Custom Car Builders

May 21, 2015

The Modern Grecian model

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Written by: Rik Hoving
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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.


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. 


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.


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.


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. 


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.


CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-08A closer look from the rear with the templates used to scale down all the details in the background.


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.


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.


CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-11The parking lights on the end of the grille came once again from the part-box.


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.


CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-13The nearly finished grille in the primered body. The body still needs a lot of sanding.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


CCC-modern-grecian-mc-constr-20For the interior Yoshihiro recreated the cut down (airplane like) steering wheel and Studebaker dash panel.



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.


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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About the Author

Rik Hoving
Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)


  1. What craftsmanship and intricate detail. Yoshihiro’s innovation in adapting and forming pieces from scratch is awe inspiring!
    Larry Pointer


  2. rik, i love the rough body work stage & the little spray booth ! spot on my friend !


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