51 Chevy Bel Air Convertible - 1/25 AMT Kit

Well you guys know how things go with me. I really wasn’t going to start another new kit this year until I knocked over a couple of WIP projects, but then I got invited to join a group build on one of our local Aussie Facebook Groups with a “Black and Blue” theme. Any subject matter, any scale, just has to be mainly either black or blue paint. It is being sponsored by the owner of SMS Paints, who is a friend of mine, so honestly I couldn’t really say no :thinking:

It didn’t take me long to decide on a kit to build, the last Facebook Group Build I built a kit for was also sponsored by SMS Paints and was a fundraiser for the Royal Children’s Hospital here in Melbourne. That was about 12 months ago, and we all had to build the same kit which was the '51 Chevy Bel Air hardtop.

This is the Group Build “glamour shot” of my build back then.

It was an easy decision to drag out the ragtop version of the same car for this Group Build, and I dedicated some time over the past week to crack into it. The Group Build runs for 3 months, with judging based on submitted images starting April 1.

Anyway, here we go! As always, all feedback, comments, advice, constructive critique is most welcome.

First up, box art.



Instructions.




Contents.

Cool mini version of kit box to cut out, assemble and display beside the completed build.

First up I got to work on the main body, cleaning up mould lines and flash.

The fir of the rear wheel spats is atrocious, they won’t be used.

Working on cleaning up parts and the first few sub assemblies. Some SMS product placement to support the sponsor!

Another fit issue, but this time I can leave the parts out. I will need to shim the outside of the chassis rails to be able to fit the front splash pan.

The firewall fit to the main tub is ok, but needed some sprue goo to beef up the join.


And then it was time for some primer, as always Mr Surfacer 1500 in Grey and Black, thinned with about 60% MLT.






As you can see, shimming the chassis rails worked a treat as the front splash pan is nice and secure.

More work required on the body, I will use Mr Surfacer 500 thinned a bit with MLT and brushed on to sort out the mould lines.



First post sorted, next up will be my progress from today with the start of the colour coats.

Cheers, D

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Today’s efforts. Gotta love the quick-drying lacquers. Paint, mask, paint, unmask all in an hour or two!

Ragtops (open and closed).

Door cards and seats.



Engine parts.

This thread is up-to-date with my progress now, I will keep it updated as I move along.

Cheers, D

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Wait, you picked a Chevy. I can’t believe it! :rofl: In all seriousness, you’re making good progress. It looks really nice.

Jim

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D,
you could have changed up and gone with a 1949 Mercury as it’s right up there with the Chevy legends from the 1950s. :nerd_face:

Great start on the kit for sure. Are you going to scratch out new Spats? Can’t imagine the car without them.
So the Stretch Limo is for another facebook GB?

joel

1 Like

Thanks for checking in guys, much appreciated!

Joel, I’m not going to scratch the spats, I don’t think I could manage the curved profile with my current skills. Besides, I think it looks pretty cool dropped and customised a bit :sunglasses:
51 Ragtop Ref 1
51 Ragtop Ref 2

The stretch Limo is sitting quietly while I sort out the transmission tunnel section to be replaced. I have a plan but haven’t had time to put in action just yet. You are correct though, it is for another FB Group Build.

Cheers, D

2 Likes

D,
While I’m way more conservative then most of the group, i do like the overall look of the 51 Bel Air lowered. And I do love the Candy Apple Red, to bad that the only allowed colors are Blue and Black.

joel

You could add thin strips of styrene around the edges of the spats in the kit and build up the dimensions until they fit correctly.
Assuming that the curvature of the spats parts is correct you just need to extend the dimensions sideways. Glue strip, sand down where it was too much, add more strip where there is still a gap.
Round off the edges slightly to simulate the gap between sheet metal parts. The gap by the spats seem to have the same size as the gap around the doors.
A gap straight through needs some reinforcements inside the bodywork.

I did this with the trunk lid of some AC Cobra, it took some work but the results were good.

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Robin, I thought about doing that, but the spats are perfectly flat and nothing like the profile of the body curve (as well as being undersized all round). I’m happy to build this one without spats, I quite like the look with the wheels visible when lowered slightly.

I also have the Fleetline version in the stash, no surprises there, and will definitely be fitting the spats on that one.


Cheers, D

2 Likes

D,
From your discription of just how poorly the Spats were actually molded, really asks the question of back in those days of yesteryear, did anyone at AMT even care or check to see if such an important body part actually fits correctly, or in this case at all? I highly doubt it. And if someone did indeed see the needed corrections to the molds, I’m assuming that the answer was always NO, just mold as is for max profits.
As for the basically stock kit that you’re planning on using the Spats, isn’t that basically the same molding, so you’d still have that pesky issue?

joel

2 Likes

Joel, I won’t be on a tight time frame with the Fleetline build as I am now. I need to get the DB5, the 2-Mad and this build completed in the next 2-3 months. I had similar issues with the spats on the hardtop build (see image below) that took some work to smooth out.

Looking at the real deal, there is quite a thick black rubber seal around the spat, and I will put some time and effort into shaping and shimming the part (as @Robin_Nilsson suggested), but perhaps with a fine rod to replicate the seal that can be picked out with PLW after the body is completed.

Cheers, D

3 Likes

D,
The seal would be critical to keeping the Spat from vibrating while the car is moving and damaging the paint finish on both surfaces. It also creates a great fudge factor of Spat to body quarter panel. By the look of it, getting it even and square to the body isn’t going to be easy for sure.

joel

2 Likes

Not a big fan, of fender skirts, but they do look amazing, on the '51 Bel Air. That said, the limited time, you have, for the build, would make it difficult to do properly. Better to use those hours on the paint job :grin:

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My thoughts exactly Jesper!

Some bling for the underside . . . .

And engine assembly time . . . .



Some small touching up to do, time for the CA to cure, then this can get some PLW then be installed along with the exhausts.

Cheers, D

4 Likes

D,
The straight Chevy 6 is looking quite good. Are those twin single or duel barrel carbs? Also nice to see a dipstick tube for a change. Every engine has one, but rarely do you see one in model form.

joel

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Single barrel carbs Joel, they didn’t go overboard on this one!

Engine and drive train installed along with the go-faster twin exhausts. A bit of fun here because there are no positive locating points for the exhausts, it’s just a case of “that sort of seems to fit there” and quickly throw on a drop of CA.

I’ve also assembled the rims and cleaned up the wide tyres, hopefully later today I can get them fitted off and have a rolling chassis!

Cheers, D

3 Likes

You are definitely on a roll; moving fast and looking good :grin:

2 Likes

Nice looking engine & chassis.

Jim

1 Like

D,
The engine looks simply outstanding in the chassis. You’re certainly flying through this build.

joel

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I’ve worked over the body and given it a final primer shot, another quick buff and it will be ready for colour coats. I have assembled the wheels and fitted them to the chassis, so as always it’s time for a cheeky test fit :sunglasses:


I wanted it a bit lower but the wide wheels wouldn’t fit up under the front guards. :unamused:

Cheers, D

1 Like

D,
Great job getting the body shell ready for the color coats.
joel

2 Likes