Saturday, 11 January 2014

53 Chevrolet BelAir Custom WIP #2

Now, it has been a few months since I did my first post about this very long term project of the 1953 Chevrolet BelAir Custom and not much progressed due to magazine reviews and other projects getting in the way. My original plan was to have this model finished for Telford last November, but that did not happen! So now that the Gannet and Monty's Humber are done and dusted, I had to decide between the Chevy of the Messerschmitt Bf110 to continue with. The Chevy won!

So, how does the project sit now? The body is basically ready for primer and painting. I still have to decide on what colour I am going to paint her, but it can be brought up to that stage to save some time. After more swapping around between different wheels, I have finally settled for these ones which I was originally using on the 53 Ford Pick-up that has been sitting on the shelf with the Chevy.

In the engine bay, some major changes were made to accommodate the large V8 that is being fitted. The stock inner wings were cut out and new ones were scratch-built in their place. These needed to be altered when I discovered that there were obstructing the front wheels, so the rear sections were moved inwards for clearance of the wheels. The radiator supplied in the kit would not be up to the job in real life. So this has been replaced with one of my cast resin Nissan GT-R radiators mounted in a new front panel.

On the underside, I had to replace the axle as the original one had broke. Thus one came from a Pontiac GTO scrapper I picked up a while back to use for a demo on my website at some point. The Pontiac axle is a bit stronger then the Chevy one and the wheels are sitting further into the wheel housings now. All that I needed to do was make some new stabiliser bar brackets to go on the axle. The front and rear suspension has been glued into place now, this is to protect them from being damaged any more. So, just a few things to tidy up on the chassis and then this an be primed and readied for paint.

Onto the interior now. The general inside is going to be the stock Chevy bench seats, trying to keep an "Old Skool" look inside. But the dash needed a revamp, so it was out with the old dials and in with a more modern dash cluster taken from a left-over decals out of a Honda I think. The upper surface of the dash was changed to accommodate the new cluster and give it a more modern feel. The steering wheel and column has also been changed by using a spare wheel from the parts box and a scratch-build new column. Some indicate and wiper stalks need to be made and added before painting commences.  

Finally the engine. This is a Gibson Engines cast resin Alley Rat 502 TPI, which comes with all of the components of a complete engine, including etched parts and material to make any of the belts found on the engine. The only extra detailing required, is items like HT leads, hoses, pipework and wiring. In all, they are very good replacements for the stock engines in 1/25th scale cars. 

This one still needs some work done to it, a bit of work to the air filter and prep work for the leads and hoses before paint can commence. But this is not far off the painting stage and once it has been stripped down, cleaned up and primed, on goes the colour. 

So, now that this update has been done, I can get back to the workbench and head towards completing this long overdue project.

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