after the Floquil was dry, I cut around the seat belts and peeled away the BMF, leaving painted BMF just on the seat belts.

The result was 100% better than if I tried to hand paint or mask, and took about 2 minutes not including drying time. And of course the BMF over the belt buckles was left chrome as an added bonus.

Dashboards remain difficult for me. I am back to using a silver art pencil for the dials but I don't know--I just can't get that "forget 1/25th, it must be 1/8th scale" sort of look that better modelers can get out of their dashboards. I drilled out the dial backs and used a piece of brass to give the dials some "depth" which worked, sort of. The 1:1 car reference photos show a "textured" look to the instrument panel but not what surrounds it. I imitated this by painting everything with Tamiya Matt Black then offsetting the instruments with Tamiya acrylic clear. This did give me the basic look I was after.

On to the body next. I ordered "factory correct" colors from MCW paints and with my additional MPC acquisition have a decent set of decals now. I also got some 69 charger R/T photoetch from ScaleDreams, so getting some of the body details right will be a bit easier. We'll see if I can get through the airbrushing next time.

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