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Chipping Away

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  • Chipping Away

    Jim Millers "Miss Demeanor". Liberties taken, ready for paint.

    Lowered Dash Cobra, for T-jet.

    Thrift store Monza, $16. After some elbow grease.

    Blown AFX 5 window on an AMRAC chassis.

    Crushed XK 140. Damage repaired. Fresh off the buffer.

  • #2
    NICE STUFF! I love a good thrift store find. That red Jag looks wonderful.


    • #3
      Thanx Kyle! It was nice to score a hit out in the field. They're few and far between up in the PacNW. Although not the rarest of the breed, the green on white combo is my fave. The bonus was that it wasnt banged and bruised. Whats new down your way?


      • #4
        Nothing. A big, fat nothing.
        I like the green and white, also. Pops. You don't see that green in AFX much. They never cast anything that color, so nice to see so much used on one.
        I check here every now and then and was surprised to find the forum back up and running. I just wanted to make a couple posts so people would know some of us were still checking.


        • #5
          I see the hiatus hasn't dimmed your skills, beautiful work as always

          Love the blown AmRac lowboy, how does it run? And the stance and especially the details on Miss Demeanor are perfect. I see that's one of your bespoke brass chassis underneath it, but is the C cab fabricated as well, or did you start with an existing body?


          • #6

            Hi Nick, Thanks!

            The AMRAC Model A is cat quick and crazy fast. Typical of lightweight flux collector traction designs, it's wicked fun until you approach escape velocity, and then you kite off! They can be silly loose off throttle as well, because the combined magnetic field is de-energized and you're just hanging on the motor mags through the collectors. I love them for what they are.

            The chassis was always a good performer, until I broke one of the front stub axles, and had to toss it in the spares box. It always perturbed me, so I finally figured out a way to put it back into service and enjoy it. I got the idea from the Riggen Site, where they document a similar "front straight axle repair/conversion" on a long arm Tycopro. Monkey see monkey do. Admittedly the body was a complete cram. I have a pile of those old 4 gear AFX Model A cores, so the nonsense will continue, but probably not on an AMRAC. LOL

            IFS is accomplished by bushing the AMRAC hub over the straight axle's diameter, and retaining it with a kink pin. Wizzard nylo-spacers are used on the back side. I all goes together like any other axle kit.


            The C-cab is by Jim Miller: aka High Wing Pilot. Available at Shapeways. It is an extremely accurate version of Tom Daniel's "Paddy Wagon" 1/24 plastic model. It's a bolt on for T-jet. I had it printed in acrylate resin rather than syntered nylon. Hence the black color. Jim also has two other outstanding vintage C-cab trucks available, that will become part of my usual project rotation shortly. These feature a new resin that appears to have the desired balance between durability and workability, which syntered nylon and acrylate resin cannot provide.

            The chassis came out a bit Cro-magnon. Clumsily integrated halves, but it moves out sharply. As you noted, the front half is the same old drop spindle beam axle, but with an added and somewhat hidden new trick (shown below). The rear half is a sidewinder pod mounted to a brass pan. It uses an RC mincan with a 1:2 T-jet gear set up. Plenty of quick, and the tall skinny slicks give it enough leg to spool up nicely. The problem was that back depth of the cab wouldnt allow for my "go to" 440 Tyco box motor inline arrangement. I wanted to keep all the "bidness" back in the service body. The sidewinder's compact footprint was really the only option.

            The two halves are bound using a trombone slide, which also serves as the centerline for the body to pan mount. The clamp is lashed across the subframe rails. It gave me both pin point accuracy and wiggle room to cross measure and square up the wheel base, as well as getting the front subframe pushed up parallel to the firewall. Usually I build and square the entire chassis as a whole. This time I built two halves separately, and prayed at the firewall.

            The radius rods have always been a functional component on my front beam axles (since 2007), as they serve to support the delicate spindle area, when havoc occurs. Their merit is statistical by omission. I've never broken or bent a spindle/axle since they were incorporated. Although not wholly triangulated, their placement divides the potential leverage that can be exerted between the tip of the spindle and the frame rail by half, during a wreck.

            The new deal is to use the radius rod tails (rear) to index the drop arm pivot between the subframe rails. There's no reason they cant serve a dual function. Unseen is a fixed bushing between the frame rails, which the drop arm bushing is free to pivot on. In truth, I've used that style of drop arm pivot for years too. It just so happened that the opportunity presented itself and I was able to combine both aspects to good effect.


            • #7

              The Miss Demeanor got some color this week. The job was started with two medium coats of gloss black lacquer for a sealer. Four thin coats of highsolids primer followed. After blocking, a couple more wet coats of gloss black lacquer were applied and quickly followed with a single coat of chrome Alclad. Once the Alclad flashed off, a mile of Pactra candy red lacquer was used as the color base. Although the candy doesnt need the additional shine, protective clear coat will be applied after I fiddle in the accents and minor details.


              • #8
                Stunning job, Bill! I got driver figures to fit her now. I'll send you some with the next delivery of the boat tail kit.


                • #9
                  Thanks for the kind words Jim. The paint has cured up over the last week, so I'll start poking along again.

                  The new resin changes the game significantly with respect to "work-ability", so I'm excited to see the Chitty kit first hand. It'll be a good study in curtailing my penchant for butchery.



                  • #10
                    I have a few blem C-cabs that you can wield your knife on to your hearts content! You could do it to Chitty as well... I can always print more.


                    • #11
                      The knife wielding is probably going to happen no matter what. LOL!


                      A scrap box Cheetah converted to a snap mount G-plus. Color base is Testors fire orange.

                      A resin Vicky Cabriolet for Slimline chassis reworked.


                      • #12
                        good to see your posts here again. Always a treat for the peepers and the engineer challenges you put forth.


                        • #13
                          Thank you tonesua, I appreciate you stopping in for visit.


                          Better here, but server engagement still very erratic. Members still have to assemble submissions of any length off shore and import later. Not a winning formula for spontaneous participation.


                          Gilding the Lily

                          Per normal, life conspires to distract me from the slot-cave. The upshot is that all that Pactra candy red had time to cure and harden up. I finally slammed the door behind myself, cranked up the tunes, and started poking at High Wing Pilot's Miss Demeanor again.

                          With all the added chrome blob accessories, in the interest of contrast, I elected to leave the front end as polished brass. In the interest of tonal balance across the model, I opted to pencil in some gold accent stripes.

                          A masking job for the criminally insane ensued. Light passes of "antique gold" lacquer were shot at 5 psi. Just enough material is applied for coverage. After drying, clear is carefully applied at the same rate; in order to seal the accent and protect it from running when the heavy liquid clear is applied.

                          I dont count the number of clear coats. Coats are applied and allowed to flash off. If the appearance is still mottled, another coat is applied. The process is repeated, until the finish is glassy when flashed off. Then I give it one more wet insurance coat.

                          One more back-mask for the black accents. Once shot, I'll start adding all the widgets back on.

                          I always have a few long term projects that get moved from burner to burner. With Miss Demeanor approaching completion, this narrowed and sectioned Model A rotates out from the bullpen. At the moment, I have the porta-power in play to slightly loft the leading edge of the roof. The forward portion of the roof is activated with 3502 to de-stress the problem (low) area. A skim of medium consistency AFX yellow plastic is floated over the area. This ensures that I'll have some material there to re-develop the drip rail when the time comes, instead of have to add it later.

                          Nearing paint on the big block 1.5 Mega G+Z. Again with the porta power, to lift a sagging wiper bin. A remnant from the original boot stomp that killed this model in the first place. Not immediately noticeable the vague factory door shuts are sharpened, and the hood bump is de-lumped-i-fied.

                          A new High Wing Pilot addition. While delicate in appearance, it seems to be very strong. For me, mock up's are the fun part. H0 pick up trucks always require a tonneau. I'd really like to keep the bed detail intact, hence the direct drive concept. A dually version is available too. This Tyco box motor features 440 magnets, and a TCR armature with a pressed shaft to center it's natural offset. The drop beam spindle module is a left over bit that just happens to fit. The connective tissue remains to be seen.

                          Although I've gotten really picky, I still sling a bit of plastic in the name of restoration. Like T-jet era plastic, the early AFX plastic lays out nicely. Bond. Fill. Carve. Sand. Re-skim. A bit-o-wet sand and some polish will set things right


                          • #14

                            Miss Demeanor? More like Serial Arsonist. I veered away from the traditional Paddy Wagon look. EXCEPT! I forgot to knock the jail bars out of the cab back. GRRRRRR!

                            Warmer fall days have vanished. The seasonal monsoons drove me up to the slot cave. I finally back masked the entire model and shot the black accents in the cab and cargo area. After drying, I snuck some amber acetate in the side windows as it seemed complimentary to the theme. The print quality of the tuck and roll left a bit to be desired, but only macro shows it.

                            I like the final red mirror look. Typically Im extra heavy on the liquid clear. Chrome Alclad provides the reflective base. Pactra candy red to taste, then buried in clear until it doesnt wave back at you.

                            I finished polishing the windshield. I usually leave that for a last thing detail anyway. because ya invariably gerf it during the build process. Keeping the engine block slighly raked, the radiator plumb, and the head lights square was a task for the criminally insane.

                            A fair pain in the backside to get fitted, AND keep the gaposis marginal, the hardwood floor and kick boards didnt turn out half bad. A period thing.

                            Nuther Dave's JL T-bucket pipes sat for years in my menagerie of chrome baubles, until called upon to pull this build together. Al's shattered acrylate model still haunts my dreams. Ordinarily I run my customs with a fair amount of throttle and childish glee. The acrylate resin is as brittle as a pringle, I reckon this will be my only Shelf Queen.

                            The off set gauge cluster is an etched piece. I bought the whole sheet that featured various arrangements thinking, "I might need those someday!"

                            Shapeways didnt advise of of the high shrink rate of this resin. Evident across the span of the rear drip edge where it isnt supported. I'm fairly certain the high octane lacquers I like to use didnt help matters, but I was too deeply involved to punt.

                            That's Atlas "Ornate" fencing from my model RR empire, with a puff of Alclad chrome. Still a bit non committal, I jammed it in as something to obscure the sidewinded minimotor arrangement, and to keep the fire hoses from falling out ; )

                            Many thanks to Jim, HWP; and everyone who rode along!


                            • #15
                              Fantastic Bill!


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