Scale Auto Replica's

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Monogram 1948 Ford Convertible

I've had this model sitting in my model stash for a number of years, and even though I did plan on making a start on it last year (2015), and although I opened the box and had a look at the parts, that's as far as it got, now after building a few, o.k, 3 Trabants, it was time to build something totally different from those, even though I really don't build too many American models, I do have a few in the stash that I do like the look of, 1940's & 50's American cars are probably my favorite.

Photo's above show the body and roof ready for primer, luckily there was only a few mold lines to remove from the body, the engine has been built up as far as it can before being painted in Ford Engine blue, then the smaller parts of the engine can be added.

The chassis can't be built as one unit and painted because there is a strengthening cross member that needs to be fixed into place, but before that can go on the exhaust system needs to fitted first, so I'm trying to build up as much of the chassis and the steering and suspension that I can before anything gets painted.

With the chassis now 90% finished, just a few shock absorbers and sway bars to fit, I started work on the interior, and as this is a convertible, most of the interior will be on show, the side panels, which luckily, are supplied as separate parts, make it a lot easier to mask up and airbrush. there were fist airbrushed matt tan, then masked off and the darker shade was airbrushed in a satin shade of darker brown, once that had dried it was masked up again for the door pull to be airbrushed in the same shade, it was then masked up again for the wood trim to be added at the top of the door card, this was done by airbrushing it using Testors wood enamel, then dry brushed using Tamiya bronze, then clear coated using Tamiya clear yellow acrylic, it was once again masked off to do the lighter shade at the bottom of the door trim, which in real life would have been the same material they used for the floor carpet, the window winders and door locks were picked out using chrome Bare Metal foil, with the wider knobs picked out using light tan enamel,

Now it was time to start work on the dashboard, which is supplied on the chrome sprue, and details in the instructions are given to paint most of it an off white colour, but after looking at photo's found on the 'net of the real thing, the colour was more like a tan/grey, so it was going to be easier to strip the part of all it's chrome, paint it in a shade mixed by adding a little tan to some gloss light grey, but before it was airbrushed the chrome rings around the clocks was added using chrome bmf, it was then airbrushed and left to dry, a cotton bud dampened with a little lacquer thinners was used to wipe away the paint around the clocks revealing the chrome underneath.the chrome under the dash and the three chrome trim pieces were done, again using chrome bmf, it was then fixed into place on the dash panel, that had been painted to replicate wood, the same way as I did on the top of the door panels.

With the chassis finished, the engine and gearbox could now go in, the fitment was perfect, small items such as the carburetor and fuel pump and air filter were added, a few decals were added, the metal clamps on the radiator hoses were picked out using chrome bmf, these were fixed into place at the same time the radiator went in, and were held in place with a rubber band and left to dry out overnight.

The chrome hubcaps on the real car have the "Ford" lettering picked out in a medium blue paint, so that's what I've here on the model, the paint was simply brushed into the lettering with a water based acrylic and any paint that had spilled out of the recess was simply wiped away with a cotton bud dampened in water.

the photo's top right and middle show the body and bonnet after being painted, the bottom three photos show the bodyshell and bonnet after being wet sanded and polished.

Sadly while just starting out on this build, I noticed one major problem, the complete clear parts were missing from the kit, I was hopeful that Revell, who now owns the Monogram brand, and have indeed released this kit under there own brand a few times, could help me out with the replacement parts, sadly this wasn't to be, as they had no stock, then a member of a model forum I'm a member of came forward with the offer of the parts I needed, as he was to build the "Custom" version and didn't need the stock windshield and quarter vents, and I was lucky enough to find a set of headlamp lenses that fitted in my parts bin.

The windshield was masked off so the sun visors could be airbrushed in a tan colour, then masked off again so the simulated wood trim could be airbrushed on the inside of the windshield, once the paint had dried out, it was dried brushed using Tamiya bronze acrylic, then clear coated using Tamiya clear yellow,once that had dried out the outside frame was done using chrome bmf to replicate the chrome trim.

The steering wheel was airbrushed in gloss white enamel toned down a little with a little duck egg blue, which not only dulled the shine a little, also took the bright white down a shade, the clutch and brake pedals were first airbrushed in satin black, and then when dried, the pedal rubbers were picked out with some flat back acrylic.

Before the floorpan could be fixed to the chassis, it was first masked up so the fuel tank could be airbrushed in Testors steel, once this was dried the floorpan was glued into placed and a few spring clamps were used and left overnight to dry out, the wheels which had previously been airbrushed in body colour, were fixed in a slightly different way to the instructions, which tell you to simply snap the wheels onto the stub axles, which done this way, will result in the wheels being able to turn, but can, if not done correctly, snap off the stub axles, so the centre opening in the wheels were opened up slightly using a small round file and then the wheels were fixed firmly onto the backing plate using super glue, for a more permanent and stronger joint.

Photo's Above :- left showing the front side quarter vents covered in chrome bmf to replicate the chrome plating that the 1:1 would have had, centre photo showing the convertible top frame masked off so it can be airbrushed in a light tan colour, which was the colour of the frame on the original car, photo far right shows the finished roof, just the rear window to fix in, which has had it's frame picked out, again using chrome bmf, photo left, which has been cropped showing it around 5 times the original size, shows one of the rear lamps, which has had it's surround picked out in chrome bmf, photo's below showing the bodyshell after having all the chrome trim replicated by using chrome Bare Metal foil, as self adhesive foil, and as yet I haven't found anything better for replicating the chrome trim on a model car.

I'm not saying this is the only way to do the bmf on a model, but I've been doing it like this for a number of years, and for me, it works.

The idea behind masking up before doing the bmf (Bare Metal Foil) is twofold, first it protects the paintwork against a slipping knife blade and secondly, it gives two edges for the blade to run against to stop the blade slipping, making for a much cleaner cut, once the foil has been cut, and lightly burnished, the tape can be removed and the bmf burnished with a cotton bud for a second time, i always finish off with a little automotive polish on a soft cloth, which gives the bmf a much brighter shine.

After using some chrome bmf to replicate the chrome on the rear light housings, the the body 100% finished, now I can concentrate on the smaller items that need fitting, before the body and chassis can be mated together, the heater is simply fitted over a tube that is molded as part of the firewall, the battery and convertible top motors were fitted into place, the finally the front windscreen was fitted, it's not the best fitting windscreen I've ever fitted to a model, as it didn't seem to want to line up, but with a little adjusting, it was fitted and held in place using a few small drops of 5 minute clear epoxy in the corner of the screen and a few at the bottom.

With the windshield fitted, the quarter vents could now be fitted, then the interior pod was fitted into the bodyshell, a few drops of 5 minute epoxy on the top edge of the floorpan and two tabs at the rear of the interior tub, and held in place with masking tape while the glue set up, once that had been sorted, the body could be fitted onto the chassis, there's a few mounting points on the chassis for the body to fit onto, again, 5 minute epoxy was used the fit the two together, chrome bmf was used for the chrome trim on the rocker trim, the stone guards that go on the rear wheel arches had previously been airbrushed in satin black were fitted onto the wheel arch with a few drops of 5 minute epoxy and held in place with masking tape while the glue set up, the front grille, front & rear bumper and hubcaps were fitted, again using 5 minute epoxy, the door handles, window wipers and front & rear badges were fitted, again using 5 minute epoxy.