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'55 Chevy Push Truck; Team Paitch-Valente Utility Build
Topic Started: Mar 9 2015, 09:09 PM (902 Views)
Duffy
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We've needed a dedicated push/towtruck for some time; not only is Super Cucumber (Arnie's venerable old '49 Merc) getting mighty tired dragging the P/V Express around, but our pushman Heckpussy LaFlamme is developing carpal tunnel syndrome from trying to start the dragster by himself on these cold winter nights. Time we got a proper work truck.

My Dad had the same '55 Cameo from '62 until his death in '94, hauling his cabinetry tools and lumber all over California; a friend had fit it with the old inline 6 engine, and I as a twerpy 12-yr-old asked him why hed deliberately swapped out the V8: "This Engine will Run Forever, Maybe Not Fast, but Reliably and Economically," he intoned, lovingly scrubbing the battery leads with water and baking soda. ("Intone" was my Dad's default voice, by the way; I always imagined his pronouncements with most of the words capitalized. Later, Team PeeVee's chief chassis engineer The Colonel Of Truth would speak in a very similar manner.) So, as we shopped around for our livery ride, it seemed like a cool thing to do a little homage to Dad's old warhorse; it also gives me a chance to pull up old memories, sorta by way of introducing my geeky inner child to the geeky outer one of days past. Aren't all hobbies therapeutic?

Just to get this thread kicked off, here's a couple days' progress on the engine conversion: we're using the stovebolt bits from AMT's '37 Chevy Cabriolet kit, given me by Bernard Kron (thanx Bernard!!). In keeping with my intent of learning a bit more with every build (this is #3 of The New Era), I'm trying to concentrate on plumbing and wiring with this one, to see how many functional elements I can figure out. I've got up to most of the right side of the engine by this evening -

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- And, whew, it's too bad I didn't concentrate on paint this go-round! I'll say this much, I'm gonna start shooting lacquers darn quick here, this acrylic stuff don't do closeups worth a hoot!

But, there's some learning going on: I've played with plug wires before so that's just a matter of getting used to the doing of it (and: 1-5-3-6-2-4); by the way, Dad's wires flopped, these wires flop. Further down, I studied fuel pump and vacuum advance and ran those lines in .024 brass and .01 copper respectively, & the fuel pump dome clip's a hairline wire out of a cellphone. Scratch plastic in this pic is the vacuum advance diaphragm, dipstick and top radiator hose fitting with thermostat - that last made from the stock Sixer header casting, cutting out two L-shapes and gluing & filing to something right.

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I also did some work on the 2-carb manifold supplied in the '37 kit; it's sort of shaped like the Offenhauser manifold for this mill, but without the fins of that casting. To make it a little easier to glue down this teeny detail, I first made up the "fork" you see here from a stackup of five lengths of .012" rod, so I could just lay the three ribs down and hit it with solvent and everything would behave while the plastic set up. Surprise! It went as planned. How often does that happen?

And here's how it turned out. We'll see more of that side after the next build session.

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carl
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krwasson
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Dr Kerry
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very kool!!!!!
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Ahh it's great to smell racing fuel in the morning!!!!!

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Duffy
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I wonder how much the demise of the Chevy 6 was actually about It Just Don't LOOK Interesting... Turns out all the cool stuf was back on the right face! But, here it is, and all the other hookups will wait until she's dropped into the engine bay. Note to Self: make sure to buzz off the molded-in wires on the wheels wells &c.

A thing I just noticed: my mix&match of the Offy manifold with the Clark-ish headers gives me no preheater ducting from exhaust to manifold. Would a resourceful wrenchman fashion a hood of some sort? Or shall I just file it in my Pay Attention drawer and continue like nothing's wrong?


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Lefturns75
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Duff, I would just "File it". With the details that are there and installed in the finished product, I doubt the "eye" will ever catch it while taking in everything else. Thats the beauty of models, we can draw the eye to whatever we as builders wish if something is missing and 99 out of 100 will never notice. Keep going, it looks just fine to me.
Ordinarily I am insane, but I do have lucid moments where I am merely stupid.
I never TRY to hit another car. But when I do I make sure its a Prius.


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Duffy
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Yah, prolly. I've been in modeling venues where I've been able to "Sketch" so that it looks right from the eye's focal length, a sort of Andrew Wyeth realism thing; but I haven't yet been in this neighborhood long enough to have a feel for what goes and what should stay. I'm certain I'll never be that guy who puts the bolt heads on things, but I would like the eye to be somehow satisfied that they're there without them actually being - and move on. It's a trick I'll be a while learning.

It's prolly better than, say, learning to cook. "You can even eat your mistakes" never sounded quite as attractive as they were intending it to be. Certainly wouldn't work in this context.
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Duffy
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I got a neet tool from my buddy Pontiac Lowry (Impontiac here on the forum) - a "one-use" (yah, like that's gonna happen!) surgical cautery tool, about the size of an Epipen & holding two AA batteries. That litle loop gets yellow-hot, and with the .098Ý tube I'm using, four seconds of waving it 1/8" away gets the plastic ready/ Somebody's gotta import these over to our little niche market like right now. - I put a 1/32Ý rod filler into the tube so it wouldn't collapse unduly, by the way; and I suspect the separate inner rod is insulated somewhat from the tube when the tube softens, prviding me a nice added stiffness as I bend the tube. All up, including three-four practice failures, you're seeing about five minutes' work here. Can't beat that.

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In the previous post, you can see little pins sticking out from the bottom of the Clark-style headers on the mill. I drilled all the joints for easy location and registering at assembly & gluing up(another neet tip from Pontiac!). i drilled the main tailpipe for its rod before radiusing the end, by the way.
Also visible in this picture: notice, I cut off the locator rod from the forward header half. When I put those in I hadn't yet figured out how I was going to route the pipes, and since I'm just running them into a single collector that turns into the dump pipe, I didn't need both.

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And here's what it finishes up like. I hope I got the measurement for the Lakes pipe out to the bottom of the cab's rocker panel right - this was the moment I'd discovered my airbrush compressor had died and I was kinda traumatized. I know, these things are a part of the hobby, but still. Consider how Pete Townshend felt the instant after his first guitar broke. It's something like that here, tonight.

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Ehhh, well. Four seconds with the cautery tool at assembly and it'll be fine.

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impontiac
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.....hey Duf-- that engine detail is the cat's meow, man!.....and I STILL think that you could find a way to add some little blobs of epoxy that would simulate the manufacturer's logo where you could glimpse it beneath that gorgeous linkage!......anyhoo-- thanks for the acknow's on the forming and pinning stuff, and yep the dump pipe will look great just as it is!......seems a pity to not drill that outlet flange for cap bolts, though...>heehee<......oh, and that trailer looks amazing-- the appearance makes it look like a good shop fabricator built it out behind his shop-- it looks correct and well-engineered, but still kinda shade-treed!......
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Duffy
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Thanks, Pon - can I call you Pon? We're friends, right? - there will be some ink and shine added to that dump cap at the finish to suggest bolts and some bas-relief, in a sort of fool-the-eye (or, as the French say, "Fool-eh le Eye-ehe"). But don't push me on the OFFENHAUSER logo, I will not be moved.

While I'm waiting for my new compressor to come from Hor'ble Fright, I am mulling my options for "Team Colors" and such; and doing some experiments with divers rattlecans and decals & sealants, so that when it's time to git down wit it I will be ready to git down. The rest of tonight, though, will be taken up with making shiny-clean Revell tyres look like, uh, real tyres. More tomorrow.
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Duffy
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Starting the chassis. I'm using the street rod tires & American mags from the Revell '32 Ford Sedan kit: the mags are de-chromed and sprayed Alclad dark aluminum over black, then misted with light burnt metal. I'll detail them later. I wanted to get the "New" out of the tires -

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So I swiped the sidewalls with a scrap of red (coarse) ScotchBrite, and the sheen came right off. The treads were scuffed up on a sheet of 400# alum.oxide cloth that I use for buffing aluminum sheet for my nasty slotcars (it's the backdrop for this shot), and I thought the brass mung that gets rubbed into the tire looks appropriate. Unfortunately there's a mismatch in the tires' parting lines and it would take a good bit of sanding down to lose the "clean" line you see here.

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So I took the tire I'd sanded down with the brassy cloth and rubbed the tread with the ScotchBrite. That gets a more even look, and I think the tread still looks like it's just got back from El Mirage. What do you think?

EDIT: Just got a response on another board from a guy who uses baking powder to get a more uniform matte than I'm getting with the ScotchBrite (I was just gonna blame the scuffs on Heckpussy LaFlamme's bad parking!) - put some in a bag with your tires, shake, rub with fingers, clean off with toothbrush. I wonder if cream of tartar might also do, maybe for more abrasion. We oughta run some tests.
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Lefturns75
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Looks pretty tasty to me Duff. I have been able to get the same effect by putting tires in my blast cabinet with some super fine medium on low pressure. That will take the shine off! LOL! Looking forward to your completed project but don't turn all thumbs like me and drop it!
Ordinarily I am insane, but I do have lucid moments where I am merely stupid.
I never TRY to hit another car. But when I do I make sure its a Prius.


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krwasson
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Duffy
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Been an idle while (is there an airport there?) as I've mulled the next move here. The whole cab is built almost as a unit and plunked down over the frame, and I didn't have a plan as to what I might depart from sequence to do. So it turned out that I'm just doing a buncha sub-activities and hoping they'll all tie together at the end.

For starters, & as I mulled, I began pre-fabbing tuck & roll upholstery. There's a great how-to on this in the current (April '15) Scale Auto by Steve Boutte - he pours craft acrylic into an RTV mold in several applications, & presto there's your tuck&roll.

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I had no luck with that! I couldn't fill the detail, and then I couldn't squeegee the paint out evenly. I ended up pushing the paint through my medium-duty Iwata airbrush at 40#, a couple dustings to get good detail coverage and then two soak coats, about 30min. between coats. An hour to dry and you could tweeze the sheet up. Very flexible and surprisingly tough.

This is a mix of Parma Faskolorô Pearl White and Pearl Gold, about 20:1. That's supposedly a special paint for slotcar bodies, but some folks think it's Createx with a fancy label.

Then I decided to open up a door and show off the cool tuck & roll - and there're two things to talk about in that:

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First, to ensure that I could have the skinny skinny window framing on the door AND those flimsy roof pillars on the cab, I used two bodies, one for each element. (luckily my packrat friend had given me two of these kits! I have a Jimmy Flintstone panel truck bod that I'll build the other kit out with, some day.) Even then I got careless and sliced thru the pillar material I'd been saving and had to "weld" the body back together with some scrap plastic. You can see the semi-fixed area under the windscreen wraparound.

The other thing: I'll cut the interior tub for the inside of the door too, and as I look in the cavity left by cutting, I suspect that AMT goofed in measuring out that interior to the exterior: it looks like 8"-10" of door thickness, and I do not remember Dad's truck as having anything near that much. I wil probably tweek the interior to compensate. Stay tuned.
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Dr Kerry
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Awesome work Duffy!!!!
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Ahh it's great to smell racing fuel in the morning!!!!!

Scaleavenue http://scaleavenue.myfastforum.org/index.php
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krwasson
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Duffy
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I wasn't even gonna try to keep the slat along the bottom of the door intact on the cab. I'm just not that good. But I did need to have a rigid body in which to fit up the door, so I glued a strap in back of where I'm working. Once the door lays against that, I'm home. This shot also gives you a better look at the repair in the curvy bit around the corner of the windscreen. Pay Attention! Lessons learned...

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If anybody's following along for the little details - either today or in some future when some poor soul stumbles across the thread - I wanna make the case for fitting up things like this by shaving with a good sharp #11 X-Acto blade. You can hog out with divers Dremel bits and get close with sanding sticks, but I firmly believe that careful carving will give you cleaner edges, and straighter once you've had a little practice with the tool. There's also less burr and fuzz to clean up, which if you do with more sanding implements will just round off edges that should be crisp. A day's practice, hunkered over with the workpiece firmly held and hands braced together, under good light, will give you a skill you'll keep the rest of your days. You'll get pretty arrogant too. Wait'll I post the next shot, we can all sit around it and "HarrUMPH" at it together.

And I recommend new blades, replaced frequently. There are those who pride themselves in redressing #11 blades and there are fancy honing fixtures to do it, but I'm not one. I figure the time spent redressing, at my Life Bucks rate of $50/hr. (well, isn't your life worth a decent wage?), could be better spent carving; and at the good deal I get on 100-blade boxes, I come out way ahead.

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Came out ehh-well, right? The little crook around the windscreen (I was a tall kid, I remember cracking my shin on that prolly three of every five mornings on my trip to school!) took some serious trimming. The advantage of using a blade, though, was that I could literally shave a hair off & put it back up to see where the next hair had to come from, again & again, and not be distracted by the inevitable plastic fuzz from sanding. That crook ain't perfect, but it's my second door cutout ever and I'm satisfied. The rear edge is somewhat of a problem: you're actually seeing the roundness of the panel line in the plastic, and there was nothing to do for it but try to fill and sharpen. I'm not that fussy - yet - but that gaposis works out to like 3/4"-1" in fullsize. I will be thinking about that, in future builds. There will be more trimming when I hang the door on its hinge, and I still must allow for paint thickness.

There's a natural tendency to round edges off when sanding things, and I can't help noticing heavy radii on door seams &c. in otherwise beautifully finished models. I know there's a limit to what we can do in 1/25, but - it's in my head. Maybe nothing to do about it, but it's something to be thinking about the next time I cut a panel open. Always next time. That's how I get good.
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carl
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Duffy
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By the way, I had a little emotional wobbler last night: I went looking for interior shots of this sort of truck as a guide, and as I gathered data I realized why the interior tub in my model looked so narrow: AMT/Ertl MADE it that way, so they could have enough draft in the mold to add some lo-relief details. What that means to me is, I got a hella-thick apparent door thickness. And probably a too-narrow seat and gas tank to fit in there. Thanks, AMT.

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Well -

Okay. So, I may try to salvage some of it when I build out the floor on this open-door side of things, it'll depend on what things look like when I cut the cutout on the tub. I have to build the floor out anyhow on that side, so I might try something. The far side, I'll just sigh and leave be. AMT/Ertl wasn't any too thorough in giving us a complete subfloor when you turn the truck over anyhow, and now since I'm doing the surgery on the one side I'm gonna have to consider doing some fool-the-eye stuff along the rest of the gaps. AMT did make that job a little easier, though: the interior tub mounts to the frame on four bosses .020" high, so I can just run subfloor bits of .020" sheet where I want without doing any major grinding of frame or components. Thanks, AMT, again. No, really.

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While I was mulling all this over, I made up the hinge for the door and hung it. (Hey, looka that, it opens exactly as much as the 1/1 door opens! Go figure! How cool am I, huh?) Now, the Instructions say to use 1/32 wire in 1/16" brass tube for these hinges, but I'm too lazy to wait for epoxy to set so I fished around for a plastic tube that would serve. I found some stuff that would just nicely pass .047" wire on one end (that's why the green stripe, to make sure a cut from the good side) and bent the thing up. once I got the hinge laying dead-flat inside my taped-up cab/door assembly, I hit the plastic with solvent and glued it solid. The plug wires in the door panel were not glued in, I can remove the door to do all my building up of inner panels &c. Maybe I'll start on that tonight. Or maybe I'll practice guitar. Ain't hobbies grand?
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Lefturns75
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Ah Duff! I envy you guys this time of year bashing away on kits at the bench and engineering some good stuff like your opening door. Good job by the way! I stir up dirt all day and plant corn and by the time I get in I am too tuckered out to smear gloo. Soons I get past this disc and plant thing I will have a little time while I watch stuff grow to smear gloo on the projects just sittin' an waitin'. I always take time to see what you are working on cause you gives me lotsa ideas! Pour some primer in Art, racin' is coming up!
Ordinarily I am insane, but I do have lucid moments where I am merely stupid.
I never TRY to hit another car. But when I do I make sure its a Prius.


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Duffy
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I'm jus' proud to be an American, where we're free to spell things like "gloo."
No, really!
I had a friend, now sadly & stupidly gone missing, who said that the only place in this dreary dangerous world where we are truly & completely totally in control & responsible for (ya, he actually talked like that) what we do - is at our workbenches, at our hobby.

So savor those moments. When they come.
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