Scale Auto Replica's

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Airfix 1914 Stutz Bearcat

The actual car used in the t.v series was a replica built by the great auto customizer George Barris, as an original Stutz would have been to expensive and risky to use for t.v work, but the body was a exact replica, even though the running gear used was Ford, but for this build, I'll be using photo's of the real thing found on the internet, something of course I didn't have back in 1978.
I originally built this kit way back in 1978 when the kit was first released by Airfix, the kit is in fact a licenced kit first released by MPC, an American company based in Michigan, many years ago when I was around 7 or 8 one of my favorite t.v programs was an American one called the "Bearcats" staring Rod Taylor and Dennis Cole, and the car they drove was a 1914 Stutz Bearcat, sometime ago I managed to find the same kit on eBay, it's been on the pile of kits to be built for sometime, but now is the time for me to start on this one.

For the body and body colour parts I will be using BMC Old English White and red for the seats, the metal parts, i.e front grille, headlamps etc need to be stripped of their chrome and redone in a polished brass finish, for this I will be using Alclad 2 lacquers, I have used their chrome and aluminium finish before, so this will be another test for me. 

Sadly in the kit I had, the chassis was badly warped which I couldn't get out, it also had a few parts were missing, as these kits haven't been available new since around 1979 I didn't have much hope of finding another one, but as luck would have it, I found another one on eBay which the seller listed as having a few missing parts, luckily for me it had the parts that I needed,  All parts were primed using gray automotive plastic primer, followed by cellulose Old English White for the body, Triumph Brooklands Green for the engine and Alclad  2 polished brass for the metal work and gloss black for the chassis and other smaller parts.

Photo Above :- Rear Axle parts glued together

Photo Below :- Seat Frames fitted onto body


Photo's right & Below :- Next job to be done was the coachlines, a job I wasn't looking forward to doing, in the end I decided that nothing would look like painted on coachlines than paint, so the body was masked up using strips of cut up Tamiya tape and then airbrushed the red using a fine needled airbrush (Paasche F1) and Tamiya acrylic X-7 gloss Red.

Photo Above :- Fuel tank halves glued together, and dry fitted onto body

Photo Below :- Front axle and steering arm fitted to chassis

Photo's Above, left & Right :- Body Painted in OEW Cellulose Lacquer

Photo Above :- Engine built and cylinder heads fitted

Photo Below :- Body painted in Old English White Cellulose 

Photo's Below :-  Body masked up ready for the coachlines to be airbrushed

Next to do was the wooden floor and running boards, luckily the woodgrain was molded into the plastic which made the job a lot easier, the area that needed to be done in woodgrain was masked up then airbrushed using Tamiya Desert sand acrylic, then dry brushed using Tamiya Bronze then clear coated using Tamiya clear orange, it was then again masked again to paint the molded in chassis brackets in gloss black.

With work on the body and the chassis complete, it was time to join the two together, the chassis had a little twist to it, but much better than the original in the kit, and the body also had a little twist in it, some 3 hour epoxy was mixed up, giving me plenty of time to get things lines up and clamped in place, the front of the chassis was held in place using masking tape, once lined up and clamped, it was left overnight to dry up.

Next to do was the running boards and floor, in real life these would have been black rubber, to replicate these I used Revell satin black thinned with lacquer thinners to get the drying time down, the area was masked off, again using Tamiya masking tape, the rest of the body was masked off using kitchen tin foil.

Now the black is applied and dried off, it was time to get out the chrome Bare Metal Foil, the footboard of the floor needed to be done in chrome, again BMF was used for this, but to get a clean edge a small piece of masking tape was applied so I had a firm edge to cut up to.

Once the BMF was applied, it was burnished down using a blunt wooden stick to get the foil into all the molded detail in the floor

Next to do was the chrome trim around the running boards, these were done in four pieces,  After the floor and running boards had been finished, it was time to get the steering column and dash fitted.

As mentioned earlier in the build, all the chrome parts were stripped back to white plastic, this was done for two reasons, firstly the chrome had been rattling around in the box since 1978 and had way too many battle scars, and secondly, the car I was basing this build on had brass metal parts and not chrome.

After the parts had been stripped of their chrome, the were sanded to remove any mold lines and then given a few coats of grey plastic primer and then sanded again, once dry they were given a few coats of gloss black enamel thinned out using lacquer thinners, they were then left for a few days to dry out before the Alclad could be started.

Once the radiator had been masked up and the grille area had been airbrushed in a satin black, it was fitted to the chassis, after which the bonnet could be fitted, at the same time the fuel tank and luggage trunk was fitted

Before fitting the headlamps which had been stripped of there chrome and airbrushed using Alclad brass, the internal reflectors needed to be done in what would probably be done in nickel plating on the real thing, so some chrome BMF was cut to size, fitted and burnished down, you can see the difference as the lamp on the left is still to be done.

Next to be fitted were the seats, these had been sanded, filed and made to fit before they or the body had be painted, and were simply fitted into place using 5 minute epoxy resin.

With just a few small parts to be fitted, mainly all the brass parts and the windscreen the model has now come to the end of the build, for an old kit (1978) the parts fit was pretty good with just a few parts having a twist or warp in the plastic, for me this build was a trip down memory lane, and hopefully I did a better job of the build than I did when I was 15, if you can hold of these older kits, than give them a go