Hirohata Merc Model

 

HIROHATA MERC MODEL

 

Yoshihiro Hobara built this Barris Kustoms Hirohata Mercury model several years ago. Never really happy with its roofline, he decided to redo it. And now in its 1955 Lime Gold version.



Yoshihiro Hobara from Japan has recently finished two new Barris Custom 1/25 scale model car¬†to add to his amazing Barris Kustom Models collection. The Frank Monteleon 1941 Ford, which we will cover in another article soon, and the Bob Hirohata Mercury.¬†The Hirohata Mercury model was one he actually already finished quite a few years ago, but there were a few things on the model Yoshihiro never really liked. One day he decided the time was right for a redo of this already stunning model and he decided to replicate a different version of the car. The real Hirohata Mercury has been restored back to is original sea-foam green and organic green color. The Clone Jack Walker and Doug Thompson created, which was recently acquired by John D’Agostino was finished in the same color combo. The convertible version that was done in the last couple of years was also finished in these colors, so Yoshihiro figured it was time to create his Hirohata Mercury in the after 1955 Running Wild¬†color combination of lime green and organic green.



The original version

Yoshihiro did an amazing job creating his original version of the Hirohata Mercury based on an AMT 1949 Mercury. All the ’51 Mercury details as the longer rear fender and larger rear window were wither scratch built from sheet and strip styrene or patched together from parts box parts. The top was chopped, and all the Barris Character restyling on the sides and front of the body was hand shaped from plastic and putty. The Buick side trim is an resin part from Replica’s & Miniatures Company of Maryland. The grille was built from chrome plated parts box bumpers. The ’53 Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps, from an old AMT kit are mounted on painted white wall tires. The Lincoln taillights were shaped from clear red plastic and the Barris Crest is a hand painted photo-etched part from the Model Car Garage.

ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-01Extended front fender with frenched headlights, extended hood, custom grille, lipped front wheel openings, its all there, just like on the real car.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-02’53 Buick side trim, Barris Crest ad the beautiful shaped body sides.¬†
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-03Parts box rear bumper and hand shaped Lincoln taillights. Reshaped rear window to looks like the ’51 Merc unit. Even though the model looks stunnign,¬†the rear of the roof was never to Yoshiro’s likings.
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The Second Version

ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-04So in 2016 he disassembled the model, and stripped most of the paint from the roof, belt-line and front of the body. Time to reshape the roof line and do some more fine tuning of “wrong” things Yoshihiro had noticed over the years.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-05A few mm were removed from the c-pillar and everything was reshaped until it looked more like the real Hirohata Mercury.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-06The lip on the front of the hood and the headlight were reworked a bit as well.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-07The new much sleeker roof shape looks fantastic Notice how the chrome plated Buick trim was taped during the body work to protect the chrome plating. The trim piece was glued to the body and could not be removed without damaging it, so it stayed on the model. 
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Lime Green Version

The Hirohata Mercury was repainted in lime green and organic green (below the Buick trim) around 1955. George Barris had made a deal for the car to appear in the movie Running WIld with Mamie Van Doren. The car would appear in the movie together with the Fred Rowe 1951 Mercury, also a Barris Restyled car. But to look better in the black and white movie the car’s light sea-foa green color needed to be redone in a bit darker color. George Barris mixed a good looking lime green gold color to go with the Organic dark green. The new color changed the looks of the car completely. Sadly so far no color photos have been surfaced of this color from around 1955. When current care taken Jim McNiel found the car in late 1959 the car was still painted this lime green color, and it remained like that until it was restored back to its original version in the 1990’s.

CCC-barris-hirohata-hawaiian-missing-goldThe only time we have seen color photos of this version of the car was on the Hirohata Mercury before the restoration had started. But by then the lime green had faded, was dull dirty and scratched. But it looked really good.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-08With all the body work done, it was time to spray on the Lime Green and Organic green.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-09It is really fantastic to see the car in these 1955 colors. Fresh paint drying, waiting to be hard enough to do the final assembly.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-10While Yoshihiro is waiting for the Hirohata Mercury paint to get fully cured he continues to work on his next Barris Model, the Frank Monteleon 1951 Ford which was painted prior the Hirohata Mercury. We will do a full article on the ’41 soon.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-11Completely assembled again. For this version of the Hirohata Mercury Yoshihiro has added a set of aftermarket Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-12Stunning lines are now all flowing together, just like on the rear Hirohata Mercury. And it is really fantastic to see the Hirohata Mercury in this Color. 
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-13The new re-chopped roof looks perfect.
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ccc-yoshihiro-hirohata-merc-14The thinned down hood lip also looks great. I really love the look of this color on this car.
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Yoshihiro has done it again, creating another stunning 1/25 scale Barris Kustoms recreation. And on top of that he treaded us with something special to finish it in its rarely see 1955 lime green and organic green paint job. Perhaps if John D’Agostino sees this, and if and when it gets time to perhaps redo the Hirohata Mercury clone, this could be the version his car should be finished in as well. How amazing would that be. Getting back to the model car. Yoshihiro has finished another Barris Kustoms creation, the Frank Monteleon 1941 Ford, and that we will cover in a new article soon. Yoshihiro is now working on an update of his old Buddy Alcorn Ayala/Barris Mercury… also stay tuned for that one.
If you want to see more of Yoshihiro’s amazing Barris Kustom model cars, then check out the¬†other CCC-Articles of his amazing work.






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Sam Barris Buick Model

 

GOLDEN SAHARA MODEL

 

Japanese Yoshihiro Hobara is on a quest to build a series of his all time favorite famous Barris Kustoms Shop created Custom cars in scale 1/25. His latest finished model is the Sam Barris 1950 Buick.



Yoshihiro started the recreation of the Sam Barris 1950 Buick over ten year ago, and sadly he never took any photos of the initial progress on the model. After the initial body shapes were all created he put the project aside to start working on a few other projects first. Yoshihiro is a huge Barris Kustoms fan, and has been collecting every magazine and book he could find containing Barris created Cars. Fortunately for all us Custom Car enthusiast, and especially for Yoshihiro the Sam Barris 1950 Buick has been documented pretty good back in the early 1950’s when Sam Created it. Many photos have been published in the old magazines and later book. But even more important is that the real car has survived and has been completely restored. More on this can be found in a two part CCC-Article on the real Sam Barris 1950 Buick. And there have been a lot of magazine and book articles written about the Buick, so there was an overload of¬†research material on the Buick.
 

CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-prog-01After the basic body line had been created it was time to add the details. The peak on the hood was created using a small metal wire, filler and a lot of careful sanding.
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After Yoshihiro had finished the 1/25 scale models of the Golden Sahara and the Modern Grecian, he took the Sam Barris 1950 Buick project back out of the box, and now it was time to finished the model.¬†The recreation of the Sam Barris 1950 Buick model was based on an AMT 1951 Chevy Fleetline kit. This was necessary since there never has been a 1/25 kit from the 1950 Buick. ¬†The Chevy has some similar lines than the Buick, but¬†to turn it into a much longer 1950 Buick¬†Yoshihiro needed to make a lot of changes. The front end needed to be stretched, hood reshaped with an added raised center section and new grille opening. The fenders needed to be heavily reshaped and extended both on the front and the rear. The roof of the chevy was chopped, and also completely reshaped to match the Buick’s lines.¬†All the window shapes had to be completely changed as well, which required a lot of shaped sheet styrene.
 

CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-prog-02The photo on the left shows how much work had to be done to make the 1951 Chevy kit look like a 1950 Buick. On the right all the detail work has been added to model and it is almost ready for the last coats of primer.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-prog-03Close up of the front details with the 1953 Buick headlights and scratch-build 1953 Pontiac Wagon taillights at the rear. Both fenders front and read were reshaped with kit parts, sheet plastic and filler.
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When it came to adding the details Yoshihiro relied to using strip and sheet styrene cut, filed and sanded to shape, as well as parts from the part box. Some parts had to be completely scratch build, while other parts, like the grille came from old kits and could be simply modified to for the Buick model.

CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-prog-04All the body work has now been done, everything sanded smooth, time for the final primer coats.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-prog-05In the paint-booth for the last primer and a few hours of light sanding and then the body is ready for the final paint color.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-prog-06Final color in the paint-booth, and fresh out of the booth checking with the documentation how close it is… Job well done.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-prog-07Yoshihiro took this photo of the 1951 Chevy Fleetline kit in the back ground and the 1950 Buick model based on this kit in the foreground to show how much needed to be modified to get the job done.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-prog-08With the body painted it was time to work on the other details, the interior and all the exterior details as the bumpers, hubcaps etc. Fortunately¬†Yoshihiro has a huge collection of kit parts to work with, and what he does not have in his collection… he just creates.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-prog-09Working on the interior, using great resource material from the restored real car. Yoshihiro recreated the button tufted seats as accurate as he could. The real Sam Barris Buick used 1953 Cadillac hubcaps, and fortunately those were included in some 1960’s AMT kits and have been reproduced in resin in more resent years.
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The finished Model

After¬†Yoshihiro had painted the body it in the right color he concentrated on the detail work on the interior and all other exterior details like the bumpers wheels, tires and grille. Most of these parts had already been started in the earlier stage and when the car was in primer, but not everything needed to be fine tuned and finished with chrome paint, bare metal foil, or painted in the desired colors. A lot of time was spend on the interior to match the Bill Gaylord interior from the original Sam Barris Buick. The 1951 Chevy dash was modified to look more like the Buick unit and a more accurate steering wheel was found in the partsbox. The steering wheel needed, just like everything else some modifications to be good enough for¬†Yoshihiro. ¬†When the paint on the body had dried for some time¬†Yoshihiro detailed the chrome trim with bare metal foil and started to assemble the car. The finished Buick is yet another stunning Barris Kustoms 1/25 scale model created by¬†Yoshihiro Hobara. We wonder what his next Barris Kustoms Model will be…
 

CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-02Yoshihiro just finished model together with the February 1954 issue of Rod & Custom magazine that featured the Sam Barris Buick on the cover.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-01The side view shows how well Yoshihiro has succeeded in capturing the look of the Sam Barris 1950 Buick.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-04For the grille Yoshihiro relied on his spare parts but the grille surround and front bumper are all scratchbuild.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-03The 1951 Lincoln side trim was scratch built from strip styrene, and so are the taillights. The rear bumper was home made from sheet styrene and painted chrome with Alclad II paint.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-05All the window trim was also created from shaped strip and sheet styrene. Yoshihiro even created the heavy looking fender skirts that need to cover the lipped rear wheel opening on the real car.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-06Close up on the taillights and rear bumper.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-07The lip on the fender opening had to be scratch build since the 1951 Chevy never had one. The white wall tires and Cadillac hubcaps are resin aftermarket parts.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-09The dash is a modified 1951 Chevy unit and the steering wheel comes from the parts-box, but was modified to recreate the original wheel.
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CCC-sam-barris-buick-yoshihiro-08Another wonderful Barris Kustoms model recreated in 1/25 scale by¬†Yoshihiro Hobara… We are already looking forward to the next one.
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The Golden Sahara Model

 

GOLDEN SAHARA MODEL

 

Japanese Yoshihiro Hobara is on a quest to build a series of his all time favorite famous Barris Kustoms Shop created Custom cars in scale 1/25. For this article we concentrate on the model he created of the Golden Sahara I.

 

 
The Golden Sahara¬†model:¬†One of the wildest Custom creations to ever come from the Barris Custom Shop. The Golden Sahara was base on George Barris his personal 1953 Lincoln that was in a wreck. The idea for the Custom was sold to Dayton, Ohio based Jim Skonzakes and the Barris Shop went to work. No panel was left alone, and the end result was a stunning futuristic automobile that would shock the custom car crowd for many years to come. Yoshihiro based his model on the Lindberg 1953 Ford Hard Top kit, which was not to far off from the Lincoln the Barris Shop had started with. So that was the easy part. Fortunately for¬†Yoshihiro, the built on the Golden Sahara was captured with some¬†photos which where used in the Barris Technique book Volume 3. Those along with several feature of the Golden Sahara in the magazines from the mid 1950’s and¬†more recent publications were used to research the car. And help recreate the car in 1/25 scale.

CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-01Early stage of the built show the 1953 Ford body already shaped to look like the Golden Sahara. A lot of cutting, shaping and adding shaped pieces of sheet plastic as well as body parts from the parts-box have been added to get the body this far.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-02Long rear fenders were mostly shaped from sheet plastic and left over body parts from other kit. A parts box spare tire cover was reshaped and blended into the trunk. Headlights openings where created from left over parts combined with sheet and strip styrene and blended into the body.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-03A modified hood was created with the front of the opening acting as a scoop. A peak was added on the front fenders just above the reshaped wheel opening, and parts-box bullets were added to the front.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-04The whole front end needed to be reshaped from the 1953 Ford. Spare box headlights were added and a new grille opening cut in the shaped sheet styrene front.

CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-05Check, check and double check with the detailed photos to make sure all the shapes are right… TEs fitting of the wrap around windshield. Inspiration also came from¬†period music.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-06Body shape is ready for the first coats of heavy primer.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-07It is always great to put the first coats of primer on a model, especially when it is so complex as the Golden Sahara. Not you can see the full lines of the body without looking at all the shaded of plastic and filler. Its also the stage where you realize there is still a long way to go. Much shaping and sanding still to be done.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-08Most of the primer has been sanded away and the body shape is getting very close and is now getting really smooth as well. Now its time to work on the details. Interior, taillights. The front bench comes from the parts-box, and still needs typical Golden Sahara details. The rear bench is all scratch-built.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-09The taillights were crafted from left over clear red plastic. The lower sections of the taillights come from the parts-boxThedash was mostly scratch built from sheet styrene.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-10With the windshield installed it is really to start look really good.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-11Close up of the early stages of the dash board. Pencil marks show where the tuck and roll needs to be. The TV comes from the partsbox and is set into a scratch build surround.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-12Close up of the early stages of the rear bench. A lot of work already has been done, but much more work is needed.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-19Nearly finished interior, and the body is back in primer again.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-13Interior is now also in primer. Still lots of sanding to be done.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-14Final test fittings before the car is taken part again for paint… yeah!
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-16White painted body parts, and the first test fitting of all the parts after paint… very exciting.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-17Windshield installed… and a reminder of how it wall started. The Lindberg 1953 Ford Victoria.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-18Time for the details. The hubcaps, fortunately only two where needed due to the skirts in the back.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-20Tada… the finished mode. Detail paint has been added and gold foil has been added for a lot of the trim sections.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-21The interior was painted to match the real car’s interior created by the Carson Top Shop.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-22Gold paint, gold bare metal foil and adhesive backed chrome strips make up the large Golden Sahara Fender skirts.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-26The only after market part used on the car are the three Barris Crests done in brass by the Model Car Garage and detail painted by Yoshihiro.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-27Displayed on the Jack Stewart Ford book. Yoshihiro used several photo and information from the Jim Skonzakes chapter on the Golden Sahara for his model.

 

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The Modern Grecian model

 

THE MODERN GRECIAN MODEL

 

Recently we did an introduction article about the amazing Barris Custom Car recreations in 1/25 scale by Japanese Yoshihiro Hobara. In this CCC-Article we will highlight his recently (April 2015) finished Modern Grecian 1947 Studebaker.

 
 
The Modern Grecian model: When Yoshihiro Hobara decided to built a 1/25 scale replica of the Modern Grecian he realized that there is no 1/25 scale model of the 1947 Studebaker the Barris Kustom Shop based this custom on. But this did not stop him from starting the project. After studying the shapes of the 1947 Studebaker and photos of the real Modern Grecian, Yoshihiro decided that the AMT 1949 Ford Coupe could be used as a base to create the Studebaker from. Not an very obvious choice at first glance, but as the photos in this article show, it sure worked for him.

Yoshihiro loves to scratch built parts and body panels. He is using sheet and strip plastic for this, or sometimes left over sprue and body parts from other kits. He also uses a lot of parts-box parts he has been collecting for a long time. A few aftermarket parts might also end up in the built, but most of what you see here is created by the hand by Yoshihiro. Lets take a closer look.
 
CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-01This first series of photos show the already built AMT 1949 Ford Coupe model he used as a base for the 1947 Studebaker. He removed the rear portion of the roof and replaced it with a 1953 Ford roof section which more closely resembled the Studebaker roof. The last photo shows how the roof wis widened to match the more boxy Studebaker look, and how Yoshihiro used sheet plastic and scrap plastic to shape the rear fenders from.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-02To match the dimensions of the Studebaker the trunk was stretched. The rear fenders were roughly filed and sanded to shape in this stage. Yoshihiro used bend sheet plastic to shape the new grille opening and the oval shaped headlights with small scoops on top of the fenders. The hood was clued in place and a new smaller opening cut (pancaking). The first of many coats of filler are now also applied. 
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-03More detail work on the front using strip styrene glued to the new grille opening to shape the ’53 Studebaker pans used on the real car. First coats of primer are brushed on to check the shape and to act as filler. Slowly the shapes of the Modern Grecian are becoming evident.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-04Yoshihiro was not happy with the shape of the hood made from the AMT Ford unit, so he found another one in his parts-box and used mmore sheet styrene to make it fit the Studebaker. The side window details were cut from sheet styrene with the help of a scaled photo of the real Grecian, and glued to the body. The photo on the bottom shows how rough everything looked at times. A lot of filing and sanding still needed to get everything the way Yoshihiro wanted it to be. New headlight lenses were created for the scratchbuilt oval openings, and the parts-box once again provided the parts to create the unique Grecian front bumper. The Oldsmobile center unit comes from an old customizing set included in an old AMT Convertible Shoebox kit.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-06This very interesting photo shows the car “near” complete stage, where all the main body work has been finished. It shows that thru-out the build¬†Yoshihiro used as many reference photo as he could find. One of the old magazine features of the original version of the Grecian had a perfect dead-on side and front views, which he could use to scale down to 1/25 scale and use as guide in building the model.¬†
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-07Yoshihiro used the templates to scale down the custom side trim, which he cut from sheet styrene and glued onto the body. A lot of boy details have been added using strip and rod styren, including the lipped fender openings, the roof and window shapes.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-08A closer look from the rear with the templates used to scale down all the details in the background.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-05Some of the old 1960’s AMT kits had some realy great Customizing parts, including some real aftermarket parts. Some of these parts were actually designed by George Barris who was hired by AMT to create the Customized versions of these¬†kits. George also designed 1/25 scale versions of the Aluminum hubcaps the Barris Kustoms shop created. Which was ofcourse very fortunate¬†Yoshihiro, who now only had to add the custom made center piece for the Modern Grecian.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-10The grille on the Modern Grecian was modified from the original grille created in the early 1950’s based on two 1951 Lincoln grilles.¬†Yoshihiro used mostly sheet and strip plastic to recreate it.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-11The parking lights on the end of the grille came once again from the part-box.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-12One of the additions of the grille for the Modern Grecian version of the car where three bend tubes inside the opening. These were created from bend round Plaststruct round rods. These small diameter rods were also used on the side trim to add the extra detail.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-13The nearly finished grille in the primered body. The body still needs a lot of sanding.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-14The bumper at the rear was created from parts from the parts-box and shaped to get them to look like the parts used on the real car. The taillights on the Studebaker were created from the Custom taillight option from the old AMT 1958 Chevy, again found in the parts-box.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-15At last time for the paint in pearl yellow over a white primer. This must have been such a great feeling for Yoshihiro to see the final shape of the Modern Grecian all in one nice glossy color.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-16After the green sections were painted it was time to start detailing the car. The fins were created from sheet styrene with round rod ends. The taillights shaped from left over clear red kit parts.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-17Four bucket seats came from some old AMT kits and were painted yellow and upholstered with wome green material. The TV also came from the parts-box.
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The finished 1/25 scale Modern Grecian.

After many month of hard work Yoshihiro has finally finished his 1/25 scale version of the Barris Kustoms built Modern Grecian. When you look at the finished model it is very hard to believe it all started out as an 1949 Ford Coupe. The chrome parts on the car are painted with Alclad II over black painted parts, and the trim pieces on the body were covered in BareMetal foil. The Barris crest is actually the only aftermarket part used on this car, created by the Model Car Garage in photo-etched brass. Yoshihiro painted it with the appropriate colors.
 
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-20For the interior Yoshihiro recreated the cut down (airplane like) steering wheel and Studebaker dash panel.
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CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-22The finished front end with the Studebaker pan grille opening, the scratch-built Alclad painted grille and bumper, and the frosted plastic headlights covers.
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We will be doing a few more of these how they were built articles on other 1/25 scale Barris Kustom creations by Yoshihiro. Stay tuned for more.
More of Yoshihiro work can be seen in this CCC-Article.

 
 
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Yoshihiro Hobara – Barris Model Cars

 

BARRIS MODEL CARS

 

Yoshihiro Hobara from Kasukabe, Japan is a Custom Car enthusiast, he has an amazing early 1960’s styled 1960 Chevy custom called Future Ray.¬†In¬†this article we like to share his other Custom Car passion, building 1/25 scale Barris model cars.

For several decades Yoshihiro has been creating 1/25 scale copies of some of his favorite Barris Kustom Shop created Custom Cars from the mid 1950’s to mid 1960’s. Recently Yoshihiro completed his lates creation, the “Modern Grecian” 1947 Studebaker four door. Time for us to start a series of articles on his amazing model cars. In this first article we show you a selection of photos of some of his more recent builds. In the upcoming articles we will concentrate on one model and show you how¬†Yoshihiro created them.

Yoshihiro’s passion for Custom Cars can be seen everywhere. He collects everything that has to be done with Custom Car history. Magazines, old photos, memorabilia, Custom Car parts, and as many Custom Car related model cars he can get his hand on. For his model car building he works his magic on the diner table,¬†making it necessary to¬†clean up after every session. For some of the model cars¬†Yoshihiro decides to recreate in scale there are no available kits. So he needs to be creative and looks for an available kit that comes close. For instance the 1947 Studebaker Grecian was created out of an old AMT 1949 Ford coupe kit!¬†recreating these old custom cars often means he has to create a lot of parts from scratch, since many of these parts have never been done as 1/25 scale parts. He is using other kit parts, scrap plastic and evergreen plastic material for those.

 

Lets take a look at some of Yoshihiro’s¬†model cars.

CCC-yoshihiro-brett-barrisYoshihiro together with Brett Barris.
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CCC-yoshihiro-modern-grecian-03The freshly finished 1947 Studebaker “Modern Grecian” together with an older finished replication of the Sam Barris built 1957 Chevy “El Capitola”.
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CCC-yoshihiro-modern-grecian-01A LOT of scratch building went into creating the “Modern Grecian” very hard to believe it all started out as an 1/25 scale AMT 1949 Ford coupe kit.
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CCC-yoshihiro-modern-grecian-02Yoshihiro uses old magazine features, new books and all the online images he can find to make sure all the details as as close to the real thing.
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CCC-yoshihiro-el-capitola-01Creating the Sam Barris 1957 Chevy “El Capitola” was perhaps a bit easier than the Grecian, since Revell¬†created the 1957 Chevy kit he started with. But the body work Sam did on the real car is very extensive and¬†Yoshihiro recreated everything perfectly.
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CCC-yoshihiro-el-capitola-02It is a bit hard to see on the real car, as well as on Yoshihiro model, but all the darker colored sections on the body are actually raised sections on the body. Yoshihiro had to add thin sheet plastic do be able to do this, and then very carefully blend it in with the main body.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-01Yoshihiro first version of the Jim Skonzakes ‘Golden Sahara was created from the Lindberg 1953 Ford kit. Obviously not much of the original kit remained.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-02A lot of creating thinking and scratch building went into this recreation. Including the scratch building of the Kaiser taillights from clear red plastic.
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CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-03The complete interior was scratch build from sheet and strip styrene.
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CCC-yoshihiro-55-chevy-01The recreation of Jim Seaton’s 1955 Chevy was perhaps also a bit easier, since that kit is also available from Revell. But¬†Yoshihiro still had to do a lot of work for all the details including the double headlights, and bullet grille.
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CCC-yoshihiro-55-chevy-02The custom made taillights created from cut and shaped pieces of sheet styrene looks very realistic as well.
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CCC-yoshihiro-aztec-porscheThe Aztec is based on a resin kit to which Yoshihiro added many details. Dean Jeffries Porsche is another one he recently finished. We will get back to these in an later article.
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CCC-yoshihiro-dream-truck-01The R&C Dream Truck was based on the AMT Pick Up kit, whcih was a good start, but it required a huge amount of body and detail work to create.
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CCC-yoshihiro-dream-truck-02Scrap pieces of hand shaped clear red plastic make the taillights set into the hand shaped “Studebaker” pans. The pick up bed was mostly scratch built. and includes details as the Bob Metz created fins and upholstered tonneau¬†cover.
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CCC-yoshihiro-kopper-kart-01The “Kopper Kart” started out as an AMT 1955 Chevy pick up kit. And as you can imagine a LOT of customizing and scratch building was needed to get it to look like the Barris Kopper Kart.¬†
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CCC-yoshihiro-kopper-kart-02The real Kopper Kart has its custom shaped pick up bed covered with a two part tonneau cover, so he scratch built them and make them to work as well.
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CCC-yoshihiro-t-bird-01The last model we show for now is a recration of the Barris built “Xtura” 1957 T-Bird for Mith Nagao. Although the real car was not so heavily customized, recreating a model of it still meant a lot of scratch building on the AMT ’57 T-bird kit, including the 1953 Studebaker front pans and quad canted headlights.
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CCC-yoshihiro-t-bird-02Upholstered panels on the roof and of course the 1/25 scale barris crest were added to make the model as accurate as possible.
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Next article obout Yoshihiro’s models we will cover the in detail how he created his latest finished model. The 1947 Studebaker “Modern Grecian”. Stay tuned…

 
 
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Steve Boutte’s 1951 Chevy Convertible

STEVE BOUTTE’S 1951 CHEVY

Inspired by the Chevys created by the Barris and other custom shops in the late ’40’s and early ’50’s, I started recreating this in 1/25 scale using an AMT ’51 Chevy convertible.

Back when these cars were customized after being just a few years old, or even brand new, it was all about making the car look more elegant than the what it looked like on the showroom floor, so big bumpers (not smoothed) & grilles from upscale cars like Cadillac’s was the way to go.

CCC-Steve-Boutte-51-Chevy-Inspiration-W¬†Before I started working on the 1/25 scale model I studied many 1949-52 Chevy custom convertibles built in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. This helped me to figure out what I really liked and what I needed to do to the AMT kit.

 

I started this project based on the old 1951 Chevy Convertible kit from AMT. I realized that this old kit needed a lot of work to get to the level or realism I was looking for. I had worked with the AMT 1951 kits before, so I knew what the problem area’s were. The upscale car parts, ’49 Cadillac bumpers & grille were obtained from Modelhaus. The resin grille needed to be modified to fit the body.¬†I also modified the rear bumper by adding the wrap around ends from another bumper to make it fit the Chevy body better.

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 The old AMT 1951 Chevy Convertible kit was the base of this custom project.

 
One of the first steps I do on a new project it to get the stance of the model the way I want it. This helps me with the flow of the body once I start customizing it. Once the stance was there I could start customizing the body.
The windshield frame was chopped a couple of scale inches. The basis for the padded top was the custom padded top from the Revell ’48 Ford kit. I needed to modify this top quite a bit to fit the car, and look more realistic. Since the both the Revell top & the AMT kit beltlines did not have enough curvature around the back end, I rebuilt that portion of the body & beltline with styrene & superglue. The beltline trim was redone using half round styrene strip, all the detail on the top was done with styrene, superglue & filler.

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Early stages of the built. The stance was pretty much there, although the rear was later dropped a little more. The windshield has been chopped and the body contours have been sanded into shape. The stock grille and bumpers are used to help me figuring out what needs to be done to achieve the right look.

 
I reshaped the nose of the hood as well as the ends at the door line to make the AMT hood look a bit more like the real 1:1. I added the peak down the center of the hood using a piece of wire, blended in with superglue. The AMT windshield opening/cowl is far from accurate and extremely thick. A lot of work went into fixing this, using photos of a real 1951 Chevy. Most of the out of scale AMT details in this area was sanded down and replaced with round strip and shaped more realistic. Also, note the body colored strip between the hood & beltline/windshield trim. This is totally absent on the AMT kits. The out of scale AMT vent windows were replaced with units built from styrene strip. The grille opening was modified to fit the 1949 Cadillac grille and headlights from an AMT ’50 Ford were molded into the body. The body sides were reshaped and rounded once again to fix the old AMT kit flaws and the original side trim was modified. Once all the body work was done and the primer was smoothed ¬†a black base was airbrushed.¬†This was followed with several very thin coats of Sally Hansen Wine Not nail polish over a black base.

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The padded top is starting to get the right shape, the Cadillac bumpers and grilles are now in place. The hood reshaping has begun and the ’50 Ford headlights have been molded into the fenders. It is starting to look right.

 

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More work on the padded top included reshaping with filler and strips of styrene. The heavy, out of scale kit vent windows have been removed and replaced with scratch built units for a much more in-scale look.

 

To adjust the placement of the dash, I added a vertical .080″ strip to each side of the door panel as well as a .060″ horizontal strip. I removed a slice along the curved section of the dash and kept sanding until the fit in the body was good. I also added filler to the top of the dash to match the curvature of the windshield opening.

 

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The Spotlights are modified resin units from Replicas & Miniatures of Maryland. A lot of work was done to the the hood to cowl shape closer to the rear car look. A metal wire was added to the hood to create a nice peak.

 

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At the back I used taillights made from the turn signals pods from the ’51 Chevy grille. These units were frenched into the smoothed fenders.

 

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This is my attempt at an early ’50’s Chevy “butterfly” accessory steering wheel. I used a steering wheel rim from the AMT ’50 Ford kit & scratchbuilt the rest. The rounded portion of the horn ring is made from brass strip bent to shape. I also made the steering column, shift lever & rod, as well as the turn signal switch from styrene.
 

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The Model Car Garage Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps with paint detailed photo etched emblems. Tires are Modelhaus T-270 with modified whitewalls. By now the body was primered in black.

 

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The seats & door panels were modified to accept tuck & roll panels made from acrylic paint. The dash knobs, door handles, window cranks & armrests are resin copies of scratchbuilt pieces.
 
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The finished model

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Creating laminated Dash knobs in scale

AIMING FOR PERFECTION

A while ago I was looking at some photos of the Hirohata Mercury. One of the photos showed the interior and it really inspired me to recreate parts of it in one of the model custom cars I had in the planning stage. Everything about this Hirohata Mercury interior is so good looking. Especially the steering wheel, which is an Mercury Montaray accessory wheel and of course the famous laminated dash knobs.

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Bob Hirohata designed and created these two-tone laminated dash knobs while working part time at the Barris Kustom Shop. He ended up creating several sets of these laminated dash knobs and other plastic components for some of his friends who also owned Barris Custom cars. Later, Bob was even able to sell his idea so that the laminated knobs could be mass produced. They would appear in Hot Rods and Custom Cars all over the world and are still being produced today.

As a model car builder I was inspired to figure out a way to recreate these laminated dash knobs in 1/25 scale. I could possibly try to paint the stripes on some hand shaped dash knobs, but I knew the end result would not look very realistic. I wondered if I could produce them in a similar way as Bob Hirohata did: using thin layers of colored plastic glued together. I started looking for some very thin sheets of colored plastic material & found a pack of multi colored binder covers at an office supply store. I excitedly tried gluing the layers together only to have them come apart very easily because the chemical makeup of the sheets. Eventually, I found colored acetate sheet stock at a local hobby store & set out to make this vision in my head a reality. By combining the colored acetate sheet & white styrene sheet I created a base that looked similar to what Bob started with in the early 1950′s, only much smaller in size.

Below is a step by step on how I created the laminated dash knobs for an custom 1949 Mercury project that I’m working on.

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The clear sheets come in several different colors. I purchased several different sheets for possible future projects.

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Same size sheets are cut and ready to be laminated.

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To make sure the sheets would laminate together I sanded the sheets with a course sanding stick.

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Once all of the sheets were roughened up on both sides, I used super glue to laminate the sheets together.

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I held the pieces on a paper towel to soak up the excess glue.

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A small strip was cut from the sheet using a razor saw and pattern to make sure everything was straight.

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This created a nice strip of laminated sheet styrene, the base for the dash knob.

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Hand files were used to create the basic shape of the knob.

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A nail polishing stick was used to carefully sand and polish the knob into its final shape.

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A small file was used to shape the bottom of the knob while it was still attached to the Dremmel tool.

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Once the bottom section was shaped the knob was carefully cut off from the strip.

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I carefully drilled a small hole in the end. This allowed me to glue it to a small piece of metal wire.

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Once finished I brushed on some future floor polish for the perfect shine.

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This photo shows the completed interior with the laminated dash knobs installed on the 1950 Mercury dashboard. The Mercury Monterey steering wheel was mostly scratch built.

I also created a set of laminated dash knobs for an chopped 1951 Chevy Fleetline I was working on at the time (finished now).
This set was done in white and orange and had a clear piece os sheet styrene in the center.

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After quite a bit of experimenting, I was gradually able to make the knobs smaller & shaped like I wanted. I created this set that would go in a 1950 Fleetline using alternating sheets of orange & white with a strip of clear in the middle.

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Here is how they looked installed in the Fleetline dash.

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Building a 49 Mercury model in the eighties

A 1949 MERCURY SEDAN DELIVERY

This model’49 Mercury Sedan Delivery custom was build around 1987. Mercury never produced a Sedan Delivery with the 1949-51 models. They created a Woody in those years. But those bodies are very tall with a raised roof and are hard to customize with the right proportions.

After chopping and customizing three 49 Mercury sedans, I was looking for something different. Let say…more challenging. So I decided to design my own 1949 Mercury Sedan Delivery based on an AMT 1949 Coupe model kit. When I built this model car in the 1980’s I never did take any photos of the in progress work. Something I really regret now.

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Starting with the AMT 49 Mercury the rear of the roof was cut off behind the B pillars and above the body the beltline to the sharp character line on the lower rear quarters. After the front section of the top was chopped, I created the delivery body from 1 mm sheet styrene for the body sides and 3 mm sheet styrene for the top. The complexed round corners at the rear of the body where made from small sections of sheet styrene bend in shape. I wanted all doors on this model to open, so the rear door was made as a separate part from several pieces of sheet styrene, shaped and glued into one unit. The rear window moldings where made from stretched sprue.

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At the rear I wanted a spare wheel cover which was made from a 36 Ford with Merc hubcap center added. A set of 59 Cadillac taillights where tunneled into the rear quarters, and a small lip made from stretched sprue around the opening blends it into the character line on the quarter panels. Back when I built this custom I thought ’59 Cadillac taillights looked good on everything, plus they were included in the kit. Now I would have never used them.¬†New, more in scale and thinner, ¬†fender skirts where made from sheet styrene with a lip added using stretched sprue.

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I cut the doors open, and made the door jambs from sheet styrene. The door frames where filed on the inside to create a more realistic and in scale look. Hinges where made from brass wire and tubing.

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At the front I was very much inspired by the Hirohata Merc. the headlights of a 57 Ford (they are perfect for an instant extended and frenched look) where molded into further extended front fenders. A new grille opening was made from sheet styrene and the upper grille surround was moved forward and molded to the hood. The surrounding area’s where all blended in using small pieces of sheet styrene and a little filler. The grille was made from the two custom bumpers from the old issue of the AMT 57 Ford kit. The ends where cut and glued together in a slight V shape. The center panel and teeth where made from sheet styrene. Side pipes where made from bent aluminum tubing which rest in custom made (sheet styrene) housings.

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In the interior I scribed tuck & roll panels in the stock merc bench. The door side panels were made from sheet styrene and the chrome separation line is a piece of silver colored metal wire. All handles where home made. The dashboard was made using a 41 Lincoln (Monogram kit) dash panel combined with the stock 49 Mercury unit and lots of small pieces from the scrap box, to create a jukebox style dash. The center section of the stock merc grille is now the speaker grille in the lower section of the dash. The cargo bay was covered with real wood covered in many clear coats, for a high gloss look. The rest of the interior was upholster using tissue paper and shaped sheet styrene.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPaint is custom mixed Humbrol enamel dark maroon, engine bay is gloss black and all was covered in a slightly gold colored clear coat. To top the custom off I added Modelhaus white wall tires (a later addition, at first they where white wall painted stock tires) and RMCM Caddy Sombrero hubcaps with clear red Caddy crests.

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Getting Plastered

THE HUMBLE BEGINNINGS OF A CUSTOM CAR HISTORIAN

Early 2000, while on a visit to my parents, I decided to look for a model I built in the early 1980‚Äôs. I still had fond memories of it! I found my old model boxed somewhere in a closet in my old bedroom. Upon opening the box, some very good memories came back to me. I took the old model home and give it a place where it could be seen again. You’ll probably wonder why this – not particularly good-looking model- was given a special place. Or, why a rough-looking custom car can be so special to me.

Let me tell you the story behind this customized Volvo Amazone

I built this model in the late 1983’s and finished it in 1984 when I was just 15 years old. It all started on a damp Wednesday morning when I¬†broke my arm at a school baseball game. I was waiting to have my arm set and have¬†the plaster cast put on it. I was quite relaxed and looked around the hospital room. There I saw a lot of cool tools lying around and began fantasizing how I could use them for my model building. As the¬†cast was being applied, I noticed the material they were using. It was some sort of fabric, coated with plaster, which became very pliable when it was soaked in water. I started thinking that this material would be useful for model building‚ÄĒpossibly for some sort of mold making.

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With the help of a nurse

I had not figured out how it could be used, but that it was going to happen was a definite. So I asked one of the nurses if I could take some of the fabric-plaster home with me. She said she didn’t think so, as they were not allowed to give things like that away. But before I left she gave me a small plastic bag with a few rolls of the fabric-plaster in it and smiled at me.

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Being a Dutch model car builder in the 1980s was not easy! There were not many kits in the hobby shops, there was no Internet, and even the U.S. car and model magazines did not reach the area where I lived. So when I found this 1:16 scale Volvo Amazon toy/promo – which was rather accurate – I was very happy. And, it had all kinds of plans to customize it such as chopping the top and more. But unfortunately, the Volvo was molded in a very soft plastic.

Cutting up a Volvo
I could not work with the material, as neither plastic cement nor body filler would stick to it, so I was very disappointed. That was until I came home with the fabric-plaster! With my arm still in the cast, I figured out a way of making molds of the Volvo, and I wanted to try making a casting using the plaster-fabric as a mold, and body filler to make the casting.

CCC_Volvo_06As soon the plaster cast was removed, I started cutting up the Volvo body. I made cuts in such a way that all components were as

flat as possible, as I was not sure whether or not I could make compound-curve molds. Then, I made molds, with the fabric-plaster, of each part. After the plaster had set, I carefully removed the plastic original, leaving nice, relatively smooth molds. I decided to use epoxy body filler putty as the material to cast the parts. I smeared the filler in the mold with my fingers, and after curing, I removed the plaster. The molds were completely destroyed, and some of the plaster was left on the new body parts. But, a bit of water and some sanding took care of that problem.
Now I had all the separate parts, and using some freshly mixed putty, I glued the individual parts to make sections of the body. I then glued those parts together, again with filler, and once together, I had a complete body, which was made entirely out of body filler putty.CCC_Volvo_05

Let’s customize
Then the customizing process could began. A 1949 Mercury custom/lowrider (Charley Lopez’ Nostalgia Sleeper) that I had seen in an obscure Belgium custom-car magazine called Chrome and Flames (in Vlamish Chroom en Vlammen) inspired the overall look of this Volvo.¬†I chopped the top, lengned and widened it, and just never realized it would have looked so much better if I had leaned the rear window forward, thus, streamlining the body some more.
I cut open the doors in a half-circle shape (similar to the ‚Äė49 Merc,) and created working gullwing doors. I used brass window trim, and incorporated working hinges, also made from brass tube and wire. I inserted some flat-steel plates inside the doors, so I would be able to open them later using a magnet (innovative isn‚Äôt that?). The hood was hinged on the front, using hinges made of brass wire and tubing. The engine compartment was made from plastic containers, which once housed my mother‚Äôs nylons, and the ¬†containers were also used for the inner fenders. The interior was mostly scratch built. The bucket-style seats were made from plastic containers with nice rounded corners, and were mounted on Lego turning assemblies, to make real swivel seats.

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The rear bench was made from cardboard, and the small round table and light above it were made from pieces from the scrap box I got from my father. He used to build 1:25 scale models before I was born and when I was still a kid. He only built factory-stock models, so plenty of early customizing parts remained for me to use on my customizing projects. Other interior parts come from a 1:25 scale AMT Kenworth truck. The dashboard started out as the front bumper and wheel a horn ring was added, made from small-diameter wire, to the truck’s steering wheel.
The entire interior was upholstered with real velvet, which was button-tufted by my mother. More truck parts where used on the Volvo as well. Strips were taken from the fuel tank, and used as front bumpers, and the top lights were used as bumper guards. Also, the truck’s engine was used for the Volvo, and the headers were modified to look like ones from a Ford Cobra engine.

The air cleaner was made from a full moon disk from an old AMT kit with some fabric, from my mother, to serve as the filter. The grille was made from metal wire bent over a plastic jig, with ends made from more truck parts, as were the headlights. One has been lost for years. The taillights were made from clear material, into which I filed grooves, and painted them orange and red from behind. The tires from the Volvo model and the wheels were made from Volvo parts.CCC_Volvo_Magazine

My car in a magazine!

Beauty rings were made from the truck‚Äôs rims.¬†The paint was a custommixed metallic red from Revell and Humbrol paints. When the model was done, I made a diorama out of board, some model train bushes, and hobby paints. I took some nice photos outside in my parent‚Äôs garden where I used real trees as backdrop. Because I thought the photo’s were pretty good I send the photos to the Belgium magazine Chrome and Flames.

A few weeks later I received a phone call from the magazine’s editor. He could not quite figure it out. He received some photos of what he thought was a real car. But they came with a letter that described a model car! He also asked me if I could bring the model to an upcoming custom car show in Belgium (a neighboring country of The Netherlands, where I’m from), but unfortunately I could not make that show due to a vacation with my parents.

By the time we returned from our vacation the new issue of the magazine had hit the newsstand and a whole page was devoted to my model cars! The Volvo gave me a lot of experience, and it really got me started on building custom car models.

This car remains very special to me. I’m sure many of you have some early model that you hold dear. Let us know!

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